A Benediction for the Capitol

In November of 1800 Congress convened for the first time in joint session in the as yet unfinished Capitol building and John Adams gave his last address as president.

It would be unbecoming the representatives of this nation to assemble for the first time in this solemn temple without looking up to the Supreme Ruler of the universe, and imploring his blessing.

May this territory be the residence of virtue and happiness! In this city may that piety and virtue, that wisdom and magnanimity, that constancy and self-government, which adorned the great character whose name it bears, be forever held in veneration! Here, and throughout our country, may simple manners, pure morals, and true religion flourish forever!

from John Adams by David McCullough.

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