Notes from the 1790s

1789    George Washington is inaugurated in New York City as the first president of the United States.


1789    U.S. Army created by an act of Congress. Army of “regulars” will be made up of approx. 1,000 officers and enlisted men. Overseeing operations will be the Secretary of War, Henry Knox.


1789    Georgetown College, the first Catholic college in the United States, opens for enrollment.


1790    First official census shows U.S. population at 4,000,000.


1790    First factory opens in the United States. It’s a textile mill built by Samuel Slater in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.


1792    Vermont (the Green Mountain State) is admitted as the 14th state. It is the first state to be admitted to the union after the original 13 colonies became states.


1792    George Washington re-elected president. John Adams, once again, receives the second most votes and retains his position as Vice President.


1792    Plans for a new capital city along the banks of the Potomac River are unveiled - will be known as the District of Columbia.


1792    New York stock exchange established. First stock exchange in U.S. was set up in Philadelphia the year before.


1792    Kentucky (the Bluegrass State) is admitted as the 15th state. First state beyond the Appalachian mountains to be admitted to the union


1793    Eli Whitney invents machine to separate cotton fiber from cotton seeds. Cotton gin will revolutionize southern agriculture.


1794   Farmers in western Pennsylvania protest Federal tax on liquor. Whiskey Rebellion is put down by federal troops, led by the commander in chief, George Washington.


1795    New U.S. flag containing 15 stars and 15 stripes is unveiled. Stars and stripes for Vermont & Kentucky added.


1796    Pinckney’s treaty signed with Spain – allows right of deposit by U.S. shippers in the Port of New Orleans.


1796    Tennessee (the Volunteer State) is admitted to the Union as the 16th state.


1796    John Adams defeats Thomas Jefferson in the presidential election. Jefferson is Vice President.


1797    French officials ask for bribe from U.S. peace envoys in Paris in what becomes known as the XYZ Affair.


1798    Congress passes Alien and Sedition Acts. Both are controversial and later will be repealed.


1798    Act of Congress creates amphibious fighting force known as the Marine Corps. USMC is part of the Department of the Navy.


1799    George Washington dies just two years after retirement at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.