Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
An Imperial Presidency?
Rep. Boudinot's Letter
Rep. Elias Boudinot of New Jersey to Hannah Boudinot, April 24, 1789
(Courtesy of the Princeton University Library)
Text transcript of Rep. Boudinot's letter..

The Congress made arrangements to send a delegation of senators and representatives across the the Hudson to greet the new president and escort him into New York City. This letter describes in great detail the elaborate welcome the people of New York arranged for Washington. Boudinot's description of salutes by artillery, odes sung to the tune of "God Save the King," crimson carpets, and the general adulation of the crowd helps us understand why some members of the Congress feared that the citizenry were inclined towards the trappings of monarchy.

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