Second Inaugural Address by George Washington


In his Second Inaugural Address, given in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Washington simply reaffirms the oath he took four years prior and requests that American citizens call him out should he not fulfill his duties.


[1] 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 endeavour 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, 56 that if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly, or knowingly, the injunction thereof, I may (besides incurring Constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn Ceremony.[2]




Senate Chamber of Congress Hall, Philadelphia, PA


[1] Washington’s Second Inaugural has the distinction of being the shortest inaugural address in American history, coming in at 135 words.

[2] Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States. Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O.: for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O., 1989;, 2001. 


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