Cheese: White House and East Room Essay

Submitted By tjiman
Words: 361
Pages: 2

The East Room, the largest interior in the White House, was conceived in planning the house as an official gathering place where, among other ceremonies of state, Congress would convene to present bills to the president. President Jefferson disposed of state ceremony early-on, so there was no urgency to complete the room. It was unfinished when the British burned the house in August 1814 and although reconstructed by 1817, it remained without interior decoration until in 1828 when Congress appropriated the necessary funds to furnish it for the incoming president, Andrew Jackson.

Completed in 1829, during the first year of Jackson’s administration, the East Room is shown here in about 1836, having served as old Hickory’s stage for his two terms. It was a rich ensemble of glass, mahogany, and silk; the walls were papered in lemon yellow, and twenty-two spittoons served the national habit of the time. Reception crowds, alerted by the Marine Band’s marching strains, rushed to see Andrew Jackson enter through the tall arch to the left, and pause for a thrilling moment. Wrapped in his blue cape, the greatest American hero since Washington posed beneath the halo of gold stars and sun rays that his aides had pasted on the wallpaper above him.

The White House was first opened to the public in 1801 by Jefferson, and by Jackson’s time the East Room was the main interior shown to visitors. The East Room’s attractions increased notably late in Jackson’s administration when the…