CHAPTER XXX
THE BATTLE OF THE DIPLOMATS

ON March 4, 1809, James Madison was inaugurated as President of the United States. Ten thousand strangers came to Washington to see the pageant. The retiring President and his successor rode in a carriage, escorted by the cavalry of Washington and Georgetown, from the White House to the Capitol, where in the newly completed hall of the House of Representatives Madison read his inaugural address in a voice so low that few could hear him. To pay a tribute to American manufactures, he was clothed in a suit of dark-brown cloth made from the wool of Merino sheep bred by Robert R. Livingston at his country seat, Clermont, on the Hudson River, the wool being carded, spun and woven in his house by his daughter, Elizabeth Stevens Livingston, the wife of her cousin, Edward P. Livingston.* The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Marshall, and the new President returned to Taylor's Hotel, where he reviewed the military and held a reception.

In the evening, at Long's Hotel in Georgetown, occurred the first inauguration ball ever held. Foreign ministers, officials and citizens crowded the rooms to the number of four hundred. Mrs. Madison was dressed elaborately in yellow velvet, with pearls and a turban on her head. Her husband wore a black suit, as he nearly always did. The most conspicuous figure in the room was Jefferson, and the guests noticed the contrast between the glowing good humour of the retiring President's face and the dark clouds of care which hung over the new President, for Jefferson was in high spirits, laughing,

____________________
*
Dept. of State MSS.

-299-

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