On this day in 1800 President John Adams and his wife Abigail moved into the newly constructed White House. I use the phrase "newly constructed" advisedly. The paint was barely dry on the walls and many staircases were unfinished. Workmen were still working and all 9 fireplaces needed to be kept going in order to take the chill off the drafty rooms. Abigail resorted to hanging her laundry in what would later become the East Room. During the move from Philadelphia, where the previous capital was located and Adams had served most of his term, the family got lost in the woods north of Washington. But in true diplomatic fashion, Abigail Adams wrote to her daughter: "But if anybody asks you, tell them I said it (The White House ) was lovely.
The Adams only lived in the presidential mansion for four months before it was time to move out as President Adams had served most of his term in Philadelphia. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the mansion, he essentially utilized only a few rooms, much preferring to spend as much time as he could at his beloved Monticello.