Montpellier Mar. 25. 35
I have recd. fellow Citizens your letter of the 13th. inst: inviting me "to a Celebration by the Native Citizens of Ohio, of the anniversary of her first settlement in 1788"
Having now reached my 85th. year and being otherwise enfeebled by much indisposition, I am necessarily deprived of the pleasure of accepting the invitation. I am not the less sensible however of what I owe to the kind spirit and flattering terms in which it is offered. Under circumstances permitting me to join in the festive scene, I should, besides the gratification of making my acknowledgements in person, have that also of visiting a highly interesting portion of our Country which would be new to me, and of witnessing the natural, social, & political advantages which are attracting so much admiration. Taking into view the enterprize which planted the germ of a flourishing State in a savage Wilderness; the rapidity of its growth under the nurturing protection of the Federal Councils; the variety and value of the improvements already spread over it at the age of less than half a Century, and the prospect of an expanding prosperity of which it has sufficient pledges, Ohio, may be justly regarded, with every congratulation, as a monument of the happy agency of the free Institutions which characterize the political system of the U. States I pray you to accept, with my cordial respects the assurance of my best wishes.