Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change in the Colonies

"About 10 o'clock I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity, and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express, set out for New York in company with Mr. Thompson, and Colonel Humphries, with the best dispositions to render service to my country in obedience to its call, but with less hope of answering its expectations."

On 30 April 1789 George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States of America in New York City. Washington was hesitant of the post at first; a hard thing to imagine with all the time and money that goes into campaigning today. He flat out refused to be king when that leadership title was suggested. Washington even declined the $25,000 salary because he felt he had enough money and the salary could be better used elsewhere. This act of selflessness was meant to be an example to the new citizens of America of the founding morals of the new country.

Washington's inauguration speech was addressed to the Senate and House of Representatives rather than the whole country (or whoever was outside the Federal Building at the time). He fumbled nervously through his speech, obviously more comfortable leading his troops than wooing politicians. In the end, the shy politician who never subscribed to a political party served two terms and became a leader whom all future presidents attempted to live up to.

"On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years—a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time."

Excerpt Washington's Inaugural Speech 30 April, 1789


  1. Brilliant to write about our first president's inauguration during this historic week.

  2. It was difficult not to be touched on Tuesday. Elizabeth and Scandalous Women has been doing a marveous job this month with her patriotic scandals!