1790 in the United States
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Events from the year 1790 in the United States.
- President: George Washington (no political party-Virginia)
- Vice President: John Adams (F-Massachusetts)
- Chief Justice: John Jay (New York)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Frederick Muhlenberg (Pro-Admin.-Pennsylvania)
- January 8 – President of the U.S. George Washington gives the first State of the Union address, in New York City.
- February 1 – In New York City the Supreme Court of the United States convenes for the first time.
- February 11 – Two Quaker delegates petition the United States Congress for the abolition of slavery.
- March 1 – The first United States census is authorized.
- March 21 – Thomas Jefferson reports to President George Washington in New York City as the new United States Secretary of State.
- April 10 – The United States patent system is established.
- May 26 – Southwest Ordinance creates a Southwest Territory.
- May 29 – Rhode Island ratifies the United States Constitution and becomes the last of the 13 original states to do so (see History of Rhode Island).
- June 20 – Compromise of 1790: Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton come to an agreement: Madison agrees to not be "strenuous" in opposition for the assumption of state debts by the federal government; Hamilton agrees to support the capital site being above the Potomac.
- July 10 – The House of Representatives votes on where to locate the national capital.
- July 16 – The signing of the Residence Act establishes a site along the Potomac River as the District of Columbia, the capital district of the United States.
- July 31 – Inventor Samuel Hopkins becomes the first to be issued a U.S. patent (for an improved method of making potash).
- August 2 – The first United States Census is taken.
- August 4 – A newly passed U.S. tariff act creates the United States Revenue Cutter Service, the forerunner of the Coast Guard.
- The first United States federal budget bill is introduced by Alexander Hamilton.
- 5.1% of Americans are living in centers of 2,500 or more people.
- Northwest Indian War (1785–1795)
- January 6 – Arnold Naudain, U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1830 to 1836 (died 1872)
- January 13 – Richard Saltonstall Rogers, shipping merchant and politician (died 1873)
- January 17 – Powhatan Ellis, U.S. Senator from Mississippi from 1825 to 1826 and from 1827 to 1832 (died 1863)
- March 29 – John Tyler, tenth President of the United States from 1841 to 1845, tenth Vice President of the United States from March to April 1841 (died 1862)
- May 20 – Micajah Thomas Hawkins, politician (died 1858)
- June 1 – Chester Ashley, U.S. Senator from Arkansas from 1844 to 1848 (died 1848)
- July 8 – Fitz-Greene Halleck, poet (died 1867)
- July 18 – John Frazee, portrait sculptor (died 1852)
- October 1 – Henry H. Chambers, U.S. Senator from Alabama from 1825 to 1826 (died 1826)
- November 12 – Letitia Christian Tyler, First Lady of the United States (died 1842)
- Willis Buell, politician and portrait painter (died 1851)
- James Moore Wayne, politician and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (died 1867)
- Probable – Lone Horn, Miniconjou chief (died 1875)
- January 25 – Meriwether Smith, Continental Congressman for Virginia (born 1730)
- January 31 – Thomas Lewis, Virginia settler (born 1718 in Ireland)
- March 4 – Henry Wisner, Continental Congressman for New York (born 1720)
- March 12 – William Grayson, Continental Congressman and U.S. Senator for Virginia (born 1740)
- April 17 – Benjamin Franklin, publisher, inventor, congressman, ambassador, abolitionist and American icon (born 1706)
- May 4 – Matthew Tilghman, Continental Congressman for Maryland (born 1718)
- May 9 – William Clingan, Continental Congressman for Pennsylvania (born c. 1721)
- May 20 – Nathan Miller, Continental Congressman for Rhode Island (born 1743)
- May 26 – Nathaniel Folsom, Continental Congressman for New Hampshire and Revolutionary War major general (born 1726)
- May 29 – Israel Putnam, Revolutionary War general (born 1718)
- June 1 – Theodorick Bland, Continental Congressman and U.S. Representative for Virginia (born 1741)
- July 25 – William Livingston, signer of the U.S. Constitution and Governor of New Jersey from 1776 to 1790 (born 1723)
- August 16 – David Brearley, Revolutionary War colonel, signer of the U.S. Constitution for New Jersey and federal judge (born 1745)
- October 14 – William Hooper, signer of the Declaration of Independence (born 1742)
- October 19 – Lyman Hall, signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Georgia from 1783 to 1784 (born 1724)
- November 6 – James Bowdoin, Governor of Massachusetts (born 1726)
- November 16 – Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Continental Congressman and signer of the U.S. Constitution for Maryland (born 1723)
- November 27 – Robert Livingston, member of the New York colonial assembly from 1737 to 1758 (born 1708)
- December 16 – Benjamin Andrew, Continental Congressman for Georgia and member of the Georgia House of Representatives (born 1713)
- Unknown – John Hawks, architect (born c.1731 in England)
- Charles E. Little (1900), "America: 1790", Cyclopedia of Classified Dates, New York: Funk & Wagnalls
- Charles Evans (1914). "1790". American Bibliography. 8. Chicago: Columbia Press. pp. 1–111.
- Media related to 1790 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons