United States and American History: 1793

About the history of the United States in 1793, the French Revolution begins, the cotton gin is invented, the U.S. capitol construction begins, Jefferson resigns.


-The French Revolution began when Washington had been in office only a short time. When news came that the French King had been guillotined, there were wild demonstrations and parades in the U. S. In Boston, Royal Exchange Alley was renamed Equality Lane, and in New York, radicals forced the city to change King Street to Liberty Street. President Washington denounced such activities, and declared official neutrality.

-George Washington officiated at the cornerstone-setting of the U. S. Capitol, an occasion which featured the Masonic rites. The trowel he used was later used by the Grand Master of Masons at cornerstone-laying ceremonies for the Washington Monument, July 4, 1848.

Mar. 14 Eli Whitney obtained a patent for the cotton gin which he invented while employed as a tutor at "Mulberry Grove," the plantation of Mrs. Nathanael Greene, in Georgia. Southern plantation owners reaped enormous profits as a result of his invention, but Whitney received so little that he had to return to the North and find another means of making a living. He invented machinery whereby unskilled men could make interchangeable parts for muskets. Ultimately his method of manufacture resulted in mass production and assembly lines.

Apr. Citizen Genet was the 1st foreigner to be granted political asylum in the U. S. He had received a warm popular welcome upon his arrival as Minister from France, but Washington and Jefferson objected to his organizing anti-British and anti-Spanish projects on American soil and demanded his recall. France complied, ordering him returned under arrest. Since his party, the Girondists, had fallen in France, Genet's return meant the guillotine. Consequently, Washington allowed him to remain in America, refusing demands for his extradition. He married Governor Clinton's daughter and became a country gentleman.

July Jefferson resigned as Secretary of State because he believed Washington to be partial to the Federalists and to Hamilton's opinions on foreign affairs. Washington appointed in his place Edmund Randolph, whom a kinsman, John Randolph, compared to "the chameleon on the aspen, always trembling, always changing." Edmund did ultimately resign in disgrace when evidence seemed to show that, although officially he professed approval of Washington's policy, he secretly worked against it. This ended Washington's attempt to govern with a bipartisan Cabinet.

Aug. The yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia, the largest city in the U.S., was listed in current record books as a major disaster.

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