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Adams' Inaugural - History

Adams' Inaugural - History



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UNITED STATES, January 19, 1797.

Gentlemen of the Senate and: of the House of Representatives:

At the opening of the present session of Congress I mentioned that some circumstances of an unwelcome nature had lately occurred in relation to France; that our trade had suffered, and was suffering, extensive injuries in the West Indies from the cruisers and agents of the French Republic, and that communications had been received from its minister here which indicated danger of a further disturbance of our commerce by its authority, and that were in other respects far from agreeable, but that I reserved for a special message a more particular communication on this interesting subject. This communication I now make.

The complaints of the French minister embraced most of the transactions of our Government in relation to France from an early period of the present war, which, therefore, it was necessary carefully to review. A collection has been formed of letters and papers relating to those transactions, which I now lay before you, with a letter to Mr. Pinckney, our minister at Paris, containing an examination of the notes of the French minister and such information as I thought might be useful to Mr. Pinckney in any further representations he might find necessary to be made to the French Government. The immediate object of his mission was to make to that Government such explanations of the principles and conduct of our own as, by manifesting our good faith, might remove all jealousy and discontent and maintain that harmony and good understanding with the French Republic which it has been my constant solicitude to preserve. A government which required only a knowledge of the truth to justify its measures could not but be anxious to have this fully and frankly displayed.

Go. WASHINGTON.

>

Adams was born on February 12, 1775, in the City of London, the illegitimate daughter of Joshua Johnson, an American merchant from Maryland, whose brother Thomas Johnson later served as Governor of Maryland and United States Supreme Court Justice, and Catherine Newth, an Englishwoman, whose identity was long a mystery her great-grandson Henry Adams joked that her existence was "one of the deepest mysteries of metaphysical theology." [1]

She was baptized as Louisa-Catharine Johnson at the parish church of St Botolph without Aldgate on 9 March 1775, when her parents' names were recorded as Joshua and Catharine and their address was given as Swan Street. [2] She had six sisters: Ann "Nancy," Caroline (mother of Union General Robert C. Buchanan), Harriet, Catherine, Elizabeth (second wife of United States Senator John Pope of Kentucky), and Adelaide, and a brother, Thomas. She grew up in London and Nantes, France, where the family took refuge during the American Revolution. [ citation needed ]

She met John Quincy Adams at her father's house in Cooper's Row, near Tower Hill, London. Her father had been appointed as United States consul general in 1790, and Adams first visited him in November 1795. Adams at first showed interest in her older sister but soon settled on Louisa. Adams, aged 30, married Louisa, aged 22, on July 26, 1797, at the parish church of All Hallows-by-the-Tower, on Tower Hill. Adams' father, John Adams, then President of the United States, eventually welcomed his daughter-in-law into the family, although they did not meet for several years. [3]

Her parents left Europe in 1797 and went to the U.S. When her father was forced into bankruptcy, President John Adams appointed him as U.S. Director of Stamps. Her father, who suffered from mental illness, died in Frederick, Maryland, in 1802 of severe fever, leaving little provision for his family. Her mother died in September 1811, in her mid-fifties, [4] and is buried in Rock Creek Cemetery.

John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams had the following children:

    (1801–1829), lawyer (1803–1834), presidential aide (1807–1886), diplomat, public official, and author
  • Louisa Catherine Adams (August 12, 1811 – September 15, 1812), born and died in St Petersburg, Russia, buried in the Lutheran Cemetery there. [5][6]

Louisa was sickly, and suffered from migraine headaches and frequent fainting spells. She had several miscarriages over the course of her marriage. Having grown up in London and France, she found Massachusetts dull and provincial, and referred to the Adams family home as being "like something out of Noah's Ark". Nevertheless, she developed a warm affection for her father-in-law, and despite occasional differences, a deep respect for her mother-in-law Abigail Adams, whom she later described as "the guiding planet round which we all revolved".

She left her two older sons in Massachusetts for education in 1809 when she took two-year-old Charles Francis Adams to Russia, where Adams served as a Minister. Despite the glamour of the tsar's court, she had to struggle with cold winters, strange customs, limited funds, and poor health. An infant daughter born in 1811 died the next year.

Peace negotiations called Adams to Ghent in 1814 and then to London. To join him, she made a forty-day journey across war-ravaged Europe by coach in winter. Roving bands of stragglers and highwaymen filled her with "unspeakable terrors" for her son. The next two years gave her an interlude of family life in the country of her birth.

When John Quincy Adams was appointed James Monroe's Secretary of State in 1817, the family moved to Washington, D.C. where Louisa's drawing room became a center for the diplomatic corps and other notables. Music enhanced her Tuesday evenings at home, and theater parties contributed to her reputation as an outstanding hostess.

The pleasures of moving into the White House in 1825 were dimmed by the bitter politics of the election, paired with her deep depression. Though she continued her weekly "drawing rooms", she preferred quiet evenings of reading, composing music and verse, and playing her harp. As First Lady, she became reclusive and depressed. For a time, she regretted ever having married into the Adams family, the men of which she found cold and insensitive. The necessary entertainments were always elegant and her cordial hospitality made the last official reception a gracious occasion although her husband had lost his bid for re-election and partisan feeling still ran high.

In his diary for June 23, 1828, her husband recorded her "winding silk from several hundred silkworms that she has been rearing," evidently in the White House. [7]

She thought she was retiring to Massachusetts permanently, but in 1831 her husband began seventeen years of service in the United States House of Representatives. The untimely deaths of her two oldest sons added to her burdens.

"Our union has not been without its trials," John Quincy Adams conceded. He acknowledged many "differences of sentiment, of tastes, and of opinions in regard to domestic economy, and to the education of children between us." But added that "she always has been a faithful and affectionate wife, and a careful, tender, indulgent, and watchful mother to our children."

Her husband died at the United States Capitol in 1848. She remained in Washington until her death of a heart attack on May 15, 1852, at the age of 77. The day of her funeral was the first time both houses of the United States Congress adjourned in mourning for any woman. [8] She is entombed at her husband's side, along with her parents-in-law President John Adams and first lady Abigail Adams, in the United First Parish Church in Quincy, Massachusetts.

The First Spouse Program under the Presidential $1 Coin Act authorizes the United States Mint to issue 1/2-ounce $10 gold coins and medal duplicates [10] to honor the first spouses of the United States. Louisa Adams' coin was released May 29, 2008.


