To the Citizens of York, Pennsylvania
[York, Pa., 3 July 1791]
I receive your congratulations with pleasure, and I reply to your flattering and affectionate expressions of esteem with sincere and grateful regard.1
The satisfaction which you derive from the congeniality of freedom with good government, clearly evinced in the happiness of our highly favored country, at once rewards the patriotism that atchieved her liberty and gives an assurance of its duration.
That your individual prosperity may long continue among the proofs which attest the national welfare is my sincere wish.
1. GW wrote that he arrived at York about two o’clock in the afternoon on 2 July and the next day “Received, and answered an address from the Inhabitants of York town” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:167–68): “With sentiments of the most perfect esteem and attachment, the citizens of the Borough of York beg leave to present to you their sincere congratulations on your safe arrival here, after an extensive tour thro that country which owes so much to your brave and prudent exertions in War, and to your wise and just administration in peace. We cordially join in the general satisfaction and joy which all the citizens of America feell in seeing you, and in those universal sentiments of regard to your person and veneration for your character which dictate the addresses that in various expressions have been offered to you. We join in the general satisfaction that every friend to human happiness must feel on finding that the people of the united states do now show a great and convincing Proof to all the world that freedom and good government are perfectly compatible—And that a first Magistrate unanimously chosen by the people may at once possess their utmost veneration and most hearty regard. We wish you a safe return to the seat of government, and do sincerely unite with the millions of America in praying that the supreme Governor of the Universe may long continue a life which he has so eminently distinguished in preserving and securing the best rights and happiness of the Citizens of this greatly favoured Country” (DLC:GW).