Philadelphia 23d Decr 1796.
Yesterday I received your letter of the 16th instant, covering the resolutions of the Senate and House of Delegates of the State of Maryland, passed on the 13th & 14th—The very obliging and friendly terms in which you have made this communication, merit my sincere thanks.
The manner in which the two branches of the legislature of Maryland have expressed their sense of my services, is too honourable, and too affectionate ever to be forgotten. Without assigning to my exertions the extensive influence they are pleased to ascribe to them, I may with great truth say that, the exercise of every faculty I possessed was joined to the efforts of the virtue, talents and valour of my fellow–citizens to effect our Independence: and I concur with the Legislature in repeating, with pride and joy, what will be an everlasting honor to our country, that our revolution was so distinguished for moderation virtue & humanity, as to merit the eulogium they have pronounced of being unsullied with a crime.
With the same entire devotion to my country, every act of my civil Administration has been aimed to secure to it those advantages which result from a stable & free government; and with gratitudes to Heaven, I unite with the Legislature of Maryland in the pleasing reflections, that our country has continued to feel the blessings of peace, liberty & prosperity, whilst Europe and the Indies have been convulsed with the horrors of a dreadful & desolating war—My ardent prayers are offered that those afflicted regions may now speedily see their calamities terminated, and also feel the blessings of returning peace.
I cannot omit my acknowledgements to the Senate and House of Delegates for the manner in which they have noticed my late Address to my fellow citizens. This notice, with similar acts in other [States,] leads me to hope that, the advice which therein I took the liberty to offer as the result of much experience [and reflection,] may produce some good.
Their kind wishes for my domestic happiness, in my contemplated retirement, are entitled to my cordial thanks. If it shall please God to prolong a life already far advanced into the vale of years, no attending felicity can equal that which I shall feel in seeing [the admi]nistration of [our] government operating [towards] the Independence, prosperity and[ welfare of ]the American People. With great respect & consideration I am—Dear Sir Your most Obedt Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.