Adams' Inaugural - History

Inaugural Address
Digital History ID 4470

Author: John Quincy Adams
Date:1825

Annotation: John Quincy Adams was the only president whose father also held that office. He was chosen by the House of Representatives when the electoral college could not determine a clear winner in the 1824 election between Adams and Andrew Jackson. General Jackson had received more popular votes in the election, but he did not gain enough electoral votes to win outright. The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice John Marshall inside the Hall of the House of Representatives.


Document: IN compliance with an usage coeval with the existence of our Federal Constitution, and sanctioned by the example of my predecessors in the career upon which I am about to enter, I appear, my fellow-citizens, in your presence and in that of Heaven to bind myself by the solemnities of religious obligation to the faithful performance of the duties allotted to me in the station to which I have been called. In unfolding to my countrymen the principles by which I shall be governed in the fulfillment of those duties my first resort will be to that Constitution which I shall swear to the best of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend. That revered instrument enumerates the powers and prescribes the duties of the Executive Magistrate, and in its first words declares the purposes to which these and the whole action of the Government instituted by it should be invariably and sacredly devoted—to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to the people of this Union in their successive generations. Since the adoption of this social compact one of these generations has passed away. It is the work of our forefathers. Administered by some of the most eminent men who contributed to its formation, through a most eventful period in the annals of the world, and through all the vicissitudes of peace and war incidental to the condition of associated man, it has not disappointed the hopes and aspirations of those illustrious benefactors of their age and nation. It has promoted the lasting welfare of that country so dear to us all it has to an extent far beyond the ordinary lot of humanity secured the freedom and happiness of this people. We now receive it as a precious inheritance from those to whom we are indebted for its establishment, doubly bound by the examples which they have left us and by the blessings which we have enjoyed as the fruits of their labors to transmit the same unimpaired to the succeeding generation. In the compass of thirty-six years since this great national covenant was instituted a body of laws enacted under its authority and in conformity with its provisions has unfolded its powers and carried into practical operation its effective energies. Subordinate departments have distributed the executive functions in their various relations to foreign affairs, to the revenue and expenditures, and to the military force of the Union by land and sea. A coordinate department of the judiciary has expounded the Constitution and the laws, settling in harmonious coincidence with the legislative will numerous weighty questions of construction which the imperfection of human language had rendered unavoidable. The year of jubilee since the first formation of our Union has just elapsed that of the declaration of our independence is at hand. The consummation of both was effected by this Constitution.

Since that period a population of four millions has multiplied to twelve. A territory bounded by the Mississippi has been extended from sea to sea. New States have been admitted to the Union in numbers nearly equal to those of the first Confederation. Treaties of peace, amity, and commerce have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth. The people of other nations, inhabitants of regions acquired not by conquest, but by compact, have been united with us in the participation of our rights and duties, of our burdens and blessings. The forest has fallen by the ax of our woodsmen the soil has been made to teem by the tillage of our farmers our commerce has whitened every ocean. The dominion of man over physical nature has been extended by the invention of our artists. Liberty and law have marched hand in hand. All the purposes of human association have been accomplished as effectively as under any other government on the globe, and at a cost little exceeding in a whole generation the expenditure of other nations in a single year.

Such is the unexaggerated picture of our condition under a Constitution founded upon the republican principle of equal rights. To admit that this picture has its shades is but to say that it is still the condition of men upon earth. From evil—physical, moral, and political—it is not our claim to be exempt. We have suffered sometimes by the visitation of Heaven through disease often by the wrongs and injustice of other nations, even to the extremities of war and, lastly, by dissensions among ourselves—dissensions perhaps inseparable from the enjoyment of freedom, but which have more than once appeared to threaten the dissolution of the Union, and with it the overthrow of all the enjoyments of our present lot and all our earthly hopes of the future. The causes of these dissensions have been various, founded upon differences of speculation in the theory of republican government upon conflicting views of policy in our relations with foreign nations upon jealousies of partial and sectional interests, aggravated by prejudices and prepossessions which strangers to each other are ever apt to entertain. 5 It is a source of gratification and of encouragement to me to observe that the great result of this experiment upon the theory of human rights has at the close of that generation by which it was formed been crowned with success equal to the most sanguine expectations of its founders. Union, justice, tranquillity, the common defense, the general welfare, and the blessings of liberty—all have been promoted by the Government under which we have lived. Standing at this point of time, looking back to that generation which has gone by and forward to that which is advancing, we may at once indulge in grateful exultation and in cheering hope. From the experience of the past we derive instructive lessons for the future. Of the two great political parties which have divided the opinions and feelings of our country, the candid and the just will now admit that both have contributed splendid talents, spotless integrity, ardent patriotism, and disinterested sacrifices to the formation and administration of this Government, and that both have required a liberal indulgence for a portion of human infirmity and error. The revolutionary wars of Europe, commencing precisely at the moment when the Government of the United States first went into operation under this Constitution, excited a collision of sentiments and of sympathies which kindled all the passions and imbittered the conflict of parties till the nation was involved in war and the Union was shaken to its center. This time of trial embraced a period of five and twenty years, during which the policy of the Union in its relations with Europe constituted the principal basis of our political divisions and the most arduous part of the action of our Federal Government. With the catastrophe in which the wars of the French Revolution terminated, and our own subsequent peace with Great Britain, this baneful weed of party strife was uprooted. From that time no difference of principle, connected either with the theory of government or with our intercourse with foreign nations, has existed or been called forth in force sufficient to sustain a continued combination of parties or to give more than wholesome animation to public sentiment or legislative debate. Our political creed is, without a dissenting voice that can be heard, that the will of the people is the source and the happiness of the people the end of all legitimate government upon earth that the best security for the beneficence and the best guaranty against the abuse of power consists in the freedom, the purity, and the frequency of popular elections that the General Government of the Union and the separate governments of the States are all sovereignties of limited powers, fellow-servants of the same masters, uncontrolled within their respective spheres, uncontrollable by encroachments upon each other that the firmest security of peace is the preparation during peace of the defenses of war that a rigorous economy and accountability of public expenditures should guard against the aggravation and alleviate when possible the burden of taxation that the military should be kept in strict subordination to the civil power that the freedom of the press and of religious opinion should be inviolate that the policy of our country is peace and the ark of our salvation union are articles of faith upon which we are all now agreed. If there have been those who doubted whether a confederated representative democracy were a government competent to the wise and orderly management of the common concerns of a mighty nation, those doubts have been dispelled if there have been projects of partial confederacies to be erected upon the ruins of the Union, they have been scattered to the winds if there have been dangerous attachments to one foreign nation and antipathies against another, they have been extinguished. Ten years of peace, at home and abroad, have assuaged the animosities of political contention and blended into harmony the most discordant elements of public opinion. There still remains one effort of magnanimity, one sacrifice of prejudice and passion, to be made by the individuals throughout the nation who have heretofore followed the standards of political party. It is that of discarding every remnant of rancor against each other, of embracing as countrymen and friends, and of yielding to talents and virtue alone that confidence which in times of contention for principle was bestowed only upon those who bore the badge of party communion.

