Monday, September 17, 2012

Chairman David Ramsay


David Ramsay 




Chairman of the United States 
in Congress Assembled
November 23, 1785 until ­May 12, 1786

 
Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200.


Forgotten Founders Corporation Biography
Copyright © Stan Klos, President Who? Forgotten Founders 2004 & 2008 

By: Stanley Yavneh Klos

  • First United American Republic: United Colonies of North America: 13 British Colonies United in Congress was founded by 12 colonies on September 5th, 1774 (Georgia joined in 1775)  and governed through a British Colonial Continental Congress.  Peyton Randolph and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief;
  • Second United American Republic: The United States of America: 13 Independent States United in Congress was founded by 12 states on July 2nd, 1776 (New York abstained until July 9th), and governed through the United States Continental CongressJohn Hancock and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Third United American Republic: The United States of America: A Perpetual Union was founded by 13 States on March 1st, 1781, with the enactment of the first U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and governed through the United States in Congress Assembled.  Samuel Huntington and George Washington served, respectively, as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief; 
  • Fourth United American Republic: The United States of America: We the People  was formed by 11 states on March 4th, 1789 (North Carolina and Rhode Island joined in November 1789 and May 1790, respectively), with the enactment of the U.S. Constitution of 1787. The fourth and current United States Republic governs through  the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled, the U.S. President and Commander-in-Chief, and the U.S. Supreme Court.  George Washington served as the Republic's first President and Commander-in-Chief.

The Third United American Republic
Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789



David Ramsay ( April 2, 1749 – May 8, 1815 ). Historian, surgeon, delegate from Charleston, South Carolina to the Continental Congress, 1782-3, and the United States in Congress Assembled (USCA), 1785-6.  Ramsay was born and raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the College of New Jersey in 1765 and went on to study medicine. He received his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1773, and relocated to Charleston South Carolina. He opened a practice as a physician and prospered. 

 In 1776, at the out break of the Revolutionary War, he was elected to the South Carolina Legislature. In 1780, with the British invasion Ramsay enlisted in the South Carolina militia as a field surgeon. He was captured in the Siege of Charleston and imprisoned for just under a year in St. Augustine, Florida.   In a prisoner exchange he was released in 1781, and after the following year he was elected a South Carolina Delegate to the USCA.  By 1785, Ramsay was was considered one of the outstanding USCA delegates and was a considered for its  Presidency.  It was, however, the north's turn to field an acceptable candidate for President after the tenure of Richard Henry Lee.  Earlier in the year John Hancock had resigned as Governor of Massachusetts assigning ill health as the cause for retirement. By June, Hancock's health was returning, and on the 16th, he was elected as delegate to the the USCA. Young John Quincy Adams wrote his father on August 3rd


"It is generally supposed here that Mr. Hancock will next year be seated in the Chair of Congress." [1]


John Quincy Adams wrote his sister on July 17th:


“Mr. Hancock, being too infirm to act as Governor of Massachusetts, is chosen a mem­ber of Congress … and will probably take his rest in the President's seat next November. This is escaping Scylla to fall into Charybdis or is rather like a man I have read of, who being asked if he would take a glass of wine, answered he could not take a glass, but would take a bottle” [2]





John Hancock was unable to attend the first session of the Sixth USCA in November 1785 due to his illness. Despite the absence, Hancock was elected President but never reported for duty.  The Journals report  on November 23, 1785 that:


Congress proceeded to the election of a president; and, the ballots being taken, the honble. John Hancock was elected.

Due the absence of Hancock and the USCA's earlier refusal to create an office of Vice President under John Hanson, Congress turned to electing a Chairman.   The November 23, 1785 USCA Journals report:

The president not being present, Congress proceeded to the choice of a chairman; and, the ballots being taken, the honble. D[avid] Ramsay was elected.


Unknown to the delegates at that time, all of the Hancock presidential work would be performed by two USCA chairmen - David Ramsay who would serve as Chairman until his State credentials expired on  May 12, 1786  and Nathaniel Gorham who was elected Chairman on May 15, 1786 and served in that position until  June 5, 1786.   On that date the USCA Journals record: 


The Secretary laid before Congress a letter of the 29th May, from Mr. Benjamin Hichborn, in behalf of Mr. Hancock, stating that, "as Mr. Hancock is still confined to his bed, and unable to write himself, he has requested him to inform Congress, that he has long flattered himself with the prospect of better health, the want of which alone, has prevented his attending Congress; but his disorders at present wearing no appearance of leaving him soon, he is induced, from a consideration of the great inconvenience Congress is exposed to in such frequent temporary appointments to fill the chair, as well as from the total uncertainty of his future health, to request their acceptance of his resignation of the Office of President; that Mr. Hancock is truly sensible of the singular marks of the favourable sentiments of Congress in his appointment, and most sincerely regrets that he has it not in his power personally to acknowledge them;"  Whereupon, Resolved, That Congress proceed to the election of a president.
USCA Resolution Recording Nathaniel Gorham as Chairman "in the absence of his excellency, John Hancock, our President"  date May 17, 1786 five days after Ramsay's resignation as Chairman.

