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Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg
Muhlenberg


In office
April 1, 1789 – March 4, 1791 (1st)
December 2, 1793March 4, 1795 (3rd)
President George Washington
Preceded by None; First in line (1st)
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.
Succeeded by Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.
Jonathan Dayton

In office
March 4, 1789 – March 3, 1795
Preceded by None
Succeeded by John Swanwick, Richard Thomas, Samuel Sitgreaves, John Richards, Daniel Hiester, John A. Hanna, John W. Kittera, Thomas Hartley, Andrew Gregg, David Bard, Samuel Maclay, William Findley, Albert Gallatin

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd district
In office
March 4, 1795 – March 3, 1797
Preceded by Thomas Fitzsimons, John W. Kittera, Thomas Hartley, Thomas Scott, James Armstrong, Peter Muhlenberg, Andrew Gregg, Daniel Hiester, William Irvine, William Findley, John Smilie, William Montgomery
Succeeded by Blair McClenachan

Born Template:Birth-date
Trappe, Pennsylvania
Died Template:Death-date (aged 51)
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Political party Pro-Administration
Anti-Administration
Alma mater University of Halle-Wittenberg
Profession Minister of religion
Religion Lutheran

Template:Otherpeople4 Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg (January 1 1750June 4 1801), was an American minister and politician who was the first Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. A delegate and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania and a Lutheran pastor by profession, Muhlenberg was born in Trappe, Pennsylvania.

According to an urban legend, Muhlenberg as House Speaker prevented German from becoming an official language of the United States.[1][2]

Early life and ministerial careerEdit

Frederick Muhlenberg was the son of Henry Muhlenberg, an immigrant from Germany and considered the founder of the Lutheran Church in America. His brother, Peter, was a General in the Continental Army. Muhlenberg was born in Trappe, Pennsylvania.

He attended the University of Halle, Germany, where he studied theology, and was ordained by the Pennsylvania Ministerium as a minister of the Lutheran Church on October 25 1770. He preached in Stouchsburg, Pennsylvania, and Lebanon, Pennsylvania, from 1770 - 1774, and in New York City from 1774 - 1776. When the British entered New York at the onset of the American Revolutionary War, he felt obliged to leave, and returned to Trappe. He moved to New Hanover Township, Pennsylvania, and was pastor there and in Oley and New Goshenhoppen until August 1779.

Political CareerEdit

Muhlenberg was a member of the Continental Congress in 1779 and 1780, and served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1780 to 1783. He was elected its speaker on November 3 1780. He was a delegate to and president of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 which resulted in the Federal Constitution. He was the first signer of the Bill of Rights.

He served as a delegate to the First and to the three succeeding Continental Congresses (March 4 1789March 4 1797). Muhlenberg was the also the first Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, including for the First Congress (1789-1791) and Third Congress (1793-1795) — he did not seek renomination in 1796.

In 1794, during Muhlenberg's second tenure as Speaker, the House voted 42-41 against a proposal to translate some of laws into German. Muhlenberg, who himself abstained from the vote, commented later, "the faster the Germans become Americans, the better it will be."[1] Despite not having voted for the bill, a legend called the Muhlenberg Legend developed in which he was responsible for prohibiting German as an official language of the United States.[1]

According to another legend, Muhlenberg also suggested that the title of the President of the United States should be "Mr. President" instead of "High Mightiness" or "His Elected Majesty."

Muhlenberg was president of the council of censors of Pennsylvania, and was appointed receiver general of the Pennsylvania Land Office on January 8 1800, serving until his death in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, on June 4, 1801. He was interred in Woodward Hill Cemetery in Lancaster. After his death, the Township of Muhlenberg, Pennsylvania, was named for him.

Template:Libship honor

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

United States House of Representatives
New district Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's At-large congressional district

1789-1791
alongside: George Clymer, Thomas Fitzsimons, Thomas Hartley, Thomas Scott, Henry Wynkoop, Daniel Hiester and Peter G. Muhlenberg

1791-1793
alongside: Thomas Fitzsimons, Thomas Hartley, Israel Jacobs, John W. Kittera, Daniel Hiester, William Findley, and Andrew Gregg
1793-1795
alongside: Thomas Fitzsimons, John W. Kittera, Thomas Hartley, Thomas Scott, James Armstrong, Peter G. Muhlenberg, Andrew Gregg, Daniel Hiester, William Irvine, William Findley, John Smilie, and William Montgomery

Succeeded by

1st: John Swanwick
3rd: Richard Thomas
4th: Samuel Sitgreaves and John Richards
5th: Daniel Hiester
6th: John Andre Hanna
7th: John W. Kittera
8th: Thomas Hartley
9th: Andrew Gregg
10th: David Bard and Samuel Maclay
11th: William Findley
12th: Albert Gallatin

Preceded by
At-large General ticket:
Thomas Fitzsimons, John W. Kittera, Thomas Hartley, Thomas Scott, James Armstrong, Peter G. Muhlenberg, Andrew Gregg, Daniel Hiester, William Irvine, William Findley, John Smilie, and William Montgomery
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district

1795-1797
Succeeded by
Blair McClenachan
Political offices
Preceded by
New seat
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
April 1, 1789 – March 4, 1791
Succeeded by
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.
Preceded by
Jonathan Trumbull, Jr.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
December 2, 1793 – March 4, 1795
Succeeded by
Jonathan Dayton


de:Frederick Muhlenberg

et:Frederick Muhlenberg eo:Frederick Muhlenberg fr:Frederick Muhlenberg pl:Frederick Muhlenberg ro:Frederick Muhlenberg sv:Frederick Muhlenberg

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