The collisions of party spirit which originate in speculative opinions or in different views of administrative policy are in their nature transitory. Those which are founded on geographical divisions, adverse interests of soil, climate, and modes of domestic life are more permanent, and therefore, perhaps, more dangerous. It is this which gives inestimable value to the character of our Government, at once federal and national. It holds out to us a perpetual admonition to preserve alike and with equal anxiety the rights of each individual State in its own government and the rights of the whole nation in that of the Union. Whatsoever is of domestic concernment, unconnected with the other members of the Union or with foreign lands, belongs exclusively to the administration of the State governments. Whatsoever directly involves the rights and interests of the federative fraternity or of foreign powers is of the resort of this General Government. The duties of both are obvious in the general principle, though sometimes perplexed with difficulties in the detail. To respect the rights of the State governments is the inviolable duty of that of the Union the government of every State will feel its own obligation to respect and preserve the rights of the whole. The prejudices everywhere too commonly entertained against distant strangers are worn away, and the jealousies of jarring interests are allayed by the composition and functions of the great national councils annually assembled from all quarters of the Union at this place. Here the distinguished men from every section of our country, while meeting to deliberate upon the great interests of those by whom they are deputed, learn to estimate the talents and do justice to the virtues of each other. The harmony of the nation is promoted and the whole Union is knit together by the sentiments of mutual respect, the habits of social intercourse, and the ties of personal friendship formed between the representatives of its several parts in the performance of their service at this metropolis.

Passing from this general review of the purposes and injunctions of the Federal Constitution and their results as indicating the first traces of the path of duty in the discharge of my public trust, I turn to the Administration of my immediate predecessor as the second. It has passed away in a period of profound peace, how much to the satisfaction of our country and to the honor of our country's name is known to you all. The great features of its policy, in general concurrence with the will of the Legislature, have been to cherish peace while preparing for defensive war to yield exact justice to other nations and maintain the rights of our own to cherish the principles of freedom and of equal rights wherever they were proclaimed to discharge with all possible promptitude the national debt to reduce within the narrowest limits of efficiency the military force to improve the organization and discipline of the Army to provide and sustain a school of military science to extend equal protection to all the great interests of the nation to promote the civilization of the Indian tribes, and to proceed in the great system of internal improvements within the limits of the constitutional power of the Union. Under the pledge of these promises, made by that eminent citizen at the time of his first induction to this office, in his career of eight years the internal taxes have been repealed sixty millions of the public debt have been discharged provision has been made for the comfort and relief of the aged and indigent among the surviving warriors of the Revolution the regular armed force has been reduced and its constitution revised and perfected the accountability for the expenditure of public moneys has been made more effective the Floridas have been peaceably acquired, and our boundary has been extended to the Pacific Ocean the independence of the southern nations of this hemisphere has been recognized, and recommended by example and by counsel to the potentates of Europe progress has been made in the defense of the country by fortifications and the increase of the Navy, toward the effectual suppression of the African traffic in slaves in alluring the aboriginal hunters of our land to the cultivation of the soil and of the mind, in exploring the interior regions of the Union, and in preparing by scientific researches and surveys for the further application of our national resources to the internal improvement of our country.

In this brief outline of the promise and performance of my immediate predecessor the line of duty for his successor is clearly delineated. To pursue to their consummation those purposes of improvement in our common condition instituted or recommended by him will embrace the whole sphere of my obligations. To the topic of internal improvement, emphatically urged by him at his inauguration, I recur with peculiar satisfaction. It is that from which I am convinced that the unborn millions of our posterity who are in future ages to people this continent will derive their most fervent gratitude to the founders of the Union that in which the beneficent action of its Government will be most deeply felt and acknowledged. The magnificence and splendor of their public works are among the imperishable glories of the ancient republics. The roads and aqueducts of Rome have been the admiration of all after ages, and have survived thousands of years after all her conquests have been swallowed up in despotism or become the spoil of barbarians. Some diversity of opinion has prevailed with regard to the powers of Congress for legislation upon objects of this nature. The most respectful deference is due to doubts originating in pure patriotism and sustained by venerated authority. But nearly twenty years have passed since the construction of the first national road was commenced. The authority for its construction was then unquestioned. To how many thousands of our countrymen has it proved a benefit? To what single individual has it ever proved an injury? Repeated, liberal, and candid discussions in the Legislature have conciliated the sentiments and approximated the opinions of enlightened minds upon the question of constitutional power. I can not but hope that by the same process of friendly, patient, and persevering deliberation all constitutional objections will ultimately be removed. The extent and limitation of the powers of the General Government in relation to this transcendently important interest will be settled and acknowledged to the common satisfaction of all, and every speculative scruple will be solved by a practical public blessing.

Fellow-citizens, you are acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the recent election, which have resulted in affording me the opportunity of addressing you at this time. You have heard the exposition of the principles which will direct me in the fulfillment of the high and solemn trust imposed upon me in this station. Less possessed of your confidence in advance than any of my predecessors, I am deeply conscious of the prospect that I shall stand more and oftener in need of your indulgence. Intentions upright and pure, a heart devoted to the welfare of our country, and the unceasing application of all the faculties allotted to me to her service are all the pledges that I can give for the faithful performance of the arduous duties I am to undertake. To the guidance of the legislative councils, to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments, to the friendly cooperation of the respective State governments, to the candid and liberal support of the people so far as it may be deserved by honest industry and zeal, I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service and knowing that "except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain," with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit with humble but fearless confidence my own fate and the future destinies of my country.


