The Northwest Ordinance established the role of territorial delegate to Congress in 1787. But the position and its role was undefined. Today there are six non-voting members of Congress representing American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In this DBQuest, students will explore the duties and limitations of non-voting members from the perspective of the members themselves.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education, Outreach, and Workforce Initiative Programs under Grant No. HQ0034-21-S-F001. The views expressed in written materials or publications, and/or made by speakers, moderators, and presenters, do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Defense nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.



Students will be able to...

  • Describe the roles of delegates and resident commissioner to Congress
  • Identify ways that non-voting members represent their constituencies
  • Identify tone in a source
  • Use evidence from primary sources to support analysis and answer questions