Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg 2nd term
By the 1792 election there was an official divide in the country between the followers of Alexander Hamilton who were considered ‘Pro-Administration’ and the followers of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison who were considered ‘Anti-Administration.’ These two factions would form the first political parties which would officially be declared in the 1794 mid-term elections.
In the 1792 election, the Anti-Administration camp gained the majority in the House of Representatives leading to Frederick Muhlenberg regaining his seat as Speaker of the House. Muhlenberg was considered a part of the Pro-Administration camp when he was Speaker of the House during the 1st Congress but changed views during that time due to the policies of Alexander Hamilton. Muhlenberg and future President James Monroe would later confront Hamilton over an adulterous affair he was involved in.
As the story goes, Hamilton was having an affair with a woman named Maria Reynolds whose husband was a con man and was receiving bribe money from Hamilton to keep the affair quiet. Hamilton admitted to the affair in confidence to Muhlenberg and Monroe and gave them the love letters written between himself and Maria Reynolds as proof that Hamilton had not assisted her con-man husband in getting out of trouble as a result of his illegal activity.
James Monroe would later give the letters to his close friend Thomas Jefferson who used them against Hamilton to degrade him in the eyes of the country. Hamilton was the leader of the Federalist party and after his affair became public, the Revolution of 1800 would soon come to pass in which Federalists would lose control of government. In 1804, Hamilton would be killed in a duel with Aaron Burr, who was Thomas Jefferson’s Vice President and previously had been Maria Reynolds divorce attorney.
The Anti-Administration faction portrayed themselves as the party of the people and sought to display the Pro-Administration faction as the party of the aristocracy. This would lead to their eventual dominance of politics throughout the ‘First Party System’ which would last until the end of James Monroe’s Presidency in 1825.
This was Frederick Muhlenberg’s second term as Speaker of the House. As mentioned before, Muhlenberg’s name is speaking of Adam given dominion over the Garden, a mouth to speak and called to fruitful and increase.
It is interesting to note that the command to be fruitful is mentioned twice, in Genesis 1:22, and then again in Genesis 1:28. This fits in line with the Muhlenberg, Trumbull, Muhlenberg succession of Speakers of the House.
Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
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