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lates them on the glorious occasion which renders their services in the field no longer necessarý, he wishes to express the strong obligations he feels himself under for the assistance he has received from every elass, and in every instance. He presents his thanks in the most serious and affectionate männer, to the general officers, as well for their councils on many interesting occasions; as for their ardor in promoting the success of the plans he had adopted. To the commandants of régiments and corps, and to the other officers, for their zeal and attention in éarrying his orders promptly into execution to the staff for their alacrity and exactness in performing the duties of their several departments; and to the non-commissioned officers and private soldiers, for their extraordinary patience and sufféring, as well' as their invincible fortitude iñi action. To the various brauches of the armiy, the general takes this last and so: lemn opportunity of professing his inviolable attachment and friendship. He wishes more than bare professions were in his power, that he was really able to be useful to them all in future life. He flatters himself, however, they will do him the justice to believe that whatever could' with propriety be attempted by him, lias been đơne.
· And being now to conclude these his last public order's, to take his ultimate leave in a short time of the military characa ter, and to bid a final adied to the armies" he ha's so fong had the honor to command, he can only again offer in their behalf, his recommendations to their grateful country, and his“ prayers to the God of armies. May ample justice be done them here, and may the choicest of heaven's favors, both here and hereafter attend those who, under the divine auspices, have secured innumerable blessings for others. With these' wishes, and this benediction, the commander in chief is about to retire from service. The curtain of separation will soon be drawn, and the military scene to him will be closed forever. ::
GEORGE WASHINGTON TO THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES:
ANNOUNCING HIS INTENTION OF RETIRING FROM PUBLIC
Friends and fellow-citizens, T HE period for a new election of a citizen to administer the
f executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the persor., who is to be clothed with that important' trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.
I BEG you at the same time to do me the justice to be asa sured, that this resolution has not been taken, without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service which silence in my situation will im. ply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your futurë interest ; no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kind ness; but am supported by a full conviction, that the step is compatible with both.
The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto, in the office to which your suffrages has twice called me; have been an uniformi sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty, and to a defera ence for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my powet, consistently with motives, which I was not at libertỳ to disregard, to return tó that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to des clare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the una
nimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.
I REJOICE that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety : and am persuaded whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disa approve of my determination to retire.
The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion.-In the discharge of this trust I will only say, that I have with good intentions contributed towards the organization and administration of the government, the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable.-Not unconscious, in the out-set, of the inferiority of any qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the encreasing weight of years admonishes me more and more, that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to be lieve, that while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.
In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country, for the many honors it has conferred upon me ; still niore for the stedfast confidence with which it has supported me ; and for the opportunities. I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead amidst appearances sometimes dubious.mn-vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging-in situations in which nọt unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong'incitement to unceasing wishes, that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual-that the free constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtuethat, in fine, the happiness of the people of these states; under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete, by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing, as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection and the adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.
HERE, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude, for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehen. sion of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solenin contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments, which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable ob. servation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity: as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.
INTERWOVEN as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine -is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
The unity of government, which constitutes you onę people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so ; for it is a main pil.
lar in the edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquillity at home ; your peace abroad ; of your safety, of your prosperity ; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices em. ployed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth, As this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most con, stantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union, to your collec, tive and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual and immovable attachment to it; accustoming your. selves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your politi, cal safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety ; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned ; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to ali, enate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and inte. rest. Citizens by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, ba, bits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess, are the work of joint councils, and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings and successes.
But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.