Inauguration of Andrew Johnson

The inauguration of Andrew Johnson as the 17th president of the United States was held on April 15, 1865, at Kirkwood House in Washington, D.C., following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The inauguration marked the commencement of Andrew Johnson's only term (a partial term of 3 years, 323 days) as president. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase administered the presidential oath of office.[1] This was the third non-scheduled, extraordinary inauguration to take place. After the ceremony, President Johnson gave an impromptu inaugural address, which began with him begging the cabinet to remain with him and then attacking the Confederate States of America with such venom, that one witness remarked "It would have been better had he been struck dumb."[2]

Presidential inauguration of
Andrew Johnson
Johnson inauguration.jpg
Swearing-in ceremony in the Kirkwood House.
DateApril 15, 1865; 157 years ago (1865-04-15)
LocationKirkwood House,
Washington, D.C.
ParticipantsAndrew Johnson
17th President of the United States
— Assuming office

Salmon P. Chase
Chief Justice of the United States
— Administering oath
← 1865
1869 →

As President Lincoln lay dying, Vice President Johnson visited the room where he lay. When Mrs. Lincoln saw him, she reportedly screamed and demanded he be removed, so he went back to his room at Kirkwood House.

According to newspaper reports, Johnson had gotten severely inebriated, and when aides to the now-dead Lincoln came to fetch the new president they were unable to wake him for several minutes. When he was finally awake, the accounts read, "he had puffy eyes and his hair was caked with mud from the street," and that a barber and doctor were summoned to clean him up for the ten-o'clock ceremony, which most accounts agree went smoothly.[3] However, there are other accounts, believed more reliable by some, which refute this claim.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Swearing In of Chester A. Arthur, April 15, 1865". United States Senate. Archived from the original on January 20, 2017. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  2. ^ Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt; Twenty Days, Newcastle Publishing 1965
  3. ^ Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt; Twenty Days, during the pandemic of 2020, Newcastle Publishing 1965
  4. ^ Schroeder-Lein, Glenna; Zuczek, Richard (2001). Andrew Johnson: A Biographical Companion (illustrated ed.). ABC-CLIO, 2001. p. 88. ISBN 9781576070307.