Calls for President Trump to be removed from office intensify

Van Buren missed watching Harrison deliver the longest inaugural address in history, lasting an hour and 45 minutes. He then became the first president to die in office, only a month after the inauguration, most likely from ingesting the sewage-contaminated water supply at the White House, according to the Library of Congress.

John Tyler succeeded him by becoming the first vice president to ascend to the presidency after the death or resignation of the previous president.

Andrew Johnson, 1869

Johnson is the most recent president to decline to appear at his successor's inauguration after he refused to attend the ceremony for Ulysses S. Grant in the post-Civil War era.

Johnson, a Democrat from Tennessee, had ascended to the presidency after Republican President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

His unpopularity in his own party resulted in him not even securing the nomination in the 1868 election. Johnson and Trump share the fact that both were impeached by the House of Representatives during their one term, and both were acquitted by the Senate.

Grant, the leader of the Union Army in the Civil War, won easily over former New York governor Horatio Seymour in the 1868 election.

Grant and Johnson had a contentious relationship, with reports indicating that Grant would refuse to share a carriage with Johnson going to and from the Capitol, according to The Washington Post.

Johnson initially committed to attending the ceremony, but changed his mind and remained in the White House signing bills while Grant was sworn in.


Evolution of the Peaceful Transfer of Power

Since 1801, the peaceful transfer of power has remained a hallmark of U.S. government, joining the two-party system as key aspects of ensuring a healthy democracy.

Adams’s early-morning departure aside, a majority of outgoing presidents have attended the inaugurations of their successors. Notable exceptions include Adams’s own son, John Quincy Adams, who declined to attend Andrew Jackson’s first inaugural in 1829 and the embattled Andrew Johnson, who refused to attend the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant as his successor in 1869, choosing to hold a final meeting of his cabinet instead.

Inaugural customs for outgoing presidents have changed over the years, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. In 1837, Jackson and his successor, Martin Van Buren, began a new tradition by riding together to Van Buren’s inauguration at the U.S. Capitol. Until the early 20th century, the outgoing and incoming presidents additionally rode together back to the White House after the inaugural ceremonies. Theodore Roosevelt was the first to depart from this pattern in 1909 by heading directly from the Capitol to Union Station, where he caught a train to New York.

Later presidents, such as Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson, left the Capitol grounds by car. Since Gerald Ford’s departure from office in 1977, every outgoing president and first lady have departed the inaugural ceremonies via helicopter, leaving their successors to attend an inaugural luncheon inside the Capitol building. 


George Washington gives first presidential inaugural address

On April 30, 1789, George Washington is sworn in as the first American president and delivers the first inaugural speech at Federal Hall in New York City. Elements of the ceremony set tradition presidential inaugurations have deviated little in the two centuries since Washington’s inauguration.

In front of 10,000 spectators, Washington appeared in a plain brown broadcloth suit holding a ceremonial army sword. At 6′ 3, Washington presented an impressive and solemn figure as he took the oath of office standing on the second balcony of Federal Hall. With Vice President John Adams standing beside him, Washington repeated the words prompted by Chancellor Robert R. Livingston, kissed the bible and then went to the Senate chamber to deliver his inaugural address.

Observers noted that Washington appeared as if he would have preferred facing cannon and musket fire to taking the political helm of the country. He fidgeted, with his hand in one pocket, and spoke in a low, sometimes inaudible voice while he reiterated the mixed emotions of anxiety and honor he felt in assuming the role of president. For the most part, his address consisted of generalities, but he directly addressed the need for a strong Constitution and Bill of Rights and frequently emphasized the public good. He told the House of Representatives that he declined to be paid beyond such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require. In deference to the power of Congress, Washington promised to give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good.


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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06661 Author/Creator: Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Broadside Date: 4 March 1825 Pagination: 1 p. : docket 54 x 37.4 cm.

President Adams inaugural address printed in an extra from the National Intelligencer, a Washington, D.C., newspaper.

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Adams' Inaugural - History

It follows the full text transcript of John Adams' Inaugural Address, delivered in the Congress Hall at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - March 4, 1797.


When it was first perceived, in early times,

that no middle course for America remained between unlimited submission to a foreign legislature and a total independence of its claims, men of reflection were less apprehensive of danger from the formidable power of fleets and armies they must determine to resist than from those contests and dissensions which would certainly arise concerning the forms of government to be instituted over the whole and over the parts of this extensive country.

Relying, however, on the purity of their intentions, the justice of their cause, and the integrity and intelligence of the people, under an overruling Providence which had so signally protected this country from the first, the representatives of this nation, then consisting of little more than half its present number, not only broke to pieces the chains which were forging and the rod of iron that was lifted up, but frankly cut asunder the ties which had bound them, and launched into an ocean of uncertainty.

The zeal and ardor of the people during the Revolutionary war, supplying the place of government, commanded a degree of order sufficient at least for the temporary preservation of society. The Confederation which was early felt to be necessary was prepared from the models of the Batavian and Helvetic confederacies, the only examples which remain with any detail and precision in history, and certainly the only ones which the people at large had ever considered. But reflecting on the striking difference in so many particulars between this country and those where a courier may go from the seat of government to the frontier in a single day, it was then certainly foreseen by some who assisted in Congress at the formation of it that it could not be durable.

Negligence of its regulations, inattention to its recommendations, if not disobedience to its authority, not only in individuals but in States, soon appeared with their melancholy consequences - universal languor, jealousies and rivalries of States, decline of navigation and commerce, discouragement of necessary manufactures, universal fall in the value of lands and their produce, contempt of public and private faith, loss of consideration and credit with foreign nations, and at length in discontents, animosities, combinations, partial conventions, and insurrection, threatening some great national calamity.

In this dangerous crisis the people of America were not abandoned by their usual good sense, presence of mind, resolution, or integrity. Measures were pursued to concert a plan to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. The public disquisitions, discussions, and deliberations issued in the present happy Constitution of Government.

Employed in the service of my country abroad during the whole course of these transactions, I first saw the Constitution of the United States in a foreign country. Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no public debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great satisfaction, as the result of good heads prompted by good hearts, as an experiment better adapted to the genius, character, situation, and relations of this nation and country than any which had ever been proposed or suggested. In its general principles and great outlines it was conformable to such a system of government as I had ever most esteemed, and in some States, my own native State in particular, had contributed to establish.

