5 March 1821
adams-john10 Neal MillikanUS Constitution

5. V:15. Second inauguration of James Monroe as President of the United States— The arrangements were made at the Hall of the House of Representatives, by the Marshal of the District, in concert with the Clerk, and by consent of the late Speaker of the House. There were Seats reserved for the Ladies of the Heads of Departments and others, for the members of the Diplomatic Corps, and members of Congress. The President had requested the Heads of Departments to assemble at his House and accompany him to the Capitol— The Marshal had recommended that the Ladies should go early to secure their admission into the Hall, and their Seats. Mrs. Adams with Mary Hellen went first to the Capitol, and sent back the Carriage for me— Madame de Neuville went in company with her— A quarter before twelve, I went to the President’s House, and the other members of the Administration immediately afterwards came there— The Marshal and one of his Deputies was there, but no assemblage of People. The President attired in a full suit of black broad cloth, of somewhat antiquated fashion, with shoe and knee buckles rode in a plain Carriage with four horses, and a single coloured footman— The Secretaries of State, the Treasury, War and the Navy, followed, each in a Carriage and pair— There was no escort nor any concourse of people on the way— But on alighting at the Capitol, a great crowd of people were 546assembled, and the avenues to the Hall of the House were so choaked up with persons pressing for admittance, that it was with the utmost difficulty that the President made his way through them into the House— Mr Canning and Mr Antrobus in full Court dress Uniforms were in the midst of this Crowd unable to obtain admission— We got in at last after several minutes of severe pressure. There was not a soldier present, nor a constable distinguishable by any badge of Office— The President took a seat on a Platform just before the Speaker’s Chair— The Chief Justice was seated at his right hand, the other judges of the Supreme Court, in Chairs fronting him; the President of the Senate and late Speaker of the House at his left hand. The Heads of Department side-long at the right and the Foreign Ministers in the Seats of the Members at the left— The House and Galleries were as thronged as possible— There was much disorder of loud talking, and agitation in the Gallery; not altogether ceasing even while the President was reading his Address; which he did immediately after taking the Oath— At this Ceremony the Chief-Justice merely held the book, the President repeating the Oath in the words prescribed by the Constitution. The Address was delivered in a suitably grave, and rather low tone of voice— After it was finished several persons came up to the President and shook hands with him by way of congratulation— At his departure from the House, there was a cheering shout from the people in the Galleries—and the Music of the Marine Band played both at his entrance and departure— I returned home with my family; and immediately afterwards went to the President’s House, where there was a numerous Circle for congratulation— I then passed a couple of hours at my Office; and in the Evening attended a Ball at Brown’s Hotel— The President and his family were there, but retired before supper— We came home immediately after, and finished a fatiguing and bustling day about Midnight.