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We feel with you our obligations to the army in general, and will particularly charge ourselves with the interests of those confidential officers, who have attended your person to this affecting
We join you in commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, beseeching him to dispose the hearts and minds of its citizens to improve the opportunity afforded them of becoming a happy and respectable nation. And for you we address to him our earnest prayers, that a life so beloved may be fostered with all his care; that your days may be happy as they have been illustrious; and that he will finally give you that reward which this world cannot give.
Election of George Washington as President of the United States, and his Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789.
MONDAY, APRIL 6, 1789. The President of the Senate, elected for the purpose of counting the votes, declared to the Senate, that the Senate and House of Representatives had met, and that he, in their presence, had opened and counted the votes of the Electors for President and Vice President of the United States; whereby it ap
GEORGE WASHINGTON was unanimously elected President.
Whereupon the following certificate and letter, prepared by a committee, consisting of Messrs. Paterson, Johnson, Lee, and Ellsworth, were adopted by the Senate, and signed by their President.
Be it known, That the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, being convened in the city and State of New York, the sixth day of Apri, ir. the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundrec and eighty-nine, the underwritter, aproinied President of the Senate, for the sot purpose of receiving, opening, and counting the votes of the Electors, did, in the presence of the said Senate and House of Representauves, oper al the certificales, and count all the voies of tiH Electors for a Presiden: and for a Vice President; by which it appear wat GEORGE WASHINGTON, Esq., was unanimously eiecied, agreeabiy ti tue Consutution, to the office of President of the Inner Stales of America In testimony whereof, I diave nereunti set my hand and sea..
New York, Ápri 6. 1789. SIR: I have the honor to transmi: ic your Execliency the insurmation of your unanimous elecLOL. 10 th ofice of President of the United Staies of America. Sufier me, sir, to indulge the hope, that so auspicious a mark of publie confuenot will meet your approvation, and be considered as a surt piedge of the afiecuor and support you are to expect from a free and an enugntenec propie.
I am, sir, with sentiments of respect, your obedient humph serFant,
JOEY LAYGDIR. To his Ex'cy GEORGE WASHIX GTON, Esq.
THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 1789.
The oath of office having been administered by the Chancellor of the State of New York, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, to George Washington, President of the United States, he then made the following Inaugural address :
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate, and
of the House of Representatives : Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years; a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary, as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health, to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver, is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope, is, that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendant proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country, with some share of the partiality in which they originated.
Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universewho presides in the councils of nations—and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his tenediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of he United States, a government instituted by themselves for these cssential purposes: and may enable every instriment employed ü 3 administration to execute with suecess the functions ulotted 'ons charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Hathor of every publie und private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-itizens x arge, ess than either. No people can be bound to icklowedge ind sora the invisible hand, which conduets the affairs of nen, more than the people of the United States. Every step 'sy wlich hey save advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to save been distinguished by some token of providential agency; id n the important revolution just accomplished in the system of therr united government, the trar.quil deliterations, and voluntary corsent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has rem sulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most goveriments have been established, without some return of pions gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising ont 3f the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, I trust, in thinking that there are none, under the infuence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously commence.
By the article establishing the executive department, it is made the daty of the President "to reenmmend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." The circumstances under which I now meet you will xauit me from entering into that subject, farther than to refer to the great constitutional charter under which you are assembled ; and which, in de fining your powers, designates the objects to which your ttention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which aetate, me sa malo stitute, in place of a recommendation of partienlar meamua, the tribute that is due to the talents, the terribide, and the painoiva, which adorn the characters selected to der se and aning, then these honorable qualifications I behold the sareat blengan that, za kata one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views, nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests ; 80, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens, and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire: since there is no truth more thoroughly established, than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness—between duty and advantage-between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy, and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity; since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally, staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.
Besides the ordinary objects submitted to your care, it will remain with your judgment to decide, how far an exercise of the occasional power delegated by the fifth article of the Constitution is rendered expedient at the present juncture, by the nature of objections which have been urged against the system, or by the degree of inquietude which has given birth to them. Instead of undertaking particular recommendations on this subject, in which I could be guided by no lights derived from official opportunities, I shall again give way to my entire confidence in your discernment and pursuit of the public good; for, I assure myself, that whilst you carefully avoid every alteration which might endanger the benefits of an united and effective government, or which ought to await the future lessons of experience, a reverence for the characteristic rights of freemen, and a regard for the public harmony, will sufficiently influence your deliberations on the question, how far the