At Federal Hall in lower Manhattan, Washington waited in the Senate chamber until it was time for the ceremony. He sat in this rather plain chair, and his Vice President John Adams sat beside him. When it was time, both men walked out on to the balcony of Federal Hall for the inauguration, and then returned to their chairs in the Senate chamber. No one that day bothered to save the chair as a historical relic; that didn't occur to anyone until 1831 when a U.S. Marshall named William Waddell identified it as the chair Washington had sat in. He took it home and his family guarded it for over 50 years. During that time they loaned it to two other presidents on their inauguration days, Ulysses S. Grant in 1873 and James Garfield in 1881. In 1916 the Waddell family donated the chair to the New-York Historical Society.

George Washington sat in this simple mahogany chair the day he took the oath of office as the first president of the United States. It was April 30, 1789 and New York was the capital of the young nation.

Creative: Tronvig Group