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Nanoscale beams are commonly found in nanomechanical and nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) and other nanotechnology-based devices. Surface energy has a significant effect on nanoscale structures and is associated with their size-dependent behavior. In this paper, a general mechanistic model based on the Gurtin-Murdoch continuum theory accounting for surface energy effects is presented to analyze thick and thin nanoscale beams with an arbitrary cross section. The main contributions of this paper are a set of closed-form analytical solutions for the static response of thin and thick beams under different loading (point and uniformly distributed) and boundary conditions (simply-supported, cantilevered, and clamped ends), as well as the solution of the free vibration characteristics of such beams. Selected numerical results are presented for aluminum and silicon beams to demonstrate their salient response features. It is shown that classical beam theory is not accurate in situations where the surface residual stress and/or surface elastic constants are relatively large. An intrinsic length scale for beams is identified that depends on beam surface properties and cross-sectional shape. The present work provides a convenient set of analytical tools for researchers working on NEMS design and fabrication to understand the static and dynamic behavior of nanoscale beams including their size-dependent behavior and the effects of common boundary conditions.