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At home in the White House: how different presidents adapted to life in office

“The president was drinking. He said he was resigning.”

By Ian Irvine   October 2017

The President's House by George Munger, 1814-15.

John Adams

On 1st November 1800, John Adams, the second President of the United States, took up residence in the still unfinished White House. Although his salary was $25,000 a year, all state entertainments and the like were the president’s financial responsibility, as were the servants and administrative staff. Many early presidents left office out of pocket. His wife Abigail wrote:

“The house is upon a grand and superb scale, requiring about 30 servants to attend and keep the apartments in proper…

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