George Washington Papers

Resolutions of the Citizens of New Haven, Connecticut, 19 August 1793

Resolutions of the Citizens of
New Haven, Connecticut

[19 August 1793]

At a meeting of the Mayor Aldermen, Common council & Freemen of the City of New Haven warned according to the Constitution and convened at the State-House in said City on Monday the nineteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety three.1

Samuel Bishop Esqr. Mayor of said City, Moderator.2

Resolved; That the late proclamation of the President of the United States, declaring, and enjoining a strict nutrality, with respect to the belligerent powers, is a proof of the wisdom of the supreme executive, and of his vigilent attention to the prosperity of our Country, and merits our warmest approbation and firm support.3

Resolved; That we approve of the measures adopted by the Governor and Legislature of this State, in support of that proclamation, and the system of nutrality it enjoins.

Resolved; That we will unitedly and individually exert ourselves, to promote in our fellow citizens a conduct friendly & impartial towards the Nations of Europe which are now at open war with each other; and for this purpose will discountenance, and to the utmost of our power suppress any hostilities, against the people or property of such nations.

Resolved: That we will endeavour to preserve pure and inviolate, in principle and practice the Constitution of the United States. and watchfully guard against any insidious, or open attacks upon it. Resolved; That the Mayor of this City, be requested to transmit an official Copy of these proceedings, to the President of the United States, and a like Copy to the Governor of this State.4

I Samuel Bishop, Mayor of the City of New Haven do certify that the foregoing is a true Copy of Record.

In testimony whereof I have caused the Seal of said City to be hereunto affixed.

Samuel Bishop

DS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The last two sentences of the DS are in the writing of Samuel Bishop.

1A notice in the 14 Aug. issue of the Connecticut Journal (New Haven) called for the citizens of New Haven to convene on Thursday, 15 Aug., “at the State-House, precisely at five o’clock in the afternoon, to consider the late Proclamation of the President of the United States on the subject of neutrality, and express an opinion thereon.”

2Samuel Bishop (1723–1803) was the town clerk prior to becoming mayor in August 1793, and he served numerous terms in the state legislature. Thomas Jefferson appointed him collector of the port at New Haven in 1801 (Jefferson to Elias Shipman and Others, 12 July 1801, DLC: Jefferson Papers).

3GW issued the Neutrality Proclamation on 22 April 1793.

4Bishop enclosed this “official Copy” of the resolutions with a brief cover letter to GW of 20 Aug. 1793 (DLC:GW). GW responded with a letter to Bishop of 24 Aug. that reads: “I receive with great satisfaction the patriotic resolutions of the Citizens of New-Haven, which were transmitted to me in your letter of the 20th instant. And I can with truth assure them, that to receive the approbation of my fellow Citizens, I consider as my greatest glory—as to deserve it will ever be my constant study.

“If the measures of Government, approved & supported by the virtuous Citizens of the United States, can secure to our Country, in the present critical times, a continuance of peace & the enjoyment of its attendant blessings, which we have as it were but begun to taste, I shall feel amply compensated for the many anxious moments which I have lately experienced on account of our welfare—and we shall have fresh cause of gratitude to the great ruler of events for his preserving goodness” (DLC:GW). The resolutions and GW’s reply appear, respectively, in the 21 Aug. and 4 Sept. issues of the Connecticut Journal. Samuel Huntington (1731–1796) was the governor of Connecticut.

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