Legislative Branch

Guide to House Records: Chapter 17

Records of the Public Works Committees

Committee records described in this chapter:

History and Jurisdiction

17.1 The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 established the Public Works Committee by combining the jurisdiction of four standing committees—Public Buildings and Grounds, Rivers and Harbors, Roads, and Flood Control. Since 1946, the Committee underwent two further name changes: Public Works and Transportation in 1974 and Transportation and Infrastructure in 1995. This chapter describes the records of these committees, as well as those of four related committees established in the 19th century, but terminated prior to World War II: Roads and Canals (1831-1869), Railways and Canals (1869-1927), Mississippi Levees (1875-77), and Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River (1877-1911).

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Committee on Roads and Canals, 14th-41st Congresses (1831-1869)

History and Jurisdiction

17.2 The committee originated as a select Committee on Roads and Canals during the 14th Congress (1815) and was appointed at each succeeding Congress until December 1831 when Charles Mercer of Virginia made a motion to establish a standing committee on the subject. Although an objection was raised that the select committee had managed the subject adequately, and that the establishment of a standing committee on roads and canals would "lead to the impression that the House was disposed to systematize internal improvement, and with it the present high duties on imports, &c.,'' the motion to create the standing committee passed by a vote of 96 to 90.1 During the 25th Congress (1837-39) the House rejected a proposal to change the name to the Committee on Public Improvement, but in 1869 it approved a motion to change the name to the Committee on Railways and Canals, the records of which are described later in this chapter.

17.3 The committee reported legislation concerning the survey, construction, and improvement of canals within the United States as well as a canal across the Isthmus of Panama. The committee's jurisdiction also included improvements in river navigation, construction of bridges over rivers, maintenance of breakwaters and harbors associated with water routes, and the subscription of the United States to capital stock in canal companies. It reported proposals for the construction of roads, such as the Cumberland Road and a Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike, and methods of financing them, primarily through land-grants. As early as the 20th Congress (1827-28) the committee reported legislation to aid the construction of railroads including the granting of charters to railroad companies.

Records of the Select and Standing Committees on Roads and Canals, 14th-41st Congresses (1815-1869)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 1 vol. 40th (1867-69)
Docket Books 4 vol. 31st (1849-51), 33rd-34th (1853-57), 40th (1867-69)
Petitions and Memorials    5 ft. 14th-20th (1815-29), 22nd-40th (1831-69)
Committee Papers 1 ft. 14th (1815-17), 16th-20th (1819-29), 23nd-32nd (1833-53), 40th (1867-69)
TOTAL: 6 ft. and 5 vol. (5 in.)      
refer to caption

Memorial and sketch from Hancock County, Illinois, praying for a sum of money to improve the navigation of the Mississippi River at the Des Moines Rapids, ca. 1835. RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives.

17.4 The sole minute book contains brief entries on 45 meetings held during the 40th Congress between December 1867 and February 1869.

17.5 Most of the chronologically listed entries in the docket book for the 31st Congress (1849-51) are for petitions and memorials rather than for bills. Docket entries for the 33d and 40th Congresses are also listed in chronological order. The volume for the 34th Congress (1855-57) contains 14 entries arranged in alphabetical order by State.

17.6 More than half of the petitions and memorials are from the 20th through the 25th Congresses (1827-39). Petitions from this period called for the surveying, construction and/or Government purchase of specific canals and roads, including the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal (14A-F14.1, 16A-G19.1), the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (19A-G19.1, 23A-G18.1), the Louisville and Portland Canal (23A-G18.2, 24A-G19.1, 25A-G21.1), and roads from Columbus, OH, to Frankfort, KY (24A-G19.6), from Springfield, OH, to Richmond, IN, (24A-G19.7) and from Zanesville, OH to Maysville, KY (24A-G19.8). Other subjects in the petition and memorial file include the construction of a canal around the falls of the Ohio River on the Indiana side, 1837-56 (24A-G19.2, 25A-G21.1, 26A-G23.1, 27A-G23.1, 29A-G20.2, 32A-G22.3, 33A-G23.2, 34A-G20.1) and one around Niagara Falls, 1837-64 (25A-G21.1, 26A-G23.1, 33A-G23.1, 37A-G18.2, 38A-G22.1); and the building of a railroad to the Pacific Ocean, 1849-63 (31A-G21.1, 32A-G22.2, 37A-G18.2). Petitions from the 29th Congress (1845-47) illustrate the diversity of subjects that the committee considered—bridges, canals, railroads, river and harbor surveys and improvements, and roads (29A-G20.1 through 29A-G20.5). Many of the petitions and memorials referred to the committee are prefaced with a statement that since the public debt was being retired, funds could be used for internal improvements.

17.7 The committee papers—primarily correspondence and committee reports—are most numerous for the 19th, 20th, and 23d Congresses (1825-29 and 1833-35). Two of the subjects with greatest documentation are the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (19A-D20.1) and a proposed stone bridge across the Potomac at Washington, DC (23A-D20.1); the files include plans, estimates of costs, reports and correspondence. A general file on canals from the 20th Congress (20A-D22.2) contains documents concerning the construction of the Blackstone Canal between Providence, RI, and Worcester, MA. Subjects in committee papers often refer directly to counterparts in the petitions and memorials files.

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Committee on Railways and Canals, 41st-70th Congresses (1869-1927)

History and Jurisdiction

17.8 On April 9, 1869, the name of the Committee on Roads and Canals (1831-1869) was changed to the Committee on Railways and Canals. Its jurisdiction—over matters relating to roads and canals, and the improvement of navigation of rivers—remained the same. Over the years the committee's jurisdiction contracted significantly. Responsibility for the improvement of navigation of rivers was removed in 1880 and given to the Committee on Commerce, because most bills relating to that subject were already being sent to that committee. Also, the 1880 House rule stated that the Committee on Railways and Canals had jurisdiction over "railways and canals other than Pacific railroads'' 2 beginning in the 1880's, however, jurisdiction on most matters relating to railroads was taken over by the Committee on Commerce, renamed in 1892 the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. In 1927 the Committee on Railways and Canals was dissolved and its jurisdiction added to that of the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce. No records exist for the last 18 years of the committee's existence.

