Unknown artist

Inauguration of Gen. George Washington (1722–1799), undated

Photolithograph
New-York Historical Society Library, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

One of the most powerful reasons for the New York State Convention to ratify the Constitution, despite a 46–19 Antifederalist majority, was to keep the federal capital of the United States in New York City. Once New York ratified, Congress passed an election ordinance that provided for the new government under the Constitution to meet in New York City. George Washington was inaugurated president of the United States on April 30, 1789, and New York Chancellor Robert R. Livingston administered the oath of office.