American History Documents

George Washington. Letter to John Langdon. Mount Vernon, April 14, 1789.
Lilly Library U.S. History mss.

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John Langdon, a senator from New Hampshire, was elected president pro tempore of the first Congress and his first task as such was to count the electoral votes. He personally opened, counted, and declared the results: for President, George Washington; for Vice-President, John Adams.

Charles Thomson, longtime secretary to Congress, was selected to carry the formal certification of election and a personal letter from Langdon to Washington, dated New York, April 6. Langdon wrote that the election was unanimous and that it should "...be considered a sure pledge of the affection and support you are to expect from a free and enclightened people."

Shown here is Washington's reply to Langdon, accepting the Presidency and announcing his intention to depart Mount Vernon for New York on April 16.

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