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President Who?

FORGOTTON FOUNDERS
by: Stanley L. Klos
 

 

A Klos Family Book

Published by estoric.com

Carnegie, Pennsylvania

 


 

For our children

Louis, Eilleen, Christopher, Nicholas, Alexandra, Mariesha, Zachary & Kathleen

Thank you Marie!

 

 

 



Estoric.com
"Pushing the Envelope"
428 Washington Avenue
Carnegie, PA 15106

 

Copyright 2004 by Stanley L. Klos

 

All Rights Reserved, including the right

Of reproduction in whole or in part in any form

 

Edited by: Beth Klein Ellis

 

Designed by: Diana Welch

 

Manufactured in the United States of America

 

 

 

Part I: The Historical Record

 

Introduction
The Father of Our Country
8


Chronology
America 1774 – 1789 
 9

Chapter One
George Washington 
11th President of the United States  
12

 

 

Part II: The Continental Congress of the United Colonies

 

Chapter TWO:
Peyton Randolph
1st President of the Continental Congress
 of the United Colonies of America

32

Chapter three:
Henry Middleton
2nd President of the Continental Congress
 of the United Colonies of America

40

 

Part III: The Continental Congress of the United States

Chapter Four:

John Hancock
1st President of the Continental Congress
of the United States of America

53

 

Chapter Five:

Henry Laurens
2nd President of the Continental Congress
of the United States of America

70

 

Chapter Six:

John Jay
3rd President of the Continental Congress
of the United States of America

80

 

Part IV: The Continental Congress of the United States

 

Chapter Seven:

Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

91

 

Chapter Eight:

Thomas McKean
2nd President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

117

 

Chapter Nine:

John Hanson
3rd President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

126

 

Chapter Ten:

Elias Boudinot
4th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

136

 

Chapter Eleven:

Thomas Mifflin
5th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

149

 

 

Chapter Twelve:
Richard Henry Lee
6th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

160

 

Chapter thirteen:
Nathaniel Gorham
8th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

168

 

Chapter fourteen:
Arthur St. Clair
9th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

173

 

Chapter fifteen:
Cyrus Griffin
10th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled

200

 

 

Chapter sixteen
 “FIRST”

205

 

 

Presidential debate 2004
208

 

Appendix
214

 

 

Bibliography
238

 

The following historical documentation lends proof to the thesis that 10 men held the office of US President in Congress Assembled prior to the inauguration of George Washington in 1789. The official correspondence and the Journals of the Continental Congress and the United States in Congress Assembled clearly give testament to the existence of a Pre-Constitutional US Presidency. The Founders' legislative actions and resolutions also confirm such. Additionally, the recognition of the US Presidency by foreign leaders and the unanimous ratification of the Articles of Confederation in 1781 are irrefutable proof that the office of President of the United States in Congress Assembled was more then just the presiding arm of the unicameral US Government.

Important accomplishments by these early leaders and facts about them have all been forgotten due to the popular belief that the US Presidency began with George Washington. Even most history teachers and professors would be hard pressed to answer key US foundational questions as they have been rendered indistinguishable by the Constitutional Presidency and the extraordinary accomplishments of George Washington. For instance:

Which Continental Congress President did George Washington call the "Father of our Country"?

Which US President wrote and introduced the resolution that declared US Independence on July 2, 1776?

Which Continental Congress President signed George Washington's Commander-in-Chief's Commission?

Which US President conspired in the Conway Cabal to replace George Washington as Commander-in-Chief with General Horatio Gates?

Which US President persuaded holdout Maryland to ratify the Articles of Confederation thereby creating the "Perpetual Union" known as the United States of America in 1781?

Which Continental Congress President was imprisoned in the Tower of London and later exchanged for General Cornwallis?

Which Continental Congress President persuaded John Adams and Benjamin Franklin to ignore the direct order of the United States in Congress Assembled demanding France be included in the negotiations of the Treaty of Paris?

Which US President, in the summer of 1783, negotiated the peaceful release of President Elias Boudinot and the entire Confederation Congress from Independence Hall?


Which US President’s signature ratified the Treaty that ended the war with England?

Which US President sponsored the legislation to hold the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia after the Annapolis Convention failed to reach a quorum in 1786?

How did you do on answering these questions? 90%? 80%? 70% ? If you scored 2 correct answers or 20% you are on par with the thousands of listeners who have attended our nationally renowned exhibits. This book includes chapters on each of the Presidents and their accomplishments in the Continental Congress and/or the United States in Congress Assembled.

