George Washington Papers

Address from the Citizens of Trenton, New Jersey, 18 July 1793

Address from the Citizens
of Trenton, New Jersey

[Trenton, N.J., 18 July 1793]


Deeply impressed with the wisdom and Policy which dictated your Proclamation declaring the Neutrality to be observed by the United States of America in the War between France and other Powers of Europe, We the Inhabitants of the City and Neighbourhood of Trenton take this manner to express the high satisfaction we feel upon this renewed Proof of that watchful Care you have ever testified for the best Interests of our Country.1

The present flourishing Condition of the United States under a Constitution and Administration of Government which commands the Admiration of the World must cause every feeling mind to deplore and deprecate the Calamities of War. If there is a man in America who could wish to see this Country involved in the miseries under which Europe now groans, he must be an Enemy not only to the Happiness of the United States, but to that enlightened Policy which breathes Peace & good Will to all the World.

Sensible that strictly to maintain the Principles of Neutrality, is the “Duty and Interest of the United States”2 and the only way to insure a Continuation of Peace and Prosperity, We beg leave to assure you of our fixed Determination not only to comply with the Proclamation ourselves, but to discountenance and discourage every thing which may contravene the object of it.

Permit us further to add, that the time elapsed since the Proclamation has given us opportunity to know its general Acceptation and that we believe we express the common Sentiments and the common Language of the Citizens of the State of New Jersey.3 Signed by order and in behalf of the Meeting.

M: Furman.4 chairman


1This address, written in support of GW’s Neutrality Proclamation of 22 April 1793, was enclosed in a letter to GW of 18 July signed by Isaac Smith, James F. Armstrong, Samuel W. Stockton, and Aaron D. Woodruff. This cover letter reads: “We, the Committee appointed by a numerous and respectable meeting of the Inhabitants of the City and neighbourhood of Trenton, have the satisfaction to transmit an Address Unanimously approved, and ordered to be signed by their Chairman” (DLC:GW).

2This is a phrase from the introduction to the Neutrality Proclamation.

3GW’s reply of c.20 July reads: “Having no other view, in the discharge of my public duties, but to promote the bests interests of our Country, it gives me pleasure to learn, that the measures which are taken to effect that object, meet the acceptance of my fellow Citizens.

“I am persuaded, that the flourishing condition of the United States, & the happy situation of our political circumstances, will not fail to impress every reflecting mind. And sure I am that there is not a well-wisher to this Country who can desire to see us involved in the contest in which the powers of Europe are now engaged.

“The assurances of your determination to pursue such a line of conduct as will, on your part, ensure the continuance of peace & prosperity to our Country, are no less pleasing to me, than the belief which you express, that your address conveys, ‘the common sentiments & common language of the Citizens of the State of New Jersey’” (LB, DLC:GW). Both the address and GW’s reply appeared in the New-Jersey Journal (Elizabeth) of 31 July 1793.

4Moore Furman (1728–1808), a merchant of Trenton and Philadelphia and a former postmaster of Trenton, served as a deputy quartermaster general of the Continental Army, 1778–80. He was the founder of Pittstown, N.J., and the mayor of Trenton, 1792–94.

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