The following day the USCA Journals report that Chairman Nathaniel Gorham was elected President:


Congress assembled. Present, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; and from New Hampshire, Mr. [Pierse] Long, and from Delaware, Mr. [William] Peery. Congress proceeded to the election of a president, and the ballots being taken, the honble. Nathaniel Gorham was elected.
There were numerous men elected the Chairman of the Continental Congress and the USCA (Daniel Carol, Thomas Jefferson etc...) before David Ramsay and numerous men elected USCA Chairman after Ramsay.  Ramsay, however, was the longest serving USCA Chairman and had his credentials not expired in May of 1786, there would have been no doubt that he would have been elected President when John Hancock's resignation was received by Congress on June 5, 1786.  This author, therefore, has included the webpage of Chairman Ramsay in the grouping of USCA as a sub-heading under John Hancock.  

This peculiar turn of events gives ample testament to the power of the executive departments and USCA committees that, since Hanson, performed many important duties of the President. This turn of executive events dashed the hopes of many delegates who had hoped John Hancock would report to New York and re-establish the presidency as a position of national leadership and substantial federal influence. This following letter of Delegate John Bayard to James Hutchinson provides an account of the election of John Hancock and the work that followed immediately thereafter with a spotlight on the delegates inability to fill their respective seats to form the necessary nine States quorum to conduct “business of the utmost consequence.” President Hancock's failure to report for duty had a rippling effect on the USCA whose ability to form a governing quorum sank to all time national lows in1786. 



 For More Information go to 
America's Four United Republics


On January 2nd, 1786, Chairman Ramsay convened the USCA with a British complaint on treatment of loyalists. On the 4th they took up the very important matter on the States' response to Federal appeals to grant Congress authority to raise revenue and regulate trade. The month concluded with Congressional appeals to six unrepresented states to send delegates and a January 24, 1786 protest letter for Court of Appeals Judge Cyrus Griffin. The judge’s letter filed a formal protest against the USCA and its July 1, 1785 resolution to discontinue the Court of Appeals judges’ salaries without vacating their commissions. The Secretary of the United States, Charles Thomson responded to Judge Griffin on February 13, 1786 as follows: 

Your letter of the sixth of January was duly received and communicated to Congress, in consequence of which they passed a resolution a copy of which I have the honor to enclose.[1]



The resolve reasserted that it was "necessary that the salaries of the said judges should cease," but in an appeasing gesture Congress also avowed "That Congress are fully impressed with a sense of the ability, fidelity and attention of the judges of the court of Appeals."[2] With a family to support and no means of doing so Griffin resigned his commission and returned to Virginia. 



February and March were also uneventful months for the USCA. Quorums were the exception rather than the rule. The States' responses to federal fiscal appeals were defiant and Ramsay’s attempt to gain the authority to regulate trade measures also failed to garnish enough State support. Congress did standardize the required Oath of Fidelity for Federal officeholders. In an effort to streamline the federal government's finances, the USCA appointed a single commissioner to consolidate settlement of accounts of the five major departments; clothier, commissary, hospital, marine, and quartermaster. Delegate attendance still hampered the USCA from conducting any sweeping reforms to the ailing federal government. 


March, however, did usher in free enterprise Company that would play a major role in shaping new States and real estate development for the next 200 years. The Ohio Company of Associates was formed on March 1, 1786, by General Rufus Putnam, Benjamin Tupper, Samuel Holden Parsons[3] and Manasseh Cutler. They initially met at The Bunch-of-Grapes tavern in Boston to discuss the settlement of the territory around the Ohio River. Dr. Neu reports: 

In the course of a year 250 investors acquired shares in the Ohio Company. On 8 March 1787, the Company appointed three associates, Putnam, Samuel H. Parsons, and the Reverend Manasseh Cutler to apply to the Congress for 600,000 acres “northwest of the River Ohio,” to be paid for in depreciated continental currency or in military rights, that is, land bonuses to which veterans were entitled. Acting for the committee, Parsons presented the Ohio Company’s proposal to Congress, without success.[4]

April passed with no appearance by President Hancock and Ramsay, as Chairman, focused on rallying support to establish a continental impost to raise revenue for the federal government. Connecticut’s delegates, in an effort to aid the federal government settlement of the lands north and west of the Ohio River offered its resolution for the secession of their State’s claims to the territory. May was the half point of John Hancock's term as President and still no word of appearance or resignation. John Jay, the U.S. Secretary of Foreign Affairs, was wrote John Adams on the 4th: 

