George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Sullivan, 7 July 1788

From John Sullivan

Durham [N.H.] July 7th 1788


I am directed by the society of the Cincinnati in New Hampshire to convey their congratulations to your Excellency, and to the society in general, on the ratification of the new Constitution, by a sufficient number of States, not only to establish it as a national form of Government, but thereby to fix upon a permanent basis, those liberties, for which, under the direction and order of your Excellency, they have so cheerfully contended.

They now view with inexpressible pleasure the arrival of that happy period, when by the establishment of a truly republican, energetic and efficient National Government, they and their posterity may enjoy those blessings, which as freemen, they esteem an ample reward for all the toils and dangers, which they experienced in the course of a long and perilous war.1 I have the honor to be with the most exalted sentiments of esteem and respect, your Excellency’s most obedient Servant

Jno. Sullivan
By order of the society

ALS, MHi: James Sullivan Papers. “Jere[miah] Fogg Sec’y” is written at the bottom of the document.

1GW replied on 1 Sept.: “Sir, It is with great personal Satisfaction, I receive the Congratulations of the Society of the Cincinnati in New Hampshire, on the present State of our public Affairs.

“I shall take care to convey the Instrument expressive of their sentiments to the Secretary of the General Meeting, that, being deposited in the Archives, the purport may be made known accordingly.

“The prevalence of so good dispositions from one extremity of the Continent to the other (with few exceptions) seems indeed to afford a subject of mutual felicitations, to all who delight in their Country’s prosperity. But the idea, that my former gallant associates in the field are now about to receive, in a good National government, some compensation for the toils and dangers which they have experienced in the course of a long & perilous war, is particularly consolatory to me.

“I entreat that the members of your State Society will believe that I interest myself much in their prosperity; and that you will accept the professions of sincere regard & esteem, with which I have the honor to be Sir Yr Most Obedt & Most Humble Servt Go: Washington” (ALS, MBSCNH; LB DLC:GW). GW forwarded Sullivan’s letter of 7 July to Henry Knox on 10 September. See GW’s letter to Knox, 10 Sept., printed in note 1, de Grasse to GW, 18 August.

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