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General's own carriage, the congressional committees, city, state, and national officials, and diplomats were also in the procession. At the Hall, Washington walked between the files of troops to the entrance and was taken by the committees to the Senate Chamber, where the Vice President conducted him to the elevated seat between the chairs of the Vice President and Speaker, the members rising. Seats were also provided in the Chamber for Cyrus Griffin, late president of the Old Congress, Arthur St. Clair, governor of the Northwest Territory, the six persons who were the heads of the national departments, the French minister, Spanish chargé, chaplains, President's suite, governor, lieutenant-governor, chancellor, the supreme court of New York State, and Mayor Duane of New York City. On Adams' announcement that matters were ready for the oath, he, Washington, and Chancellor Livingston walked through the middle door of the Senate Chamber to the outside gallery, which fronted Wall Street and the head of Broad. The senators were to pass through the right door and the representatives through the left, while "such of the persons who shall have been admitted into the Senate Chamber, and may be desirous to go into the gallery, are then also to pass through the door on the right." 47

Besides the inadequate newspaper statements, various accounts of the ceremony by eye-witnesses have survived, some written at the time, others as reminiscences. They differ considerably in detail and it is not possible to make an exact picture of the event. Certainly, if the prescribed arrangements were carried out as given above, it is not probable that any of the later paintings and engravings of the scene can be accepted as being accurate in detail. The gallery, according to the description given in an earlier chapter, contained about 480 square feet, which, making an allowance for the space necessary for the ceremony, might accommodate fifty or sixty people. There were probably seventeen senators and forty-nine representatives present in the chamber, their secretary and clerk, and provision had been made for the above twenty or more guests in addition. All of the ninety or so persons in the chamber did not go into the gallery, evidently; Gardoqui wrote of "the others that chose to follow" the congressmen. Although it is certainly plausible that most of the persons usually named as present in the gallery were there, with the exception of Baron von Steuben, for whose attendance among the otherwise strictly official guests there is no proper authority, it is not possible to state definitely the presence of any except Washington, Adams, and Livingston. Washington wore the brown broadcloth suit and the rest of his costume is said to have


277 included white stockings, plain silver buckles on his shoes, a dress sword, and his hair powdered and in a bag. It is probable that the chancellor wore his gown. The oath prescribed by the Constitution was given by the chancellor and repeated by Washington, his hand on a Bible hastily procured at the last moment from the St. Johns Masonic Lodge nearby. The chancellor, waving his hand, exclaimed "Long live George Washington, President of the United States," to which the great crowd in the streets and the windows and house-tops gave an answering shout and repeated hurrahs. Another salute was fired, and the party returned to the Senate Chamber, where Washington gave his inaugural address.


WASHINGTON had not yet learned ease, if he ever did, as a speaker, and the solemnity of the occasion had evidently affected him deeply. Maclay said: "This great man was agitated and embarrassed more than ever he was by the leveled cannon or pointed musket. He trembled, and several times could scarce make out to read, though it must be supposed he had often read it before." 48 Ames' impressions are more pleasing: "He addressed the two Houses in the Senate Chamber; it was a very touching scene, and quite of the solemn kind. His aspect grave, almost to sadness; his modesty, actually shaking; his voice deep, a little tremulous, and so low as to call for close attention; added to the series of objects presented to the mind, and overwhelming it, produced emotions of the most affecting kind upon the members. I, Pilgarlic, sat entranced. It seemed to me an allegory in which virtue was personified, and addressing those whom she would make her votaries. Her power over the heart was never greater, and the illustration of her doctrine by her own example was never more perfect." 49

Maclay called the address "heavy," though he considered it received "merited applause." It was one of about 1500 words, in the preparation of which, according to Rives, Madison assisted. It was the direct, plain production of a man professedly doubtful of his abilities in an exalted but untried position, responsive to his country's call, and dependant upon the beneficent Providence that had already given to America tokens of His agency in its affairs. After giving to Congress "the tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt" the proper measures for putting the new government into operation, he warned them that there was an "indissoluble union between virtue and happiness" and that the "preservation of the

sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people."

He took pains to present his opinion on the subject of amendments in words which certainly harmonized with Madison's ideas, though they may be considered as yielding rather more to the demand than indicated by the President's own earlier utterances:

Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain with your judgment to decide, how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the Fifth article of the Constitution is rendered expedient at the present juncture by the nature of objections which have been urged against the System, or by the degree of inquietude which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good: For I assure myself that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an United and effective Government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience; a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for the public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question how far the former can be more impregnably fortified, or the latter be safely and advantageously promoted.


