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Draft agreement between Samuel Otis and John Beckley regarding the printers for Congress, June 29, 1789

Senate Secretary Samuel Otis and House Clerk John Beckley established many procedures for the First Congress. They agreed to hire separate printers for the journals of their respective chambers, but to employ jointly Childs and Swain to print acts and Thomas Greenleaf to print bills.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Draft agreement between Samuel Otis and John Beckley regarding the printers for Congress, June 29, 1789 Draft agreement between Samuel Otis and John Beckley regarding the printers for Congress, June 29, 1789

Printers for the Public Record

The Constitution requires both the House and Senate to record and publish journals of their proceedings. The First Congress (1789-1791) added the requirement that all laws, orders, resolutions, and votes be printed and distributed to all senators and representatives and to officials in every state. Through the efforts of the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House, Congress informed citizens nationwide about its proceedings. Congress still follows this precedent by publishing much of its work both in print and online.