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109th Congress, 2nd Session
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Home > Historical Highlights > Congressional History > Clerks of the House

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Clerks of the House
(1789 to Present)

“The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers...”
The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 2
 

On April 1, 1789, the House of Representatives convened with its first quorum. Its initial order of business was the election of the Speaker, Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg, a Representative from Pennsylvania. The next order of business was the election of the Clerk, John Beckley, Esquire, a citizen of Virginia. Although the Clerk’s title is derived from that of the Clerk of the British House of Commons, the duties are similar to those prescribed for the Secretary of the Continental Congress in March 1785.

A total of 34 individuals have served as Clerks of the House. Thirteen Clerks also served as Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate (indicated by asterisks) either prior to or after their service as a House officer. By clicking on their names, viewers will be linked to their individual biographies in the Online Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, http://bioguide.congress.gov.

 
For more information about the Clerk's office, visit History of the Office.
 
Congress (Years) Clerk, State Date Elected
1st (1789-91) John Beckley, VA Apr. 1, 1789
2nd (1791-93) John Beckley, VA Oct. 24, 1791
3rd (1793-95) John Beckley, VA Dec. 2, 1793
4th (1795-97) John Beckley, VA Dec. 7, 1795
5th (1797-99) Jonathan W. Condy, PA May 15, 1797
6th (1799-1801) Jonathan W. Condy, PA1
John H. Oswald, PA
Dec. 2, 1799
Dec. 9, 18002
7th (1801-03) John Beckley, VA Dec. 7, 1801
8th (1803-05) John Beckley, VA Oct. 17, 1803
9th (1805-07) John Beckley, VA Dec. 2, 1805
10th (1807-09) Patrick Magruder, MD* Oct. 26, 1807
11th (1809-11) Patrick Magruder, MD May 22, 1809
12th (1811-13) Patrick Magruder, MD Nov. 4, 1811
13th (1813-15)