Claiming a right of suffrage, in common with my fellow citizens, in the adoption or rejection of a constitution which was to rule me and my posterity, as well as them and theirs, I did not hesitate to express my approbation of it on all occasions, in public and in private. It was not then, nor has been since, any objection to it in my mind that the Executive and Senate were not more permanent. Nor have I ever entertained a thought of promoting any alteration in it but such as the people themselves, in the course of their experience, should see and feel to be necessary or expedient, and by their representatives in Congress and the State legislatures, according to the Constitution itself, adopt and ordain.

Returning to the bosom of my country after a painful separation from it for ten years, I had the honor to be elected to a station under the new order of things, and I have repeatedly laid myself under the most serious obligations to support the Constitution. The operation of it has equaled the most sanguine expectations of its friends, and from an habitual attention to it, satisfaction in its administration, and delight in its effects upon the peace, order, prosperity, and happiness of the nation I have acquired an habitual attachment to it and veneration for it.

What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem and love?

There may be little solidity in an ancient idea that congregations of men into cities and nations are the most pleasing objects in the sight of superior intelligences, but this is very certain, that to a benevolent human mind there can be no spectacle presented by any nation more pleasing, more noble, majestic, or august, than an assembly like that which has so often been seen in this and the other Chamber of Congress, of a Government in which the Executive authority, as well as that of all the branches of the Legislature, are exercised by citizens selected at regular periods by their neighbors to make and execute laws for the general good.

Can anything essential, anything more than mere ornament and decoration, be added to this by robes and diamonds? Can authority be more amiable and respectable when it descends from accidents or institutions established in remote antiquity than when it springs fresh from the hearts and judgments of an honest and enlightened people?

For it is the people only that are represented. It is their power and majesty that is reflected, and only for their good, in every legitimate government, under whatever form it may appear. The existence of such a government as ours for any length of time is a full proof of a general dissemination of knowledge and virtue throughout the whole body of the people. And what object or consideration more pleasing than this can be presented to the human mind? If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable it is when it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence.

In the midst of these pleasing ideas we should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections. If an election is to be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured by a party through artifice or corruption, the Government may be the choice of a party for its own ends, not of the nation for the national good. If that solitary suffrage can be obtained by foreign nations by flattery or menaces, by fraud or violence, by terror, intrigue, or venality, the Government may not be the choice of the American people, but of foreign nations. It may be foreign nations who govern us, and not we, the people, who govern ourselves and candid men will acknowledge that in such cases choice would have little advantage to boast of over lot or chance.

Such is the amiable and interesting system of government (and such are some of the abuses to which it may be exposed) which the people of America have exhibited to the admiration and anxiety of the wise and virtuous of all nations for eight years under the administration of a citizen who, by a long course of great actions, regulated by prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, conducting a people inspired with the same virtues and animated with the same ardent patriotism and love of liberty to independence and peace, to increasing wealth and unexampled prosperity, has merited the gratitude of his fellow-citizens, commanded the highest praises of foreign nations, and secured immortal glory with posterity.

In that retirement which is his voluntary choice may he long live to enjoy the delicious recollection of his services, the gratitude of mankind, the happy fruits of them to himself and the world, which are daily increasing, and that splendid prospect of the future fortunes of this country which is opening from year to year. His name may be still a rampart, and the knowledge that he lives a bulwark, against all open or secret enemies of his country's peace. This example has been recommended to the imitation of his successors by both Houses of Congress and by the voice of the legislatures and the people throughout the nation.

On this subject it might become me better to be silent or to speak with diffidence but as something may be expected, the occasion, I hope, will be admitted as an apology if I venture to say that if a preference, upon principle, of a free republican government, formed upon long and serious reflection, after a diligent and impartial inquiry after truth if an attachment to the Constitution of the United States, and a conscientious determination to support it until it shall be altered by the judgments and wishes of the people, expressed in the mode prescribed in it if a respectful attention to the constitutions of the individual States and a constant caution and delicacy toward the State governments if an equal and impartial regard to the rights, interest, honor, and happiness of all the States in the Union, without preference or regard to a northern or southern, an eastern or western, position, their various political opinions on unessential points or their personal attachments if a love of virtuous men of all parties and denominations if a love of science and letters and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion among all classes of the people, not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life in all its stages and classes, and of society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving our Constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to elective governments if a love of equal laws, of justice, and humanity in the interior administration if an inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and manufacturers for necessity, convenience, and defense if a spirit of equity and humanity toward the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposition to meliorate their condition by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and our citizens to be more friendly to them if an inflexible determination to maintain peace and inviolable faith with all nations, and that system of neutrality and impartiality among the belligerent powers of Europe which has been adopted by this Government and so solemnly sanctioned by both Houses of Congress and applauded by the legislatures of the States and the public opinion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress if a personal esteem for the French nation, formed in a residence of seven years chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the friendship which has been so much for the honor and interest of both nations if, while the conscious honor and integrity of the people of America and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must be preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause and remove every colorable pretense of complaint if an intention to pursue by amicable negotiation a reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the commerce of our fellow citizens by whatever nation, and if success can not be obtained, to lay the facts before the Legislature, that they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the Government and its constituents demand if a resolution to do justice as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often hazarded my all and never been deceived if elevated ideas of the high destinies of this country and of my own duties toward it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured but exalted by experience and age and, with humble reverence, I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.

With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared without hesitation to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.

And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector in all ages of the world of virtuous liberty, continue His blessing upon this nation and its Government and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of His providence.


Transitions at the White House

Transitions from one presidential administration to another have changed throughout the years. Below is a list of highlighted facts about White House transition.

