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Gray's bridge over the Schuylkill was, with much taste, embellished on the occasion. At each end arches were erected composed of laurel, in imitation of a Roman triumphal arch; and on each side was a laurel shrubbery. As the General passed, a youth by the aid of machinery (unperceived by him) let down upon his head a civick crown. Through avenues and streets thronged with people, he passed from the Schuylkill into Philadelphia, and at night the city was illuminated.
At Trenton, the ladies presented him with a tribute of gratitude for the protection which, twelve years before, he gave them, worthy of the taste and refinement of the sex. On the bridge over the creek which runs through this place, a triumphal arch was erected on thirteen pillars ; these were entwined with laurel and decorated with flowers. On the front of the arch was the following inscription, in large gilt letters,
THE DEFENDER OF THE MOTHERS
WILL BE THE
PROTECTOR OF THE DAUGHTERS.
Welcome, Mighty Chief, once more
Aims at THEE the fatal blow.
Virgins fair and matrons grave
way with flowers. At the last line the flowers were strewed before him.
On the eastern shore of New Jersey, he was met by a Committee of Congress, and accompanied over the river in an elegant barge, of thirteen oars, and manned by thirteen branch pilots.
“ The display of boats," observes the General in his diary," which attended and joined on this occasion, some with vocal and others with instrumental musick on board, the decorations of the ships, the roar of cannon, and the loud acclamations of the people which rent the sky as I passed along the wharves, filled my mind with sensations as painful (contemplating the revorse of this scene, which may be the case after all my endeavours to do good) as they were pleasing."
He landed on the 23d of April at the stairs on Murray's wharf, which were highly ornamented for the purpose. At this place the Governour of New-York received him, and with military honours, and amidst an immense concourse of people, conducted him to his apartments in the city. At the close of the day, Fo. reign Ministers and other characters of distinction, made him congratulatory visits, and the publick exhibi. tion was at night closed by a brilliant illumination.
Inauguration of the President-His Address to Congregg-Answers
of the two Houses-The Arrangements of his Household-His Regulations for Visitors, The Reasons of their adoption—The Relations of the United States with Foreign Powers-Congress establishes the Departments of the Government-The President fills them--He visits New-England–His Reception-Addresses to him-His Answers-Negotiations with the Indians-Treaty with the Creeks-War with the Wabash and Miamis Tribes -General Harmar's Expedition-St. Clair defeated-General Wayne victorious and makes a Treaty with them-Second Session of Congress-Fiscal Arrangements of the Secretary of the Treasury-Indisposition of the President-He visits Mount Vernon-Meets Congress at Philadelphia-His Tour to the Southern States-Second Congress—The President refuses his signature to the Representative Bill-Contemplates retiring to Private Life -Consents to be a Candidate for the Second Presidency.
1789. In adjusting the ceremonies of the inauguration of the President, Congress determined that the oath of office should be administered to him in an open gallery adjoining the Hall of the Senate. Accordingly on the 30th of April, General WASHINGTON attended, and, in a view of a vast assemblage of people, was constitutionally qualified for the administration of the government. On his being proclaimed President of the United States, reiterated acclamations testified the interest and the pleasure which the attending multitude felt in the transaction.
The President immediately entered the Senate chamber and made the following Speech to the two branches of the Legislature. " FELLOW CITIZENS OF THE SENATE, AND
OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can neyer 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. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one, who, inheriting inferiour endowments from nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is, that if in accepting this task I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow citizens ; and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me; my errour will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country, with some share of the partiality in which they originated.
“Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the publick summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a govern
ment instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration, to execute with success the func tions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Author of every publick and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have ad. vanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency. And in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude along with a humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust in thinking that there are none under the influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.
“ By the article establishing the executive department, it is made the duty of the President to recommend to your consideration, such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.' The circumstances under which I now meet you, will acquit me from en tering into that subject, farther than to refer you to the great Constitutional Charter under which we are assembled ; and which in defining your powers, desig. nates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actu.