22 December 1783
I feel myself particularly happy in receiving the approbation of the Genl Assembly of Maryland, for those services which my Country had a right to demand, and which it was my duty to render in defence of it.
Having happily attained the object for which we had drawn the Sword, I felicitated myself on my approaching return to private life, and I must acknowledge I anticipated an unusual degree of self-gratification in that retirement which you have pleased to consider as an evidence of patriotism.
You have rightly judged, Gentlemen, that public Liberty cannot be long preserved, without the influence of those public virtues which you have enumerated. May the example you have exhibited, and the disposition you have manifested, prevail extensively and have the most salutary operation! for I am well assured, it is only by a general adoption of wise & equitable measures, that I can derive any personal satisfaction, or the public any permanent advantages from the successful issue of the late Contest.
I am deeply penetrated with the liberal sentiments & wishes contained in your last Address to me as a public character. And while I am bidding you a final farewell in that capacity, be assured Gentlemen, that it will be my study in retirement not to forfeit the favorable opinion of my fellow Citizens.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.