In 1796, the members of the General Assembly sent an address to President George Washington, on behalf of the citizens of Delaware, as a tribute of gratitude and homage for his service to the United States. This resolution is available digitally thanks to a grant funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
General Assembly, Legislative Papers
Document Date: 1796
Item Number: 1111-000-000_3757d
To George Washington President of the United States,
The Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Delaware cannot view with Insensibility, your contemplated retirement from the first Office of your Country, to the retreat of Private life, upon such an occasion to be silent, and to withhold the most cordial expression of our Affection, respect, and veneration, for your Character would be as ungrateful to you, as it would be dishonorable to ourselves. It is in attempting therefore to do Justice to our feelings and to discharge a Patriotic duty, that we present this address, as a tribute of Gratitude and a homage to your Virtues.
More than twenty years have elapsed since you left the Civil Councils of America, to undertake and sustain the more difficult and perilous duties, of the Military command. The seven years conflict which ensued must have been to you a gloomy series of seven years sufferings, except as it was relieved, by temporary Victories, and the pleasing hope that the exertions of your Country, and the aids of Heaven would crown your Labors with ultimate success. At the close of the important contest, we view you in the command of a disciplined, affectionate and admiring Army; and from the example of other Conquerors, we might have trembled for the fate of our Country, in the apprehension that its Protector, would become its Tyrant.
But happily for the United States, and Honorably for yourself, and the Character of Human nature, the feelings of the Conqueror, were lost in those of the Patriot and the Infatuations of Ambition were repressed by the triumph of Virtue.
The Glorious Spectacle, was presented to the world of a Popular, powerful and successful General, achieving the emancipation, of his Country, and then resigning his command to an unarmed Republic, voluntarily retiring from the honor and emoluments of Office, and receiving in return the Tribute not of Power, but of Public Gratitude.
We view you a second time in obedience to the unanimous, voice, of America, relinquishing the enjoyment of your beloved Retirement, and accepting the Chief Magistracy of your Country, in order to add Character, Credit and energy to its Government. That Character, Credit and energy you have assisted in forming and securing to our Government; and we hope they will be preserved, as well to perpetuate the memory of your Virtues as the happiness of your Fellow Citizens.
We address you Sir, in the name, and on the behalf of the Citizens we represent. We know that they write with us in viewing your abilities with respect, your Virtues with Veneration, and your Services with Gratitude; and in soliciting from Heaven for you, every blessing which can Increase your Happiness, here and hereafter.
An Address to the President of the United States of America