Harford, Maryland. 22d October 1796.
When Britain oblidged America to take up Arms, I was in Ireland, having sailed from New York when the Tea was destroyed in Boston. My Father had been often in this Country. In his family, He prayed twice every day, & I cannot recollect that he ever finished his Devotions (after hearing of your being appointed Commander in Chief) that He did not pray for your Success.
In 1779 I returned to America & Exerted myself in the Cause of Liberty. Taught to Reverence you, I wished by some means, to give you a proof of my Attachment, in 1783, I went from New Windsor to Philadelphia, where I purchased a Hat & Cockade. Those I sent to you, on St Patrick’s day, to Newburgh. Your letter, refusing the former but, kindly, accepting the latter, is now before me, & has been my constant companion, thro’ many distressing Scenes.
Four days ago I got a Newspaper containing your Address to the PEOPLE. A sentimental Patriotic friend told me that I would be affected when reading it. He spoke Truth. Neither my Tongue nor my Pen can express my Sensations. Excuse me, Beloved Sir, for addressing you, I cannot help it.
May the God of Hosts, preserve & keep you, happy long Happy Here & that opposite to Your Name. Bliss in Eternum may be written opposite to your name in the Heavenly Mansions & in the MOST conspicuous characters, long [has been & is] now & will be [dum memor ipse mei] the Ardent Prayer of, Your Faithful Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.