George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Grand Jurors of Sussex County, Delaware, 7 August 1793

From the Grand Jurors of Sussex County, Delaware

August 7th 1793


We the Grand Jury of the County of Sussex in the State of Delaware, assembled for the purpose of redressing any violations of the public peace and good order of Society, feel peculiar pleasure in the present opportunity we have of expressing our sense of your wise and patriotic exertions for the public Welfare.1 Our heartiest approbation of your prudent and timely proclamation,2 our firmest reliance on your unceasing vigilance for our peace and prosperity; and your uniform patriotism in all difficulties, prompt us to declare to you Our determination to support and assist you at all times against the machinations of the enemies of good Government We consider a continuation of peace, upon independent principles, to be a continuation of every public blessing, on the contrary an interruption of it would be fatal to our Agriculture, Commerce and Credit, and would involve in endless difficulties our now growing empire. That the same Wisdom and Public Love which has hitherto animated you in all your Actions may attend you to the latest period of your Life, and may descend to your Successors for Ages to come, is the sincerest prayer of our hearts.3

Signed by Order of the Grand Jury
Jonathan Cathel[,] Foreman4


1Gov. Joshua Clayton enclosed this address in a cover letter to GW of 23 Aug. 1793. Clayton wrote from the “State of Delaware” that “I do myself the Honor to enclose to your Excellency the Address of the Grand Jurors of the County of Sussex in this State and have the pleasure to inform that Similar Addresses may [be] expected from all the other Counties in Short time; as I believe all ranks of people among us, highly approve your Excellency’s wise and prudent Conduct in declaring the Neutrality of these United States by your Proclamation” (DLC:GW). For the addresses from the two other Delaware counties, see Citizens of Kent County to GW, 14 Aug., and Citizens of New Castle County to GW, 17 Aug. 1793.

3GW’s reply to this address was the letter he wrote at Philadelphia to Clayton on 4 Sept. 1793: “Considering, as I do, a state of peace as the greatest blessing which can attend any Country, I feel peculiar pleasure in receiving from you, the assurance of the constant and steady support of the late Grand Jury of Sussex County, to preserve to our Country a happiness so truly desirable.

“Influenced by this consideration, I was led to declare these States neutral with regard to the powers now at war, & I am happy in finding the measure so generally approved by my Fellow Citizens, whose welfare it shall be my constant study to promote, & whose confidence I shall always endeavour to merit.

“For the favorable sentiments they have expressed towards me, my warmest thanks are offered, & my best wishes reciprocated” (LB, DLC:GW).

4The federal census for Delaware in 1800 shows a John Cathel living in Cedar Neck Hundred, Sussex County.

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