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.
Farmer, businessman, patriot, politician, founder of the state of Vermont; seized Fort Ticonderoga in 1775; 1738—89.
Talented Continental Army general who defected to the British; 1741—1801.
Merchant, Continental congressman, diplomat to France; 1737—89.
American painter; 1751—1801.
Lawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, CT governor; 1731—96.
Militia general, effectively fought the British at Bunker Hill; 1718—90.
Lawyer and politician from Connecticut; signer of the Declaration of Independence; 1721—93.
American artist, soldier at the Battle of Trenton; 1756—1843.
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)