To the Inhabitants of Frederick, Maryland
[Taneytown, Md., 1 July 1791]
I express with great pleasure my obligations to your goodness, and my gratitude for the respectful and affectionate regard which you are pleased to manifest towards me.1
Your ascripition of my public services over-rates their value, and it is justice to my fellow-citizens that I should assign the eminent advantages of our political condition to another cause—their valor, wisdom, and virtue—from the first they derive their freedom, the second has improved their independence into national prosperity, and the last, I trust, will long protect their social rights, and ensure their individual happiness.
That your participation of these advantages may realise your best wishes is my sincere prayer.
1. GW noted on 1 July: “Received an Address from the Inhabitants of Frederick town and about 7 Oclock left it. Dined at one Cookerlys 13 Miles off & lodged at Tawny town only 12 Miles farther—being detained at the first stage by rain and to answer the address wch. had been presented to me in the Morning” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:167). The address, signed “At the request and in behalf of the inhibitants of Frederick” by George Murdock, William M. Beall, Richard Potts, Dr. Philip Thomas, and John McPherson, reads: “The inhibitants of Frederick take the liberty to congratulate you upon your safe Arrival at this place. And to Assure you that it gives them sincere pleasure to have this opportunity of expressing that veneration and attachment which they have always felt and still feel for your person & character, As A Patriot, a soldier, A Statesman And a fellow citizen. They have Sir a lively sense of gratitude for that long Series of Services which you have so ably exhibited on the public Stage in behalf of your Country, and from which they, in common with the rest of their fellow citizens, have experienced Such Solid Advantages. They consider you, under heaven, as the chief Author of their political Salvation; And At the time that they profess their firm attachment to your person as their chief Magistrate, And to that excellent Constitution over which you preside, they are happy in the blessings derived from your Administration; And as republicans have a pride in Admiring that equality that hath been established, and which they hope will ever prevail throughout United America. They gratefully Acknowledge the blessings of Providence conferred by your safe return in good health from your long Southern tour at an unhealthy season of the Year, and pray heaven that it may very long be preserved here, & that you may be finally happy hear after” (DLC:GW).