- In 1798 Congress grants $18,912 in back-pay to Kosciuszko for his role in the Revolutionary War. In his will, he authorizes his friend Thomas Jefferson
to employ the whole thereof in purchasing Negroes from among his own or any others— in order to free them.
- Jefferson neglects to do so. In 1826 when he dies, the money is still in trust, and his slaves are sold at auction.
John Adams was inaugurated as second president on March 4, 1797. Washington had preceded him to the hall and sat on the dais with Jefferson the Vice-President-elect, as Adams spoke. When the new President finished and left, Washington motioned to Jefferson to go next. The two Virginians had known each other since 1769, when Washington had been thirty-seven years old and Jefferson only twenty-six. From long habit and lingering respect, Jefferson now held back. But Washington gestured again, in a manner not to be ignored. The younger man was now Vice-President and must go first.