Mr. Hancock is still at Boston, and it is not certain when he may be expected; this is not a pleasant circumstance, for though the chair is well filled by a chairman, yet the President of Congress should be absent as little and seldom as possible.[5]


Copyright © Stan Klos, President Who? Forgotten Founders 2004 & 2008

David Ramsay Defends Free Franking 

"It is a matter of doubt whether the privilege of franking letters extends to the members of Congress on their way to or from public business. I have put my name on the outside of this on purpose that you may claim this as a matter of right. So few are the privileges and so limited the powers of that body, that I note it a kind of treason to give up any that they may possess by fair or liberal constitution… "

On the 12th of May, the USCA resolved: 

That the navigable waters leading into the Mississippi and St. Lawrence, and the carrying places between the same be, and are hereby declared to be common highways, and be forever free, as well to the Inhabitants of the said territory, as to the citizens of the United States, and those of any other States, that may be admitted into the confederation without any tax, Impost or duty therefor. 

This was the boldest move of the Sixth USCA and no one even knew President Hancock’s position on the edict. On May the 15th Ramsay was forced to resign as Chairman of Congress because his term as a South Carolina delegate had expired. Secretary Thomson wrote to John Hancock: 

Sir, In Obedience to the Order of Congress I have the honor to transmit to your Excellency herewith enclosed an Act of the United States in Congress assembled passed the 15 instant and their proceedings thereon.[6]

Secretary Thomson enclosed the proceedings related to the election of Nathaniel Gorham as chairman of Congress, "to serve until the first Monday in June next," succeeding David Ramsay. Ten days later, a sickly Hancock, who was unable to write, had his clerk draft his letter of resignation for his signature. It was presented to the Congress on June 5th, 1786 and the resignation was accepted. This ended the unprecedented six-month tenure of John Hancock, a U.S. President, who never took his seat in the Federal Capitol of New York City.

Ramsay  is  best known  as a historian and author who wrote prolifically on the Revolutionary War.     In 1785, as a USCA Delegate,  he published the History of the Revolution of South Carolina  reportedly the  first book to receive a copyright in the United States. In 1789, after loosing his bid for the U.S. House of Representatives, he published the History of the American Revolution in two volumes.  

While in South Carolina he served in the State Senate, 1801 to 1815, as its President.  In the senate Ramsay continued to write publishing  a Life of Washington in 1807, and in 1809  the  History of South Carolina. David Ramsay also authored in 1812 a memoir of  Martha Laurens Ramsay, daughter and political hostess of former Continental Congress President Henry Laurens.  


 In 1815 the South Carolina Circuit Court had ordered that a William Linnen be examined by Dr. Ramsay as a condition of his incacertion.   Ramsay reported that Linnen was "deranged" and  it would be "dangerous to let him go at large."  Once released, Linnen shot Ramsay twice in the back and hip.  Ramsay, with a bullet lodged in his intestines,  died the following day on May 6, 1815.



The First United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United Colonies Presidents 
Sept. 5, 1774 to July 1, 1776


September 5, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 22, 1774
October 26, 1774
May 20, 1775
May 24, 1775
May 25, 1775
July 1, 1776


The Second United American Republic
Continental Congress of the United States Presidents 
July 2, 1776 to February 28, 1781



July 2, 1776
October 29, 1777
November 1, 1777
December 9, 1778
December 10, 1778
September 28, 1779
September 29, 1779
February 28, 1781



Commander-in-Chief United Colonies & States of America

George Washington: June 15, 1775 - December 23, 1783


The Third United American Republic
Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled
March 1, 1781 to March 3, 1789

March 1, 1781
July 6, 1781
July 10, 1781
Declined Office
July 10, 1781
November 4, 1781
November 5, 1781
November 3, 1782
November 4, 1782
November 2, 1783
November 3, 1783
June 3, 1784
November 30, 1784
November 22, 1785
November 23, 1785
June 5, 1786
June 6, 1786
February 1, 1787
February 2, 1787
January 21, 1788
January 22, 1788
January 21, 1789






The Fourth United American Republic
Presidents of the United States of America








Chart Comparing Presidential Powers 
of  America's Four United Republics - Click Here

