United States and American History: 1779

About the history of the United States in 1779, George Washington becomes president, the first of the Morgan horses, the first American novel is published.

1789

--Alexander Hamilton's fiscal policies as Secretary of the Treasury derived from his political beliefs:

All communities divide . . . into the few and the many. The 1st are the rich and well-born; the other the mass of the people . . . turbulent and changing, they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the 1st class, a distinct, permanent share in the Government.

Choose this "governing class," he said, from the old families, the financiers, the merchants, and keep their loyalty with policies that favor their interests.

--Figure, the stallion owned by Thomas Justin Morgan of Springfield, Mass., was born in this year, beginning the lineology of the Morgan horse in the U.S. Standing only 14 hands high and weighing less than 1,000 lbs., the horse became famous for his feats of strength. In logpulling contests, he moved loads the other entries could not budge.

A dark red bay with black points, Figure had a compact body, small, delicate ears, a long, thick mane, and an even disposition, traits passed on to the breed today. The Morgan was truly the "people's horse" for all-around performance, whether winning a quarter-mile race, working in a wagon team, or carrying the children to school.

Brought to Randolph, Vt., as a 2-year-old, Figure won a reputation that lasted over 25 years. Before his death at 30 (a very old age for horses), he had sired hundreds of stallions and brood mares. His great-grandson Ethan Allen won honors in 1850 as the "World's Fastest Trotting Stallion." The champion pacing horse Dan Patch had strong Morgan lines in his pedigree. Vermont's famous Civil War cavalry was mounted exclusively on Morgans. Gen. George Custer's Comanche was also Morgan-bred.

Although Figure's own ancestors are unknown, they probably were English--the thoroughbred True Briton is one claimant as sire. The Morgan's clean lines are a balanced blend of the English thoroughbred and the Arabian.

Jan. 21 The 1st novel published in the U.S.--The Power of Sympathy--dealt with the subject of sex. Author William Hill Brown's plot included an impending incestuous marriage, mistress peccadilloes, and successful seduction. For extra value, Brown added one death from shock and 2 by suicide. It was an epistolary romance.

Feb. 4 The Electoral College named Washington as President. He left Mount Vernon with mixed emotions. "My movement to the chair of Government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution."

Apr. 23 Moving Day for Martha. The Washingtons moved into the 1st presidential home, at #1 Cherry Street, New York City. It was at the intersection of Cherry and Franklin, now Franklin Square.

Apr. 30 The 1st Cabinet was selected. Members: Thomas Jefferson (Va.), Secretary of State; Edmund Randolph (Va.), Attorney General; Henry Knox (Mass.), Secretary of War; Samuel Osgood (Mass.), Postmaster General; Alexander Hamilton (N.Y.), Secretary of the Treasury. Politically balanced: 2 Southerners, 2 Northerners, and one from the Middle.

Sept. 13 The 1st loan was made, to the U.S. To pay the salaries of the President and the members of Congress, Hamilton negotiated for $191,608.81 from the Bank of New York and the Bank of North America. Called the "Temporary Loan of 1789," and due by February 17, 1790 (at 6% interest), the transaction was illegal.

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