Records of the Committee on Railways and Canals, 41st-70th Congresses (1869-1927)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 11 vols. 44th-57th (1875-1903)
Docket Books 11 vols. 41st-44th (1869-77), 47th-48th (1881-85), 51st-56th (1889-1901)
Petitions and Memorials    15 in. 41st (1869-71), 43nd-52nd (1873-93), 54th-57th (1895-1903)
Committee Papers 6 in. 42nd-43nd (1871-75), 45th-50th (1877-89), 53nd-57th (1893-1903)
Bill Files   58th (1903-05), 60th (1907-09)
TOTAL: 2 ft. and 26 vols. (2 ft.)      

17.9 The earliest minute book covers the 44th through the 46th Congresses (1875-81). Minutes give the dates of committee meetings, list those present, tell which measures were discussed, and indicate what was decided. Entries for April-June 1880 are particularly complete. The minutes document committee interests, including a ship canal around Niagara Falls in the 41st, 51st, and 52d Congresses (1867-69, 1889-93); a toll free canal running from the Chesapeake Bay to the Delaware Bay in the 46th, 47th, 50th, and 56th Congresses (1879-83, 1887-89, and 1899-1901); construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal in the 54th and 57th Congresses (1905-07, 1901-03); and railroad safety in the 51st Congress (1889-91).

refer to caption

Design for a Tubular Wrought Iron Tunnel to Connect the Cities of New York and Brooklyn, 1867 (HR 43A-F25.1). RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives.

17.10 The earliest docket book contains entries for the 41st and 42d Congresses (1869-73). Typically a docket entry will give the measure's date of introduction, the name of the Representative introducing it, its subject matter, and sometimes its disposition.

17.11 Most of the petitions and memorials referred to this committee concern proposals for Government assistance for the construction of canals and railways. Petitions and memorials on several subjects were presented to Congress over extended periods of time including requests concerning a canal from Rock Island on the Mississippi River to Hennepin on the Illinois River, 1874-1890 (43A-H16.1, 44A-H16.1, 45A-H21.1, 47A-H20.4, 48A-H26.2, 49A-H21.1, 51A-H20.1) and a toll free canal from the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland to the Delaware Bay, 1874-1900 (43A-H16.5, 46A-G22.5, 47A-H20.1, 56A-H25.1). Memorials concerning the introduction of uniform freight rates for railroads engaged in interstate commerce were received between 1879 and 1897 (45A-H21.3, 46A-H22.3, 47A-H20.3, 54A-H29.1).

17.12 Many other canal and railroad projects are the subject of extant petitions and memorials, with the greatest numbers relating to the construction of a double-track freight railway from "tide-water'' to the Missouri River, 1873-75 (43A-H16.2); the granting of right-of-way through Indian Territory for the Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas Railway, 1883-85 (48A-H26.3); and the protection of trainmen and other railroad employees who worked with locomotives, freight trains, and freight cars engaged in interstate commerce, 1889-1891 (51A-H20.1).

17.13 Committee papers contain correspondence, copies of bills and resolutions, newspaper clippings, and occasionally maps, drawings and blueprints of proposed construction projects. Maps and drawings accompany records of the 43d Congress (1873-75) concerning plans for a horse railway over bridges connecting Rock Island, IL, and Davenport, IA, (43A-F25.2) and a tunnel under the East River to connect New York and Brooklyn (43A-F25.3). A file from the 48th Congress (1883-85) on the proposed cession of the Illinois and Michigan Canal to the United States by the State of Illinois (48A-F32.1) includes a signed Presidential message from Chester A. Arthur, as well as a large map and correspondence from several sources, including the War Department.

17.14 Subjects on which substantial documentation is found in the committee papers are the Ohio and Erie Canal, 1895-1901 (54A-F38.1, 55A-F35.1, 56A-F35.1); the Hennepin Canal, 1874-85 (43A-F25.2, 48A-F32.1); improvements in the Dismal Swamp Canal between the Chesapeake Bay and the North Carolina Sound, 1877-81 (45A-F31.2, 46A-F32.3); and railroad safety, 1879-83 (46A-F32.8, 47A-F27.1).

17.15 The bill files from the 58th and 60th Congresses (1903-05 and 1907-09) consist solely of printed copies of several bills.

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Records of the Committee on the Mississippi Levees, 44th Congress (1875-1877)

History and Jurisdiction

17.16 The committee was established during the 44th Congress on December 10, 1875, at the prompting of Representative Randall Gibson of Louisiana, to inquire into building and repairing levees on the Mississippi River. On November 7, 1877, the committee's name was changed to the Committee on Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River.

Records of the Committee on the Mississippi Levees, 44th Congress (1875-1877)

Record Type Volume    Congresses (Dates)
Docket Books 1 vol. 44th (1876-77)
Committee Papers    <1 in. 44th (1876)
TOTAL: <1 in. and 1 vol.    

17.17 Very few records of the committee survive. The single docket book contains only six brief entries between January, 1876 and February, 1877. A slender envelope of committee papers (44A-F22.1) includes an 1876 resolution of the Louisiana General Assembly favoring construction of levees on the Mississippi and an 1876 House resolution to authorize a trip by a subcommittee to inspect the levees on the Mississippi with the stipulation that the trip would not be at public expense.

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Records of the Committee on Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River, 45th-62nd Congresses (1877-1911)

History and Jurisdiction

17.18 The committee was established November 7, 1877, in the 45th Congress. This was done by changing the name of its predecessor, the Committee on the Mississippi Levees. The purposes of the committee included building and repairing levees as well as making other improvements on the Mississippi River. The committee was terminated in the 62d Congress on April 5, 1911. Its successor was the Committee on Rivers and Harbors.

Records of the Committee on Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River, 45th-62nd Congresses (1877-1911)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 3 vols. 51st-52nd (1889-93), 61st (1911)
Docket Books 5 vols. 45th (1877-79), 48th (1883-85), 51st-52nd (1889-93), 60th-61st (1907-11)
Petitions and Memorials 1 in. 47th-48th (1881-85), 51st (1889-91), 61st (1909-11)
Committee Papers 1 in. 48th (1883-85), 52nd (1891-93), 60th-61st (1907-11)
Bill Files 1 in. 61st (1911)
TOTAL: 3 in. and 8 vols. (8 in.)  

17.19 The minute books contain cursory summaries of a few committee meetings. For example, the volume for the 61st Congress includes minutes for only one meeting. The docket books include one volume with entries for the 45th Congress and the first session of the 48th Congress; its spine is mislabeled "Minutes".

17.20 The small quantity of petitions and memorials include appeals from State legislatures, city governments, and business groups for various projects to improve navigation and stream control on the Mississippi River. One unusual 1890 petition was signed by the "colored citizens" of six counties in the State of Mississippi (51A-H12.1).

