Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg, or Frederick A. C. Muhlenberg, was the first Speaker of the House
in the newly formed House of Representatives in the First Congress
of the United States of America
. Prior to and after his service in this capacity, he served his people, and God
in many different capacities.
He was born on January 1st, 1750 in Trappe
where he lived a normal childhood all the while attending academic classes in preperation for futher studies abroad at the University of Halle
. Being a God fearing man his emphasis of study was theology
. Once graduated, he returned to Pennsylvania where he was given the honor of being ordained a Lutheran
minister on October 25th, 1770.
Until 1774 he preached in Pennsylvania and then moved to New York
where he served God until 1776 where he felt compelled to return to Pennsylvania due to the arrival of the British into New York. He continued to minister throughout Pennsylvania until he was appointed to be a member of the Continental Congress
Following his service in the Continental Congress, he was called to serve in the post of Speaker of the House of Representatives of the great state of Pennsylvania from 1780 until 1783.
After a brief respite from governmental service he became the President of the Pennsylvania State Constitution
al Convention in 1787 and was asked at that time to ratify the Federal Constitution
, which he did. After the ratification, he was elected to Congress and would serve during the 1st - 4th sessions from March 4th, 1789 until March 3rd, 1797. While serving, he was the Speaker of the House during the 1st and 3rd sessions, inaugurating the post.
During the last session of Congress, he stepped down as Speaker of the House momentaraly to break a tie vote and authorize payment of ransom to the British in exchange for the return of United States captives. This move brought outrage from his constituent
s who considered the Jay Treaty
a sell-out (his own brother attempted to kill him with a knife) and cost him the re-election in 1796.
In 1797 he returned to Pennsylvania where he served as the President of the Council of Censors
and Receiver General of the Pennsylvania Land Offices. He served as Receiver General until 1801 when he passed away on June 4th in Lancaster
, Pennsylvania. He is buried in the Woodward Hill Cemetery
in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Some information retained from Wikipedia as well as the records of the Continental Congress.