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George Washington's inauguration and inaugural address... And a very rare eye-witness account...
Item # 632689 THE AMERICAN MUSEUM, (Philadelphia), May, 1789
* President George Washington
* Inauguration - inaugural address
Rarely are we able to offer an American imprint with a period report of Washington's inauguration and inaugural address.
The reporting of this signal event in American history is terrific. Before the printing of the inaugural address are several addresses of congratulations to Washington, including one from the citizens of Alexandria, Virginia, with his response signed in type: George Washington; another from the citizens of Baltimore with his response signed in type: George Washington; one from the Society of the Cincinnati with his response, also signed in type: George Washington, and another from the citizens of Philadelphia also followed by his response signed in type: George Washington.
This is immediately followed by the inaugural address which takes over two pages & is signed by him in type: George Washington. It is headed with: "The Inaugural Address of his Excellency the President of the United States, to Congress, April 30, 1789." (see).
This is then followed by the address of the Senate to the President signed by: John Adams, and another from the House of Representatives to Washington. Washington responded to each, signed in type: G. Washington.
As if this was not sufficient content for one issue, further back in this magazine under "American Intelligence" is a great eye-witness account of the inauguration which vividly portrays all the emotion which was witnessed by those attending that magnificent occasion. The report comes from a letter from New York, May 3, and includes: "I was extremely anxious to arrive here...Thursday last, when the President was qualified in the open gallery of the Congress House in the sight of many thousand people. The scene was awful, beyond description. It would seem extraordinary that the administration of an oath--a ceremony so very common & familiar--should...excite the publick curiosity. But the circumstance of his election--the impressions of his past services...the reverential manner in which he bowed down & kissed the sacred volume...one of the most august & interesting spectacles ever exhibited on this globe. It seemed from the number of witnesses to be a solemn appeal to Heaven and earth at once...I confess that was under an awful & religious persuasion, that the gracious ruler of the universe was looking down at that moment with peculiar complacency on an act, which to a part of his creatures was so very important...when the Chancellor pronounced in a very feeling manner, 'Long Live George Washington', my sensibility was wound up to such a pitch that I could do no more than wave my hat with the rest..." with more (see for full text).
Beyond this is the report of how the Senate was divided into 3 classes for 2, 4, and 6 year terms in this initial election and how these classes were selected. And near the back are several pages reporting the "Proceedings of Congress" from its earliest days, April 20 through May 4.
This issue is complete in 96 pages, lacking a full title page (typical when issues were bound into annual volumes) but having a "Contents" page at the very back. Measures 5 by 8 inches. Very nice, clean condition.
The inauguration and inaugural address of George Washington remain among the most significant events to have captured in a periodical of the time.
Category: The 1600's and 1700's