first american republic This website is designed to be an introduction to, supplement to, and companion to the book 'THE FIRST AMERICAN REPUBLIC: 1774-1789
(The First Fourteen American Presidents Before Washington)'

Chapter 6: President SAMUEL HUNTINGTON of Connecticut 

Uncommon Sense

first american republic The election of the sixth President of the Continental Congress reflected a clear pattern during the early years of the First Republic. Like a political Noah's Ark, congressional leadership seemed to come in pairs. Randolph and Middleton, the first two Presidents, had been father figures who helped to guide their largely younger and less experienced colleagues through uncharted waters. Their immediate successors, Hancock and Laurens, had brought energy and arrogance to the increasing demands of the office after the war began. But, by the time Laurens resigned, the delegates yearned for competent yet understated leadership. Jay, a brilliant New York attorney with the patience of Job, fit the bill perfectly. When his tenure was cut short by a critical overseas assignment, it is hardly surprising that Congress selected another distinguished northern attorney who had demonstrated those same virtues while serving as a delegate.
Samuel Huntington of Connecticut was their unanimous choice.

Samuel had been a complete unknown outside of his home State before he joined the Continental Congress. In fact, his journey to Philadelphia in May 1776 was the first time in his 44 years that he had crossed the Connecticut border. In Congress, Samuel demonstrated a calming influence even when events seemed on the verge of spinning out of control. In addition to signing the Declaration of Independence, Samuel subsequently held the second longest tenure as Head of State in the First Republic. It was during his presidency, on March 1, 1781, that the Articles of Confederation went into effect.

In the final decade of his life, as Governor of Connecticut, Samuel led the fight within his state to ratify the Constitution.