George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Witherspoon, 25 August 1783

Princeton 25th Augt 1783

The inhabitants of Princeton & neighbourhood with the president & faculty of the college beg leave to embrace this opportunity of congratulating your excellency on the late glorious peace on your meeting with congress in this place & the present happy & promising state of public affairs.

As the college of New Jersey devoted to the interests of religion & learning was among the first places in America that suffered by the ravages of the enemy so happily this place & neighbourhood was the scene of one of the most important & seasonable checks which they received in their progress. The surprise of the Hessians at Trenton the subsequent victory at Princeton redounded much to the honour of the commander who planned & the handful of troops with him which executed the measures Yet were they even of greater moment to the cause of America than they were brilliant as particular military exploits.

We contemplate & adore the wisdom & goodness of divine providence as displayed in many instances in favour of the United States during the course of the war but in none more than in the unanimous appointment of your excellency to the command of the army. When we consider the continuance of your life & health the discernment prudence fortitude & patience of your conduct by which you have not only sacrificed as others have done persona & property but frequently even reputation itself in the public cause choosing rather to risk your own name than expose the nakedness of your country. When we consider the great & unabated attachment of the army & the cordial esteem of all ranks of men & of every state in the union which you have so long enjoyed & when we consider in contrast the british leaders who have been in sucession opposed to you their attempts to blast each others characters & the short duration of their command we cannot help being of opinion that GOD himself has raised you up as a fit & proper instrument for establishing & securing the liberty & happiness of these states.

We pray that the Almighty may continue to protect & bless you & that having received so much fatigue & so many dangers from traitors & in the field you may enjoy many years of repose in the bosom of your grateful country. Signed on behalf of the whole in a public meeting by

Jno. Witherspoon

Robt Stockton

Jonathan Deare

James Riddle

James M. Comb

Enos Kelsey

Francis [J.] James

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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