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Frederick Muhlenberg

Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg (January 1, 1750 - June 4, 1801), American politician, was the first speaker of the United States House of Representatives, elected April 1, 1789. A Delegate and a Representative from Pennsylvania and a Lutheran pastor by trade, Muhlenberg was born in Trappe, Pennsylvania.

Education and Ministerial Career

He attended the University of Halle, Germany, where he studied theology, and was ordained by the ministerium of Pennsylvania a minister of the Lutheran Church on October 25, 1770. He preached in Stouchsburg, Pennsylvania and Lebanon, Pennsylvania from 1770 - 1774, and in New York City from 1774 - 1776. When the British entered New York at the onset of the American Revolutionary War, he felt obliged to leave, and returned to Trappe. He moved to New Hanover, Pennsylvania and was pastor there and in Oley and New Goshenhoppen until August 1779.

Political Career

Muhlenberg was a member of the Continental Congress in 1779 and 1780, and served in the State house of representatives from 1780-1783 and was elected speaker November 3, 1780. He was a delegate to and president of the State constitutional convention in 1787 called to ratify the Federal Constitution.

Elected to the First and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1789 - March 3, 1797), Muhlenberg was the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the First Congress (1789 - 1791) and Third Congress (1793 - 1795). He did not run for renomination in 1796.

Muhlenberg was also president of the council of censors of Pennsylvania, and was appointed receiver general of the Pennsylvania Land Office on January 8, 1800, and served until his death in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on June 4, 1801. He was interred in Woodward Hill Cemetery.

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