Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 4
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ANSWER TO AN ADDRESS
FROM THE MASSACHUSETTS LEGISLATURE

    Gentlemen: I return you my most sincere and hearty thanks for your polite address; and feel myself called upon by every principle of gratitude, to acknowledge the honor you have done me in this testimonial of your approbation of my appointment to the exalted station I now fill, and, what is more pleasing, of my conduct in discharging its important duties. 77

[Note:The Pennsylvania Evening Post of Apr. 9, 1776, described the meeting of March 28 at the council chamber and the old brick meeting house. A public dinner was given at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern. The selectmen of Boston also delivered an address to Washington which he answered saying that he was "exceedingly obliged by the good opinion you are pleased to entertain of my conduct…and that every blessing of a kind Providence may give happiness and prosperity to the town of Boston." Copies of the addresses are in the Toner Transcripts in the Library of Congress. ]

    When the councils of the British nation had formed a plan for enslaving America, and depriving her sons of their most sacred and invaluable privileges, against the clearest remonstrances of the constitution, of justice, and of truth, and, to


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execute their schemes, had appealed to the sword, I esteemed it my duty to take a part in the contest, and more especially on account of my being called thereto by the unsolicited suffrages of the representatives of a free people; wishing for no other reward, than that arising from a conscientious discharge of the important trust, and that my services might contribute to the establishment of freedom and peace, upon a permanent foundation, and merit the applause of my countrymen, and every virtuous citizen.

    Your acknowledgment of my attention to the civil constitution of this colony, whilst acting in the line of my department, also demands my grateful thanks. A regard to every Provincial institution, where not incompatible with the common interest, I hold a principle of duty and of policy, and it shall ever form a part of my conduct. Had I not learnt this before, the happy experience of the advantages resulting from a friendly intercourse with your honorable body, their ready and willing concurrence to aid and to counsel, whenever called upon in cases of difficulty and emergency, would have taught me the useful lesson.

    That the metropolis of your colony is now relieved from the cruel and oppressive invasions of those, who were sent to erect the standard of lawless domination, and to trample on the rights of humanity, and is again open and free for its rightful possessors, must give pleasure to every virtuous and sympathetic heart; and its being effected without the blood of our soldiers and fellow-citizens must be ascribed to the interposition of that Providence, which has manifestly appeared in our behalf through the whole of this important struggle, as well as to the measures pursued for bringing about the happy event.

    May that being, who is powerful to save, and in whose hands is the fate of nations, look down with an eye of tender pity and


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compassion upon the whole of the United Colonies; may He continue to smile upon their counsels and arms, and crown them with success, whilst employed in the cause of virtue and mankind. May this distressed colony and its capital, and every part of this wide extended continent, through His divine favor, be restored to more than their former lustre and once happy state, and have peace, liberty, and safety secured upon a solid, permanent, and lasting foundation. 78

[Note:The text is from Ford. ]