Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Federal Hall

Location:   New York, New York
Year:   1785

Under the Continental Congresses and the Articles of Confederation the United States did not have a set capital city. The capital was considered to be any city wherein Congress congressed. 

From 1774 onward to 1800 Congress met in Philadelphia (numerous times), Lancaster, and York, all in Pennsylvania; it also met in Baltimore and Annapolis in Maryland, and in Trenton and Princeton, in New Jersey.

In 1785, Congress began meeting in New York City, and continued to meet there after the new Constitution was adopted; officially, it is considered the first "permanent" capital city of the United States. George Washington was inaugurated on the steps of Federal Hall in lower Manhattan, officially considered our first "permanent" Capitol building. 

The original Federal Hall was built in 1700 and was demolished in 1812; in 1824, the New York Customs House (now Federal Hall National Memorial) was built on the site, and has several markers commemorating the historical events that occurred there---among them the adoption of the Bill of Rights.

At the end of 1790, the capital was officially moved to Philadelphia, where it remained until 1800, when the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. was ready for occupancy.  

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