Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
New York City as the Seat of Government

Despite all of the City's preparations for and entertainment of the Congress, there were still critics:

Samuel B. Webb to K. K. Van Renssalaer, March 22, 1789 (Emmet Collection Manuscripts and Archives Division The New York Public Library Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations):

The City is gay and lively, a vast number of strangers with us, and next week or the week after the Theater will open, but believe me I am heartily tired of this round of Dissipation, if my business would permit, I had rather pass my time in a pleasant Country Village, at least nine Months out of twelve.

Rep. Elias Boudinot (N.J.) to Hannah Stockton Boudinot, May 15, 1789 (Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries):

After a very pleasant Passage of one hour & an half, we arrived safe in this dirty City--The difference of the wholesome Country Air, from the Stench of the filthy Streets was so apparent, as to effect our smelling Faculties greatly--

Rep. Fisher Ames (Mass.) to Thomas Dwight, June 27, 1790 (DHFFC, v. 19, p.1939-1940):

While I am shut up here in this pigsty, smelling the perfumes from wharves, and the raking of gutters, I long for the air & company of Springfield.

Rep. Theodore Sedgwick (Mass.) to Pamela Sedgwick, June 14, 1790 (DHFFC, v.19, p.1815-1817):

The exchange of the poluted air of the city, for the sweet fragrance of the country, the delightful verdure, . . .
Previous Topic
Next Topic
Go to Exhibit Home
First Federal Congress Project
Previous Page Table of Contents
Next Page