Inauguration of Washington, Federal Hall - 1789


George Washington's inauguration on the second floor balcony of the Federal Hall, the remodeled old City Hall on Wall Street, New York City. Illustration drawn by Darley and engraved by George R. Hall for Washington Irving's Life of George Washington, published in five volumes from 1855 to 1859. Source: Duer's Old Yorker collection, New York Public Library.

George Washington was inaugurated in this historical building, the first seat of Congress, on April 30, 1789, as the first President of the United States of America. On April 25, Congress adopted the joint committee’s recommendation that the inaugural ceremonies be held the following Thursday, April 30, and that the oath of office be administered to the President in the Representatives’ Chamber. The final report of the committee slightly revised this plan with its recommendation that the oath be administered in the outer gallery adjoining the Senate Chamber, “to the end that the Oath of Office may be administered to the President in the most public manner, and that the greatest number of people of the United States, and without distinction, may witness the solemnity.”

After the address, he and the members of Congress proceeded to St. Paul’s Church for divine service. A fireworks display in the evening ended the official program for this historic day.


Inaugration of Washington


Federal Hall



Old NY City Hall


Major Holland NY


Federal Hall NYC


George Washington Monument


Vintage images


Long Room



Copyright © Geographic Guide - Antique images of NYC, 18th century.


Inauguration of Washington, Federal Hall - 1789




Historic Buildings