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TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE COMMON
WEALTH OF VIRGINIA.
APRIL 27th, 1790.
GENTLEMEN, With a due sense of the affectionate terms, in which your address is conceived, I offer my best thanks for your congratulations on my election to the chief magistracy of a free and enlightened nation.
If I have been enabled to make use of whatever abilities Heaven has been pleased to confer upon me, with any advantage to our common country, I consider it no less owing to the fostering encouragement I received in early life from the citizens of the commonwealth in which I was born, than to the persevering support I have since experienced from my fellow-citizens collectively, in the course of their exertions, which, under divine Providence, saved their liberties and established their independence.
However I may have confirmed my professions by my conduct, I can claim no merit for having been involved in the duties of a military command through necessity, or for having retired to the state of a pri- . vate citizen through inclination. But I may be permitted to avow, that the construction you are pleased to put upon my motives for returning to public life is peculiarly satisfactory to me ; because I receive from the voice of my countrymen the only reward I wished for the sacrifice; a just interpretation of the principles hy which I am conscious I have been actuated.
Accustomed to have my actions viewed through a favorable medium by my fellow-citizens in general, and more especially by those of my native State, I can but poorly compensate for such indulgence by
the purest emotions of gratitude, demonstrated in an active devotion to that republican government, which is deservedly the first object of their political attachment.
In looking forward to that awful moment, when I must bid adieu to sublunary scenes, I anticipate the consolation of leaving our country in a prosperous condition; and, while the curtain of separation shall be drawing, my last breath will, I trust, expire in a prayer for the temporal and eternal felicity of those, who have not only endeavoured to gild the evening of my days with unclouded serenity, but extended their desires to my happiness hereafter in a brighter world.
TO THE DELEGATES OF
THE CINCINNATI, ASSEMBLED AT THEIR TRIENNIAL GENERAL MEETING.
GENTLEMEN, Although it is easier for you to conceive, than for me to explain, the pleasing sensations, which have been excited in my breast by your congratulations on my appointment to the head of this rising republic; yet I must take the liberty to thank you sincerely for the polite manner, in which you felicitate our countrymen, and testify your regard to me on this occasion.
In addition to that reward for your sufferings and services, which arises from the consciousness of having done your duty, you have erected monuments more expressive of your merits, than even the universal applause of your country, in the establishment of her independence and sovereignty; nor should any possible circumstances of poverty or adversity compel you to give up that sweet satisfaction for the part you have acted, which ought to attend you, as well through the vicissitudes of life, as in the moment of dissolution.
The candor of your fellow-citizens acknowledges the patriotism of your conduct in peace, as their gratitude has declared their obligations for your fortitude and perseverance in war. A knowledge, that they now do justice to the purity of your intentions, ought to be your highest consolation, as the fact is demonstrative of your greatest glory.
The object, for which your gallantry encountered every danger, and your virtue sustained unparalleled difficulties, has happily been attained. A government, promising protection and prosperity to the people of the United States, is established; and its operations hitherto have been such, as to justify the most sanguine hopes of success. It was naturally to be expected, that lives, which had long since been devoted on the altar of freedom, could never be offered at the shrine of anarchy or despotism ; and the offer, which you make, of the residue of those lives to support the administration of this government, is not less a proof of its excellence, than an encouragement for those concerned in its execution to use their best endeavours to make it a source of permanent blessings to their country.
Whatever titles my military services may have given me to the regard of my country, they are principally corroborated by the firm support of my brave and faithful associates in the field ; and, if any consideration is to be attributed to the successful exercise of my civil duties, it proceeds in a great measure from the wisdom of the laws, and the facility which the disposition of my fellow-citizens has given to their administration.
To the most affectionate wishes for your temporal appiness, I add a fervent prayer for your eternal felicity.
TO THE HEBREW CONGREGATION OF THE CITY
GENTLEMEN, I thank you, with great sincerity, for your congratulations on my appointment to the office, which I have the honor to hold by the unanimous choice of my fellow-citizens ; and especially for the expressions, which you are pleased to use in testifying the confidence, that is reposed in me by your congregation.
As the delay, which has naturally intervened between my election and your address, has afforded an opportunity for appreciating the merits of the federal government, and for communicating your sentiments of its administration, I have rather to express my satisfaction, than regret, at a circumstance, which demonstrates (upon experiment) your attachment to the former, as well as approbation of the latter.
I rejoice, that a spirit of liberality and philanthropy is much more prevalent than it formerly was among the enlightened nations of the earth, and that your brethren will benefit thereby in proportion as it shall VOL. XII.
become still more extensive. Happily, the people of the United States of America have, in many instances, exhibited examples worthy of imitation, the salutary influence of which will doubtless extend much farther, if, gratefully enjoying those blessings of peace, which, under the favor of Heaven, have been obtained by fortitude in war, they shall conduct themselves with reverence to the Deity, and charity towards their fellow-creatures.
May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, and planted them in the promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of Heaven, and to make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people, whose God is Jehovah.
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
FELLOW CITIZENS, The congratulatory address of the people of the State of South Carolina, on my election to the office of President of the United States, expressed in such forcible and endearing terms, affects me with the liveliest emotions of satisfaction, and induces me to request their acceptance of my sincerest acknowledgments.
Flattering as it may be to find the extraordinary unanimity of the people of the United States in