  • 1801 - President John Adams did not attend Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration. He departed from the White House at 4 am the morning of his successor’s inauguration. While Adams never recorded why he left, he may have wanted to avoid provoking violence between Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, as this was the first time the presidency was transferred to an opposing party. He was also never formally invited by Jefferson and perhaps didn’t want to impose.
  • 1829 - Like his father, John Adams, President John Quincy Adams did not attend the inauguration of his successor. President-elect Andrew Jackson arrived in Washington on February 11, 1829. He did not call on President Adams, nor did Adams invite Jackson to the White House. Later that month, President Adams moved to a mansion on Meridian Hill in Washington, D.C., and officially departed the White House on the evening of March 3, the day before the inauguration of President Jackson.
  • 1837 - President Andrew Jackson attended the inauguration of Martin Van Buren. This was the first time that an outgoing and incoming president rode together in a carriage to the Capitol for the inaugural ceremony. The carriage featured wooden pieces from the USS Constitution.
  • 1841 - President-elect William Henry Harrison arrived in Washington, D.C. in February 1841, occupying the National Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. On February 10, he met with Van Buren at the White House. On February 12, Van Buren hosted Harrison and others for dinner at the White House. When the National Hotel became overcrowded, Van Buren offered to leave the White House early to accommodate Harrison, but the president-elect decided to take a brief trip to Virginia before the inauguration.
  • 1845 - While staying at the National Hotel in 1845, James K. Polk and his family were invited to the White House by President John Tyler for a dinner on March 1, three days before inauguration. That same day, Tyler signed a joint resolution passed by Congress that offered Texas admission into the Union.
  • 1849 - The Polks left the White House on March 3, 1849 for the Willard Hotel. The typical March 4 inauguration was delayed until the 5th as the 4th fell on a Sunday. President Polk used the vice president’s office in the Capitol for last minute work. On March 4, his last day at the White House, he wrote in his diary, “I feel exceedingly relieved that I am now free from all public cares. I am sure I shall be a happier man in my retirement than I have been during the four years I have filled the highest office in the gift of my countrymen.”
  • 1853 - In 1853, President-elect Franklin Pierce was treated to a dinner party by President Millard Fillmore. The Fillmores moved out of the White House the day before inauguration to the Willard Hotel, renting space there while their home in Buffalo was being furnished. Fillmore rode with Pierce to the Capitol for the oath of office—Pierce remained standing to acknowledge the cheering onlookers.
  • 1857 - In 1857, James Buchanan stayed at the Willard Hotel before the inauguration. He visited President Franklin Pierce on January 27—that same day there was also a public reception at the White House. Afterwards, Buchanan returned to Pennsylvania before traveling back to Washington, D.C. Early on March 4, Pierce said final farewells to his cabinet before riding with Buchanan to the Capitol for the inaugural ceremony, the first inaugural known to have been photographed.
  • 1869 - In 1869, President Andrew Johnson did not attend the inauguration of his successor, Ulysses S. Grant. Johnson's impeachment, coupled with Grant's rise within the Republican Party, created a mutual dislike between the two men. Ultimately, Johnson decided not to attend and spent his morning signing last-minute legislation.
  • 1877 - Rutherford B. Hayes was the first president to take the oath in the White House. He was invited to dine with President Ulysses S. Grant, who insisted that Hayes take the oath privately (as March 4 fell on a Sunday) so he did in the Red Room. Hayes then took the oath publicly on Monday, March 5.
  • 1889 - On February 27, 1889, President-elect Benjamin Harrison and his family were honored with a dinner at the White House. On the morning of March 4, President Grover Cleveland and President-elect Harrison went to the inauguration. Before they left the White House, First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland and her husband signed photograph albums for staff.
  • 1897 - In March 1897, First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland was sad to leave the White House for the second (and final) time. President Grover Cleveland took a final walk among the State Rooms, asking one of the staff to remove the portrait of him for storage in the attic. Before the inauguration, Cleveland and the new president, William McKinley, spoke amiably in the Blue Room.
  • 1909 - Shortly after taking office in 1909, President William Howard Taft was asked how he liked being president. President Taft replied, “I hardly know yet . . . When I hear someone say Mr. President, I look around expecting to see Roosevelt [Theodore, his predecessor]. . . So you can see that I have not gone very far yet.” After the ceremony, First Lady Helen Taft rode from the Capitol back to the White House with her husband, the first time a president’s spouse had done so.
  • 1921 - On March 4, 1921, President Warren G, Harding opened his presidency with a luncheon provided by outgoing First Lady Edith Wilson at the White House. He then received citizens from his hometown of Marion, Ohio, in the East Room, went to the executive offices, and met with the Hamilton Club of Chicago before dining at the White House.
  • 1929 - President Calvin Coolidge hosted a dinner for members of his cabinet the night before leaving office. The next day, March 4, 1929, the Coolidges gave small gifts to the White House staff. After a brief meeting between the Coolidges and Hoovers in the Blue Room, the party departed for Capitol Hill for the inauguration ceremony. Upon assuming office, President Hoover added more telephones and radios to the White House, expanding its technological capabilities. Among the objects Hoover brought to the White House was an engraving of Francis Carpenter’s First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet, featuring President Abraham Lincoln.
  • 1933 - During the transition between presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt, the two met in the Red Room for tea on March 3, 1933, holding a rather cool meeting on how to deal with the country’s growing economic woes. On the morning of the inauguration, Hoover’s cabinet met one final time before the Hoovers met the Roosevelts in their cars outside the North Portico.
  • 1953 - Before Inauguration Day on January 20, 1953, the Eisenhowers stayed at the Statler Hotel. The previous December, First Lady Bess Truman had shown the newly renovated White House to Mrs. Eisenhower. While at the Statler, the incoming first family was joined by their son, John, on temporary leave from military service in Korea. President-elect Eisenhower wore a stiff-curl brimmed hat instead of the more traditional high silk hat.
  • 1961 - After a snowstorm the preceding night, President John F. Kennedy was inaugurated on January 20, 1961. The transition between Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower was smooth with the Brookings Institute providing transition reports in the weeks before inauguration.
  • 1963 - Congress passes the Presidential Transition Act to promote the orderly transfer of power across the federal government. “The law requires the General Services Administration to provide office space and other core support services to presidents-elect and vice Presidents-elect, as well as pre-election space and support to major candidates. The Act also requires the White House and agencies to begin transition planning well before a presidential election, benefitting both first and second term administrations.” Learn More.
  • 1969 - Despite the national tension of the late 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson remained dedicated to a smooth transition of power, speaking with candidates Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace. President Johnson delivered his last State of the Union on January 14, 1969. The last letters President Johnson signed in the White House were letters to his sons-in law, then serving in Vietnam.
  • 1980 - In 1980, the Reagan and Carter transition teams held a meeting at the White House movie theater. This was only the second time a transition team had held a meeting in the White House. The first was when the Ford and Carter teams met in 1976. President Carter worked nonstop during the final days of his administration to secure the release of 52 Americans hostages held by Iran. He was still making calls fifteen minutes before the Reagans arrived at the White House for the inauguration. The hostages were released minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.
  • 1993 - On January 20, 1993, President George H.W. Bush began a new presidential tradition—leaving behind a congratulatory letter for his successor. In his letter to President-elect Bill Clinton, Bush wrote: “You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well. Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you. Good Luck.”
  • There have been three sitting presidents who have not attended any of the inaugural ceremonies of their successors: John Adams (1801), John Quincy Adams (1829), and Andrew Johnson (1869). Two others, Martin Van Buren (1841) and Woodrow Wilson (1921), were inside the U.S. Capitol signing last-minute legislation but did not attend the public ceremony outside. It is unknown why Van Buren did not participate, as he and William Henry Harrison were cordial and Van Buren even hosted Harrison for dinner at the White House before the inauguration. One possible explanation was that his son, Martin Van Buren Jr., was ill and he left to be with him. Woodrow Wilson accompanied his successor, Warren G. Harding, to the Capitol but did not stay for the public ceremony because of his poor health. Wilson had suffered a stroke in 1919, and was still experiencing health issues when he left office. Finally, Richard Nixon (1974) resigned the office of the presidency on August 9, 1974, and did not stay to witness his successor Gerald R. Ford take the Oath of Office in the White House East Room. While the sitting president was not there, this occasion was considered a presidential succession and not a traditional inauguration.