17.21 The minuscule collection of committee papers includes some committee prints of bills and resolutions. There is also a small group of papers from 1884 of Representative John Floyd King of Louisiana (48A-F18.2) and a bundle of blueprints from 1892 for levees from Memphis to Vicksburg (52A-F24.1).

17.22 Bill files exist only for the 61st Congress (1909-11). They include a hearing transcript and reports from the Chief of Engineers and from the Rock Island office of the Corps of Engineers on relief for the Sny Levee District in Illinois (61A-D10).

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Records of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors, 48th-79th Congresses (1883-1946)

History and Jurisdiction

17.23 Authorized early in the 48th Congress in December 1883, the committee was given jurisdiction over subjects relating to the improvements of rivers and harbors and had the responsibility of reporting the river and harbor bill, which previously had been handled by the Committee on Commerce. The committee's jurisdiction changed over time. When the Committee on Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River was terminated in 1911 its responsibilities were transferred to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors. In 1916 the subject of flood control was removed from the committee's authority and assigned to the new Committee on Flood Control. After 1920 the committee could no longer report appropriation bills for rivers and harbors and its legislative authority was limited to reporting only bills that authorized improvements to rivers and harbors.

17.24 These shifts in authority still left many subjects within the jurisdiction of the committee. These included improvement of watersheds and dams thereon, construction of locks on navigable streams, construction and maintenance of equipment for river improvements, erosion of banks on navigable streams, pollution of navigable waters, intrastate inland waterways, and navigation of international boundary streams. The committee was terminated early in the 80th Congress on January 3, 1947. Its successor was the Committee on Public Works.

Records of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors, 48th-79th Congresses (1883-1946)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 8 vols. 48th-56th (1883-1901)
Docket Books 9 vols. 48th-53rd (1883-95), 55th-56th (1897-1901)
Petitions and Memorials 11 ft. 48th-79th (1883-1946)
Committee Papers 25 ft. 48th-64th (1883-1917), 66th-69th (1919-27), 71st (1929-31), 73rd-79th (1933-46)
Bill Files 12 ft. 58th-64th (1903-17), 66th-79th (1919-46)
TOTAL: 48 ft. and 17 vols.
(2 ft.)

17.25 The minute books contain cursory minutes of committee meetings. The first minute volume includes minutes from both the 48th and 49th Congresses (1883-87). The volumes for the 51st and 54th Congresses (1889-91, 1895-1897) list the names of all the committee members. The docket books contain listings of bills, petitions, and resolutions referred to the committee.

17.26 The petitions and memorials typically reflect the support of State legislatures, local governments, business associations, and civic groups for river and harbor projects throughout the United States. Some examples of the variety of projects include improvements on New York City's Harlem River (48A-H28.1), a deep water port at Galveston (51A-H21.2), improvements to navigation on the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers (61A-H32.1), and a Florida ship canal which drew the opposition of the Ecological Society of America in 1937 (75A-H17.1). Maps concerning a seaway from the Great Lakes through Pittsburgh to the Chesapeake Bay are in files of the 77th Congress (77A-H18.2). Petitions and resolutions from 1917 to 1946 concerning a Saint Lawrence River waterway are in many files from the 65th through the 79th Congresses. Concern about water pollution is reflected in the State of New Jersey's 1924 opposition to the discharge of fuel oil in the Atlantic Ocean near its resort beaches (68A-H18.1) and in 1940 petitions for and against the Barkley bill on stream pollution, S. 685, in the files of the 76th Congress (76A-H23.1).

17.27 The committee papers contain a large quantity of printed committee and House documents including bills, hearings, and reports. Reports and letters of the Chief of Engineers concerning many projects are found in the papers of numerous Congresses. Also included are summary minutes of the committee for 1939-40 (76A-F37.2) and for February-June, 1942 (77A-F34.2). A committee docket index for 1945-46 is in the papers of the 79th Congress (79A-F34.1). The papers of the earlier Congresses include significant numbers of items from citizens outside the Government. For example, the papers of the 49th Congress, 1885-87 (49A-F34.1) include a speech by the president of the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce concerning work on the Monongahela River while the papers of the 53d Congress, 1893-95 (53A-F42.1) include maps, charts, and petitions from business groups favoring projects on Mobile Bay, the Pine River in Michigan, and the Umpqua River in Oregon. A transcript of an 1884 hearing contains the views of noted engineer Captain James B. Eads on improving the harbor at Galveston (48A-F34.1).

17.28 The bill files frequently contain only printed copies of the bills and other printed documents, such as hearings. Some files also contain petitions from groups outside the Government. The bills concern projects throughout the Nation and the full range of subjects within the committee's jurisdiction. For example, there are several files on bills to control water pollution, including a 1921-22 file on H.R. 7369 (67A-D33), a 1926-27 file on H.R. 9570 and H.R. 13142 in the 69th Congress (69A-D30), a 1936 file on H.R. 12101 (74A-D34), and a 1939-40 file in the 76th Congress on the Barkley anti-pollution bill, S. 685 (76A-D34).

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Committee on Flood Control, 64th-79th Congresses (1916-1946)

History and Jurisdiction

17.29 The committee was authorized February 3, 1916, early in the 64th Congress, and was given jurisdiction over subjects relating to flood control. In the previous two Congresses such flood control matters had been entirely under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Rivers and Harbors and some flood control issues had been in the jurisdiction of the Committee on Levees and Improvements of the Mississippi River before that committee was abolished in 1911. The Committee on Flood Control was terminated early in the 80th Congress on January 3, 1947. Its successor was the Committee on Public Works.

Records of the Committee on Flood Control, 64th-79th Congresses (1916-1946)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Petitions and Memorials 2 in. 64th (1915-17), 67th (1921-23), 69th (1925-27), 73rd-74th (1933-36)
Committee Papers 5 ft. 64th (1915-17), 66th (1919-21), 68th-71st (1923-31), 73rd-79th (1933-46)
Bill Files 4 ft. 66th-69th (1919-27), 71st-79th (1919-46)
9 ft.  

17.30 The petitions and memorials reflect support by State legislatures, local governments, business associations, and civic groups for flood control projects on many rivers across the country. A petition from the Santa Monica Bay Woman's Club in 1927 supports emergency action to protect California's Imperial Valley from anticipated flooding by the Colorado River (69A-H2.1), and other petitions concern projects on the Connecticut, Mississippi, Missouri, and Mohawk rivers.

