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Message from President George Washington to United States Senate, August 21, 1789

On August 21, 1789, the Senate received a message that President George Washington would visit for advice on a treaty with Southern Indians. The Senate decided to postpone consideration of the treaty rather than debate the issue in Washington’s presence. Thereafter, presidents forwarded treaties to the Senate until President Woodrow Wilson hand-delivered the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.

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

Message from President George Washington to United States Senate, August 21, 1789

Advice and Consent

As settlers encroached upon neighboring American Indian nations, the federal government attempted to defuse conflicts by negotiating treaties with tribes. In August 1789 President George Washington appeared before the Senate for its advice on a treaty with Southern Indians. It was the first time a U.S. president sought the Senate’s advice and consent on a treaty, and the last time for 130 years that a president made such a request in person.