George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Governor and Legislature of New Hampshire, 3 November 1789

To the Governor and Legislature of New Hampshire

[Portsmouth, N.H., 3 November 1789]

Allow me, Gentlemen, to assure you that grateful as my heart is for the affectionate regards which my fellow-citizens have manifested towards me, it has at no time been more sensibly impressed with a consciousness of their goodness than on the present occasion.

I am truly thankful for your expressions of attachment to my person, and approbation of my conduct—and I reciprocate your good wishes with unfeigned affection.

In exercising the vigilance and attention, with which you are pleased to compliment my military command, I did no more than what inclination prompted and duty enjoined.

In discharging the duties of my civil appointment, I can sincerely promise that the love of my country will be the ruling influence of my conduct.

The success, which has hitherto attended our united efforts, we owe to the gracious interposition of Heaven, and to that interposition let us gratefully ascribe the praise of victory, and the blessings of peace.

May the State, in whose councils you worthily preside, be happy under your administration, and may you, Gentlemen, partake of the blessings which your endeavors are intended to bestow.

G. Washington.

LB, DLC:GW; copy, DLC:GW.

For background to GW’s tour of the eastern states, see his letter to Betty Lewis, 12 Oct. 1789, n.3.

According to GW’s diary account “About 2 Oclock I recd. an Address from the Executive of the State of New Hampshire; and in half an hour after dined with them and a large Company at their Assembly room which is one of the best I have seen any where in the United States” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:490). The address, signed by John Sullivan and dated 3 Nov., reads: “Amidst the applause and gratulations of millions, suffer the Executive of New Hampshire with grateful hearts to approach you, Sir, and hail you welcome to this northern State—To a Government, whose metropolis was at an early stage of the late war by your vigilance and attention saved from destruction. And the whole of which was, at an after period, rescued from impending ruin by that valour and prudence, which eventually wrought out the salvation of our common country, and gave birth to the American empire.

“Deeply impressed with the remembrance of these important events, you will permit us to say that among the vast multitude of your Admirers, there is not a People who hold your talents and your virtues in higher veneration than the Inhabitants of New Hampshire.

“We beg you, Sir, to accept our most cordial thanks for the honor done to this State by your more than welcome visit at this time. And that you will believe that we shall not cease to unite our most fervent prayers with those of our american Brethren that you may be continued a lasting blessing to our nation—and long, very long, be suffered to rule in Peace over those, whom you have protected and defended in war” (DLC:GW).

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