Both presidents of the United States and Continental Congress Presidents who presided over the 1774 - 1788 unicameral US Government (there was only one component with Congress serving as the executive, legislative, and judicial branches) throughout the War of Independence are virtually unknown to the US public. The fact that Samuel Huntington is not recognized as the first President of the United States is primarily due to the reality that our first set of national laws, the Articles of Confederation, failed to provide our founding fathers with a constitution capable of governing the United States. This, coupled with the 1774 Continental Congress' "Oath of Secrecy" on congressional debates, has all but muted the founding legislative discourse and consequently thwarted the official recognition of these 10 men as Presidents of The United States in Congress Assembled as well as with their four Confederation Congress President predecessors.

To make the founding US Presidential History even more perplexing some historians maintain incorrectly that John Hanson was the first President of the United States. In fact on January 29th, 2004 I received a rather frantic call from David Halaas, the Chief Historian of the Heinz History Center, a branch of the Smithsonian Institute. I had consigned Presidential letters of John Hancock, Thomas McKean, Thomas Mifflin, Elias Boudinot and Arthur St. Clair as well as the first public printing of the US Constitution to the Smithsonian’s traveling exhibit “A Glorious Burden, The American Presidency,” which was due to open two days later in Pittsburgh. The exhibit's part on the Continental Congress and United States in Congress Assembled had just arrived at the museum. The Smithsonian had no account of the United States in Congress Assembled and had John Hanson as the first President of the Continental Congress. They were incorrect on both accounts. David said, "… either you are all wrong or this Smithsonian Exhibit (which had already has been half way around the Country) is wrong." I assured him I was right.  David said, "I knew you must have been right but needed to hear it again before I call the Smithsonian." I showed up with the original 1781 Journal of the Continental Congress and 1782 Journal of the United States in Congress Assembled the following evening. He said he would notify the Smithsonian on the 31st and pull the “Hanson” sign and verbiage.  I decided to send the Smithsonian Senior Educator this letter on February 2nd, the 217 anniversary of President St. Clair's election to office:

Julia Forbes, Senior Educator
Smithsonian's "American Presidency, A Glorious Burden"

Dear Dr. Forbes,

Just a heads-up from one fellow educator to another. Your exceptional traveling exhibit "American Presidency, A Glorious Burden" starts off with John Hanson as the first President of The Continental Congress.  The source of this myth is primarily the responsibility of author Seymour Wemyss Smith's book "John Hanson Our First President." In this 1932 book he incorrectly makes the case that John Hanson was the first elected President of the United States in Congress Assembled. This is inaccurate as Samuel Huntington assumed the office when the Articles of Confederation were ratified March 1, 1781 transforming the Continental Congress to United States in Congress Assembled.

Additionally, the first President elected under the Articles of Confederation was Samuel Johnson on July 9, 1781 and he turned the position down. On July 10, 1781 Thomas McKean was elected and accepted becoming the 2nd President of the United States in Congress Assembled.

John Hanson was the 3rd President of the United States in Congress Assembled and not the 1st of the Continental Congress as your display indicates. In fact Hanson was never a member of the Continental Congress. The first President of the Continental Congress of the United Colonies of America was Peyton Randolph. The first President of the Continental Congress of the United States of America was John Hancock. The first President of the United States in Congress Assembled was Samuel Huntington. The first President of the United States under the 1787 Constitution was, of course, George Washington who unlike his predecessors was not "a presiding officer" as the title indicates.

Another reason why this fallacious reasoning is perpetuated is that Hanson was the first President to serve the prescribed full one-year term (1781–82) under the newly ratified Articles of Confederation. Additionally, he was the first President to win the office by delegates elected by their respective states under the ratified Articles of Confederation. Be that as it may, Samuel Huntington became the First President of the United States in Congress Assembled upon the Articles ratification on March 1, 1781, an undisputable FACT.

Historical inaccuracies aside, it is essential to cry out that these pre-1789 Presidents were great American heroes, leaders and visionaries. For instance, it was then Continental Congress and later US President John Hancock's signature along with Secretary Charles Thomson's that that appeared on the Declaration of Independence Broadside presented to King George III and his generals in 1776. The bulls-eye remained on their backs for many months, as the names of the other signers were not published until 1777.

Continental Congress President Henry Laurens' Congress succeeded in passing the Articles of Confederation in 1777, the ratification in 1781 created the "Perpetual Union" of the United States. Later, as a US Diplomat, Laurens' mission to the Netherlands for monetary support ended with his capture and imprisonment in the Tower of London. He was freed only after the Battle of Yorktown as a prisoner exchange with British General Cornwallis.

