From George Washington1
Mount Vernon Septr. 21st. 1792.
Under cover of this Letter you will receive the Proclamation which is just returned to me with the counter signature of The Secretary of State. I have erased the words “dictated by weighty reasons of public exigency,”2 & scored others with a pencil, which you are hereby authorised to take out or retain as you may think best.
As the Instrument is drawn I could do no other than fill up one of the blanks with the name of the place at wch. I now am; but, as it is to have a general circulation, you may decide upon the propriety of this, & alter or let it stand according to your judgment.3
With esteem, I am &c.
LC, George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
1. For background to this letter, see H to Tench Coxe, September 1, 1792; H to Washington, September 1, 8, first letter of September 9, September 11, 1792; H to John Jay, September 3, 1792; “Draft of a Proclamation Concerning Opposition to the Excise Law,” September 7, 1792; Jay to H, September 8, 1792; Edmund Randolph to H, September 8, 1792; Washington to H, September 7, and the two letters Washington sent to H on September 17, 1792.
2. Acting on Randolph’s suggestion, H had called this phrase to Washington’s attention (Randolph to H, September 8, 1792; H to Washington, September 11, 1792). After signing the proclamation, Thomas Jefferson returned it to Washington, together with a letter dated September 18, 1792, in which he also suggested the removal of the phrase (ALS, RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters, 1790–1799, National Archives).
3. For the proclamation as it was issued, see “Draft of a Proclamation Concerning Opposition to the Excise Law,” September 7, 1792, note 1.