George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Henry Babcock, 6 December 1783

Head Quaters Little Rest Goal Decr 6. 1783

May it Please your Excellency

Permit me to congratulate you, upon the Independency of your Country, The Conspicuous part your Excellency has acted, upon the Great American Drama in bringing about this important Revolution, will ever endear you to your Country, & many Millions yet unborn, will rise up, and call you blessed. as the Father and protector of your Country, of the rights of Humanity. In Opposition to the formidable attempts of a haughty Tyrant, who vainly attempted to Subjugate the Americans.

That your Excellency both by your immortal Pen, & your Glittering Sword, taught the brave Americans: when Liberty was the Prize; To oppose those Troops, that but a few Years before, carried Conquest in every Quarter of the Globe. Commanded by the bravest Generals, that the Island of Great Britain cou’d Boast of.

That your Excellency had address enough, to keep the Flame alive, Tho. frequently without Money; and often without Provisions, when at sometimes it was just expiring; Your persevering—thro. this long & arduous Conflict, wou’d not be believ’d in future Ages, were there not so many Living Testimonies to relate the Glorious Story, certify’d by many illustrious Foreigners?

Congress, never did themselves more honour, than when they begged the loan of your Abilities, to make a proper Peace Establishment. After you had won the Prize at War, and had Landed your Country Men upon the Broad Basis of Independancey, upon which Basis; fair Liberty Smiles, Commerce, & the Polite Arts, with honest Industry, supported by Religion, will erect such a Fabrick that Heaven itself will take pleasure in beholding?

Long may you live to enjoy the endearing—Sweets of Liberty, & peace, with Mrs Washington that honor to her Sex, whose Joys will be redoubled by her Consciousness of being so intimately allied, to not only the greatest Hero, of the Age, but the greatest Philosopher & Legislator of your Country.

The Glorious Institution of the Noble Order of Cincennati, does your Excellency great Honor; when I presume to address, so great a Character, my Pen faulters hesitates, & Blunders, I wish for some American Homer, only to do your exalted Character Justice; & no doubt Providence will raise up one, which will exceed the Monument so well earned, that Congress have done themselves the Honor to be erected to your Memory; for when that has mouldered, & worn out, the bright Pages of the Historian will be remembered; not only for the Sublimity & Sentimental manner in which it will be wrote, but by the Magnitude of the Prize contended for, & so gloriously obtained, which will endure as long as Gratitude, the noblest Sensation of the human Mind will be held in Estimation. I have the Honor to be with every Sentiment of the highest Esteem; Your Excellency’s most Obedient, most oblig’d & most humble Servt

Henry Babcock

P.S. The reason of the Letter being dated at a Goal is, for not being able to pay my Debts, which Debts have been made, in consequence of taking a small Part, in the defence of my Country, having Leased out my Estate to a Tennant, who committed such—waste. with my Lands & Stock as hath disennabled me to make payment, together with some Excentrical Exhibitions; But cou’d I be honor’d with a Medal of the Noble Order of Cincennati, it wou’d be more esteem’d than Money, Tho. I now stand in the greatest need of it; For honor ever was Esteem’d by me, more than Cash, & there I believe I shall have your Excellencys approbation.

Henry Babcock

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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