Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
An Imperial Presidency?

The Washington Family, by Edward Savage
(Courtesy of the the National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Andrew W. Mellon Collection)

In May of 1789 Martha Washington joined her husband in New York, bringing her two youngest grandchildren, George Washington Parke Custis and Eleanor Parke Custis, with her. All along the route from Mount Vernon to New York City, she was greeted with celebrations similar to those that had met the new President several weeks earlier, including grand dinners, bands, and fireworks.

In this painting, completed in 1796, the Washington family sits around a map of the federal city. Washington rests his arm on the shoulder of young George Washington Parke Custis. The boy, symbolic of the next generation, rests his hand on the globe. Martha Washington, Eleanor Parke Custis, and William Lee complete the picture.

Previous Topic
Next Topic
Go to Exhibit Home
First Federal Congress Project
Previous Page Table of Contents
Next Page