on my part, I have been chosen by the free and voluntary suffrages of my countrymen to the most honorable, and most responsible office on earth.
I am deeply impressed with gratitude for the confidence reposed in me.
Honored with his distinguished consideration at an earlier period of life than any of my predecessors
, I can not disguise the diffidence with which I am about to enter on the discharge of my official duties.
In assuming responsibilities so vast I fervently
invoke the aid of that Almighty Ruler of the Universe in whose hands are the destinies of nations, and of men to guard this Heaven favored land against the mischiefs which without His guidance might arise from an unwise public policy.
With a firm reliance upon the wisdom of Omnipotence to sustain and direct me in the path of duty which I am appointed to pursue, I stand in the presence of this assembled
multitude of my countrymen to take upon myself the solemn obligation" to take best of my ability to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
That the blessing of liberty which our Constitution secures may be enjoyed alike by minorities and majorities, the Executive has been wisely invested with a qualified veto upon the acts of the Legislature.
It is a negative power, and is conservative in its character.
It arrests for the time hasty, in considerate, or unconstitutional legislation
, invites reconsideration, and transfers questions at issue between the legislative and executive departments to the tribunal of the people.
Like all other powers, it is subject to be abused.
and properly exercised, the Constitution itself may be saved from infraction
and the rights of all preserved and protected.
The inestimable value of our Federal Union is felt and acknowledged by all.
By this system of united and confederated States our people are permitted collectively and individually to seek their own happiness in their own way, and the consequences have been most auspicious.
Since the Union was formed the number of the States has increased from thirteen to twenty-eight, two of these have taken their position as members of the Confederacy within the last week.
Our population has increased from three to twenty millions.