17th Decmr 1781.
The Magistrates of the City of Philadelphia beg Leave to approach Your Excellency with Sentiments of the most perfect Gratitude and Esteem. When we review Your great and important Services, performed amidst innumerable Dangers and Difficulties; Your unshaken Fortitude, Perserverance and Success; our grateful Hearts pay You the Homage so justly due, and rise in ardent Wishes to Heaven, suitably to reward such eminent Worth. Nor can we confine the pleasing Tribute to military Virtues only, the respectful Regard ever shewn by Your Excellency to the civil Authority claim our particular Acknowledgements, and afford a high Example of the Union of those great Qualities which form the Hero and Patriot.
The glorious Success in Virginia is replete with too many Blessings to the great Cause in which we are engaged and the future Happiness of America not to claim our particular Regard, the Wisdom of the Plan and Gallantry of the Execution are above our Praise. The Blessings and Thanks of a free and grateful People together with the Smiles of approving Heaven can alone reward Your Excellency, the Officers and Troops of our illustrious Ally, and our brave Countrymen, to whom under Providence we owe this happy Event.
We esteem the City greatly favoured by Your Excellency’s temporary Residence; it will be the pleasing Employment of the Citizens we trust to render it agreeable. Our affectionate Wishes will follow You to the Field and through every Part of Your future Life, that it may be crowned with Glory and Happiness both public and private. Signed in behalf of the Magistrates
Plunkt Fleeson Prest
DLC: Papers of George Washington.