THE creation of the presidency was one of the grand achievements of the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787. Although the controversy between the large and small states regarding their representation in Congress was the first order of business, the delegates did not delay long in taking up the subject of the executive.
THE White House is perhaps the most remarkable artifact of the American nation. The concept of an official home for the president originated with the constitutional government in 1789, and in 1790 such a home was prescribed in the Residence Act calling for the creation of a permanent federal city.
EVEN before the federal capital was permanently situated on the Potomac, the president's wife had become a public personage. Martha Washington arrived in New York City one month after her husband's April 1789 inauguration to the acclaim typical of that reserved for a royal consort.