17.31 Committee papers include copies of printed bills, resolutions, hearings, and other House documents. Many of these printed House documents are reports by the Chief of Engineers on various flood control projects over a wide geographic range. Papers of the 64th Congress, 1916-17, include maps and photographs of several rivers (64A-F12.1 through 64A-F12.4); papers for the 75th Congress, 1937-38, include typed copies of unprinted reports on Schoharie Creek and tributaries in New York and the Sacramento and San Joaquin River System in California (75A-F15.1). Papers of the 78th Congress, 1943-44 (78A-F14.3) and of the 79th Congress, 1945-46 (79A-F 14.1) include lists of bills referred to the committee and copies of resolutions adopted by the committee, and, for the 78th Congress only, printed and unprinted reports. Among the printed House documents for the 78th Congress are reports, complete with index, from the Chief of Engineers, 1943-44 (78A-F14.2).

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Records of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, 16th-79th Congresses (1819-1946)

History and Jurisdiction

17.33 The standing Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds was established in 1837, replacing the Select Committee on Public Buildings which had been created in 1819. This new five-member committee was empowered "to consider all subjects relating to the public edifices and grounds within the city of Washington which may be referred to them, and report their opinion thereon, together with such propositions relating thereto as may seem to them expedient.'' 3 In 1871, Representative Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts presented a resolution which increased membership on the committee to nine and gave it jurisdiction over "all the public buildings constructed by the United States.'' 4

17.34 Further changes were made in 1880, when the committee was expanded to 16 members and its jurisdiction expanded to cover "the public buildings and occupied or improved grounds of the United States, other than appropriations therefore.''5 The jurisdiction of the committee did not change after 1880, but the number of members was increased several times.

17.35 The committee reported legislation for the construction throughout the country of public buildings, including customs houses, post offices, and Federal court houses; the erection of monuments and memorials; the purchase of property for public use; improvements to public property; and compensation for workers erecting public buildings. During the early years of the committee, much of the legislation reported had to do with constructing and improving public buildings in Washington, DC, and commissioning artists to create art work for those buildings.

Records of the Select Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds,16th-24th Congresses (1819-1837)
Records of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds, 25th-79th Congresses (1837-1946)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 22 vols. 42nd-56th (1871-1901), 58th (1903-05), 60th (1907-09), 62nd (1911-13), 66th-73nd (1919-34), 77th (1941-42)
Docket Books 30 vols. 26th-29th (1839-47), 32nd-33rd (1851-55), 42nd-43rd (1871-75), 45th-57th (1877-1903), 59th-61st (1905-11), 69th-74th (1925-36), 77th (1941-42)
Petitions and Memorials 7 ft. 16th (1819-21), 18th-22nd (1823-33), 24th-39th (1835-67), 44th-46th (1875-81), 48th-50th (1883-89), 53rd (1893-95), 55th-56th (1897-1901), 63rd (1907-15), 65th-67th (1917-23), 70th-75th (1927-38)
Committee Papers   3 ft. 16th-18th (1819-25), 20th (1827-29), 23rd-33rd (1859-1938), 77th-79th (1941-46)
Bill Files 41 ft. 58th-79th (1903-46)
TOTAL: 51 ft. and 52 vols.  (4 ft.)  

17.36 The minute books contain information on appointments made to the committee and its subcommittees, meeting times, attendance at meetings, legislation and amendments considered, yea-nay votes, committee resolutions, and reports of subcommittees. Some minute books have annotations of topics in the left margins, and/or alphabetical indexes. Alphabetical indexes are by topic and by the name of the city where a project was to be located.

17.37 Both scheduled and special meetings are documented. Special meetings were sometimes called to hear requests from individuals or groups outside the Washington area. Minutes for the 47th through 53d, 62d, and 66th Congresses (1881-95, 1911-13, and 1919-21) record meetings held weekly, if not more often during the various sessions of Congress, but those for the 60th Congress (1907-09) list only seven meetings during the entire Congress.

17.38 The docket books generally list in numerical order the petitions, memorials, bills, resolutions, and other documents referred to the committee, although entries for a few Congresses are arranged by State. Some docket volumes have entries which report committee activities, record committee votes, and identify members who spoke in favor of certain bills. The amount of detail varies greatly from one docket book to another.

17.39 The petitions and memorials contain a wide variety of requests from all sections of the country. During the committee's first 40 years (1837-1877) many petitions dealt with public buildings and other structures in the Washington, DC, area. Most of these petitions were received from workers, artists, and other private citizens, some from outside the city. The committee received a number of petitions, some from well-known architects such as Robert Mills and William Strickland, which dealt with warming, cooling, and ventilating the Capitol (27A-G18.1, 28A-G18.1) and the expansion and remodeling of the building and grounds (31A-G17.1, 34A-G16.1, 35A-G19.1, 44A-H14.1). Other subjects mentioned in petitions include a bridge over the Potomac (29A-G16.1, 32A-G18.1), a park (39A-H20.1), and fire-proofing (25A-G17.1, 26A-G17.1). After 1877 the quantity of petitions concerning public buildings in Washington, DC, decreased. Petitions after 1897 document support for a Hall of Records, backed by the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio, the German American Historical Society, the Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies, and Gaillard Hunt of the Library of Congress (55A-H23.1, 62A-H25.2); the Park Commission's plan for Washington, DC, supported in 1908 by both the T Square Club of Philadelphia and the Boston Architectural Club (60A-H30.1); and an American Indian Memorial and Museum Building, supported in 1912 by the Improved Order of Red Men and citizens from several States (62A-H25.1).

17.40 From 1875 to 1889 the committee received a significant number of petitions from cities requesting public buildings. Some, including those from San Francisco in 1884 (48A-H24.1) and Lynn, MA, in 1883 (50A-H24.1), contain thousands of signatures. Several petitions from this period suggest that a formula based on municipal populations be used to determine the location and cost of Federal buildings. The formula, it is argued, would be preferable to the prevailing practice of providing for specific buildings by means of special legislation (50A-H24.1). Very few petitions exist for most years between 1889 and 1907, but many requests for public buildings were received between 1907 and 1938. During the 1930's petitions requested that public buildings be designed by local architects, rather than architects employed by the Treasury Department (72A-H13.1), and that local materials be used (73A-H18.1, 74A-H15.1, 75A-H15.1).

