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George Washington's Second Inaugural Address

The Shortest Inaugural Address in History


A picture of a painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

Copy of a painting by Gilbert Stuart.

Picture courtesy the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration.

On March 4, 1793, George Washington gave his second inaugural address in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia. It remains the shortest inaugural address in history with only 135 words.

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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