The 17th Presidential


Franklin Pierce

March 04, 1853



‘My Countrymen: It is a relief to feel that no heart but my own can know the personal regret and bitter sorrow over which I have been borne to a position so suitable for others rather than desirable for myself.’

Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to Franklin Pierce by the Honorable Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the United States.

Vice Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to William King. (Served from March 24, 1853 to April 18, 1853. No Vice President was appointed after that.)

Facts, Firsts &


  • Affirmed the oath of office rather than swear it

  • Pierce was the first President to recite his speech entirely from memory.

  • Cancelled the inaugural ball

  • Pierce's Vice President did not attend the Inaugural ceremonies. He was very ill and and had gone to Cuba to try to recover at the time of the Inauguration, and was sworn into office there on March 24, 1853. He died on April 18, 1853, one day after returning to his home in Alabama.

East Portico, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC
Light snow and wind with heavier snow during the Inaugural address. Estimated noon temperature of 35°F.