This Was New York: The Nation's Capital in 1789

This Was New York: The Nation's Capital in 1789

This Was New York: The Nation's Capital in 1789

This Was New York: The Nation's Capital in 1789

Excerpt

Great events are on the march in this year 1789. A fresh and invigorating spirit stirs the land. A grand new idea is loosed to shake a trammeled world. Destiny is on the loom and the spinners are at work. New York City is full pregnant with the future. Here the new government of the United States begins. Here the first Congress sits and deliberates high matters of state and low matters of ceremony. Here on April 30 George Washington will be inaugurated as the first President of the united nation. Here basic issues are determined and the new government will be given not only form but vitality. New York is the center of activity, of experiment, and of hope.

The city is vibrant with excitement. It is thronged with expectant crowds from far and near. It is impossible to get lodgings in the best places. Yes, even a simple bed (no questions asked or answered) is at a premium. But somehow we shall manage. Not every man can take his full ease at a turning point in history. Never have we seen such a collection of notables: statesmen, politicians, diplomats, . . . and their gracious ladies. And we shall see it all--in spite of the fact that humble authors are not highly esteemed and that all this talk about equality and democracy are not yet quite operating realities. But we have a few friends of republican principles who command entry into the best places. We shall do our best to maintain both dignity and composure.

But (since it is true) we must candidly admit that there are times when we feel more at home over at the Tammany Society . . .

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