Watercolor, black chalk, and graphite on off-white laid paper; 10 3/8 x 6 1/2 in. (26.4 x 16.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of New York, New York, NY.
John Quincy Adams, 1824
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.