Compiled by the White House Historical Association. Please credit the Association by its full name when using this as background material. Specific sources consulted available upon request.


Inaugural Address, 4 March 1797

When, < in early times > it was first perceived in early times that no middle course < remained > for America remained between unlimited submission to a foreign Legislature, and a total Independence of its claims: men of reflection, were less apprehensive of danger, from the formidable Power of fleets and Armies they must determine to resist than from those Contests and dissentions, which would certainly arise, concerning the forms of Government to be instituted, over the whole and over the parts of this extensive Country. Relying however, on the purity of their intentions, the Justice of their cause, and the Integrity and Intelligence of the People under an overruling Providence, which had so Signally protected this Country from the first, The Representatives of this Nation, [. . .] not only broke little more than half its present Number to pieces the chains which were forging, and the Rod of Iron that was lifted up, but frankly cutt asunder the Ties which had bound them and launched into an ocean of Uncertainty.

The Zeal and ardour of the People, during the revolutionary War, supplying the Place of Government, commanded a degree of order, sufficient at least for the temporary preservation of Society. The Confederation, which was early felt to be necessary, was prepared, from the models of the Batavian and Helvetic Confederacies, the only Examples which remain with any detail and precision, in History, and certainly the only ones, which the People at large, had ever considered. But reflecting on the Striking difference in so many particulars, between this country and those, where a Courier may go from the seat of Government to the frontier in a single day, it was then certainly foreseen by Some who assisted in Congress at the formulation of it, that it could not < continue for ten Years > be durable.

Negligence of its regulations, inattention to its recommendations, if not disobedience to its authority, not only in individuals but in States, soon appeared with their melancholly consequences Universal Languor—jealousies and Rivalries of States decline of navigation and Commerce discouragement of necessary manufacturers universall fall in the value of Lands and their produce contempt of public and private faith loss of consideration and credit with foreign nations and at length, in discontents, Animosities, combinations, partial conventions, and insurrection, threatning some great national Calamity.

In this dangerous < emeregen > Crisis, the People of America, were not abandoned, by their usual good Sense, presence of Mind, resolution or integrity.—Measures were pursued to concert a Plan, to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and Secure the blessings of Liberty. The public disquisitions, discussions and deliberations issued in the present happy Constitutions of Government.

Employed in the Service of my Country abroad, during the whole course of these transactions, I first saw the Constitution of the United States in a foreign Country. Irritated by no litterary [Alliteration] , animated by no public debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great Satisfaction, as a result of good heads, prompted by good hearts as an Experiment, better adapted to the Genius, Character, Situation and relations of this nation and Country, than any which had ever been proposed or suggested. In its general Principles and great outlines, it was conformable to such a system of Government, as I had ever most esteemed and in some States, my own native state < particularly > in particular, had contributed to establish. Claiming a right of Suffrage, in common with my fellow Citizens, in the Adoption or rejection of a Constitution which was to rule me and my Posterity, as well as them and theirs, I did not hesitate to express my Approbation of it, on all Occasions, in public and in private. It was not then, nor has been since, any Objection to it, in my mind that the Executive and Senate were not more permanent. If there is any Party in this Country formed for the purpose of introducing an hereditary or even a more permanent Executive or Senate, which [however] I have no reason to believe or suspect, I am not entirely < of that number > possessed of their [Confidence] , nor Admitted to their Secret. Nor have I ever entertain’d a thought of promoting any Alteration in it, but Such as the People themselves, in the course of their experience Should see and feel to be necessary or expedient and by their Representations in Congress and the state Legislatures, according to the Constitution itself adopt and ordain.

Returning to the bosom of my Country, after a painful Seperation from it for ten Years, I had [the honour] to be elected to a station under the new order of Things, [. . .] of which have been attended with as much constancy as my health and strength would admit, and I have repeatedly laid myself under the most Serious Obligations to Support the Constitution. The operation of it has equalled the most sanguine Expectations of its Friends: and from an habitual Attention to it satisfaction on its administration and delight in its effects, upon the Peace, order, Prosperity and Happiness of the nation, I have acquired an habitual Attachment to it, and Veneration for it.

What other form of Government indeed can so well deserve our Esteem and love?

There may be little Solidity in an ancient idea that congregations of Men into Cities and nations, are the most pleasing Objects in the sight of Superiour Intelligencies: but this is very certain, that to a benevolent human Mind, there can be no Spectacle presented by any nation, more pleasing, more noble, majestic, or august, than an Assembly like that which has so often been seen in this and the other chamber of Congress, of a Government, in which the Executive Authority, as well as that of all the Branches of the Legislature are exercised by Citizens selected, at regular periods, by their neighbours to make and execute Laws for the general good. Can any Thing essential? any Thing more than mere ornament and decoration be added to this by Robes or Diamonds? Can Authority be more [amiable] or respectable when it descends from [Accidents, or ] , or []tions established in remote Antiquity, than when [. . .] fresh from the Hearts and Judgments [. . .] and enlightened People? For it is [. . .] represented? it is their [. . .] and only for their [. . .] under whatever form, it may appear. The Existence of Such a Government as ours, for any length of time, is a full proof of a general dissemination of Knowledge and Virtue, throughout the whole body of the People. And what Object or Consideration more pleasing than this can be presented to the human mind? If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable it is when it Springs, not from Power or Riches, Grandeur or Glory, but from conviction of national Innocence Information and Benevolence.