Patrick Magruder, MD3
Thomas Dougherty, KY

May 24, 1813
Jan. 30, 18154
14th (1815-17) Thomas Dougherty, KY Dec. 4, 1815
15th (1817-19) Thomas Dougherty, KY Dec. 1, 1817
16th (1819-21) Thomas Dougherty, KY Dec. 6, 1819
17th (1821-23) Thomas Dougherty, KY5
Matthew St. Clair Clarke, PA
Dec. 4, 1821
Dec. 3, 18226
18th (1823-25) Matthew St. Clair Clarke, PA Dec. 1, 1823
19th (1825-27) Matthew St. Clair Clarke, PA Dec. 5, 1825
20th (1827-29) Matthew St. Clair Clarke, PA Dec. 3, 1827
21st (1829-31) Matthew St. Clair Clarke, PA Dec. 7, 1829
22nd (1831-33) Matthew St. Clair Clarke, PA Dec. 5, 1831
23rd (1833-35) Walter S. Franklin, PA Dec. 2, 1833
24th (1835-37) Walter S. Franklin, PA Dec. 7, 1835
25th (1837-39) Walter S. Franklin, PA7
Hugh A. Garland, VA
Sep. 4, 1837
Dec. 3, 18388
26th (1839-41) Hugh A. Garland, VA Dec. 21, 1839
27th (1841-43) Matthew St. Clair Clarke, PA May 31, 1841
28th (1843-45) Caleb J. McNulty, OH9
Benjamin B. French, NH
Dec. 6, 1843
Jan. 18, 184510
29th (1845-47) Benjamin B. French, NH Dec. 2, 1845
30th (1847-49) Thomas J. Campbell, TN* Dec. 7, 1847
31st (1849-51) Thomas J. Campbell, TN11
Richard M. Young, IL*
Jan. 11, 1850
Apr. 17,185012
32nd (1851-53) John W. Forney, PA Dec. 1, 1851
33rd (1853-55) John W. Forney, PA Dec. 5, 1853
34th (1855-57) John W. Forney, PA13
William Cullom, TN*
--
Feb. 4, 185614
35th (1857-59) James C. Allen, IL* Dec. 7, 1857
36th (1859-61) James C. Allen, IL15
John W. Forney, PA
--
Feb. 3, 186016
37th (1861-63) Emerson Etheridge, TN* Jul. 4, 1861
38th (1863-65) Edward McPherson, PA* Dec. 8, 1863
39th (1865-67) Edward McPherson, PA Dec. 4, 1865
40th (1867-69) Edward McPherson, PA Mar. 4, 1867
41st (1869-71) Edward McPherson, PA Mar. 5, 1869
42nd (1871-73) Edward McPherson, PA Mar. 4, 1871
43rd (1873-75) Edward McPherson, PA Dec. 1, 1873
44th (1875-77) George M. Adams, KY* Dec. 6, 1875
45th (1877-79) George M. Adams, KY Oct. 15, 1877
46th (1879-81) George M. Adams, KY Mar. 18, 1879
47th (1881-83) Edward McPherson, PA Dec. 5, 1881
48th (1883-85) John B. Clark, Jr., MO* Dec. 4, 1883
49th (1885-87) John B. Clark, Jr., MO Dec. 7, 1885
50th (1887-89) John B. Clark, Jr., MO Dec. 5, 1887
51st (1889-91) Edward McPherson, PA Dec. 2, 1889
52nd (1891-93) James Kerr, PA* Dec. 8, 1891
53rd (1893-95) James Kerr, PA Aug. 7, 1893
54th (1895-97) Alexander McDowell, PA* Dec. 2, 1895
55th (1897-99) Alexander McDowell, PA Mar. 15, 1897
56th (1899-1901) Alexander McDowell, PA Dec. 4, 1899
57th (1901-03) Alexander McDowell, PA Dec. 2, 1901
58th (1903-05) Alexander McDowell, PA Nov. 9, 1903
59th (1905-07) Alexander McDowell, PA Dec. 4, 1905
60th (1907-09) Alexander McDowell, PA Dec. 2, 1907
61st (1909-11) Alexander McDowell, PA Mar. 15, 1909
62nd (1911-13) South Trimble, KY* Apr. 4, 1911
63rd (1913-15) South Trimble, KY Apr. 7, 1913
64th (1915-17) South Trimble, KY Dec. 6, 1915
65th (1917-19) South Trimble, KY Apr. 2, 1917
66th (1919-21) William Tyler Page, MD May 19, 1919
67th (1921-23) William Tyler Page, MD Apr. 11, 1921
68th (1923-25) William Tyler Page, MD Dec. 5, 1923
69th (1925-27) William Tyler Page, MD Dec. 7, 1925
70th (1927-29) William Tyler Page, MD Dec. 5, 1927
71st (1929-31) William Tyler Page, MD Apr. 15, 1929
72nd (1931-33) South Trimble, KY Dec. 7, 1931
73rd (1933-35) South Trimble, KY Mar. 9, 1933
74th (1935-37) South Trimble, KY Jan. 3, 1935
75th (1937-39) South Trimble, KY Jan. 5, 1937
76th (1939-41) South Trimble, KY Jan. 3, 1939
77th (1941-43) South Trimble, KY Jan. 3, 1941
78th (1943-45) South Trimble, KY Jan. 6, 1943
79th (1945-47) South Trimble, KY17
Harry Newlin Megill
Jan. 3, 1945
Aug. 2, 194618
80th (1947-49) John Andrews, MA Jan. 3, 1947
81st (1949-51) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 3, 1949
82nd (1951-53) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 3, 1951
83rd (1953-55) Lyle O. Snader, IL Jan. 3, 1953
84th (1955-57) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 5, 1955
85th (1957-59) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 3, 1957
86th (1959-61) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 7, 1959
87th (1961-63) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 3, 1961
88th (1963-65) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 9, 1963
89th (1965-67) Ralph R. Roberts, IN Jan. 4, 1965
90th (1967-69) W. Pat Jennings, VA* Jan. 10, 1967
91st (1969-71) W. Pat Jennings, VA Jan. 3, 1969
92nd (1971-73) W. Pat Jennings, VA Jan. 21, 1971
93rd (1973-75) W. Pat Jennings, VA Jan. 3, 1973
94th (1975-77) W. Pat Jennings, VA19
Edmund L. Henshaw, Jr., VA
Jan. 14, 1975
Nov. 17, 197520
95th (1977-79) Edmund L. Henshaw, Jr., VA Jan. 4, 1977
96th (1979-81) Edmund L. Henshaw, Jr., VA Jan. 15, 1979
97th (1981-83) Edmund L. Henshaw, Jr., VA Jan. 5, 1981
98th (1983-85) Benjamin J. Guthrie, MD Jan. 3, 1983
99th (1985-87) Benjamin J. Guthrie, MD Jan. 3, 1985
100th (1987-89) Donnald K. Anderson, CA Jan. 6, 1987
101st (1989-91) Donnald K. Anderson, CA Jan. 3, 1989
102nd (1991-93) Donnald K. Anderson, CA Jan. 3, 1991
103rd (1993-95) Donnald K. Anderson, CA Jan. 5, 1993
104th (1995-97) Robin H. Carle, ID Jan. 4, 1995
105th (1997-99) Robin H. Carle, ID21
Jeff Trandahl, SD
Jan. 7, 1997
Jan. 1, 199922
106th (1999-2001) Jeff Trandahl, SD Jan. 6, 1999
107th (2001-03) Jeff Trandahl, SD Jan. 3, 2001
108th (2003-05) Jeff Trandahl, SD Jan. 7, 2003
109th (2005-07) Jeff Trandahl, SD23
Karen L. Haas, MD
Jan. 4, 2005
Nov. 18, 200524
Dec. 6, 200525
 