The newly elected delegates of November 1786 were not able to form a quorum until January 17th, 1787 and failed to elect a President. Arthur St. Clair, a true forgotten hero of the revolution, was elected President of the United States in Congress Assembled in the shadows of Shay's Rebellion and the near collapse of the Articles of Confederation Government on February 2, 1787. St. Clair's Congress successfully enacted the necessary legislation to convene the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia after its failure to reach a quorum in 1786 at Annapolis under President Nathaniel Gorham. St. Clair's 1787 administration also passed the Northwest Ordinance, which had lingered in Congress since 1784 and was herald by Daniel Webster many years later,

"We are accustomed to praise lawgivers of antiquity ... but I doubt whether one single law of any lawgiver, ancient or modern, has produced the effects of more distinct, marked, and lasting character than the Ordinance of 1787."

Finally, President Arthur St. Clair received and signed the order that sent the new US Constitution to the 13 original states for deliberation despite a new provision prohibiting future foreign born citizens (like him) to hold the Presidency, should it be ratified.

These and many other events, accomplishments and laws form the monumental foundation that lies beneath the current US Presidency. These colossal footers have been hidden so long that this book will do little to awaken the vast US Citizenry to rediscover and embrace their nation's remarkable roots of sheer courage, unquestionable sacrifice and unending patriotism. What these Lost Presidents require to be reborn in the consciousness of all American Citizens is nothing short of an Act of Congress or at the very least an amendment to include them in the Presidential Order that honors each Constitutional President with a gravesite wreath laying ceremony on their respective birthdays. As long as the US Government officially recognizes George Washington as the first President of the United States these men, their sacrifices and the remarkable accomplishments of their unicameral office will never receive the acknowledgment they rightfully deserve.

The foundational proofs supporting official recognition of a pre-1789 US Presidency by both the 21st Century US Congress and US President are summarized as follows:

1. The Journals of Congress clearly indicate that there were six Presidents of the Continental Congress and ten Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled before George Washington's Inauguration in 1789. Two of the Presidents, John Hancock and Samuel Huntington served in both offices.

2. These fourteen Presidents, aside from Secretary Charles Thomson, were the only members of the confederation freely elected by Congress to represent the United Colonies/States in their entirety.


3. The First State to ratify The "Perpetual Union" of the United States was Virginia (not Delaware) on December 16 1777. However, it wasn't until March 1, 1781 when Maryland agreed to the mandatory unanimous ratification of the Articles of Confederation, that first “Constitution” of the United States legally bound the 13 States into one united country.

4. The President of the United States in Congress Assembled on March 1, 1781 was Samuel Huntington of Connecticut who by virtue of the Articles' ratification became the 1st President of the United States in Congress Assembled.


5. Nine more Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation were duly elected after Samuel Huntington. The Presidents on many occasions used their office to exercise much influence on United States public affairs and legislation.


6. These 10 US Presidents in Congress Assembled presided over the unicameral government of the United States of America from 1781 to 1788 under the Articles of Confederation. The word “President” is derived from “to preside” which was just one function of the US Presidency under the Articles of the Confederation.

7. The Presidents signed congressional laws, treaties, and military orders. They called for Congressional assembly and adjournment. Presidents signed military commissions including George Washington’s commander-in-chief appointment, received foreign dignitaries, received, read, answered, and at their own discretion held or disseminated the official mail addressed to Congress and the President of the United States in Congress Assembled. The Presidents each had one vote in the Unicameral Congress. The Presidents presided, much like the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, over judicial Congressional Cases. The current US President conducts many of the same duties today but is not permitted, under the 1787 Constitution, to vote, act as a presiding judge or to receive, open, and hold Congress' mail or serve as a judiciary official of the United States.

8. The government of the United States provided for the President’s expenses, servants, clerks, housing, and transportation. Their home state was expected to provide for their salary.

9. In 1788 the President of the United States in Congress Assembled official duties were replaced by President George Washington (executive branch), Chief Justice John Jay (judicial branch), President of the US Senate John Adams and Speaker of the US House of Representatives Frederick A.C. Muhlenberg (legislative branch) under the new US Constitution.

10. In 1861 President Abraham Lincoln refused to recognize the secession of South Carolina and the other Southern States claiming they were legally bound to the United States not by the US Constitution but by the "Perpetual Union" they ratified under the Articles of Confederation in 1781.

"The express plighting of faith by each and all of the original thirteen in the Articles of Confederation, two years later, that the Union shall be perpetual is most conclusive." – (Abraham Lincoln's Address to Congress in Special Session 4 July 1861.)

A "Perpetual Union" of the United States that was first governed by President Samuel Huntington.


