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U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: George Washington

George Washington, Carroll portrait
George Washington, Carroll portrait.
Stuart, Gilbert, 1755-1828, artist;
[Between 1900 and 1912].
Prints and Photographs Division.

First Inauguration - April 30, 1789 | Second Inauguration - March 4, 1793

First Inauguration - April 30, 1789

Facts*

  • Oath of office recited outdoors.
  • Washington kissed the Bible after reciting the oath.
  • Fireworks concluded the day's celebration, thanks to private citizens.
  • Due to pressing public business, the inaugural ball was postponed to May 7. Martha Washington, the president's wife, did not make the trip to New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter from George Washington to Henry Knox
Letter from George Washington to Henry Knox.
April 10, 1789.
George Washington Papers
Manuscript Division.

Inaugural Committee on Ceremony in the Senate in secretary's hand.
Inaugural Committee on Ceremony in the Senate in secretary's hand.
April 27, 1789.
George Washington Papers.
Manuscript Division.

Federal Hall, the Seat of Congress, 1790.
Federal Hall, the Seat of Congress, 1790.
Private collection of Louis Alan Talley, Washington, D.C.
Prints & Photographs Division.

Inaugural Address in Washington's hand.
Inaugural Address in Washington's hand.
April 30, 1789.
Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years.
Manuscript Division.

An East View of Gray's Ferry, near Philadelphia; erected for the Reception of General Washington
An east view of Gray's Ferry, near Philadelphia - with the triumphal arches, &c. erected for the reception of General Washington, April 20th 1789 /
C.W. Peale delin. ; J. Trenchard sculp.

Philadelphia: Printed for James Trenchard by Trenchard and Stewart, 1789.
Prints & Photographs Division.

Journal of William Maclay, [original journal].
Journal of William Maclay, [original journal].
April 30, 1789.
William Maclay journals and note, 1789-1791.
Manuscript Division.

Journal of William Maclay, [transcription].
Journal of William Maclay, [transcription]
April 30, 1789
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875
General Collections

Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph.
Letter from James Madison to Edmund Randolph
May 10, 1789
The James Madison Papers, 1723 to 1859
Manuscript Division

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Second Inauguration - March 4, 1793

Facts*

  • Shortest inaugural address (135 words).

 

Inaugural Address, in secretary's hand (probably Tobias Lear).
Inaugural Address, March 4, 1793, in secretary's hand (probably Tobias Lear).
March 4, 1793.
George Washington Papers.
Manuscript Division.

Senate Executive Journal, (address p. 138; entire session pp. [137]-138).
Senate Executive Journal, (address p. 138; entire session pp. [137]-138).
March 4, 1793.
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875.
The Law Library of Congress.

A Display of the United States of America, 1794.
A display of the United States of America / Amos Doolittle.
New Haven: Printed & Sold by A. Doolittle, March 1, 1794. Marian S. Carson Collection.
Prints and Photographs Division.

[George Washington, bust portrait with laurel wreath, facing left, ca. 1800].
[George Washington, bust portrait with laurel wreath,
facing left]
.
Marian S. Carson Collection; [ca. 1800].
Prints and Photographs Division.

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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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