George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Newport, Rhode Island, Artillery Company, 22 February 1794

From the Newport, Rhode Island, Artillery Company

[Newport, R.I., 22 February 1794]

The Artillery Company of the Town of Newport in the State of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations, assembled on this day to celebrate the birth of the chief magistrate of the United States, beg leave to present their congratulations and respect:

Associated by principles which effected a glorious revolution, and laid the basis of a free and permanent government, they contemplate with grateful emotions, the blessings which have resulted from a prudent and efficient administration.

Enjoying the inestimable priviledges of freemen, they commiserate the unhappy state of those who are in bondage, sympathize in the sufferings of those who are bravely struggling in the cause of freedom, and cordially rejoice with those, who are successful in regaining their rights: Equalized with their fellow citizens, they consider abilities and virtue, the only qualities which deserve public estimation, and give preeminence to a character; Influenced by these sentiments, they have presumed on this offering of congratulation and respect, as the purest testimony of their attachment for distinguished virtue; Humbly beseeching the Supreme Giver of all good gifts to continue your life and public usefulness, and that they with their fellow citizens, may still gratefully reciprocate the satisfaction resulting from a faithful discharge of important duties.

Signed in pursuance of the unanimous resolution of the Artillery Company of the Town of Newport February 22d 1794.

F. Malbone, Captain1


1Newport merchant Francis Malbone (1759–1809) represented Rhode Island in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1793–97, and in the U.S. Senate from 4 March 1809 until his death on 4 June 1809. He served as the captain of the Newport Artillery Company from its reorganization in 1792 until his death. He enclosed this letter with a brief cover letter that he wrote at Philadelphia on 17 March, which reads: “I have the pleasure to inclose an Address from the Artillery Company of the Town of Newport, which I received by the last Post” (DLC:GW). GW replied to the artillery company in a letter of c.18 March.

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