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President George Washington

Second Inaugural Address
Philadelphia, PA

Monday, March 4, 1793


Fellow Citizens:

  I AM again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.

  Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.


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Washington's Second Inaugural in Philadelphia by J. L. G. Ferris

George Washington reluctantly accepted his election to a second term as President and was sworn in on March 4, 1793, by Associate Supreme Court Justice William Cushing.  The ceremony occurred in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia.  Between Washington's first and second inauguration, Congress had established new guidelines for election and inauguration of the President and set the date of March 4th for each successive inaugural.  Meanwhile plans continued for a Capitol city and on September 18, six months after the inauguration, President Washington laid the cornerstone for the new Capitol in Washington, DC.  President Washington's second inaugural address was the shortest every given by any U.S. President.

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