American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

previous objectback to exhibit casenext object

A White House Mob

President's Levee, or all Creation going to the White House
President's Levee, or all Creation
going to the White House
, Washington,
[March 4, 1829]
Illustrated in The Playfair Papers,
London: Saunders and Otley, 1841
Frontispiece
Rare Book & Special
Collections Division
(84.4)

This frontispiece illustrates the raucousness of the crowd in front of the White House at Jackson's first inaugural reception in 1829. During the inaugural festivities, the rowdy mob broke windows, tore down curtains, and stood upon the furniture in their muddy boots. Servants dragged tubs of punch onto the lawn to draw the unruly mob out of the president's house to minimize the destruction. A letter from South Carolina Representative James Hamilton (1786-1857) to Secretary of State-elect Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) the day after the event recounts the occasion as a "regular Saturnalia."

Additional Views:
James Hamilton to
Martin Van Buren,

March 5, 1829
Holograph letter
Manuscript Division (84.5)
previous objectback to exhibit casenext object


Library of Congress
Contact Us ( July 27, 2010 )
Legal | External Link Disclaimer