George Washington Papers

James Wilmer to Tobias Lear, 5 February 1793

James Wilmer to Tobias Lear

Baltimore, Feby 5. 1793.


Your polite attention demands our warmest gratitude.1 By this day’s mail is sent a packet to his Excellency, which, I hope will arrive in due order.2 The Baltimore Journal of to day is enclosed.3 Allow me respectfully to solicit your attention to the following ode, for Monday next, in one of your Gazettes;4 no seasonable opportunity offering here, will plead for the freedom assumed. I have the honor to be, Sir, Your very obliged, and most obt huml. Servt

James Wilmer.

ALS, DLC:GW. The postmark on the cover reads “BALT FEB 5.” The postage fee of “37/” also appears on the cover.

2At the end of this letter, Wilmer added a “List of Books sent His Excelle[n]cy by this days mail.” The list reads:

“1, Copy of the New Church Liturgy &c.

1, Do. J. Wilmers Sermon on opening the New church.

1, Do. Life of Swedenborg

1, of the ⟨9⟩ Questions

1, Memoir by J. Wilmer

1, on the Lord’s prayer.

1, news paper of to day.”

Wilmer’s A Sermon, on the Doctrine of the New-Jerusalem Church: Being the First Promulgated within the United States of America and his Memoirs (both Baltimore, 1792), Robert Hindmarsh’s A Short Account of the Honourable Emanuel Swedenborg, and His Theological Writings (London, 1792), and Emanuel Swedenborg’s Passages concerning the Lord’s Prayer, and Its Internal Sense (London, 1789) were in GW’s library at the time of his death (Griffin, Boston Athenæum Washington Collection, description begins Appleton P. C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 101, 197, 227–28).

3Wilmer probably enclosed the Maryland Journal, although the Baltimore Daily Repository and Baltimore Evening Post and Daily Advertiser were also published in Baltimore at this time.

4The ode, which appears below Wilmer’s signature, is dated “Baltimore, Feby 1793” and described as being “From the new church.” It reads:

“The Man of the People: Born Feby 11. 1732.

Behold! the year returns our Son of Freedom, matchless Washington!

Let music sound from pole to pole,

He’s welcome to each patriot Soul.

Welcome, welcome, welcome, welcome

Welcome to each patriot soul.

Hark! hark! and hear Columbia’s Song,

Recount her matchless Washington!

Divinely sweet the accents roll,

He’s welcome to each patriot soul

Welcome &c.

Welcome to each patriot Soul.

Freemen! attune the noble lay,

George, the Hero’s born to day:

Peace and Freedom, both our own,

Cheer’d by the Smiles of Washington!

Let music sound from pole to pole,

He’s welcome to each patriot soul.

Welcome, welcome &c.”

The publication of this ode in a Philadelphia newspaper on Monday, 11 Feb., which was the date of GW’s birthday before Great Britain and its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, has not been identified.

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