Journals and Minutes: 1776-1790

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LPR .A4P8C6P4A8
Category: Public
Creator: America. Pennsylvania. General Assembly. House of Representatives.
Description: 3 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm

During the British colonial period, the Province of Pennsylvania’s government had consisted of an appointed Governor; the Proprietor, which remained with the Penn family; a Provincial Council; and a larger Assembly (legislature), which had little power. With the coming of the American Revolution, a provincial convention, dominated by radical patriots, created the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Constitution of 1776, the state’s first constitution following the Declaration of Independence, changed the form of government until December 7, 1790; and under it, was created a Supreme Executive Council as the state’s executive branch, with a President elected by the Assembly and Council, as head; and a General Assembly, which consisted of only one house as the legislative body. The executive and military powers were to be exercised by the Committee of Safety and the Council of Safety until early 1777, when the newly elected Assembly selected an Executive Council and Thomas Wharton Jr. was named the first President of the Council. In 1790, the General Assembly became a bicameral legislature consisting of a House of Representatives and the Senate.


This collection contains the Journals as well as the Minutes of the Assembly with the following types of data: list of members, date of session, description of bills introduced and voted on, motions made, names of members voting yea and nay, appointments made, messages from the President and Supreme Executive Council, memorials and petitions from citizens, letters, reports such as the Treasurer’s yearly detailed State of Accounts, the Report of the Committee of Grievances on the memorial of the People Commonly called Quakers (1780), and transcripts of talks with Indian Chiefs as in 1777 with the Six Nations.

Originals: Produced from the Records of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Archival Ref. No.: PA State Archives RG 7
Finding Aids:

A combined microfilm shelf list and table of contents, which provides the reel, date, and page number of various document. This document is available in print in the Loyalist Collection Inventory (red) binders and online in the Loyalist Collection Database.

Online: Minutes are available through by typing in your search terms and choosing the subsection “Texts”.  It includes the 9th-14th Assemblies and is keyword searchable.  The electronic edition of the Journals of the House of Representatives (1776-81) can be accessed by searching the title in the Library’s catalogue WorldCat, and within the collection:  Eighteenth Century Collections Online.  This is keyword searchable.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: Microfilm Shelf List Pennsylvania General Assembly Journals and Minutes.pdf
Notes: Typescript. No internal indexes. Other Title: Title on spine of microfilm box is Journals and Minutes of the General Assembly, published by Scholarly Resources. Title Guide on film is Journals of the Assembly of Pennsylvania 1776-1781, and Minutes of the Assembly of Pennsylvania 1781-1790.
Part Of:
Other With: Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the Province of Pennsylvania 1682-1776 found with Published Colonial Records of Pennsylvania (MIC-Loyalist FC LPR .A4P8C6P4 reels 14-17).