Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

a declaration of the friendship and gratitude of the legislature of Virginia, cannot but be as pleasing as it is honorable to me, whose highest ambition has been, by faithfully and zealously serving my country to the utmost of my abilities, in all the public employments of my life, to merit the approbation of my fellow-citizens.

It is with unfeigned thankfulness for the goodness of a kind Providence, that I look forward to the period, when the first wishes of my heart are to be gratified, in returning once more to private occupation in the shades of rural life.*

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF SOUTH CARO

LINA; IN A LETTER TO ROBERT BARNWELL, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

JANUARY 24th, 1797.

SIR, I acknowledge the receipt of your obliging favor of the 20th of the last month, covering the resolutions of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, of the preceding day.

The sense the House have been pleased to express of my public services, the declaration of their affectionate attachment, and their kind wishes for my happiness, are for those services the most grateful return.

While I enjoy the personal satisfaction, which the general sentiment of approbation expressed by my country cannot fail to produce, I derive from it, as a citizen of the United States, the greatest pleasure ; as it authorizes the conclusion, that the important measures of their government have been calculated to promote their true and permanent interests, which are inseparably connected with rectitude of principle, and impartial justice to other nations.

* For a letter to Elijah Paine and Isaac Tichenor, dated December 12th, 1796, and another to John H. Stone, dated December 23d, in reply to Addresses from the States of Vermont and Maryland, see Vol. XI. pp. 174, 176.

You will have the goodness to communicate to the House of Representatives these sentiments, with my sincere acknowledgments for the marks of attention with which they have honored me. Your individual and affectionate solicitude for my happiness is entitled to my cordial thanks.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

TO THE ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA; IN A LETTER TO SAMUEL ASHE, GOVERNOR OF NORTH CAROLINA.

JANUARY 25TH, 1797.

SIR,

I have received your very friendly letter of the 30th of last month, covering the address of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina.

The sentiments expressed by the General Assembly, and their testimony of the usefulness of my public services, while honorable and grateful to me personally, I value still more as a citizen of the country to whose freedom and prosperity those services have been devoted. The continuance of these blessings will depend on the virtue, fortitude, and union of its citizens; and, as the exercise of these qualities is essential to our safety and happiness, so I trust they will be displayed.

My highest gratification, during the remainder of my life, will be to participate in the national prosperity; and, in my retirement, the kind wishes and affectionate attachment of my fellow-citizens will be among my most pleasing recollections.

I must pray you to communicate these sentiments to the General Assembly, with my cordial acknowledgments for their Address, and to accept yourself my thanks for the obliging expressions, which accompanied its transmission to me. I am, &c.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

TO THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA.

JANUARY, 1797.

GENTLEMEN, I received with great pleasure the expressions of your approbation of my services. The general marks of satisfaction, and the various testimonies of select and discerning bodies of men among my fellow-citizens, respecting my public conduct, while they have stimulated my exertions to be useful to my country, the sole object of all my aims and wishes, have also enforced the justness of your remark, that the most effectual method of securing the confidence, and accomplishing the welfare, of an enlightened nation, is to pursue, with undeviating firmness, a policy founded in pure integrity. And I shall be pardoned when I add, that conscious integrity has been my unceasing support; and, while it gave me confidence in the measures I pursued, the belief of it, by acquiring to me the confidence of my fellow-citizens, insured the success which they have had.

This consciousness will accompany me in my retirement. Without it public applause could be viewed only as a proof of public error, and felt as the upbraiding of personal demerit. In this retirement, to behold the national felicity will be largely to partake in it; and if, with this felicity, I enjoy health, which you kindly wish me, my hopes in this world will be consummated.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

TO THE SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES OF THE

STATE OF DELAWARE; IN A LETTER TO DANIEL ROGERS AND STEPHEN LEWIS.

FEBRUARY 20, 1797.

GENTLEMEN, I receive with great satisfaction the Addresses of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, which you have now presented to me, on the occasion of my contemplated retirement from the Presidency of the United States.

These evidences of their affection, and testimonies that my public services have been useful to my country, will ever be dear to me. If, yielding to the calls of my fellow-citizens, I have renounced the ease and enjoyments of private life, to encounter the dangers and difficulties of the first and most arduous employments, it was because the sacrifices, on my part, were by them deemed interesting to their safety and welfare. Animated by such motives, and supported by the general spirit and patriotism of my countrymen, when the objects of my public agency were attained, nought remained to me but to seek again the private station, which their partiality and confidence required me for a time to relinquish. In this chosen retirement, the approving voice of my country will ever be a subject of grateful recollections, while I behold its increasing prosperity, under the influence of the same public spirit, energy, justice, and moderation, in which its independence, character, and credit have been founded. That such may be the fruit of our labors, and such the happy progress of our republic, is, and ever will be, the object of my ardent wishes.

These sentiments, Gentlemen, with my grateful acknowledgments to the Senate and the House of Rep. resentatives of the State of Delaware, I pray you to communicate to them in such a manner as you shall deem proper.

GEORGE WASHINGTON.

TO THE ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND.

FEBRUARY, 1797.

GENTLEMEN, Supported by the patriotic exertions and pleasing approbation of my fellow-citizens, for a long series of years, in important, critical, and highly interesting situations, I have discharged my duties with that satisfaction to myself, which could only result from those circumstances. And when, in the decline of life, I gratify the fond wish of my heart in retiring from public labors, and find the language of approbation and fervent prayers for future happiness following that event, my heart expands with gratitude, and my feelings become unutterable. But, in full confidence that, under the wise, firm, and patriotic conduct of those, who administer our public affairs, the prosperity, hapVOL. XII.

31

« НазадПродовжити »