(04 August 1757–08 April 1807) Clerk of the House of Representatives, mayor of Richmond, and active organizer of Republican Party in Pennsylvania
After coming to Virginia from England in 1769 as an indentured servant, Beckley went on to become the first clerk of the House of Representatives and the first librarian of Congress. Prior to earning the position in Congress, he worked in various clerking jobs, including clerk of the committee of trade of the Virginia House of Delegates, clerk of the Virginia Senate, and clerk of the House of Delegates. In the 1780s, he was elected mayor of Richmond three times. He failed to win the clerkship of the Constitutional Convention but was successful in gaining the position of secretary of the Virginia ratifying convention. John Page wrote of Beckley that 'there was never a more correct and diligent clerk.'
Beckley also played an important role in the establishment of the Pennsylvania Republican party by supplying Jefferson with political information and writing and circulating handbills. This role as an early party manager is arguably his most impactful role.
He was appointed as the first librarian of Congress in 1802.
Offices of Congress - United States Bill of Rights 1789 (2021 Edition)
Offices of Congress - United States Bill of Rights 1789