Address from Annapolis, Maryland, Citizens
[Annapolis, 5 September 1793]
The citizens of Annapolis conceive it their duty, at this time, to unite their voices with those of their fellow citizens in various parts of the United States; and they beg leave to assure you, that they are deeply and indelibly impressed with a sense of the paternal vigilance exalted wisdom and dignified firmness manifested by your proclamation on the subject of neutrality.1 It is their fixed determination to conduct themselves, agreeably to the principles, therein expressed; and they will exert their best endeavours, to prevent any infringement of them by others.
They are, at the same time, persuaded, that on the faithful observance of subsisting treaties, according to their true intent and obvious construction, the prosperity and honour of our country greatly depend. They cannot be unmindful of the important advantages, derived from our generous allies, the citizens of France; and they doubt not, that, throughout the United States, there prevails a disposition, on all proper occasions, to testify their gratitude and affection. But they never can consent to the adoption of a conduct, which would violate the rules of universal justice, exceed greatly the extent of our national engagements, and hazard the blessings, we have acquired, without serving materially the cause of our friends.2
They cannot but lament that any diversity of sentiment, relative to the construction of a treaty has taken place in America; but they do not believe, that a real difference of opinion will elsewhere prevail. They reprobate the idea of the intervention of any foreign minister to correct supposed abuses in our government. Every communication of such a minister, to them, or any of their fellow citizens, unless thro’ the regular constituted authorty, and every interference by such a minister with the administration of our internal affairs, they hold not only repugnant to the usage of nations, but derogatory to the dignity of a free, and enlightened people.3
Permit them further to declare, that they feel a sublime gratification in avowing their steady attachment to the man, whom Providence seems to have raised up for the salvation of their country, and to have preserved, as the favoured instrument, for securing to millions the inestimable blessings of liberty independence and peace.
That the people of America may always duly prize these blessings; that they may always possess discernment to detect the varying arts of delusion and that you, Sir, may for ever be happy, is the sincere and ardent wish of the citizens of Annapolis.
By order of the citizens of Annapolis at a meeting, held at the Stadt-house, on Thursday September 5, 1793
A. C. Hanson Chairman
ADS, DLC:GW; ADS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The second ADS was presumably sent by Henry Hill. This address was printed in the Maryland Gazette (Annapolis), 26 September.
1. On 22 April GW proclaimed the United States neutral in the war between France and an alliance of European nations.
2. For the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the United States and France (1778), see Miller, Treaties description begins Hunter Miller, ed. Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. Vol. 2, 1776-1818. Washington, D.C., 1931. description ends , 3–44.
3. In a public letter of 12 Aug., John Jay and Rufus King had asserted that French minister Edmond Genet “had said he would Appeal to the People from certain decisions of the President” (Diary; or Loudon’s Register [New York], 12 Aug. 1793). Genet’s letter to GW of 13 Aug., which demanded that GW deny Genet had made such a threat, had been made public by late August. While disavowing the rumored threat, Genet’s letter nonetheless intimated that GW’s policies were indeed contrary to American public opinion.