The Constitution of the United States was ratified by the necessary nine states in June of 1788. On February 4th of the following year, the electoral college met and cast their votes for the election of president. While everyone assumed that George Washington would be elected, the votes would not be counted until the new Congress convened. The newly elected Congress convened on March 4, 1789 in New York City, but it took a month for a quorum to be achieved. Finally, on April 6th the ballots were opened and counted and it was determned that George Washington had been unanimously elected as our nation's first president, and our only president to ever be unanimously elected. Even still, Washington himself was not officially notified of his election until April 14, 1789. Above is a print by Howard Pyle of Washington receiving official word of his election at his Mount Vernon home.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
While Washington owned a lot of land, he also was in debt as a result of the neglect of his Mount Vernon plantation during the Revolutionary War and had very little cash. As a result, Washington had to borrow money to pay for his trip to New York for his inauguration. In this regard, above is an illustration of Washington being cheered by his neighbors as he set out in his carriage from Mount Vernon on his trip to New York City for his inauguration as our nation's first President.
Washington set out from Mount Vernon to New York City for his inauguration on April 16, 1789, with plans for his wife Martha and their children to follow at a later date. The trip took seven days, with Washington being greeted by large crowds, the ringing of church bells, the firing of cannon, and receptions at every city along the way.