United Colonies and States First Ladies
1774-1788


United Colonies Continental Congress
President
18th Century Term
Age
09/05/74 – 10/22/74
29
Mary Williams Middleton (1741- 1761) Deceased
Henry Middleton
10/22–26/74
n/a
05/20/ 75 - 05/24/75
30
05/25/75 – 07/01/76
28
United States Continental Congress
President
Term
Age
07/02/76 – 10/29/77
29
Eleanor Ball Laurens (1731- 1770) Deceased
Henry Laurens
11/01/77 – 12/09/78
n/a
Sarah Livingston Jay (1756-1802)
12/ 10/78 – 09/28/78
21
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
09/29/79 – 02/28/81
41
United States in Congress Assembled
President
Term
Age
Martha Huntington (1738/39–1794)
03/01/81 – 07/06/81
42
07/10/81 – 11/04/81
25
Jane Contee Hanson (1726-1812)
11/05/81 - 11/03/82
55
11/03/82 - 11/02/83
46
Sarah Morris Mifflin (1747-1790)
11/03/83 - 11/02/84
36
11/20/84 - 11/19/85
46
11/23/85 – 06/06/86
38
Rebecca Call Gorham (1744-1812)
06/06/86 - 02/01/87
42
02/02/87 - 01/21/88
43
01/22/88 - 01/29/89
36

Constitution of 1787
First Ladies
President
Term
Age
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
57
March 4, 1797 – March 4, 1801
52
Martha Wayles Jefferson Deceased
September 6, 1782  (Aged 33)
n/a
March 4, 1809 – March 4, 1817
40
March 4, 1817 – March 4, 1825
48
March 4, 1825 – March 4, 1829
50
December 22, 1828 (aged 61)
n/a
February 5, 1819 (aged 35)
n/a
March 4, 1841 – April 4, 1841
65
April 4, 1841 – September 10, 1842
50
June 26, 1844 – March 4, 1845
23
March 4, 1845 – March 4, 1849
41
March 4, 1849 – July 9, 1850
60
July 9, 1850 – March 4, 1853
52
March 4, 1853 – March 4, 1857
46
n/a
n/a
March 4, 1861 – April 15, 1865
42
February 22, 1862 – May 10, 1865
April 15, 1865 – March 4, 1869
54
March 4, 1869 – March 4, 1877
43
March 4, 1877 – March 4, 1881
45
March 4, 1881 – September 19, 1881
48
January 12, 1880 (Aged 43)
n/a
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
21
March 4, 1889 – October 25, 1892
56
June 2, 1886 – March 4, 1889
28
March 4, 1897 – September 14, 1901
49
September 14, 1901 – March 4, 1909
40
March 4, 1909 – March 4, 1913
47
March 4, 1913 – August 6, 1914
52
December 18, 1915 – March 4, 1921
43
March 4, 1921 – August 2, 1923
60
August 2, 1923 – March 4, 1929
44
March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
54
March 4, 1933 – April 12, 1945
48
April 12, 1945 – January 20, 1953
60
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
56
January 20, 1961 – November 22, 1963
31
November 22, 1963 – January 20, 1969
50
January 20, 1969 – August 9, 1974
56
August 9, 1974 – January 20, 1977
56
January 20, 1977 – January 20, 1981
49
January 20, 1981 – January 20, 1989
59
January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993
63
January 20, 1993 – January 20, 2001
45
January 20, 2001 – January 20, 2009
54
January 20, 2009 to date
45


Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

Philadelphia
Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
Philadelphia
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Baltimore
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
Philadelphia
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
Lancaster
September 27, 1777
York
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
Philadelphia
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
Princeton
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Annapolis
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Trenton
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
Nov. 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
Philadelphia
December 6,1790 to May 14, 1800
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present





[1] Journals of the United States in Congress Assembled, Charles Thomson to Cyrus Griffin, February 13, 1786

[2] Ibid

[3] Samuel Holden Parsons (May 14, 1737 – November 17, 1789) was an American lawyer, jurist, Revolutionary War general, and a pioneer to the Ohio Country. As a member of the Ohio Company he sought the Governorship of the Northwest Territory losing out to Arthur St. Clair.

[4] Neu, Irene D. Background of the Ohio Company of Associates, Manuscripts and Documents of the Ohio Company of Associates, Special Collection, Marietta College Library

[5] Wharton, Francis, ed, The Revolutionary Diplomatic Correspondence of the United States, John Jay to John Adams, May 4, 1786.

[6] Journal of the United States in Congress Assembled, May 17, 1786

[1] Ford, Worthington Chauncey and John Quincy Adams, Writings of John Quincy Adams , Published 1913 by The Macmillan Company, page 19
[2] Smith, Abigail Adams, Correspondence of Miss Adams: Daughter of John Adams, Second President of The United States, Published 1842 by Wiley and Putnam,  page 45





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Media Alert
July 2nd, 2015
New Orleans, Louisiana 
After 102 Years, The Federal Government Finally Agrees: Samuel Huntington And Not John Hanson Was The First USCA President to Serve Under The Articles of Confederation.
Historian Stanley Yavneh Klos Pleads With Maryland To Stop Funding Efforts That Purport John & Jane Hanson As The First President & First Lady Of The United States.