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building of the new Capitol, but his first letter to the commissioners announced his determination to carry out to their fullest extent the plans of his predecessor, and he conscientiously performed his promise. One of his first duties was to appoint a new architect for the Capitol. Stephen Hallett remained in office but one year and then resigned. George Hadfield, an Englishman, appointed to succeed him, resigned in 1798, and James Hoban, supervising architect, was then left to carry on the work alone. Hoban finished the north wing late in 1799, in readiness for Congress. The President's house, though not entirely finished, was made ready for its distinguished guest. Before Congress could enter the city, however, Washington, the founder, had bidden farewell to earth. In the little chamber at Mount Vernon, familiar to all the world, he died, December 14, 1799; Providence, which had given him so many good gifts, denying him the crowning felicity of seeing the government of the young nation housed in its own capital.
ONE Indian-summer day in October, 1800, the hills an oriflamme of color, a bundle of white sails flashed away down in the narrows below Alexandria, and swiftly the news ran through the city that the long-expected “packet sloop,” bearing the government records, furniture, and minor officials was below and fast approaching with wind and tide. At once the city's three thousand inhabitants hurried to the docks, and with hands shading their eyes gazed down the river. She had had quite an adventurous voyage, this little packet that bore the American Government and its fortunes,-down the Delaware and out to sea, --in through the royal capes Henry and Charles, and up the long reaches of the Potomac.
As she came on, the stars and stripes flying at masthead, the people uttered cheer after cheer, bells rang, handkerchiefs waved, and every popular demonstration of joy that could be made, was made: for the citizens had begun to fear that the government would never leave its comfortable and elegant quarters in Philadelphia, to migrate to the wilderness city. As early as the 16th of May, of that year, President Adams had issued his order directing the
removal, and here it was mid-autumn-no wonder there was impatience at the delay. Late next day in their elegant hired coaches, the high officials of state drove into town-John Marshall, the famous jurist, Secretary of State ; Oliver Wolcott of Connecticut, Secretary of the Treasury; Samuel Dexter, Secretary of War; Benjamin Stoddert, Secretary of the Navy: grave, dignified men, handsomely dressed in cocked
hats, powdered wigs, broadcloth coats and smallclothes—and another popular ovation greeted them. They were soon domiciled in the little cluster of brick offices about the White House, built for the Departments, and when, in November, President Adams and his family arrived, and the Sixth Congress assembled in the one little wing of the Capitol that was ready for it, the court circle was complete. No doubt the curious reader would like to look upon