Philad. Decr 13th 1783
While you recall to my mind the honor formerly done me by enrolling my name in the List of the Members of your Society, you greatly heighten the pleasure of your present congratulations.
For if I know my own inclination, it is to be the friend and associate to men of Virtue & philosophical knowledge; or if I have a wish ungratified, it is that the Arts & Sciences may continue to flourish with encreasing lustre.
In the philosophic retreat to which I am retiring, I shall often contemplate with pleasure the extensive utility of your Institution—The field of investigation is ample—the benefits which will result to Human Society from discoveries yet to be made, are indubetable—and the task of studying the works of the great Creator, inexpressibly delightful.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.