The First Hundred Years in America:  

The US Presidents, the Federal Census, and current events that influenced the lives of your ancestors 1790-1890


BOOK LAUNCH NOVEMBER 15, 2019

CREATING A GOVERNMENT:  George Washington was both an obvious first choice for president and possibly the only genuinely viable option. He was both a national hero and the favorite son of Virginia, the largest state at the time. Washington also had leadership experience, having served as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution and president of the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. 

With no political parties to nominate and endorse him, George Washington was unanimously elected president of the United States in the first presidential election.He presented the shortest inauguration speech ever, which lasted two minutes and consisted of one hundred thirty-three words. George Washington, who never wanted to be president, served two four-year terms from 1789 to 1797. The new Supreme Court convened for the first time on February 1, 1790.

TROUBLE IN THE CABINET:  Two cabinet officers continually butted heads. Jefferson repeatedly attacked Hamilton as an enemy to American values. Jefferson’s opponents, led by Alexander Hamilton, criticized everything Jefferson did as secretary of state. Washington had not imagined the level of hostility the debates of these two would reach. Treasurer Hamilton, never too far from a debtors’ prison personally, was a brilliant man but a terrible politician. The two men hated each other, each considering the other a hypocrite with secret plans to bend the president to agree with his plan. It was probably partly Washington’s fault. He led each man to assume that his position was the most critical one in the cabinet. Somehow, Washington had to rein in these two men and enable them to work toward a common good. No easy task.