U.S. President Thomas Jefferson First Term
About the U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, a brief history of his first presidential term.
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First Term: Mar. 4, 1801 . . .
Jefferson took advantage of the fair Washington weather to walk from his lodgings at Mrs. Conrad's boardinghouse to the Capitol, where he was sworn in. along the way, he was accompanied by a happy crowd of soldiers and civilians. The oath of office was administered in the Senate Chamber by Chief Justice John Marshall. President Adams refused to attend the ceremonies and drove out of the city at dawn, believing that Jefferson's inauguration meant the dissolution of the Republic. Yet the new President's inaugural address was conciliatory. "We are all republicans, we are all federalists," he said. "Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle." Despite the nobility of his sentiments, his delivery was disappointing. All his life, Jefferson was a notoriously bad public speaker, who mumbled through his speeches in a weak voice that was often inaudible. It was largely because of his failings as an orator that Jefferson initiated the tradition of sending the State of the Union message to the Congress in writing, rather than appearing in person. Surprisingly, this precedent was followed until 1913, when Woodrow Wilson broke with tradition.
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