United States 2d of Feby 1797
I receive with great satisfaction the Addresses of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, which you have now presented to me, on the occasion of my contemplated retirement from the Presidency of the United States.
These evidences of their affection, and testimonies that my public Services have been useful to my country, will ever be dear to me.
If yielding to the calls of my fellow-citizens, I have renounced the ease and enjoyments of private life, to encounter the dangers & difficulties of the first and most arduous employments, it was because the sacrifices, on my part, were by them deemed interesting to their safety & Welfare. Animated by such motives, and supported by the general spirit & patriotism of my countrymen, when the objects of my public agency were attained, nought remained to me but to seek again the private station which their partiality and confidence required me for a time to relinquish. In this chosen retirement, the approving voice of my country will ever be a subject of grateful recollection; while I behold its increasing prosperity, under the influence of the same public spirit, energy, justice and moderation, in which its independence, character and credit have been founded. That such may be the fruit of our labours, and such the happy progress of our Republic, is, and ever will be, the object of my ardent wishes.
These sentiments, gentleman[,] with my grateful acknowledgments to the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, I pray you to communicate to them in such manner as you shall deem proper.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.