United States 12th December 1796.
With particular pleasure I receive the unanimous address of the Council and General Assembly of the State of Vermont. Although but lately admitted into the Union, yet the importance of your State, it’s love of liberty and its energy, were manifested in the earliest periods of the revolution which established our Independence. Unconnected in name only, but in reality united with the confederated States, these felt and acknowledged the benefits of your cooperation. Their mutual safety and advantage duly appreciated, will never permit this Union to be dissolved.
I enjoy great happiness in the testimony you have presented, and in the other proofs exhibited from various parts of our country, that the operations of the general Government have justified the hopes of our citizens at its formation, which is recognized as the era of national prosperity. The voluntary acknowledgments of my fellow citizens persuade me to believe that my agency has contributed to produce this effect. This belief will be to me a source of permanent satisfaction, and those acknowledgements a rich reward.
My sincere thanks are due, and I beg you, Gentlemen, to make them acceptable to the Council and General Assembly of the State of Vermont, for the very obliging and affectionate terms in which they notice me and my public services. To such confidence and support, as I have experienced from Councils, Legislative assemblies, and the great body of American Citizens, I owed the best exertions of every faculty I possessed: happy now in the reflection, that our joint labours have been crowned with success, When withdrawn to the shade of private life, I shall view with growing pleasure, the increasing prosperity of the United States: in the perfect protection of their government, I trust to enjoy my retirement in tranquillity; and then, while indulging a favorite wish of my heart in agricultural pursuits, I may hope to make even my private business and amusement of some use to my Country.