George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the German Reformed Congregations, June 1789

To the German Reformed Congregations

[New York, June 1789]


I am happy in concurring with you in the sentiments of gratitude and piety towards Almighty-God, which are expressed with such fervency of devotion in your address; and in believing, that I shall always find in you, and the German Reformed Congregations in the United States a conduct correspondent to such worthy and pious expressions.1

At the same time, I return you my thanks for the manifestation of your firm purpose to support in your persons a government founded injustice and equity, and for the promise that it will be your constant study to impress the minds of the People entrusted to your care with a due sense of the necessity of uniting reverence to such a government and obedience to its’ laws with the duties and exercises of Religion.

Be assured, Gentlemen, it is, by such conduct, very much in the power of the virtuous Members of the community to alleviate the burden of the important office which I have accepted; and to give me Occasion to rejoice, in this world, for having followed therein the dictates of my conscience.

Be pleased also to accept my acknowledgements for the interest you so kindly take in the prosperity of my person, family, and administration.

May your devotions before the Throne of Grace be prevalent in calling down the blessings of Heaven upon yourselves and your country.

G: Washington


1GW was replying to the “address of the Ministers and Elders of the German reformed Congregations in the United States at their General Meeting held at Philadelphia” on 10 June 1789: “Whilst the infinite goodness of Almighty God in his gracious Providence over the People of the United States of America, calls for our sincerest and most cordial gratitude to him that ruleth supremely and ordereth all things in Heaven and on earth in unerring wisdom and righteousness, the happy, the peaceable establishment of the new-government, over which you so deservedly preside, cannot fail, but inspire our souls with new and the most lively emotions of adoration, praise, and thanksgiving unto his holy name.

“As it is our most firm purpose to support in our Persons a government founded in justice and equity, so it shall be our constant study to impress the minds of the People entrusted to our care with a due sense of the necessity of uniting reverence to such a government and obedience to it’s laws, with the duties and exercise of Religion. Thus we hope by the blessing of God, to be in some measure instrumental of alleviating the burden of that weighty and important charge, to which you have been called by the unanimous voice of your fellow-citizens, and which your love to your country has constrained you to take upon you.

“Deeply possessed of a sense of the goodness of God in the appointment of your Person to the highest station in the national government we shall continue in our public worship and all our devotions before the throne of Grace to pray that it may please God to bless you in your person, your family, and your government, with all temporal and spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus” (DLC:GW).

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