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George Washington’s First Inaugural Address

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered, perhaps, as deeply, as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

George Washington

Our first chief executive took his oath of office on April 30, 1789 in New York City on the balcony of the Senate Chamber at Federal Hall on Wall Street. [Excerpts]

Thursday, April 30, 1789

by George Washington

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

SUMMONED BY MY COUNTRY

I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years—a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. . . . Continue reading


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