Sources: House Journal, various editions; Congressional Record, various editions; Congressional Directory, various editions; Biographical Directory of the United States Congress (2005); Donald C. Bacon et. al, The Encyclopedia of the United States Congress, vol. 2 (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995): 379-381.
 
1 Resigned on December 4, 1800, See, House Journal, 6th Congress, (December 9, 1800): H736.
2 Elected on December 9, 1800, See, House Journal, 6th Congress, (December 9, 1800): H736.
3 Resigned on January 28, 1815. House Journal, 13th Congress, (January 28, 1815): H694.
4 Elected on January 30, 1815, House Journal, 13th Congress, (January 30, 1815): H1113-1114.
5 Died in 1822.
6 Elected on December 3, 1822, House Journal, 17th Congress, (December 3, 1822): H18.
7 Died on September 20, 1838.
8 Elected on December 3, 1838. House Journal, 25th Congress, (December 3, 1838): H14.
9 Dismissed from office on January 18, 1845. House Journal, (January 18, 1845): H230-233.
10 Elected on January 18, 1845. House Journal, (January 18, 1845): H233.
11 Died on April 13, 1850. House Journal, (April 15, 1850): H788-789.
12 Elected on April 17, 1850, House Journal, (April 17, 1850): H804-805.
13 Presided over deadlocked election of the Speaker.
14 Elected on February 4, 1856. House Journal, (February 4, 1856): H452.
15 Presided over deadlocked election of the Speaker.
16 Elected on February 30, 1860. House Journal, 36th Congress, (February 3, 1860): H174.
17 Died on November 23, 1946.
18 H. Res. 753, passed by Congress on August 2, 1946, authorized the “appointment of an acting Clerk.” Harry Newlin Megill was designated that same day. See, House Journal, 79th Cong., 2nd sess. (August 2, 1946): H799; H918.
19 Resigned on November 15, 1975, See, House Journal, 94th Cong., 1st sess. (November 17, 1975): H1790.
20 Appointed acting Clerk on November 16, 1975, “to act as and to exercise temporarily” the duties of Clerk of the House. See, House Journal, 94th Cong., 1st sess. (November 17, 1975): H1790.
21 Resigned on December 21, 1998, See, Roll Call, “House Clerk’s Office Shake-Up Continues,” (January 7, 1999): 1, 21.
22 Appointed by the Speaker effective January 1, 1999. See, “Appointment by the Speaker After Sine Die Adjournment,” Congressional Record, 106th Cong., 1st sess., (January 6, 1999): H228.
23 Resigned on November 18, 2005. See Congressional Record, House, 109th Cong., 1st sess.: H11026.
24 Appointed by the Speaker on November 18, 2005. See Congressional Record, House, 109th Cong., 1st sess.: H11026.
25 Elected by the House of Representatives (H. Res. 582) on December 6, 2005. Congressional Record, House, 109th Cong., 1st sess.: H11073.
 

 


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