Thu, 2 February 2017
During a handful of months in 1789 and 1790, representatives of the new nation of the United States came together in New York City to make decisions which would forever affect the lives of Americans.
In this second part of our two-part show on New York as the first federal capital of the United States, we roll up our sleeves and get down to business. (In the first part, he moved the capital to lower Manhattan and inaugurated ourselves a new president George Washington!)
The men of the first Continental Congress -- which first met in the Spring of 1789 -- had a lofty job in front of them that year. They needed to not only construct the tools and offices of a brand new government, they were also tasked with defining the basic rights of American citizens via a set of amendments to the U.S. Constitution -- the Bill of Rights.
Now imagine doing this in your post-Colonial era garments during a hot summer, all crammed into a few rooms at Federal Hall, the former City Hall building on Wall Street.
It was here that the Bill of Rights was introduced, debated and voted upon. But those weren't the only monumental decisions being made in the city.
When nobody could come to an agreement on two major issues -- the assumption of state debt and the location of the permanent federal capital -- it was up to Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison to craft a deal, made during a legendary dinner party on Maiden Lane. We live today with the critical decisions made by these three men on that night over food and wine.
ALSO: The tale of James Hemings, an enslaved man who became an accomplished French chef and most likely the cook for that very dinner, witness to the events in "the room where it happened."
Direct download: 221_New_York__Capital_City_of_the_United_States.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:50pm EDT