Samuel Huntington - America's First and Forgotten President

Samuel Huntington - America's First and Forgotten President (Illustration) American History Biographies Social Studies American Revolution

Samuel Huntington was born in Connecticut and was admitted to practice law in 1754. On the 28th of September, in 1779, he was elected President of America's Continental Congress.

That election technically makes Samuel Huntington America's first President.

How could that be? Because when the new country adopted its Articles of Confederation, in 1781, Huntington was still President of the Continental Congress. That also made him the President of the country.

The following is a biographical excerpt about him, provided by the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution:

A man of cautious, reticent, and conservative temperament, he nevertheless joined the Sons of Liberty in opposition to the Stamp Act, although he was hesitant about further strong protests.

The passage of the Coercive Acts in 1774 to protest the Boston Tea Party brought many moderates, including Huntington, into a more active role. Throughout the Revolution he served both in Congress and the Connecticut upper house. 

On July 4, 1776, he was one of Connecticut’s signers of the Declaration of Independence. The esteem with which he was held by Congress was evidenced by his election in 1779 to the first of two terms as president of the Continental Congress.

While he was president in 1781, the Articles of Confederation went into effect, thus making him the first president of the United States. He served in this office during a dark period of severe economic problems and terrible military defeats, including the loss of Charleston, South Carolina.

In this image we see Samuel Huntington as he appeared in 1783.  The portrait was painted by Charles Willson Peale in 1783.

Click on the image for a better view.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 29, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Aug 30, 2015

Media Credits

Image, Library of Congress.

Information and quote, Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution web site.


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"Samuel Huntington - America's First and Forgotten President" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 29, 2013. Feb 24, 2020.
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