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If the exercise of my military commission has contributed to vindicate the rights of humanity, and to secure the freedom and happiness of my country, the purpose for which it was assumed has been completed, and I am amply rewarded. If, in the prosecution of my civil duties, I shall be so fortunate as to meet the wishes of my fellow-citizens, and to promote the advantage of our common interests, I shall not regret the sacrifice, which you are pleased to mention in terms so obliging.
The numerous sensations of heartfelt satisfaction, which a review of past scenes affords to my mind in a comparison with the present happy hour, are far beyond my powers of utterance to express. I rejoice with you, my fellow-citizens, in every circumstance that declares your prosperity ; and I do so most cordially, because you have well deserved to be happy. Your love of liberty, your respect for the laws, your habits of industry, and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness, and they will, I trust, be firmly and lastingly established.
Your wishes for my personal felicity excite a deep and affectionate gratitude ; and your prayer to the Almighty Ruler of the Universe in my behalf calls forth my fervent supplication to that gracious and beneficent Being, for every blessing on your temporal pursuits, and for the perfection of your happiness hereafter.
TO THE PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF
October 27th, 1789.
GENTLEMEN, Requesting you to accept my sincere thanks for the address, with which you have thought proper to honor me, I entreat you to be persuaded of the respectful and affectionate consideration with which I receive it.
Elected by the suffrages of a too partial country to the eminent and arduous station, which I now hold, it is peculiarly flattering to find an approbation of my conduct in the judgment of men, whose reverend characters must sanction the opinions they are pleased to express. Unacquainted with the expression of sentiments, which I do not feel, you will do me justice by believing confidently in my disposition to promote the interests of science and true religion.
It gives me sincere satisfaction to learn the flourishing state of your literary republic. Assured of its efficiency in the past events of our political system, and of its further influence on those means, which make the best support of good government, I rejoice that the direction of its measures is lodged with men, whose approved knowledge, integrity, and patriotism give an unquestionable assurance of their success.
That the Muses may long enjoy a tranquil residence within the walls of your University, and that you, Gentlemen, may be happy in contemplating the progress of improvement through the various branches of your important departments, are among the most pleasing of my wishes and expectations.
TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE TOWN OF PORTS
MOUTH, NEW HAMPSHIRE.
NOVEMBER 2D, 1789.
GENTLEMEN, I am sensibly impressed with your friendly welcome to the metropolis of New Hampshire, and have a grateful heart for your kind and flattering congratulations on my election to the Presidency of these United States.
I fear the fond partiality of my countrymen has too highly appreciated my past exertions, and formed too sanguine anticipations of my future services. If the former have been successful, much of the success should be ascribed to those, who labored with me in the common cause, and the glory of the event should be given to the great Disposer of events.
If an unremitting attention to the duties of my office, and the zeal of an honest heart, can promote the public good, my fellow-citizens may be assured, that these will not be wanting in my present station.
I can claim no particular merit, Gentlemen, for the preservation of your town from the devastation of the enemy. I am happy, if by any event of the war your property has been preserved from that destruction, which fell but too heavily on your neighbours, and I sincerely condole with you for the loss, which you sustained in navigation and commerce ; but I trust that industry and economy, those fruitful and never-failing sources of private and public opulence, will, under our present system of government, restore you to your former flourishing state.
The interest which you take in my personal happiness, and the kind felicitations which you have expressed on the recovery of my health, are peculiarly grateful to me; and I earnestly pray that the great Ruler of the Universe may smile upon your honest exertions here, and reward your well-doings with future happiness.
TO THE EXECUTIVE OF THE STATE OF
NOVEMBER 30, 1789.
Allow me, Gentlemen, to assure you, that, grateful as my heart is for the affectionate regards, which my fellow-citizens have manifested towards me, it has at no time been more sensibly impressed with a consciousness of their goodness, than on the present occasion. I am truly thankful for your expressions of attachment to my person, and approbation of my conduct; and I reciprocate your good wishes with unfeigned affection.
In exercising the vigilance and attention, with which you are pleased to compliment my military command, I did no more than what inclination prompted, and duty enjoined. In discharging the duties of my civil appointment, I can sincerely promise, that the love of my country will be the ruling influence of my conduct.
The success, which has hitherto attended our united efforts, we owe to the gracious interposition of Heaven; and to that interposition let us gratefully ascribe the praise of victory, and the blessings of peace.
May the State, in whose councils you worthily preside, be happy under your administration, and may you, Gentlemen, partake of the blessings, which your endeavours are intended to bestow.
TO THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF
GENTLEMEN, , In replying to the flattering and affectionate address, with which you are pleased to honor me, I confess a want of expression to convey the grateful sentiments, which it inspires. You will do justice to those sentiments by believing, that they are founded in sincere regard and respectful esteem.
The opportunities, which were afforded me in the trying vicissitudes of our arduous struggle, to remark the generous spirit, which animated the exertions of your citizens, have impressed a remembrance of their worth, which no length of time or change of circumstances can efface. To the gallantry and firmness of their efforts in the field, they have added the wisdom and liberality of distinguished patriotism in council.
Appreciating, with judicious discernment, the blessings of that independence, which their efforts contributed to establish, they were unanimously agreed to secure and perpetuate them by adopting a constitution, which promised equal and efficient protection to the privileges of confederated America. The assurance now given by your honorable body to support the federal system is a renewed proof of the estimation in which it is held, and a happy indication of the beneficial effects already experienced, and hereafter expected to flow from its operations. As such, it is to me peculiarly grateful, and must be so to every citizen of the Union, whose wish is private prosperity and public honor. Allow me, Gentlemen,