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American Philosophical Society
Mace and the Gavel: Symbols of Government in America: Transactions, American Philosophical Society (vol. 87, part 4)
Silvio A. Bedini (au)
When the First Fed. Congress convened in N.Y. City, an urgent priority of the newly formed legis. branch of the govít. of the U.S. was formation of its org. It is not surprising that it was formed of two bodies, similar to those of the British Parliament. Next in order was the formulation of rules for the conduct of both of its chambers, & the selection of appropriate officials & devices to represent their authority. Following British practice once more, the new House of Rep. & the Senate appointed Sergeants-at-Arms. As symbols of the their authority, the House of Rep. adopted the mace, & the Senate used a gavel to bring the body to order. These symbols of authority are discussed in this study, which also discusses the gavel of the Amer. Philos. Soc. Ill.
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