Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/208

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1801.
197
THE INAUGURATION.

on horseback to the Capitol, and after hitching his horse to the palings, went in to take the oath. This story, being spread by the Federalist newspapers, was accepted by the Republicans and became a legend of the Capitol. In fact Davis was not then at Washington, and his story was untrue. Afterward as President, Jefferson was in the habit of going on horseback, rather than in a carriage, wherever business called him, and the Federalists found fault with him for doing so. "He makes it a point," they declared,[1] "when he has occasion to visit the Capitol to meet the representatives of the nation on public business, to go on a single horse, which he leads into the shed and hitches to a peg." Davis wished to write a book that should amuse Englishmen, and in order to give an air of truth to invention, he added that he was himself present at the ceremony. Jefferson was then living as Vice-President at Conrad's boarding-house, within a stone's throw of the Capitol. He did not mount his horse only to ride across the square and dismount in a crowd of observers. Doubtless he wished to offer an example of republican simplicity, and he was not unwilling to annoy his opponents; but the ceremony was conducted with proper form.

Edward Thornton, then in charge of the British Legation at Washington, wrote to Lord Grenville, then Foreign Secretary in Pitt's administration, a despatch enclosing the new President's Inaugural

  1. Evening Post, April 20, 1802.