The Children Who Ran for Congress
A History of Congressional Pages
by Darryl J. Gonzalez
October 2010, 311pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38666-4
$49, £37, 41€, A70
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38667-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Each year, thousands of Americans and international tourists visit the Capitol building in Washington, DC. These visitors view the activity on the House and Senate floor from the galleries and see pages darting back and forth, but what are they doing and why are teenagers working in the Capitol building?

This book offers a meticulously researched, comprehensive chronology of the Congressional Page system, from the late 1700s to modern day.

From the origins of the page system in 1774 to the period in the 1940s when Congress demonstrated an indifference towards the needs of providing the boys with supervised living arrangements, congressional pages have a storied past. It’s a topic that can be amusing—for years, pages simply treated the Capitol as a their private playground to subject adults to their mischief—and sobering, as Congress continued to employ boys as young as eight years old, even after passing labor laws that prohibited it and was reluctant to provide supervised living arrangements for decades.

Unlike many dry and lifeless books about Congressional history, The Children Who Ran For Congress: A History of Congressional Pages provides a lively and engaging look at the history of the page system, a topic that has largely been ignored. Based on a thorough investigation of historical documents and personal interviews, Darryl Gonzalez now tells the complete story of the young boys (and girls) who have served Congress for more than 200 years.


  • Includes interviews with former pages to get their personal insights and to fill in the blanks of the written record
  • Presents a chronology tracing the evolution of the page system from the First Continental Congress in 1774 to present day
  • Includes various photos of pages interacting together as well as with members and presidents
  • Index combines names and subjects in order to find given topics easily
Darryl J. Gonzalez, PhD, is a federal employee in Washington, DC, and has worked in education for 20 years. Dr. Gonzalez has twice been named in "Who's Who Among America's Teachers." He earned his PhD from the University of Maryland and has master's degrees from Alfred University and Frostburg State University. He lives in Lawndale, MD with his wife and four children.


"There is so much more to find out between the covers of this book. You won't be disappointed!" —Book Bargains, March 31, 2011

"Darryl J. Gonzales has done a great service by rescuing the history of a little-known corps of federal workers who have kept the U.S. government humming since its inception. The Children Who Ran for Congress: A History of Congressional Pages provides an exhaustive history of the boys (and girls) who have served Congress for more than 200 years."—The Literary Hill, April 21, 2011
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