George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Linn, 16 December 1795

From William Linn

New-york, Decr 16th 1795.


Amidst the weighty cares & business which occupy your mind, particularly at this moment, I can hardly hope to be excused in offering for your perusal a sermon preached here, on the late thanksgiving day. Much less, I fear, will I be excused for the liberty taken in attempting an encomium upon you.1 I can only plead in my defence that shameful & cruel abuse with which some public papers have lately teemed, & which excites a becoming indignation in the breast of every friend to virtue & good order.

That Almighty God would give you wisdom & firmness, & continue you long as a blessing to your country, is the ardent prayer of, Sir, your obedient and humble servant

Wm Linn


Linn enclosed A Discourse, Delivered on the 26th of November, 1795; Being the Day Recommended by the Governor of the State of New-York to be Observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, on Account of the Removal of an Epidemic Fever, and for Other National Blessings (New York, 1795), which was in GW’s library at his death (Griffin, Catalogue of the Washington Collection, description begins Appleton P. C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 125). On page 33 of that sermon, Linn wrote: “Can the man who toiled and fought for years to secure our liberty and independence; the man whom unanimous suffrage raised to the first seat in our new government; the man who has long since arrived at the summit of fame; the man who is the admiration and envy of the world; the man to whom crowns and sceptres would be empty baubles; the man with whose virtues future historians shall blazon their page, and all generations shall arise to call blessed; can such a man betray us? ’Tis impossible. ’Tis too like the whisper of misguided zeal, of discontent, or of malevolence. ’Tis a tale too much calculated to undermine, and to bring into disrepute all republican governments.”

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