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Called from a retirement which I had supposed was to continue for the residue of my life to full the chief executive office of this great and free nation, I appear before you, fellow_citizens, to take the oaths which the Constitution prescribes as a neccessary qualification for the performance of its duties; and in obedience to a custom coeval with our Government and what I believe to be your expectations, I proceed to present to you a summary of the principles which will govern me in the discharge of the duties which I shall be called upon to perform.

It was the remark of a Roman consul in an early period of that celebrated Republic that a most striking contrast was observable in the conduct of candidates for offices of power, and trust before and after obtaining them, they seldom carrying out in the latter case the pledges and promises made in the former.
However much the world may have improved in many respects in the lapse of upward of two thousand years since the remark was made by the virtuous and indignant Roman, I fear that a strict examination of the annals of some of the modern elective governments would develop similar instances of violated confidence.
Our Confederacy,fellow_citizens,can only be preserved by the same forbearance.
Our citizens must be content with the exercise of the powers with which the Constitution clothes them.
The attempt of those of one State to control the domestic institutions of another can only result in feelings of distrust and jealousy, the certain harbingers of disunion,violence,and civil war, and the ultimate destruction of our free institutions.
Our Confederacy is perfectly illustrated by the terms and principles governing a common copartnership.
There is a fund of power to be exercised under the direction of the joint councils of the allied members, but that which has been reserved by the individual members is intangible by the common Government or the individual members composing it.
To attempt it finds no support in the principles of our Constitution.
It should be our constant and earnest endeavor mutually to cultivate a spirit of concord and harmony among the various parts of our Confederacy.
Experience has abundantly taught us that the agitation by citizens of one part of the Union of a subject not confided to the General Government, but exclusively under the guardianship of the local authorities, is productive of no other consequences than bitterness,alienation,discord, and injury to the very cause which is intended to be advanced.
Of all the great interest which appertain to our country,that of union_cordial, confiding,fraternal union__is by far the most important,since it is the only true and sure guaranty of all others.
In consequence of the embarrassed state of business and the currency, some of the States may meet with difficulty in their financial concerns.
However deeply we may regret anything imprudent or excessive in the engagements into which States have entered for puproses of their own, it does not become us to disparage the States governments, nor to discourage them from making proper efforts for their own relief.
On the contrary,it is our duty to encourage them to the extent of our constitutional authority to apply their best means, and cheerfully to make all necessary sacrifices, and submit to all necessary burdens to fulfill their engagements and maintain their credit, for the character and credit of the several States form a part of the character and credit of the whole country.
The resources of the country are abundant, the enterprise and activity of our people proverbial, and we may well hope that wise legislation and prudent administration by the respective governments, each acting within its own sphere,will restore former prosperity.
I deem the present occasion sufficiently important and solemn to justify me in expressing to my fellow_citizens a profound reverence for the Christian religion, and a thorough conviction that sound morals,religious liberty, and a just sense of religious responsibility are essentially connected with all true and lasting happiness; and to that good Being who has blessed us by the gifts of civil and religious freedom, who watches over and prospered the labors of our fathers, and has hitherto preserved to us institutions far exceeding in excellence those of any other people, let us unite in fervently commending very interest of our beloved country in all future time.
Fellow_citizens,being fully invested with that high office to which the partiality of my countrymen has call me.
I now take an affectionate leave of you.
You will bear with you to your homes the remembrance of the pladge I have this day given to discharge all the high duties of my exalted station according to the best of my ability, and I shall enter upon their performance with entire confidence in the support of a just and generous people.

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