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U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: Franklin Pierce

Portrait of Franklin Pierce
[Portrait of Franklin Pierce, ca. 1853].
[Hall, Henry Bryan, fl. 1850-1900, engraver?].
Pierce-Aiken family papers, 1797-1903.
Manuscript Division.

Inauguration - March 4, 1853


  • Affirmed the oath of office rather than swear it.
  • Pierce was the first President to recite his speech entirely from memory.
  • Cancelled the inaugural ball.
  • Pierce's Vice President did not attend the Inaugural ceremonies. He was very ill and had gone to Cuba to try to recover at the time of the Inauguration, and was sworn into office there on March 24, 1853. He died on April 18, 1853, one day after returning to his home in Alabama.










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* This information is based on a compilation by the Office of the Curator, Architect of the Capitol, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, from contemporary accounts and other sources. Additional research provided by Library of Congress staff.

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