George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Tench Tilghman, 24 April 1783

Newburgh 24th April 1783

Dear Sir,

I received with much pleasure the kind congratulations contained in your letter of the 25th Ulto from Philadelphia—on the honorable termination of the War. No Man, indeed, can relish the approaching Peace with more heart felt, and grateful satisfaction than myself. A Mind always upon the stretch, and tortured with a diversity of perplexing circumstances, needed a respite—and I anticipate the pleasure of a little repose & retirement. It has been happy for me, always to have Gentlemen about me willing to share my troubles, & help me out of difficulties. to none of these can I ascribe a greater share of merit than to you.

I can scarcely form an idea at this moment, when I shall be able to leave this place. the distresses of the Army for want of money—the embarrassments of Congress—and the conseqt delays, and disappointments on all sides, encompass me with difficulties; and produce—every day—some fresh source for uneasiness. But as I now see the Port opening to which I have been steering, I shall persevere till I have gained admittence. I will then leave the States to improve their present constitution, so as to make that Peace & Independency for which we have fought and obtained, a blessing to Millions yet unborn—but to do this, liberallity must supply the place of prejudice—and unreasonable jealousies must yield to that confidence, which ought to be placed in the sovereign Power of these States. In a word the Constitution of Congress must be competent to the general purposes of Government; and of such a nature as to bind us together. otherwise, we may well be compared to a Rope of Sand, and shall as easily be broken—and in a short time become the sport of European politics, altho’ we might have no great inclination to jar among ourselves.

From the intimation in your Letter, & what I have heard from others I presume this letter will find you in the State of Wedlock. On this happy event I pray you, and your Lady, to accept of my best wishes, & sincerest congratulations in which Mrs Washington joins hers most cordially. With the most affectionate esteem & regard I am—Dr Sir Yr most obedt Servt

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NjP: DeCoppet Collection.

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