Clearly these 10 points make a "stars and stripes" foundational case that George Washington was not the 1st President of the United States nor is George Walker Bush the 43rd. They are the 11th and 53rd, respectively ...
much much much more

For the past five years this case has been made posting it free on the internet.  Recently President Who? Forgotten Founders has been greatly expanded through the publishing of a book which was released on February 18th, 2004:

Click Here to view the Front Page Story on the Book's Release!

 

The proceeds of this book are being utilized to maintain our 35,000 biographies and websites which over 50,000 unique visitors view each day.  Take a moment and read the information below.  We would greatly appreciate your patronage with the purchase of the book.

 

With kind personal regards, I am

 

Sincerely yours,

 

Stan Klos

 

 

 

President Who? Forgotten Founders

 

In this landmark work on Early Presidential History, Historian Stanley L. Klos unravels the complex birth of the US Presidency while providing captivating biographies on the Four Presidents of the Continental Congress and ten Presidents of the United States before George Washington. The book is filled with actual photographs of Pre-Constitutional letters, resolutions, treaties, and laws enacted by the Confederation Congress and signed by the Presidents of the Confederation Congress as “President of the United States.”


From the United Colonies Birth in 1774 to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 the author clearly and concisely maps out the role and duties of the Presidents who led the fledging nation through the Revolutionary War and the formation of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. Accounts include the birth of the Presidency and the United Colonies in Philadelphia’s City Tavern (Yes the first “convening” of the Continental Congress occurred in a tavern), the US Capitol “road show” as it moved from town to town fleeing the British Military Forces, the 1781 ratification of the Articles of Confederation in Philadelphia forming the first US Presidency, the entire US Government being held hostage in Independence Hall in 1783 by its own Military, the near collapse of Confederation Government in 1786 due to its failure to govern under the threat of Shay’s Rebellion, the rebirth of the United States under the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 called to revise the Articles of Confederation and finally President Abraham Lincoln’s use of the Articles of Confederation as his central legal argument to “Preserve the Perpetual Union of the United States of America” in 1861.
 

President Who? Forgotten Founders brings to life the Presidential Personalities from 1774 to 1788 and most importantly sets the historical record straight on Who, Samuel Huntington not George Washington, was the First US President and which State, The Commonwealth of Virginia not Delaware, was the first to form the Perpetual Union of the United States of America.

 

PRAISE FOR
President Who? Forgotten Founders

This is a brilliant and most enjoyable book which helps us to rediscover our rich history and heritage. Stan Klos clearly establishes that Virginia -- not Delaware -- became the first State in the Perpetual Union of the United States America ... because it was the first to ratify the Articles of Confederation (1779). You too will want to read his documentation complete with photographs and facsimiles of primary source documents of our lively and enlightening Americana history.

-- G. William Thomas, Jr., President,
James Monroe Memorial Foundation

A well-written and extremely thought provoking piece of historical scholarship. By using extensive primary source materials, Stan Klos effectively proves his point that from 1781 to 1789 ten men served as President of the United States in Congress Assembled. Mr. Klos does not wish to displace George Washington as "Father of Our Country." Rather, Mr. Klos is seeking recognition for Washington's predecessors. A must read for anyone interested in American Presidential history.

-- Greg Priore
Archivist, William R. Oliver Special Collections Room
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

It is a masterpiece in defining presidential history. Stanley Klos clearly presents the historic path of the presidency beginning with the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled Samuel Huntington, to the eleventh President, George Washington. It is a must read for any serious student of American History.

-- Senator Bill Stanley
President of the Norwich Historical Society

… a thought provoking argument for “righting” our history books about the very early years of our democracy. Samuel Huntington, His Excellency the President of the United States in Congress Assembled, indeed!

- Lee Langston-Harrison, Curator
James Madison’s Montpelier


To Purchase the Book visit: PresidentWho.com

 


Presidents of the Continental Congress United Colonies of America

Peyton Randolph
September 5, 1774 to October 22, 1774
and May 20 to May 24, 1775

Henry Middleton
October 22, 1774 to October 26, 1774

John Hancock
October 27, 1775 to July 1, 1776

Presidents of the Continental Congress
United States of America

John Hancock
July 2, 1776 to October 29, 1777

Henry Laurens
November 1, 1777 to December 9, 1778

John Jay
December 10, 1778 to September 28, 1779

Samuel Huntington
September 28, 1779 to February 28, 1781

Presidents of the United States
In Congress Assembled

Samuel Huntington
1st President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to July 6, 1781

Thomas McKean
2nd President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
July 10, 1781 to November 5, 1781

John Hanson
3rd President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782

Elias Boudinot
4th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
November 4, 1782 to November 3, 1783

