Washington Day

John F. Jarvis
Washington Inaugurated first President of the U.S.ca. 1890 (2012.48.45)

The third Monday of the month of February was first known as Washington Day, in celebration of the first president of the United States. Today this day is widely known as Presidents Day and commorates all American presidents.

The ICP Archives holds an albumen silver stereograph by John F. Jarvis of George Washington’s inauguration on April 30th, 1789. The caption on the back of the mount reads:

The principles figures in the panel are portraits [of] John Adams, Vice President stood on his right, Mr. Livingstone the Chancellor then came forward in the advance of Roger, Sherman, Alexander Hamilton, General Knox, General St. Clair, Baron Steuben and others. The oath was read by the Chancellor, the hand of Washington lying on the open Bible as he took the oath, and, in the act of kissing the Bible, he was heard distinctly to say: “I swear so help me God.” The Chancellor then said “It is done,” and turning to multitude, proclaimed “long live George Washington, President of the United States.”

About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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