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arduous as it was, it is worth remembering, too, that it was done, and thoroughly done, in the midst of severe physical suffering. Just after the inauguration, Washington was laid up with an anthrax or carbuncle in his thigh, which brought him at one time very near death. For six weeks he could lie only on one side, endured the most constant and acute pain, and was almost incapable of motion. He referred to his illness at the time in a casual and perfectly simple way, and mind and will so prevailed over the bodily suffering that the great task of organizing the government was never suspended nor interrupted.
When the work was done and Congress had adjourned, Washington, feeling that he had earned a little rest and recreation, proceeded to carry out a purpose, which he had formed very early in his presidency, of visiting the eastern States. This was the first part of a general plan which he had conceived, of visiting while in office all portions of the Union. The personal appearance of the President, representing the whole people, would serve to bring home to the public mind the existence and reality of a central government, which to many if not to most persons in the outlying States seemed shadowy and distant. But General Washington was neither shadowy nor distant to any one. Every man, woman, and child had heard of and loved the leader of the Revolution. To his countrymen everywhere, his name meant political freedom and victory in battle; and when he came among them as the head of a new government, that government took on in some measure the character of its chief. His journey was a well-calculated appeal, not for himself but for his cause, to the warm human interest which a man readily excites, but which only gathers slowly around constitutions and forms of government. The world owes a good deal to the right kind of hero-worship, and the United States have been no exception.
The journey itself was uneventful, and was carried out with Washington's usual precision. It served its purpose too, and brought out a popular enthusiasm which spoke well for the prospects of the federal government, and which was the first promise of the loyal support which New England gave to the President, as she had already given it to the general. In the succession of crowds and processions and celebrations which marked the public rejoicing, one incident of this journey stands out as still memorable, and possessed of real meaning. Mr. John Hancock was governor of Massachusetts. There is no need to dwell upon him. lie waTTa~mah ofsTender abilities, large wealth, and ready patriotism, with a great sense of his own importance, and a fine taste for impressive display. Every external thing about him, from his handsome house and his Copley portrait to his imposing gout and his immortal signature, was showy and effective. He was governor of Massachusetts, and very proud of that proud old commonwealth as well as of her governor. Within her bounds he was the representative of her sovereignty, and he felt that deference was due to him from the President of the United States when they both stood on the soil of Massachusetts. He did not meet Washington on his arrival, and Washington thereupon did not dine with the governor as he had agreed to do. It looked a little stormy. Here was evidently a man with some new views as to the sovereignty of States and the standing of the union of States. It might have done for Governor Hancock to allow the President of Congress to pass out of Massachusetts without seeing its governor, and thereby learn a valuable lesson, but it would never do to have such a thing happen in the case of George Washington, no matter what office he might hold. A little after noon on Sunday, October 26, therefore, the governor wrote a note to the President, apologizing for not calling before, and asking if he might call in half an hour, even though it was at the hazard of his health. Washington answered at once, expressing his pleasure at the prospect of seeing his excellency, but begging him, with a touch of irony, not to do anything to endanger his health. So in half an hour Hancock appeared. Picturesque, even if defeated, he was borne up-stairs on men's shoulders, swathed in flannels, and then and there made his call. The old house in Boston where this happened has had since then a scries of successors, but the ground on which it stood has been duly remembered and commemorated. It is a more important spot than we are wont to think;
for there it was settled, on that autumn Sunday, that the idea that the States were able to own and to bully the confederacy they had formed was dead, and that the President of the new United States was henceforth to be regarded as the official superior of every governor in the land. It was a mere question of etiquette, nothing more. But how the general government would have sunk in popular estimation if the President had not asserted, with perfect dignity and yet entire firmness, its position! Men are governed very largely by impressions, and Washington knew it. Hence his settling at once and forever the question of precedence between the Union and the States. Everywhere and at all times, according to his doctrine, the nation was to be first.1
So the President travelled on to the north, and then back by another road to New York, and that excellent bit of work in familiarizing the people with their federal government was accomplished. Meantime the wheels had started, the machine was in motion, and the chief officers were at their places. The preliminary work had been done, and the next step was to determine what policies should be adopted, and to find out if the new system could really perform the task for which it had been created.
1 The most lately published contemporary account of this affair with Hancock can be found in the Magazine of American History, June, 1888, p. 508, entitled " Incidents in the Life of John Hancock, as related by Dorothy Quincy Hancock Scott (from the Diary of Gen. W. H. Sumner )''
To trace in detail the events of Washington's administration would be to write the history of the country during that period. It is only possible here to show, without much regard to chronological sequence, the part of the President in developing the policy of the government at home and his attitude toward each question as it arose. We are concerned here merely with the influence and effect of Washington in our history, and not with the history itself. What did he do, and what light do we get on the man himself from his words and deeds? These are the only questions that a brief study of a career so far-reaching can attempt to answer.
Congress came together for the first time with the government actually organized on January 4, 1790. On the day when the session opened, Washington drove down to the hall where the Congress met, alone, in his own coach drawn by four horses. He was preceded by Colonel Humphreys and Major Jackson, mounted on his two white horses, while immediately behind came bis chariot with his private secretaries, and Mr. Lewis on horseback. Then followed in their own coaches the chief just