DB City Hall

Federal Hall

The Federal Hall was the first capitol building of the United States, located in New York City. It formerly served as the city hall.


Built in 1700[1], the building began its function as city hall in 1702. Until 1759, it also served as the city jail. However, these arrangements changed when the New Gaol opened.[2]

Here, delegates from nine of the thirteen colonies met to organize a protest against the Stamp Act. In 1776, while New York was under the control of George Washington and the Patriots, the Assassin Ratonhnhaké:ton was sentenced to be hanged in front of the city hall after being falsely accused of plotting to murder Washington. Ratonhnhaké:ton was rescued at the execution however, and was able to kill the Templar Thomas Hickey, the true culprit in the plot to kill Washington.[2]

After the American Revolutionary War, the city hall was used by the new Congress when the United States Constitution was ratified in 1789, being renamed to "Federal Hall". From there, the building served as the location where George Washington was inaugurated as president on 30 April 1789.[2]

Expanded in 1788, the Federal Hall was torn down in 1812. In 1842, the Federal Hall National Memorial was built on the site, although it never actually served as a capitol building.[2]