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Echoes From the White House
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THE CHANGING WHITE HOUSE

From 1792 From 1817 From 1902 From 1952 1792-1817:
page 1 of 3

First in War, First in Peace and First in the Hearts of his Countrymen
1789
  • George Washington is inaugurated as the first president of the United States.

  • New York City is the current capital.

"First in War, First in Peace and First in the Hearts of his Countrymen"
The Inauguration of George Washington
Engraving by Montbaron and Gautschi, n.d. Collection of The New York Historical Society (54615)


1790
  • The Residence Act is passed calling for the creation of a permanent capital on the Potomac. The act locates government in Philadelphia for a period of ten years while the new capital is being established. The shift to Philadelphia is a sudden surprise for New York.

  • After a survey of the region by Andrew Ellicott and preliminary plans are drawn up by Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the exact site for the new federal city is chosen.
An East View of Gray's Ferry, near Philadelphia

An East View of Gray's Ferry, near Philadelphia; with the Triumphal Arches, &c. erected for the Reception of General Washington, April 20th, 1789.
Library of Congress

L'Enfant's Plans for Washington
1791
  • Pierre Charles L'Enfant is commissioned to design the new city, including the Capitol building and the president's residence.

 L'Enfant's Plans for Washington
Library of Congress

1792-1817: page 1 of 3


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