No. 301 Market St Philada Feby 20th 1797
In obedience to a resolution entered into at a meeting held in the Town of Sunbury on the 27th January, consisting of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, the Grand Jury, and a very respectable number of citizens of the County of Northumberland in the State of Pennsylvania, I have now the honor to present you as well with a copy of the proceedings of the said meeting, as with an address prepared in pursuance thereto, by the committee appointed for that purpose: which would have been presented much sooner had not some accidental circumstances concurred to delay my journey to Philadelphia. I have the honor to be with the most perfect admeration & respect Yr most obt Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Sunbury, Pennsylvania January 28th 1797
Next to the pleasure which arises from the consciousness of doing good, is that which flows from the justly merited applause of mankind: Next to the inexhaustible delight, and self-gratulation which you must feel from the restrospect of a life devoted to the service of your Country, are the grateful acknowledgements of that Country, for services unparralled in the page of history, for the excercise of virtues unexampled in the annals of mankind.
Permit us therefore Sir, in the name of the people of this County, and in common with our fellow Citizens through[out] the Union, to embrace, perhaps the last opportunity we shall have of publicly testifying to you, the deep and grateful sense we entertain, of that profound wisdom in council, and those eminent exertions in the field, which, aided by the bravery and virtue of Americans, led your country victorious through an arduous and bloody war, to liberty and independence.
For your disinterested patriotism in the administration of the general Government, for your perseverance in the system of neutrality, secured by firm and conciliatory measures, preserving our own dignity, and doing justice to all nations; for your promptness in suppressing domestic insurrections; for your firmness in defeating the exertions of foreign influence; for your steady adherence to the principles of the constitution; and lastly, for the inestimable legacy you have left us, in your late paternal address to the People of the United States.
A legacy so replete with wisdom and sound policy, as to merit not only a distinguished place in the archives of the respective States, but also to be engraven on the hearts & minds of every American; affectionately to be remembered and gratefully to be transmitted by them to posterity, as their political creed; as the last gift of him, to whom under God, we are principally indebted for our greatest political blessings.
Permit us also Sir, to accompany you with our best and most ardent wishes, in your contemplated retirement.
May the choicest blessings of domestic ease and bliss pervade the evening of your days: May you enjoy from the serene & peaceful walks of private life, the glorious prospect of a free and enlightened Country, progressing with rapid strides to consummation of every public and private virtue: A Country, which by your assistance, already holds a distinguished rank among the nations of the world.
Sunday 27th January, 1797.
At a meeting held in the Town of Sunbury consisting of the Judges of the Court of Common pleas, the Grand Jury, and a respectable number of Citizens of the County of Northumberland in the State of Pennsylvania, to take into consideration the propriety of addressing the President of the United States, expressive of the gratitude and entire approbation of the County, for his meritorious services during the revolutionary war, and also during his Administration of the General government.
General William Wilson was unanimously appointed Chairman
Charles Hall Secretary
The following resolutions were entered into.
Resolved—That a committee consisting of William Wilson, Thomas Strawbridge & John Macpherson Esquires the associate Judges now present, together with Daniel Smith & Charles Hall Esquires, be authorized and requested in the name of the People of this County, to prepare a respectful address to the President of the United States, expressive of the gratitude entertained by the people of this County, for the services of the President, both in our late glorious struggle for liberty and independence, as also of the most perfect approbation entertained by the said County, for his wise, firm, and patriotic administration of the General government.
Resolved—That the said address, together with a copy of these proceedings be transmitted by the above committee, to the President—and that Charles Hall be requested to present the same, on his arrival in Philadelphia.