"Revolutionary America! 1763-1789 April 20-November 3, 2002

The Miracle at Philadelphia

The First President of the United States

photo of exhibit section

In this photo:
SILVER PIPE from Germany, and presented by Washington to a friend near the close of the Revolution.
  On loan from the collection of:
    --State Historical Society of Iowa, Des Moines IA
HAND-PAINTED ENGRAVING, "The Washington Family" depicts George Washington leaving Mount Vernon for his presidential inauguration in New York City, 1800
KNEE BUCKLES of French paste and silver that may have been worn to his Inauguration.
SOUP PLATE of the Society of the Cincinnati, 1786. Officers of the Continental Army formed the Society in 1783 to provide aid to widows and orphans of war dead and to work toward a closer union among states.
    --Claude and Jeanne Harkins
ENGRAVING of Washington's Inauguration held at Federal Hall in New York City in 1789, owned by Herbert Hoover
    --Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch IA
ANTIQUE MINIATURE REPLICA of the CARRIAGE that belonged to the Washingtons, created in the mid-to-late 1800s, incorporates painted and carved wood and original leather straps.
    --Charles Pope, Marion IA

The Man Who Could Have Been King

Before the first presidential inauguration in 1789, Congress debated how the leader of the new United States should be addressed. Proposals included "King George," "Your Highness," "Protector of Liberties," or "Your High Mightiness!" George Washington would accept no other title than "Mr. President." After he took the oath of office he spontaneously added the plea, "So help me God." He did not believe in serving more than two terms, and once again walked away from power in 1797.


How Did We Do? Sub-Sections
The High Price of Liberty
George Washington
Miracle at Philadelphia
  Three Visionaries: James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton
  The First President of the United States (You are here)
The Real Revolution
  The Original Rebels


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