Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

Letter, John Adams to federal department heads ordering the relocation of government offices from Philadelphia to the District of Columbia, 15 May 1800.
(United States Commissioners of the City of Washington Records)


John Adams (1735-1826), second president of the United States, wrote this 15 May 1800 letter to the heads of the various federal departments and agencies on the eve of the federal government's relocation from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the District of Columbia. As the letter indicates, this final directive gave government officials only thirty days to be relocated and operating in their new, and often unfinished, quarters on the Potomac River. Adams was the first president to occupy the residence that came to be called the White House.

Gerard W. Gawalt, Manuscript Division

For Additional Information
For additional information on the United States Commissioners of the City of Washington Records, you can leave this site and read a summary catalog record for the collection.

Reproduction Number:
A29 (color slide); LC-MSS-87668-1 (B&W negative)

Related Terms:
Adams, John (1735-1826) | Federal government | Pennsylvania | Philadelphia (Pa.) | Presidents | Washington (D.C.) | White House (Washington, D.C.)

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