17.41 Petitions also concerned monuments and memorials. Petitioners proposed monuments to George Washington in 1838 (25A-G17.1), to the signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1846 (29A-G16.1), and to the Marquis de Lafayette and other French officers who fought during the American Revolutionary War in 1875 (44A-H14.2). One petition, dated 1848, requests that the Federal Government purchase Mount Vernon as a memorial to George Washington (30A-G17.1). This subject came up again in the early 1900's (62A-H25.2, 66A-H16.1). Other petitions include an 1898 request from the Vermont Society of Colonial Wars for the Federal Government to purchase and restore Fort Ticonderoga (55A-H23.3) and a 1930 request from a chapter of the American Association of Engineers for the Federal Government to purchase the building in Georgetown in the District of Columbia that George Washington had used as his office while surveying the area (71A-H15.1). Proposals in the 1910's support plans to construct the Lincoln Memorial (62A-H25.2, 63A-H23.2) and to preserve the Washington Monument (66A-H16.1).

17.42 During its first half century (1837-77) the committee handled petitions concerning labor problems and requests for compensation. Groups of workers petitioned the committee for more pay (27A-G18.1, 35A-G19.1, 44A-H14.3) and fewer hours (25A-G17.1). Some petitioned for payment for services rendered, such as performing extra duties (29A-G16.1, 36A-G16.1) and painting the Capitol (30A-G17.1, 37A-G14.1). Others sought compensation for job-related injuries or fatalities. Samuel Atchisson, whose hand had been crushed while he was working on the Treasury Building, asked for $1,000 in 1839 to start a small business (26A-G17.1). Atchisson's file contains his petition, letters from two doctors certifying that he was disabled for life, and a statement from his supervisor that the accident had not been Atchisson's fault. Another individual petitioned the committee for compensation after his son, who was his source of support, was killed while helping construct the Patent Office (26A-G17.1).

17.43 Petitions received in the late 1890's from religious and temperance organizations supporting legislation forbidding the sale of intoxicating liquor in Government buildings (55A-H23.2) comprise the greatest number of petitions the committee received on a single subject. Other petitions relate to promotions for mechanical voting devices for the House, 1846-76 (29A-G16.1, 30A-G17.1, 44A-H14.3); an 1877 request from the city of Philadelphia that it be allowed to keep the Declaration of Independence on permanent display (44A-H14.2); and a suggestion during World War I by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that more housing be built in war production areas (65A-H15.1).

17.44 The committee papers generally contain correspondence, reports, and other documents relating to subjects under the jurisdiction of the committee, including many topics found in the petitions and memorials.

17.45 A great number of committee papers pertain to the construction of public buildings in Washington, DC. Construction of the Treasury Building (25A-D20.1, 25A-D20.4, 27A-D17.1, 29A-D17.1) and the Patent Office Building (25A-D20.1, 25A-D20.4) are well documented in the records from the committee's first decade, 1837-47. Cost estimates and appropriation requests are available for many years between 1837 and 1871, but rarely thereafter, for altering, improving, and furnishing the Capitol, White House, and several other public buildings (25A-D20.3, 26A-D21.2, 27A-D17.1, 29A-D17.1, 32A-D16.2, 38A-E17.1, 41A-F21.3). During this same period there are a number of documents concerning the poor ventilation in the chamber of the House of Representatives (25A-D20.4, 27A-D17.1, 28A-D23.1, 38A-E17.1, 39A-F22.1, 40A-F21.5).

17.46 After 1871, committee papers cover proposals from Government agencies for a Hall of Records, 1879-1931 (45A-F28.2, 47A-F24.3, 54A-F36.1, 60A-F43.2); rent costs and space requirements of agencies of the Federal Government, 1878-1914 (45A-F28.8, 47A-F24.5, 58A-F30.1, 63A-F31.1); and housing for Government officials, 1921-1931 (67A-F34.1, 70A-F29.1, 71A-F31.1).

17.47 Committee papers relating to public buildings outside of Washington, DC, do not appear until about 1875, when debate centered on whether to construct new buildings or to continue to pay rent for space used by the Government (44A-F29.2). Files concerning these legislative proposals contain copies of the bills, committee reports, and a variety of other documents. Within the files are requests for compensation for sidewalks and other improvements made to property around public buildings (46A-F29.3), reports and communications from the Treasury Department and other Federal agencies on criteria to be used to determine which cities would receive public buildings (51A-F33.1), and records of the committee's inspection tour of Norfolk, VA, and vicinity in 1941 (77A-F31.1).

17.48 Most committee papers concerning monuments and memorials date from 1837 to 1855. Questions involving statues of Thomas Jefferson for the Library of Congress (25A-D20.4) and George Washington for the Capitol Rotunda (26A-D21.2) were discussed by the committee as well as a proposed National Mausoleum for the burial of presidents and those Members of Congress who died in office (31A-D17.1). One proposal from the 1850's, complete with drawings, calls for the erection of a monument to be entitled Union Chain, which would symbolize "the Never-Ending Union of the American States'' (33A-D15.1).

17.49 The committee papers contain correspondence, hearings, and reports of committee investigations of misconduct charges against public officials. In the 1860's the committee investigated charges against both Captain Montgomery Meigs, Superintendent of Public Buildings, (38A-E17.1) and Silas Seymour, Chief Engineer and General Superintendent of the Washington Aqueduct (38A-E17.5). Between 1867 and 1879 the committee studied charges against Nathaniel Michler, Commissioner of Public Buildings (40A-F21.4), Samuel McCullogh, a Superintendent at San Francisco (44A-F29.5, 45A-F28.4), and Edward Clark, Architect of the Capitol (45A-F28.1). Documents for the Clark case include transcripts of testimony before the committee, letters from Frederick Law Olmsted and others who supported Clark, and the findings of the committee.

17.50 For the period 1837 to 1870 the committee papers contain information on labor problems of workers constructing public buildings and making improvements in Washington, DC (25A-D20.4, 26A-D21.2), requests for compensation (25A-D20.4, 27A-D17.1), the purchase of additional space for Government operations (31A-D17.1, 32A-D16.1), and, in 1866, the need of a new house for the President (39A-F22.4). Following 1870, documents are available covering methods for fire-proofing buildings (45A-F28.1, 63A-F31.1, 66A-F33.1), expenses incurred at the Executive Mansion in connection with the final illness and death of President James A. Garfield (50A-F32.1), locating a summer residence for the President (54A-F36.1, 70A-F29.1), and the shortage of family housing across the country (79A-F32.1).

