United States 25th January 1797
I have received your very friendly letter of the 30th of last month, covering the address of the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina.
The Sentiments expressed by the General Assembly, and their testimony of the usefulness of my public services, while honorable and grateful to me personally, I value still more as a citizen of the country to whose freedom and prosperity those services have been devoted.
The continuance of these blessings will depend on the virtue, fortitude and union of its citizens: and as the exercise of these qualities are essential to our safety and happiness, so I trust they will be displayed.
My highest gratification during the remainder of my life will be to participate in the National prosperity: and in my retirement the kind wishes and affectionate attachment of my fellow citizens will be among the most pleasing recollections.
I must pray you to communicate these sentiments to the General Assembly, with my cordial acknowldgements for their Address; and to accept yourself my thanks for the obliging expressions which accompanied its transmission to me.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.