27 December 1796
Most respected Sir and Brother
Having announced your Intention to retire from Public Labor to that Refreshment to which your preeminent Services for near Half a Century have so justly entitled you, Permit, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at this last Feast of our Evangelic Master St John, on which we can hope for an immediate Communication with you to join the grateful voice of our Country in Acknowledging that you have carried forth the Principles of the Lodge into every Walk of your life, by your constant Labors for the Prosperity of that Country, by your unremitting Endeavours to promote Order, Union and Brotherly Affection amongst us, and lastly by the vows of your Farewell Address which to your Brethren and Fellow Citizens—An Address which we trust our Children and our Childrens Children will ever look upon as a most invaluable Legacy from a Friend a Benefactor and a Father.
To these our grateful Acknowledgments, (leaving to the impartial Pen of History to Record the important Events in which you have borne so illustrious a part) Permit us to add our most fervent prayers, that after enjoying to the utmost Span of Human Life, every Felicity which the Terrestrial Lodge can afford, You may be received by the great Master Builder of this World and of Worlds unnumbered, into the ample Felicity of that celestial Lodge in which alone distinguished virtues and distinguished Labors can be eternally rewarded.
By unanimous Order of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania at their Communication held the 27th Day of December Anno Domini 1796.
Wm Moore Smith GdM.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.