17.51 The bill files for the committee contain printed copies of bills, correspondence, printed and unprinted transcripts of hearings, reports, and other documents concerning particular bills. Much of the correspondence related to bills providing for public buildings for certain cities contains statistical data such as population figures, postal and tax receipts, and manufacturing capacity. A number of promotional pamphlets describing various cities are also in the bill files, as are many petitions and memorials concerning particular bills.

17.52 For each Congress the bill files are arranged by type of legislation—House bills, House resolutions, House joint resolutions, House concurrent resolutions, Senate bills, and Senate joint resolutions. The arrangement thereunder varies according to Congress. Files for the 58th through 64th Congresses (1903-17) are arranged alphabetically by the city named in the bill if an appropriation for a public building is involved. Located at the end of the files are bills relating to Washington, DC, and general legislation. The bill files for the 65th Congress (1917-19) are arranged alphabetically by State. For the 66th through 79th Congresses (1919-46) bill files are arranged by bill or resolution number.

17.53 Bill files vary in completeness and content, but nearly every individual bill file contains a copy of the bill in question. Many files also have reports from the Treasury Department containing cost estimates and other information requested by the committee and/or correspondence related to the bill, often from Congressmen and other political and business figures. In some instances, site plans, drawings, and newspaper clippings are included, as well as hearings, reports, and petitions and memorials.

17.54 The vast majority of bill files are for bills providing for the construction in a specific city of a public building, usually a post office or customs house. Other files with substantial documentation include: H.R. 7014, a 1919 bill creating a Bureau of Housing and Living Conditions within the Department of Labor (66A-D26); H.R. 1409 and S. 1129, bills introduced in 1935 to extend and complete the United States Capitol (74A-D32); and H.Res. 209 and H. Con. Res. 36, two 1941 resolutions to decentralize the Federal Government by moving those agencies that were least vital to the national defense out of Washington, DC (77A-D31).

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Records of the Committee on Roads, 63rd-79th Congresses (1913-1946)

History and Jurisdiction

17.55 The Committee on Roads was created in 1913 with jurisdiction over matters relating "to the construction or maintenance of roads, other than appropriations therefore.''6 The statement outlining the committee's jurisdiction contained the proviso that measures for specific roads could not be included in bills for general legislation, nor could any bill relating to a specific road "embrace a provision in relation to any other specific road."7 During the first decade of its existence, the committee reported bills authorizing aid to the States in the construction of rural post roads, and with the 1921 Federal Highway Act in the construction and maintenance of highways, forest roads, trails, and rural post roads. Under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, the committee was disbanded and its jurisdiction included in those of the new Committee on Public Works.

Records of the Committee on Roads, 63rd-79th Congresses (1913-1946)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 3 vols. 63rd-64th (1913-17), 71st (1929-31)
Docket Books 4 vols. 63rd-64th (1913-17), 66th-71st (1919-31)
Petitions and Memorials 3 in. 63rd-64th (1913-17), 66th-68th (1919-25), 71st (1929-31), 74th (1935-36), 76th (1939-41), 78th-79th (1943-46)
Committee Papers 3 ft. 66th-71sth (1919-31), 73nd-79th (1933-46)
Bill Files 2 ft. 64th (1915-17), 66th (1919-21), 68th-71st (1923-31), 73rd-79th (1933-46)
TOTAL: 5 ft. and 7 vols.
(7 in.)

17.56 Minute books exist for three Congresses only. Entries are typewritten on sheets that have been pasted into the volumes. The minutes record who was present and what was discussed, but lack substantive details.

17.57 Separate docket books exist for the 63d (1913-15) and the 64th (1915-17) Congresses. Two additional volumes contain docket entries for the 66th-71st Congresses (1919-1931) and the 70th-71st Congresses (1927-31). Duplicate entries exist for the 70th and 71st Congresses in the last two volumes. Entries are arranged by type of measure (H.R., H.J. Res., etc.) and thereunder in numerical order.

17.58 Petitions and memorials from the 63d (1913-15) and 66th (1919-21) Congresses (63A-H27.1, 66A-H19.1, 66A-H19.2, 66A-H19.3) account for more than half of the documents in this series. The majority of these petitions and memorials are resolutions from county and State officials calling either for the establishment of a national system of roads or Federal aid to states in the construction of roads.

17.59 In general, committee papers contain the types of documents usually found in bill files: collections of printed copies of bills, some printed hearings, and occasional support documentation. Topics covered include legislative proposals for Federal highway aid, 1923-46 (68A-F37.1, 69A-F39.1, 70A-F30.2, 71A-F34.1, 74A-F35.1, 75A-F34.1, 76A-F38.1, 77A-F35.1, 78A-F34.1, 79A-F35.1); the extension of Federal highway aid to Alaska, 1923-46 (68A-F37.1, 73A-F26.1, 74A-F35.1, 75A-F34.1, 76A-F38.1, 79A-F35.1); the formation of the National Highway Commission, 1921-31 (67A-F37.1, 68A-F37.1, 71A-F34.1); compensation for money lost due to Federal funding on toll bridge routes, 1921-44 (76A-F38.1, 77A-F35.1, 78A-F34.1); and explanations of Federal funding on feeder, secondary, and farm-to-market roads, and on rural free delivery routes, 1937-42 (75A-F34.1, 76A-F38.1, 77A-F35.1). Nearly three-fourths of the total quantity of committee papers consists of a 12-volume set of aerial photographs for the Inter-American Highway, assembled in December 1933 by the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (73A-F26.1).

17.60 The bill files are arranged numerically by type of legislation, and contain printed copies of bills, correspondence, and copies of hearings—sometimes manuscript transcripts and sometimes committee prints. Most of the bill files are for the 75th-78th Congresses (1937-1944). The main topic of committee interest, as documented by the bill files, was Federal aid for public highways, 1915-46 (64A-D22, 66A-D29, 68A-D32, 74A-D35, 75A-D34, 76A-D35, 77A-D35, 78A-D31, 79A-D34).

