George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the South Carolina Legislature, 10 February 1784

From the South Carolina Legislature

Charleston So. Carolina february 10th 1784


It is with inexpressible pleasure that we transmit your Excellency the Address of the Legislative body of the State of So. Carolina.1

We are peculiarly happy, in the Opportunity afforded us, of testifying the high sense we entertain, of the consummate abilities and unparalleled virtue, that you have displayed in a long, and arduous Contest—a Contest! that altho it often placed you, in the most dangerous, and difficult situations, served only, to discover the inexhaustible sources of your Genius, and invincible fortitude, and administer to you fresh occasions of Glory.

When we consider how much, the United States are indebted to your Excellency for their Freedom, Independence, and Peace; words are wanting to convey the warmth, and sincerity of our esteem, and grateful respect.

May you, Sir, ever possess the united affections of a Great, and free People, and long live to enjoy in domestick felicity, and tranquility, the pleasing satisfaction, of having conscientiously, discharged your duty, to your Country, in rescuing it, from Tyranny, and, arbitrary Domination. We have the honor to be, with the highest respect Your Excellency’s most Obedient Servants

John Lloyd
President of the Senate

Hugh Rutledge
Speaker of the House of Representatives2


1The address, dated 10 Feb. and also signed by John Lloyd and Hugh Rutledge, reads: “The Senate, and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, now met in General Assembly, in their own names, and in the names of their Constituents, the free Citizens of this State, offer to your Excellency their warmest, and most sincere congratulations, on the restoration of Peace, and the happy establishment of the Freedom, and, Independence of the United States of America.

“To the distinguished, and, disinterested part you have acted during the course of a long, and arduous Contest, with the blessing of Heaven on your exertions, we greatly attribute our success in effecting a Revolution, glorious, in its progress, and, flattering in its Consequences; a Revolution; which has not only secured our own Liberties, but if we have wisdom to improve our present advantages, cannot fail of extending the blessings we enjoy, to our latest Posterity, and of making our Country an Asylum for the oppressed, and persecuted from every Quarter of the Globe.

“We rejoice at the Opportunity now afforded you of enjoying that domestick ease, and happiness, you so much delight in, and which, you have so long, and, so ardently wished for.

“May your valuable Life be long spared, to your Country, and Friends; May uninterrupted health be added to all your other Enjoyments; and when the Almighty Ruler of the Universe shall think fit to receive you to himself, Your Illustrious name, and, Character, will live in the Memories of our Countrymen, to the remotest period of Time” (DLC:GW). For GW’s response, see his letter to Lloyd and Rutledge of 28 May 1784.

2John Lloyd (1735–1807), a Charleston merchant and a planter in St. Bartholomew Parish, was president of the South Carolina senate from 1783 to 1788. Hugh Rutledge (c.1745–1811), one of the three politically prominent Rutledge brothers who also included John (1739–1800) and Edward (1749–1800), was speaker of the South Carolina house of representatives from 1782 to 1784.

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