George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elisha Boudinot, April 1783

New Ark [          ] April 1783

Amidst that general Joy which is diffused thro The States on the establishment of our independance, and a restoration of the blessings of peace; will your Excellency permit an individual, deeply interested in your happiness, to give vent if possible, to his feelings on this occasion; and most sincerely to congratulate you on the final accomplishment of our most sanguine hopes.

The thought, that your Excellency has survived the contest, adds a pleasure to the enjoyment that no other event could possibly give—It has been my earnest prayr that Heaven would preserve your life to compleat the liberation of your country from tyranny, and see her safely secured in peace, independance and happiness, and to receive the gratefull acknowledgments of a whole people—Nothing can afford a great Mind more real pleasure than the Idea, of being the happy instrument of giving birth to an empire, the future nursery of every principle that can ennoble man, an asylum for the persecuted of all Nations, and in fact rendering happiness to one quarter of the globe—It is a satisfaction that an Angel might aspire after, and which you Sir, are justly entitled to enjoy—I am confident that the Idea of this has supported your Excellency in the many distressing Scenes you have passed thro to the final completion of our wishes.

You have finished your part, it only remains that your country should equal in gratitude the toils, the dangers and solicitude you have endured for them—that they will do this collectively there is no doubt; but some thing still remains to perfect the reward; to convince you that every individual feels that real affection & gratitude for you, that they ought, to the Father and Deliverer of their country—this only can be done by the representation of private persons, which will I hope apologize for this entrusion—My publick business calls me into every county of this State, and a very general acquaintance with the inhabitants: and I am certain: I should do to them the greatest injustice, did I not assure your Excellency, that there is scarsely a Man or Woman among them but what entertains these sentiments, and who have a Monument erected to you in their breasts, that can only be effaced with their lives—Was it possible for your Excellency to have a view of the whole country at once, and see the honest farmers around their fires, blessing your Name, and teaching their children to lisp your praises; you would forget your toils & labours, and thank Heaven that you was born to bless a grateful land.

When your Excellency is retiring from the field, will you indulge the Inhabitants of this State to spend a short time, as you are passing thro; free from care, where you have spent so much in distress and anxiety of Mind; that they may have an opportunity of personally convincing you of their attachment!

I take the liberty to inclose, and beg your acceptance of an Ode written by my father in law Mr Smith on the present occasion.

Mrs Boudinot joins me in entreating that you will be kind enough to make our sincere congratulations acceptable to Mrs Washington and to assure her that we participate in the joy that she above all others must at this time.

That you may both long, long enjoy that cup of happiness which Providence has so compleatly filled, is the fervent desire of him who is with the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most hble & obt Srvt

Elisha Boudinot

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


1. At length war’s sanguine scenes are o’er,

Her dire alarms are heard no more

Thro’ all Columbia’s plain:

Sweet peace descends with balmy wings,

And heaven–born independance brings

With freedom in her train.


Hail! heaven descended guests, all hail!

Peace, independance, freedom, hail!

2. Ruler of Kings! thy mandate shook

The fated monarch’s throne, and struck

The Jewel from his crown:

Thy wisdom the rude states–man taught—

With aid divine the soldier fought—

The weak an empire won.


Hail! Sov’reign wisdom, goodness hail!

Peace, independance, freedom hail!

3. Oh! shed thy heav’nly influence down!

Form the new States to high renown,

Far as the Orients’ shore.

Let Justice lift aloft her hand!

Virtues, pure rob’d, patrole the land,

Till suns revolve no more.


Hail! train of heaven, bright–mantles hail!

Peace, independance, freedom hail!

4. Publick devotion!—glorious flame!

That gave to Rome immortal fame,

Thy sacred ardors bring:

Religion chief, angelic maid!

In ev’ry breast thy empire spread,

To purge corruptions spring.


Hail! pure atherial Graces hail!

Peace, independance, freedom, hail!

5. Her darling son, Columbia’s boast!

Envy and dread of Albion’s host!

His patriotfaulchion sheath.

Celestial meeds in ample flow

Crown the Deliver! bind his brow

With honors endless wreaths!


Hail! Washington! Deliverer hail!

Peace, independance, freedom hail!

6. Prince of illustrious christian name!

Historic pens shall mark thy fame

Till times long annals close:

Rous’d at oppression’s general grief,

Thy godlike arms extend relief;

Then—give a world repose.


Hail! christian King! reliever hail!

Peace, independance, freedom hail!

7. Now let the loud shrill clarions play,

Triumphant peals proclaim the day,

Th’united States are free!

While round all chearing music floats

And echoing hills rebound the notes,

God’s firm and just decree!


Hallelujah! hallelujah!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

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