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.
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President; 1735—1826.
Political philosopher, Boston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1722—1803.
Anglo-Irish statesman, orator, author, and political philosopher; 1729—97.
French general, liaison between Rochambeau and Washington; 1734—88.
Lawyer, politician, writer, militia officer, signer of the Declaration of Independence; 1732—1808.
Philadelphia printer, writer, scientist, inventor, signer of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat to France; 1706—90.
Last Royal Governor of Massachusetts; 1711—80.
Lawyer, architect, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia governor, diplomat, third President, founder of the University of Virginia; 1743—1826.
Lawyer, politician, Boston revolutionary; 1725—83.
Author, revolutionary, political philosopher; 1737—1809.
Founding Father: Rediscovering George Washington (1996)