George Washington Papers

Resolutions of the Citizens of Essex County, New Jersey, 17 August 1793

Resolutions of the Citizens of
Essex County, New Jersey

[Newark, N.J., 17 August 1793]

At a numerous and respectable meeting of the Inhabitants of the County of Essex in the State of New Jersey, held at the Court House at Newark on the seventeenth day of August 1793—General Elias Dayton was chosen Chairman & Elisha Boudinot Esqr. Secretary.1

Resolved—one person only dissenting, That we regard the proclamation of the President; which announces the Neutrality of the United States in the war now existing among several of the Nations in Europe,2 As a declaration of the real disposition of these States, As a friendly admonition to all our Citizens, of the penalties to which they will be exposed under any violation of the law of Nations—and as a new proof of that watchful care and paternal affection for the true interests, prosperity and honor of this Country, which has so uniformly marked and eminently distinguished the administration of our first Majistrate.

Resolved—That as it is the indispensible duty of every good Citizen, so it shall be our constant endeavour to carry into effect the pacific system enjoined in the aforesaid proclamation, and to support our public Officers in all lawful and proper exertions to enforce and maintain the same.

Elisha Boudinot Secry
Elias Dayton Chairman3

DS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The docket on the DS reads “Resolutions of the Inhabitants of the County of Essex in the State of New Jersey—on the President’s Proclamation 20t Augt 1793.”

1This document was accompanied by a brief cover letter from Dayton to GW of 20 Aug. 1793 that reads: “Agreeably to an order of the meeting I have the honor to transmit to you a copy of the resolves entered into by the Inhabitants of the county of Essex including the townships of Elizabeth, Newark, Springfield, Acquackanung [Acquacknack, Acquakinunk] and Paterson” (DLC:GW).

3The clerk who docketed this letter added Dayton’s title after his signature. GW responded to these resolutions in a letter to Dayton of 24 Aug. that reads: “Among the public testimonies of approbation which the late proclamation of neutrality has received from various parts of the United States, I am pleased to see that of the Inhabitants of the County of Essex in the State of New Jersey, which was transmitted to me in your letter of the 20th instant. The strong desire, to preserve our Country in a state of peace, which has been so generally expressed by the good & virtuous Citizens thereof; and the assurances they have given to support the measures of Government which are taken to secure that object, afford a pleasing hope that we shall preserve our tranquillity during the present important crisis, and thereby confirm that respectable character which we are begining to obtain among the nations of the Earth” (LB, DLC:GW). The resolutions and GW’s reply were printed respectively in the 21 and 28 Aug. issues of the New-Jersey Journal (Elizabeth).

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