Swearing-in ceremony in the Kirkwood House.
|Date||April 15, 1865|
|Location||Kirkwood House, Washington, D.C.|
|Participants||President of the United States, Andrew Johnson|
The inauguration of Andrew Johnson as the 17th President of the United States was held on April 15, 1865 at the 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 Oath of office. 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 Confederacy with such venom, that one witness remarked "It would have been better had he been struck dumb."
As President Lincoln lay dying, Vice President Johnson visited the room where he lay, and when Mrs. Lincoln saw him, it was reported, she screamed and demanded he be removed. So he went back to his room at the 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. However, there are other accounts, believed more reliable by some, which refute this claim.