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Records of the Committee on Public Works, 80th-93rd Congresses (1947-1974)
Records of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, 94th-103rd Congresses (1975-1994)
Records of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 104th Congress onward (1995- )

History and Jurisdiction

17.61 Under the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 the Committees on Public Buildings and Grounds, Rivers and Harbors, Roads, and Flood Control were combined to form the Committee on Public Works. Its jurisdiction from the beginning of the 80th Congress (1947-48) through the 90th Congress (1967-68) remained the same:

  • (a) Flood control and improvement of rivers and harbors. (b) Measures relating to the Capitol Building and the Senate and House Office Buildings. (c) Measures relating to the construction or maintenance of roads and post roads, other than appropriations therefore; but it shall not be in order for any bill providing general legislation in relation to roads to contain any provision for any specific road, nor for any bill in relation to a specific road to embrace a provision in relation to any other specific road. (d) Measures relating to the construction or reconstruction, maintenance, and care of the buildings and grounds of the Botanic Gardens, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institute. (e) Measures relating to the purchase of sites and construction of post offices, customhouses, Federal courthouses, and Government buildings within the District of Columbia. (f) Oil and other pollution of navigable waters. (g) Public buildings and occupied or improved grounds of the United States generally. (h) Public reservations and parks within the District of Columbia, including Rock Creek Park and the Zoological Park. (i) Public works for the benefit of navigation, including bridges and dams (other than international bridges and dams). (j) Water power.8

17.62 The four original committees retained their separate identities but were reduced to subcommittees. In addition, the committee created subcommittees for Beach Erosion, 80th Congress (1947-48) and for Watershed Development, 86th-90th Congresses (1959-68). Special Subcommittees included those: to Investigate Questionable Trade Practices, 80th Congress; to Study Civil Works, 82nd Congress (1951-52); on the Federal-Aid Highway Program, 86th-90th Congresses; and on Economic Development Programs, 89th-90th Congresses (1965-68). Ad Hoc Committees were established on Montana Flood Damage, 88th Congress (1963-64); on Appalachian Regional Development, 88th-90th Congresses; and on the 1967 Alaska Exposition, 89th Congress.

Records of the Committee on Public Works, 80th-90th Congresses (1947-1968)

Record Type Volume Congresses (Dates)
Minute Books 1 vol. 80th (1947-48)
Minutes 32 ft. 81st-90th (1949-68)
Docket Books 1 vol. 80th (1947-48)
Petitions and Memorials    4 ft. 80th-90th (1947-68)
Committee Papers 62 ft. 80th-90th (1947-68)
Bill Files 62 ft. 80th-90th (1947-68)
TOTAL: 160 ft. and 2 vols. (2 in.)     

17.63 The minute book for the 80th Congress (1947-48) includes separate sections of typed pages of minutes for the full committee followed by subcommittee minutes for Rivers and Harbors, Flood Control, Public Buildings and Grounds, Roads, Beach Erosion, and the Special Subcommittee to Investigate Questionable Trade Practices. These minutes give little more than the dates when the committee or subcommittee met and adjourned, the names of persons who were present, and the disposition of measures discussed. Unbound copies of minutes for the full committee for the 81st-86th Congresses are similar in format and content to those in the bound volume for the 80th Congress. For the 87th-90th Congresses the minutes greatly increase in quantity, since single-page sheets listing those present are affixed to transcripts of the meetings.

17.64 The bulk of subcommittee minutes, which make up 19 feet of the total 32 feet of committee minutes, are actually transcripts of subcommittee hearings rather than minutes per se. The subcommittee records are discussed in more detail below.

17.65 The sole docket book among the committee's records is that for the 80th Congress (1947-48). Information given consists of the date legislation was introduced, the name of the Member who introduced it (or the author in the case of executive communications and petitions and memorials), subject matter with bill numbers where appropriate, and subsequent actions. The latter includes referral dates to agencies and their positions, dates of hearings, and dates of further legislative developments.

17.66 While only one docket volume exists, docket information figures prominently in committee calendars. Final editions of the calendars are in the committee papers for all Congresses except the 83d (1953-54), for which there is an interim calendar; the 84th (1955-56); and the 89th (1965-66). The calendars give docket numbers under the following groups: bills by type (H.R., H.J. Res., etc.); status of bills reported to the House by the committee; numerical docket listings; executive communications; and indexes by subjects and by names of Representatives.

17.67 The calendars also include complete listings of petitions and memorials, showing the date they were referred to the committee, by whom (most often the Speaker of the House), and the subject matter. The actual petitions and memorials, invariably 4 or 5 inches of documents per Congress, have each been placed within separate envelopes on which basic descriptive information has been written. For most Congresses memorials (generally documents from State legislatures) and petitions have been grouped in separate sets of roughly comparable size, each arranged in chronological order.

17.68 For a typical Congress, such as the 88th Congress (1963-64), memorials came from the legislatures of Illinois, Idaho, Washington, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Colorado, Maine, California, Alaska, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Florida. Subjects covered included requests for a water pollution field control laboratory, the renaming of a dam in honor of a deceased Senator, authorization and appropriations for the reconstruction of a jetty to breakwater standards, an increase in the Federal portion of cost on Federal-aid primary and secondary highways, the payment of non-Federal costs in Federally approved water projects, completion of a particular U.S. Army Corps of Engineers investigation and the development of a favorable report, relocation of the Denver Mint, extension of the northern terminus of the Interstate and Defense Highway System in Maine, enactment of flood control appropriations for a particular county water agency, enactment of legislation extending financial aid to a State for purification of the waters of one of its rivers, and protection for the interests and rights of persons and villages affected by the Rampart Dam hydroelectric project (88 PW.3). Petitions in the 88th Congress oppose the proposed removal of responsibility for water pollution control from the U.S. Public Health Service, and request a flood control project along Pinal Creek in Arizona, the naming of a bridge in honor of Estes Kefauver, the establishment of a mint in Chicago, and financial aid for sewage and pollution control (88 PW.3).

17.69 With but few exceptions committee papers for the full committee consist of survey resolution dockets, executive communications, calendars, and copies of printed hearings. In quantity the survey resolution dockets, which are filed as a separate series with papers of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation from the 95th Congress, make up nearly half of this category. These survey resolution dockets are arranged by docket number. While some of the docket file envelopes are empty, most include the following documentation: the initial congressional correspondence requesting action; correspondence between the committee chair and the Corps of Engineers on possible surveys regarding navigation, beach erosion, or flood control; legislation introduced; and resolutions authorizing particular surveys.

17.70 As with petitions and memorials, a complete listing of executive communications can be found in committee calendars. The executive communications themselves are arranged in numerical order. A majority of executive communications came from the Secretary of the Army and concern matters relating to navigation, beach erosion or flood control. Others came from such persons as the Chairman of the National Park and Planning Commission, the Administrator of the General Services Administration, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Secretary of the Interior, and the President of the United States, who transmitted drafts of proposed legislation and annual reports, and supplied requested information.

