Legislative Branch

Guide to Senate Records: Chapter 2

Table of Contents

Chapter 2. Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and Related Committees, 1825-1968

Records of Committees Relating to Agriculture and Forestry 1825-1988 from Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States

Committee records discussed in this chapter:
Records of the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry and Related Committees, 1825-1968 (509 ft.)

2.1 In 1825, during the first session of the 19th Congress, Senator William Findlay of Pennsylvania proposed that a standing committee on agriculture be established. Findlay argued that agriculture, commerce, and manufactures constituted the three great branches of domestic industry, and since there were already committees on the other two, agriculture should receive equal attention. His colleagues agreed, and on December 9, 1825, a resolution authorizing the Committee on Agriculture was passed. Except for the 35th-37th Congresses, March 5, 1857-March 6, 1863, there has been a standing Committee on Agriculture in each Congress. In February 1884, to describe the scope of its responsibilities more accurately, it was renamed the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, which it remained until 1977. Partially overlapping the committee in jurisdiction was another standing committee, the Committee on Forest Reservations and the Protection of Game, 1896-1921, and that committee's predecessor select committees. When a reorganization of Senate committees in 1977 abolished the Select Committee on Nutrition and merged its jurisdiction with that of Agriculture and Forestry, the current Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry was created. For a brief history of the committee, 1825-1998, see S. Doc. 105-24, 105th Cong. (1998).

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Guide to the Records of the United States Senate at the National Archives, 1789-1989: Bicentennial Edition (Doct. No. 100-42). By Robert W. Coren, Mary Rephlo, David Kepley, and Charles South. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, 1989.