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Second Inaugural Address: George Washington

4 March 1793

On the advice of his cabinet, Washington chose to make his Second Inauguration far less public than his first, and his Second Inaugural Address set the record for the shortest given by any President: 135 words briefly acknowledging his reelection. The simplicity of his Second Address may have also been related to his own express reservations against "commencing another tour of duty" when he so earnestly wished "to return to the walks of private life" at Mount Vernon. [Mt. Vernon]

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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