Dublin 15th Feby 1797
My Dear Sir
It gives me real & heartfelt concern to mention, that it is an Age Since I had the Honor & Happiness of a Line from you, whom I now & always have Esteemed as the first and most Virtuous Man of this Age.
The Feild of European Politics has Undergone great Changes Since your last—that Change will Still Produce more, untill Every State, Monarchist or Republican is Convulsed; But I trust the United States of America will preserve thier Fœderal Union, Dignity & Consequence, and that no Power on Earth will be Able to disturb your Happiness or retard this Progressive Strength and Consequence of your Country.
My Feelings, must be the same with those of Every Man, who is interested in the Welfare of the United States, on your Resignation; for here we beheld you, as the Great Support, in the Cabinet & the field, of the United States; all Parties here lookd with Equal Reverence on George Washington.
The Malicious Publications against you, are treated here with the Greatest Contempt, & the Authors are deemed Secret Enemies to the Prosperity of the United States; few Papers here woud Republish any of them; none publishd Cato’s Letters—Some Extracts from Pain’s Letter to you were, but they were fully answered, & compleatly refuted.
The late intended invasion had alarmed us very much, as it was unexpected, but we had soon a Sufficient Force to repel the 25000 Men, they intended to Land; the British Fleet was late by 2 Days, or the whole would have been Captured; a Storm dispersed them; But I am Certain they will make another attempt, but we are now much better prepared; we have a New Body of Men, called the Yeomanry, into which allmost all the Protestants of Property have enterd; we Consist already of 31400 Men—and will encrease to 40,000, we are to Guard Towns, Stores & Magazines, while the Militia & Army of the Line take the field—Some thousands have tendered thier services to join the Regulars; we had a Review of those in this City, they amounted to 3204 well disciplind in 6 Weeks; Great Part are Cavalry, who are astonishingly trained—among the rest, I mounted Guard as a Private, for I thought none but Veteran officers Should Command Companies of Yeomen.
Every Ship in England is fitting out for immediate Service, as it is Known what preparations are making in France for another Expedition—& 40,000 of the best Troopes in England are ready to Come over here—& we have 65000—in this Sort of Conflict almost Every Man that has either Landed or Monied Property would become a Soldier.
our Weather has been seasonable, Spring not too forward, Moderate frosts & Snow, & we have great Stores of Potatoes, Corn & Hay—So that, if at Domestic Peace, next year, if our Harvest Equals last year, we Shall be able to Export Considerable Quantities of Corn & Potatoes—I have lately discoverd a Lead Mine on my Estate in the County of Tipperary, which promises well, but the Scarsity of Money now prevents my working it—our funds have not sufferd much depression; the Great Majority of the People here have great Confidence in the present Administration, who realy have acted wisely & with Spirit.
Since you my Dear & ever respected Friend resignd, I congratulate America on the Choice of Mr Adams as your Successor—That they may be happy, & you Enjoy good Health, is & Ever has been my Fervent Prayer; Lady Newenham joins me in best regards to Mrs Washington; In full hopes of soon having the Honor & Happiness of an Answer I remain My Dear Sir with most Sincere Respect & Affectionate Regard your faithfull Humble Svt
There no being any Ship here ready for America, I send it by the British Pacquet.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.