George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Grand Inquest of Chester County, Pennsylvania, 26 August 1793

From the Grand Inquest of Chester County, Pennsylvania

[c.26 August 1793]

Fully impressed with the importance of Observing those steps which (in our Opinion) will tend to preserve to the United States that peace, which they now by the blessing of God enjoy.

The Grand Inquest for Chester County in the State of Pennsylvania, beg leave to express the high Opinion they entertain of your wisdom & attention to the interest & happiness of your Country in Issuing the late Proclamation, declaring the Neutrality of the United States;1 And whilst as friends to mankind they most cordially deprecate the war now carried on by the Belligerent Powers, they conceive that pursuing a line of Conduct strictly impartial & friendly to all, will prevent those difficulties & distresses which are the concomitants of War, and which is now spreading devastation in Europe.2

They are happy in this oppertunity to declare their intention to pursue the most effectual means in their power to preserve the Neutrality from violation and in making this declaration it is but Just to observe that they are fully confident they are speaking the sentiments of their County.

Signed by Order of the Grand inquest for August sessions 1793—By—

Dennis Whelen Foreman3

DS, in the writing of Dennis Whelen, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The docket reads “26 Augt 1793.”

1GW issued the Neutrality Proclamation on 22 April 1793.

2France, already at war with Prussia and Austria, declared war against Great Britain and the Netherlands on 1 Feb. 1793 and against Spain on 7 Mar. 1793.

3Dennis Whelen (1761–1819) wrote GW from Chester County on 26 Aug. that “By direction of the late Grand Inquest for this County I do myself the honor to inclose an address which was unanimously agreed to by them” (DLC: GW). Whelen represented Chester, Bucks, and Montgomery counties in the Pennsylvania senate, 1794–1801. He was the founder and publisher of the Chester & Delaware Federalist (West Chester, Pa.), 1809–17.

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