One other point in the address may be noticed. He announced that he "must decline as inapplicable to myself, any share in the personal emoluments, which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the Executive Department; and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the Station in which I am placed, may, during my continuance in it, be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require." This intention is shown in the early items of Lear's presidential accounts, and in Ledger G, and it has often been unquestionably accepted as to what was done. This is a mistake. It was constitutionally impossible, since Congress had no power except to provide a fixed salary and the Treasury had none to issue warrants except under such a law. Evidently Washington recognized this fact; the Treasury warrants show the payment of the exact sum due him on the basis of $25,000 a year, the law for his salary directing that payments should begin with the date of his taking office. There was, probably, nothing to prevent his turning back into the Treasury such amounts as he considered excessive, but he never did this, and indeed declared that the salary was "inadequate to the expence of living.'


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WHEN the address was finished, those in the Senate Chamber walked in procession to St. Pauls Chapel, seven blocks away, the military lining the street at the end. Here services were conducted by Bishop Provoost, and then the President was escorted by the committees, in carriages, back to his house. In the evening fireworks at the Battery and more illuminations, the Federal hall being "grandly illuminated." The foreign envoys made a great show. The French minister indulged in a Latin motto as part of his transparencies; and the Spanish chargé displayed "two magnificent transparent gardens, adorned with statues, natural size, imitating marble, representing the most peculiar attributes of Spain, viz., Justice, Integrity, Wisdom, Sobriety, Friendship, and Generosity. There were also various flowerpots, different arches with foliage and columns of imitation marble, and on the sky of these gardens were placed thirteen stars, representing the United States of America-two of which stars showed opaque, to designate the two States which had not yet adopted the Constitution. Above them all the sun could be seen, which gave them light; and, to cap it all, in the clouds could be seen the figure of Fame, with the clarion in one hand and the royal standard of Spain in the other." He also held a fête attended by the Vice President and many officials, as well as the "most prominent ladies" and "gentlemen of distinction." 52

The public fireworks, provided by means of a subscription, were, according to the Moravian diarist, the "most brilliant that ever was in America." 53 They were in six parts, beginning with a discharge of thirteen cannon and ending with one of twelve cannon, with two shots in each part. The detailed program lists tourbillions, gerbs, and other more familiar terms, such as wheels, shells, fountains, cascades, and stars, indicative of the elaborate character of display, each part of which began and ended with a flight of thirteen rockets. Included was an allegorical transparency between Bowling Green and the Fort, which was "unmasked" at the first discharge of cannon. Lear wrote: "The President, Colonel Humphreys, and myself went in the beginning of the evening in the carriages to Chancellor Livingston's and General Knox's, where we had a full view of the fire-works. We returned home at ten on foot, the throng of people being so great as not to permit a carriage to pass through it." Indeed, to prevent accidents, a newspaper had requested the day before that all horses and carriages be kept off the streets during the fireworks.


The Bill of Rights


THE MASSACHUSETTS ratification convention was the one in which was devised the plan to propose amendments to the Constitution, but to ratify it without requiring the amendments, merely expecting that the proposals would be given due consideration by the First Congress. All the states that ratified later in 1788 followed this plan, except Maryland, and there there were proposals that did not reach the floor of the convention. North Carolina, where a convention was held that year, presented her amendments and postponed ratification until they received consideration, an attitude justified by the fact that ratification was secured without her participation, so that by holding out she had a better chance to secure her proposals. This plan of proposing amendments made ratification possible. It was a compromise between the advocates and the antagonists of the Constitution, the former yielding to the proposal and the latter giving way on the requirement of amendment before ratification. Amend*ment before ratification would be possible only through another convention, for the system proposed by the Constitution would not be operative unless the new government was organized.

In New York the Federalists bought ratification by agreeing to their opponents' demand for a circular letter advocating another convention, which Governor Clinton, as president of the convention, addressed to all the other states; but since the necessary number of states had ratified already, this call was to be to Congress under the provisions of the Constitution that directed that body to convoke a convention whenever two-thirds of the states required it. The letter expressed the expectation that the call would "be among the first [acts] that shall be passed by the new Congress." Jay, who wrote the New York circular letter, explained his own attitude toward it in a letter to Washington on Septmber 21, 1788:

The opponents in this State to the Constitution decrease and grow tem

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