May 2nd, 2007

10-R

Ten random things: May 2

Ten Presidents of the Continental Congress:

  1. Thomas McKean (July 10, 1781 – November 4, 1781)
  2. Arthur St. Clair (February 2, 1787 – November 4, 1787)
  3. Samuel Huntington (September 28, 1779 – July 9, 1781)
  4. Nathaniel Gorham (May 15, 1786 – June 5, 1786 (acting); June 6, 1786 – November 5, 1786)
  5. John Jay (December 10, 1778 – September 27, 1779)
  6. David Ramsay (November 23, 1785 – May 12, 1786 (acting))
  7. Henry Laurens (November 1, 1777 – December 9, 1778)
  8. John Hancock (May 24, 1775 – October 31, 1777; November 23, 1785 – June 5, 1786)
  9. Richard Henry Lee (November 30, 1784 – November 6, 1785)
  10. Peyton Randolph (September 5, 1774 – October 21, 1774; May 10, 1775 – May 23, 1775)

Before the U.S. Constitution was ratified, the United States had no Chief Executive. The highest ranking Federal officer was initially known as the President of the Continental Congress; after the Articles of Confederation were adopted, the position was renamed President of the United States in Congress Assembled, which was frequently shortened to just President of the United States. But despite having the same name as the office currently held by George W. Bush, the two positions don't have much in common. The President of the United States in Congress Assembled was not the Head of State, for example. Nevertheless, some people consider these folks to have been Presidents of the United States, although I think that position is a bit of a stretch.