17.71 Although the committee papers for any given Congress often include a separate section for the committee's publications (most of which are transcripts of hearings), none of these collections contain all of the publications shown for the committee in the publications checklist within the legislative calendars. Other significant full committee papers include several inches of correspondence from the 80th Congress on two topics: water pollution and the Clark Hill electric power project on the Savannah River near the Georgia-South Carolina border (80A-F14.1).

17.72 Included with the committee papers are 34 feet of subcommittee papers. Of this total, 25 feet were created by the Special Subcommittee to Investigate Questionable Trade Practices (80A-F14.6), which was originated by House Resolution 403 of the 80th Congress, passed on December 15, 1947. The subcommittee's purpose was to investigate black and "gray'' market practices, expose such practices to public view, and recommend measures for remedying the factors which created the "gray'' markets. Special emphasis was placed in investigating practices in the steel industry. The subcommittee's papers consist primarily of correspondence and records of investigations, in addition to the transcripts of hearings.

17.73 The only other subcommittee with a significant quantity of papers (9 ft.) is the Special Subcommittee on the Federal-Aid Highway Program. Half of this total consists of vouchers from the 89th and 90th Congresses (1965-68); the other half is exhibits from the 90th Congress (1967-68). The exhibits include reports, affidavits. maps, drawings, booklets, and photographs for hearings on policies and practices in Florida, Massachusetts, New Mexico, West Virginia, Arizona, and Louisiana, as well as for hearings on toll facilities and safety.

17.74 Records of other Subcommittees of the Committee on Public Works consist primarily of minutes and transcripts for the following:

Subcommittee Congresses (Dates) Volume
Subcommittee on Flood Control 80th (1947-48), 82d-90th (1951-68)      4 in.
Subcommittee on Roads 80th (1947-48), 82d-90th (1951-68) 3 ft.
Subcommittee on Rivers and Harbors 80th (1947-48), 82d-90th (1951-68) 10 in.
Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds 80th (1947-48), 82d-90th (1951-68) 1 ft.
Subcommittee on Beach Erosion 80th (1947-48) 1 in.
Subcommittee on Watershed Development 86th-90th (1959-68) 7 in.
Special Subcommittee to Investigate Questionable Trade Practices 82d (1951-52) 3 in.
Special Subcommittee to Study Civil Works 80th (1947-48), 82d-90th (1951-68) 4 in.
Special Subcommittee on Federal-Aid Highway Program 86th-90th (1959-68) 11 ft.
Special Subcommittee on Montana Flood Damage 88th (1963-64) 1 in.
Special Subcommittee on Economic Development Programs 89th-90th (1965-68) 5 in.
Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Appalachian Regional Development 88th-90th (1963-68) 10in.
Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Alaska Exposition, 1967 89th-90th (1965-68) 1 in.
Subcommittees on Flood Control and Rivers and Harbors—Joint Meetings 80th (1947-48), 89th-90th (1965-68) 6 in.
Special Subcommittee on Federal-Aid Highway Program and Subcommittee on Roads—Joint Meetings    89th (1965-66) 9 in.

17.75 Bill files form the nucleus of the committee's records. For most Congresses the files are arranged by type of legislation—H.R., H.J. Res., H.Res., H. Con. Res., S., S.J. Res.—and thereunder numerically by docket number. For the 90th Congress (1967-68) the bill files are in straight docket order with the various categories of legislative measures intermixed. Within each bill file are copies of bills and appropriate support correspondence. Individual files may also contain copies of bills as printed with Union Calendar numbers, reports, and manuscript or printed copies of transcripts of hearings. For the 90th Congress the series identified as "Duplicate Bill Files'' is in fact a companion to the main set of bill files containing additional background data for the measures in question. Bill files exist for such important public works legislation as the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 (84A-D14); the Public Buildings Act of 1959; the 1959 bond financing amendments to the Tennessee Valley Authority Act of 1933 (86A-D11); the River and Harbor Act of 1962 (87A-D12); the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 and the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (89 PW.1).

Records of the Committee on Public Works, 91st-93rd Congresses (1969-1974)
Records of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation, 93rd-103rd Congresses (1975-1994)
Records of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 104th Congress onward (1995- )

17.76 The records of the Committee on Public Works and Transportation generally consist of records retired by the full committee. The bulk of these records is usually divided between bill files and executive communications, but also includes the petitions and memorials and Presidential Messages that were referred to the committee; copies of printed committee hearings, reports, and prints; and small correspondence files. Minutes of full committee and subcommittee meetings, and transcripts of executive session meetings and hearings are sometimes retired with the other records at the end of each Congress, but a large collection (minutes from 1951-1972, and executive transcripts from 1965-1972) were retired as a distinct series in the records of the 92nd Congress.

17.77 Survey Resolution files for the period from 1947 through 1980 (18 ft.) are included in the 95th Congress committee records. Survey Resolution files were generated by the Subcommittee on Rivers and Harbors, the Subcommittee on Flood Control, and, more recently, the Subcommittee on Water Resources, in response to resolutions to study the feasibility of public works project proposals that are usually prepared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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1 Register of Debates, 22d Cong., 1st sess., Dec. 13, 1831, p. 1438.

2 Congressional Record, 46th Cong., 2d sess., Jan. 6, 1880, p. 205.

3 Congressional Globe, 25th Cong., 1st sess., Sept. 15, 1837, p. 34.

4 Congressional Globe, 42nd Cong., 1st sess., Mar. 10, 1871, p. 53.

5 Congressional Globe, 46th Cong., 2nd sess., Jan. 6, 1880, p. 205.

6 Congressional Record, 63rd Cong., 1st sess., June 2, 1913, p. 1857.

7 Congressional Record, 63rd Cong., 1st sess., June 2, 1913, p. 1857.

8 U.S. Congress, House, Constitution, Jefferson's Manual, and Rules of the House of Representatives of the United States. Ninetieth Congress, H. Doc. 529, 89th Cong., 2d sess., 1967, pp. 350-351.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States House of Representatives at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-245). By Charles E. Schamel, Mary Rephlo, Rodney Ross, David Kepley, Robert W. Coren, and James Gregory Bradsher. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.

This Web version is updated from time to time to include records processed since 1989.

Return to the Table of Contents for the Guide to the Records of the U.S. House of Representatives