Thomas Mifflin
5th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
November 3, 1783 to June 3, 1784

Richard Henry Lee
6th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
November 30, 1784 to November 23, 1785

John Hancock
7th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
November 23, 1785 to June 6, 1786

Nathaniel Gorham
8th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
June 1786 - November 13, 1786

Arthur St. Clair
9th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
February 2, 1787 to October 29, 1787

Cyrus Griffin
10th President of the United States
in Congress Assembled
January 22, 1788 to March 4, 1789

Presidents of the United States
Constitution of 1787

George Washington (F)
11th US President
1st Constitution of 1787
1789-97

John Adams (F)
12th US President
2nd Constitution of 1787
1797-1801


Thomas Jefferson (R)
13th Us President
3rd Constitution of 1787
1801 - 1809


James Madison (R)
14th US President
4th Constitution of 1787
1809 - 1817


James Monroe (R)
15th US President
5th Constitution of 1787
1817 - 1825


John Quincy Adams (F)

16th US President
6th Constitution of 1787
1825-29


Andrew Jackson (D)
17th US President

7th Constitution of 1787

1829 - 1837


Martin Van Buren (D)
18th US President
8th Constitution of 1787
1837 - 1841


William H. Harrison (W)
19th US President
9th Constitution of 1787
1841


John Tyler (W)
20th US President
10th Constitution of 1787
1841-45


James K. Polk (D)
21st US President
11th Constitution of 1787
1845 - 1849


David Atchison (D)*
President for a Day?

Zachary Taylor (W)

22nd US President
12th Constitution of 1787
1849-50


Millard Fillmore (W)
23rd US President
13th Constitution of 1787
1850 - 1853


Franklin Pierce (D)
24th US President
14th Constitution of 1787
1853 - 1857


James Buchanan (D)
25th US President
15th Constitution of 1787
1857 - 1861


Abraham Lincoln (R)
26th US President
16th Constitution of 1787
1861 - 1865


Jefferson Davis (D)**
President Confederate States of America

Andrew Johnson (R)
27th US President
17th Constitution of 1787
1865 - 1869


Ulysses S. Grant (R)

28th US President
18th Constitution of 1787
1869 - 1877


Rutherford B. Hayes (R)
29th US President
19th Constitution of 1787
1877 - 1881


James A. Garfield (R)
30th US President
20th Constitution of 1787
1881


Chester Arthur (R)

31st US President
21st Constitution of 1787
1881 - 1885


Grover Cleveland (D)
32nd US President
22nd Constitution of 1787
1885 - 1889


Benjamin Harrison (R)
33rd US President
23rd Constitution of 1787
1893 - 1897


Grover Cleveland (D)

34th US President
24th Constitution of 1787
1893 - 1897


William McKinley (R)
35th US President
25th Constitution of 1787
1897-1901


Theodore Roosevelt (R)
36th US President
26th Constitution of 1787
1901 - 1909


William H. Taft (R)
37th US President
27th Constitution of 1787
1909 - 1913


Wilson Woodrow (D)

38th US President
28th Constitution of 1787
1913-21


Warren G. Harding (R)
39th US President
29th Constitution of 1787
1921 - 1923


Calvin Coolidge (R)
40th US President
30th Constitution of 1787
1923 - 1929


Herbert C. Hoover (R)
41st US President
31st Constitution of 1787
1929 - 1933


Franklin D. Roosevelt (D)
42nd US President
32nd Constitution of 1787
1933 - 1945


Harry S. Truman (D)
43rd US President
33rd Constitution of 1787
1945 - 1953


Dwight D. Eisenhower (R)
44th US President
34th Constitution of 1787
1953 - 1961


John F. Kennedy (D)
45th US President
35th Constitution of 1787
1961 - 1963


Lyndon B. Johnson (D)
46th US President
36th Constitution of 1787
1963 - 1969


Richard M. Nixon (R)
47th US President
37th Constitution of 1787
1969 - 1974


Gerald R. Ford (R)
48th US President
38th Constitution of 1787
1974 - 1977


James Earl Carter, Jr. (D)
49th US President
39th Constitution of 1787
1977 - 1981


Ronald Wilson Reagan (R)
50th US President
40th Constitution of 1787
1981 - 1989


George H. W. Bush (R)
51st US President
41st Constitution of 1787
1989 - 1993


William Jefferson Clinton (D)
52nd US President
42nd Constitution of 1787
1993 - 2001


George W. Bush (R)
53rd US President
43rd Constitution of 1787
2001 - 2004


*President for One Day **President Confederate States of America

Current Order of Presidential Succession

The Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Housing, and Urban Development, Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of Veterans Affairs

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