Archive for '- Presidents'
Citizen Archivists! You can transcribe this document as part of our #SunshineWeek Transcription Challenge!
The black-bordered letter sent to President Martin Van Buren relayed the official news that the king of the United Kingdom, His Majesty William IV, had died on June 20, 1837. The new monarch was the late king’s niece, 18-year-old Victoria.
Writing on June 23, the young new queen announced the passing of “Our Most Honoured and Beloved Uncle” and advised the President of her own accession to the throne. She assured him “that it will be Our most earnest desire to cultivate and maintain the Relations of Friendship and good Understanding which so happily subsist between the Two Countries.”
At the end of the letter, she signed herself, “Your Good Friend, Victoria R.” Just three days into her nearly 64–year reign, her signature is penned neatly and carefully. In later years, letters from the more mature queen show a looser, more flowing signature.
Several other letters from Victoria and other 19th-century monarchs (in the series “Ceremonial Letters from Great Britain”) are available in the online National Archives catalog. They announce births, deaths, and weddings of members of the royal family and diplomatic appointments. The foreign minister’s signature (Palmerston on this 1837 letter) appears below the monarch’s.
Posted by Mary on March 20, 2015, under - Presidents, Letters in the National Archives, Uncategorized.
Tags: Great Britain, letters, Martin Van Buren, Queen of England, Victoria, William IV
Today’s post comes from Zach Kopin, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
On March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Dr. Charles A. Leale, a doctor and army surgeon in town from New York, listened with rapt attention to the President’s remarks. He and the President crossed paths one more time, although under more somber circumstances. Leale was the first doctor to attend to Lincoln after the President was shot at Ford’s Theatre.
Leale’s report to the Surgeon General of the United States concerning the Lincoln assassination is now on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
On April 14, 1865, both men attended a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre. The play, Leale later noted, “progressed very pleasantly” until half past 10, when “the report of a pistol was distinctly heard” and the whole scene erupted in confusion.
Next, a man brandishing a dagger, later identified as John Wilkes Booth, jumped from the President’s box onto the stage, dislodged himself from the flags in which he had been entangled, and ran. As Booth made his escape, Lincoln slumped in his chair.
Leale … [ Read all ]
On February 20, 1933, President Herbert Hoover and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover left the White House by car just before 2:30 p.m. with an escort of nine motorcycle policemen. Their destination was the corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, to lay the cornerstone of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. The event had not been widely advertised, and the trip down Pennsylvania Avenue went largely unnoticed.
The ceremony was attended by a small group of officials including Secretary of Treasury Ogden Mills, whose department was overseeing the construction project.
During the ceremony, the President dedicated the building in the name of the people of the United States. He proclaimed, “The building which is rising here will house the name and record of every patriot who bore arms for our country in the Revolutionary War, as well as those of all later wars. Further, there will be aggregated here the most sacred documents of our history, the originals of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution of the United States. Here will be preserved all the other records that bind State to State and the hearts of all our people in an indissoluble union.”
Hoover continued, “The romance of our history … [ Read all ]
Continuing our celebration of the 225th Anniversary of the First Congress, the National Archives is displaying George Washington’s first annual address from January 6 to February 4, 2015, in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives in Washington, DC.
This version, from the first Journal of the House of Representatives, shows the final page of George Washington’s annual address (what we now call the State of the Union speech). With this message, delivered on January 8, 1790, Washington established the precedent of delivering a formal address to Congress, thus fulfilling the Constitution’s mandate for the President to “from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
In the message, Washington praised the accomplishments of the First Congress and gave a brief overview of his administration’s agenda. He emphasized the need to provide for the common defense; establish uniform systems of currency, weights, and measures; and promote education.
Today’s post comes from Christine Blackerby, an Outreach Specialist at the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered a speech at Federal Hall in New York City. This speech, called his first annual message to Congress (which we now refer to as the State of the Union), was short—in fact, it remains the shortest one ever.
In it, Washington touched on several subjects to which he recommended that Congress give its attention, including national defense, naturalization, uniform weights and measures, promotion of education, and support of the public credit.
Fully aware of the enormity of the task in front of them, Washington’s last sentence speaks to the heart of their endeavor:
The welfare of our country is the great object to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed.—And I shall derive great satisfaction from a co-operation with you, in the pleasing though arduous task of ensuring to our fellow citizens the blessings, which they have a right to expect, from a free, efficient and equal Government.
Washington gave this speech to fulfill the President’s obligation outlined in Article II, Section 3, Clause 1, of the Constitution:
… [ Read all ]
The President “shall from time to
Posted by Jessie Kratz on January 8, 2015, under - Constitution, - Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
Tags: abraham lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Congress225, george washington, Ronald Reagan, State of the Union, U.S. Presidents, U.S. Senate