New Jersey Women's Heritage
Washington's Reception on the Bridge at Trenton in 1789 on his
way to be Inaugurated 1st President of the U.S.
Courtesy, New Jersey Historical Society ,1789
In April of 1789, George Washington traveled from Mount
his home in Virginia, to New York City where he was to be inaugurated
first president of the United States. Every town and city along his way
greeted him as a national hero. This engraving depicts his arrival in
Trenton, New Jersey, where he was greeted by a chorus of young girls and
women dressed in white, decked in wreaths and chaplets. The girls threw
flowers in his path and sang a poem that began with the words “Welcome, mighty Chief!” and
ended with he words “Strew your Hero’s way with flowers.” As depicted in the
engraving, Washington passed under a laurel triumphal arch some twenty
feet high, raised on thirteen pillars and inscribed in gilt:
“THE DEFENDER OF THE MOTHERS WILL PROTECT THE DAUGHTERS.