In the midst of these pleasing Ideas, We Should be unfaithfull to ourselves, if We Should ever loose sight of the danger to our Liberties, if any thing partial or extraneous Should infect the Purity of our free, fair, virtuous and independent Elections. If an Election is to be determined by a majority of a single Vote, and that, can be procured by a Party, through Artifice or corruption, the Government may be the Choice of a Party, for its own Ends, not of the nation for the national good. If that Solitary Suffrage can be obtained by foreign nations by Flattery or Menaces, by fraud or Violence, by terror Intrigue or Venality, the Government may not be the choice of the American People, but of foreign nations. It may be foreign nations who govern Us, and not We the People who govern ourselves. And candid Men will acknowledge, that in Such Cases, Choice would have little Advantage to boast of our Lot or Chance.

Such is the amiable and interesting System of Government (and such are some of the Abuses to which it may be exposed) which the People of America have exhibited to the Admiration and Anxiety of the Wise and virtuous of all nations for Eight Years under the Administration of a Citizen, who by a long Course of great Actions, regulated by Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude conducting a People, inspired with the same Virtues and animated with the same ardent Patriotism and love of Liberty, to independence and Peace, to increasing Wealth and unexampled Prosperity has merited the Gratitude of his Fellow Citizens, commanded the highest Praises of foreign nations, and Secured immortal glory with Posterity.

In that retirement which is his voluntary choice, may he long live to enjoy, the delicious recollection of his Services, the Gratitude of < his Country > Mankind the happy fruits of them to himself and the World, which are daily increasing, and that Splendid Prospect of the future Fortunes of his Country, which is opening from Year to Year. His Name < will > may be still a rampart, and the Knowledge that he lives a Bulwark, against all open or Secret Ennemies of his Countries Peace. This < great > Example has been recommended to the imitation of his Successors, by both Houses of Congress, and by the Voice of the Legislatures and the People, throughout the nation.

On this Subject it might become me better to be Silent, or to Speak with diffidence: But as Something may be expected, the occasion, I hope will be admitted as an Apology, if I venture to Say

If, a Preference, upon principle, of a free Republican government, formed upon long and Serious Reflection, after a diligent and impartial Inquiry after truth if, an Attachment to the constitution of the United States, and a conscientious determination to support it, untill it Shall be altered by the Judgments and Wishes of the People, expressed in the mode prescribed in it—if, a respectfull Attention to the constitutions of the individual States, and a constant caution and delicacy towards the State government if an equal and impartial regard to the Rights Interests, honour and Happiness of all the States in the Union, without preference or regard to a northern or Southern an Eastern or Western position, their various political opinions on unessential Points Sentiments or their personal Attachments If, a Love of virtuous men of all Parties and denominations if a love of Science and letters, and a wish to patronize every rational Effort to encourage Schools Colledges, Universities Academies and every Institution for propagating Knowledge, Virtue and Religion among all Classes of the People: not only for their benign Influence on the happiness of life in all its stages and Classes and of Society in all its forms but as the only means of preserving our Constitution from its natural Enemies the Spirit of Sophistry, the Spirit of Party, the Spirit of Intrigue, the profligacy of Corruption and the Pestilence of foreign Influence, which is the Angel of destruction to elective Governments If, a love of equal Laws, of Justice and humanity in the interiour Administration if an inclination to improve Agriculture, Commerce, and Manufactures for Necessity Convenience and defence if, a Spirit of Equity and humanity towards the aboriginal nations of America and a disposition to meliorate their condition, by inclining them to be more friendly to Us, and our Citizens to be more friendly to them If, an inflexible determination to maintain Peace and inviolable Faith, with all Nations, and that System of Neutrality and Impartiality, among the belligerent Powers of Europe which has been adopted by< my predecessor > this Government, and So Solemnly Sanctioned by both houses of Congress, and applauded by the Legislatures of the states and the publick opinion untill it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress if, a personal Esteem for the French nation, formed in a residence of Seven years, chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the friendship which has been so much for the honour and Interest of both nations if, while the conscious honour and Integrity of the People of America, and the internal Sentiment of their own Power and Ennergies must be preserved, an earnest Endeavour to investigate every just cause and remove every colourable Pretence of complaint if an Intention to pursue by amiable negotiation a Reparation for the Injuries that have been committed on the Commerce of our Fellow Citizens, by Whatever Nation and if Success cannot be obtained, to lay the Facts before the Legislature that they may consider, what further measures the honour and Interest of the Government and its Constituents demand. if, a resolution to do Justice, as far as may depend upon me at all times and to all nations, and maintain Peace, Friendship and Benevolence with all the World if an unshaken Confidence in the honour, Spirit, and Resources of < my country > the American People on which I have So often hazarded my all and never been deceived if, elevated Ideas of the high Destinies of this Country, and of my own duties towards it founded on a Knowledge of the moral Principles and intellectual improvements of the People, deeply engraven on my mind in early Life, and not obscured but exalted by Experience and Age—And, with humble Reverence I feel it to be my Duty to add, if, a veneration for the Religion of a People, who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity, among the best Recommendations for the public service: can enable me, in any degree to comply with your Wishes, it shall be my strenuous Endeavour, that this Sagacious Injunction of the two houses shall not be without Effect.

With < such and > this great Example before me with the Sense and Spirit, the Faith and Honour, the duty and Interest of the Same American People, pledged to Support the Constitution of the United States I entertain no doubt of its continuance, in all its Ennergy and my mind is prepared, without hesitation, to lay myself under the most Solemn Obligations to support it, to the Utmost of my Power.

And may that Being, who is supream over all, the Patron of order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector, in all Ages, of the World, of virtuous Liberty, continue his Blessing, upon this Nation and its Government and give it all possible Success and duration, consistent with the Ends of his Providence.


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