New York


New York was first capital of the United States; and the site of the first presidential inauguration, in 1789. Although it had endured severe fires in 1776 and 1778, which had destroyed the entire western side of the city, it was rebuilt and gradually grew to prominence. In 1790, Philadelphia replaced New York as the nation's capital; but, by 1810, New York surpassed Philadelphia in population and trade importance. New York had a harbor which was convenient for vessels arriving from Europe, waterways which lead to the interior of the nation, and businessmen who were aggressive in promoting trade with other parts of the country. The city continued to grow in wealth and population for well over a century.