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Was George Washington a Christian?







 This is a question often asked today, and it arises from the efforts of
those who seek to impeach Washington's character by portraying him as
irreligious. Interestingly, Washington's own contemporaries did not question
his Christianity but were thoroughly convinced of his devout faith--a fact
made evident in the first-ever compilation of the The Writings of George
Washington, published in the 1830s.
That compilation of Washington's writings was prepared and published by
Jared Sparks (1789-1866), a noted writer and historian. Sparks' Herculean
historical productions included not only the writing of George Washington
(12 volumes) but also Benjamin Franklin (10 volumes) and Constitution signer
Gouverneur Morris (3 volumes). Additionally, Sparks compiled the Library of
American Biography (25 volumes), The Diplomatic Correspondence of the
American Revolution (12 volumes), and the Correspondence of the American
Revolution (4 volumes). In all, Sparks was responsible for some 100
historical volumes. Additionally, Sparks was America's first professor of
history--other than ecclesiastical history--to teach at the college level in
the United States, and he was later chosen president of Harvard.


QUOTE

By 1778, George Washington had so often witnessed God's intervention that on
August 20, he wrote Thomas Nelson that:

The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be
worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not
gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations. [1]

Jared Sparks' decision to compile George Washington's works is described by
The Dictionary of American Biography. It details that Sparks began . . .


. . . what was destined to be his greatest life work, the publication of the
writings of George Washington. ... In January 1827, Sparks found himself
alone at Mount Vernon with the manuscripts. An examination of them extending
over three months showed that years would be required for the undertaking;
and with the owner's consent, Sparks carried off the entire collection,
eight large boxes, picking up on the way to Boston a box of diplomatic
correspondence from the Department of State, and the [General Horatio] Gates
manuscripts from the New York Historical Society. Not content with these, he
searched or caused to be searched public and private archives for material,
questioned survivors of the Revolution, visited and mapped historic sites.
In 1830, for instance, he followed [Benedict] Arnold's [1775] route to
Quebec. The first of the twelve volumes of The Writings of George Washington
to be published (vol. II) appeared in 1834 and the last (vol. I, containing
the biography) in 1837.
In Volume XII of these writings, Jared Sparks delved into the religious
character of George Washington, and included numerous letters written by the
friends, associates, and family of Washington which testified of his
religious character. Based on that extensive evidence, Sparks concluded:

To say that he [George Washington] was not a Christian would be to impeach
his sincerity and honesty. Of all men in the world, Washington was certainly
the last whom any one would charge with dissimulation or indirectness
[hypocrisies and evasiveness]; and if he was so scrupulous in avoiding even
a shadow of these faults in every known act of his life, [regardless of]
however unimportant, is it likely, is it credible, that in a matter of the
highest and most serious importance [his religious faith, that] he should
practice through a long series of years a deliberate deception upon his
friends and the public? It is neither credible nor possible.
One of the letters Sparks used to arrive at his conclusion was from Nelly
Custis-Lewis. While Nelly technically was the granddaughter of the
Washingtons, in reality she was much more.
When Martha [Custis] married George, she was a widow and brought two young
children (John and Martha--also called Patsy) from her first marriage into
her marriage with George. The two were carefully raised by George and
Martha, later married, and each had children of their own. Unfortunately,
tragedy struck, and both John and Patsy died early (by 1781). John left
behind his widow and four young children ranging in age from infancy to six
years old.

 At the time, Washington was still deeply involved in guiding the American
Revolution and tried unsuccessfully to convince Martha's brother to raise
the children. The young widow of John was unable to raise all four, so
George and Martha adopted the two younger children: Nelly Parke Custis and
George Washington Parke Custis, both of whom already were living at Mount
Vernon.

Nelly lived with the Washingtons for twenty years, from the time of her
birth in 1779 until 1799, the year of her marriage and of George
Washington's untimely death. She called George and Martha her "beloved
parents whom I loved with so much devotion, to whose unceasing tenderness I
was indebted for every good I possessed."

Nelly was ten years old when Washington was called to the Presidency, and
she grew to maturity during his two terms. During that time, she traveled
with Washington and walked amidst the great foreign and domestic names of
the day. On Washington's retirement, she returned with the family to Mount
Vernon. Nelly was energetic, spry, and lively, and was the joy of George
Washington's life. She served as a gracious hostess and entertained the
frequent guests to Mount Vernon who visited the former President.

Clearly, Nelly was someone who knew the private and public life of her
"father" very well. Therefore, Jared Sparks, in searching for information on
Washington's religious habits, dispatched a letter to Nelly, asking if she
knew for sure whether George Washington indeed was a Christian. Within a
week, she had replied to Sparks, and Sparks included her letter in Volume
XII of Washington's writings in the lengthy section on Washington's
religious habits. Of that specific letter, Jared Sparks explained:


I shall here insert a letter on this subject, written to me by a lady who
lived twenty years in Washington's family and who was his adopted daughter,
and the granddaughter of Mrs. Washington. The testimony it affords, and the
hints it contains respecting the domestic habits of Washington, are
interesting and valuable.
Woodlawn, 26 February, 1833
Sir,

I received your favor of the 20th instant last evening, and hasten to give
you the information, which you desire.

Truro Parish [Episcopal] is the one in which Mount Vernon, Pohick Church
[the church where George Washington served as a vestryman], and Woodlawn
[the home of Nelly and Lawrence Lewis] are situated. Fairfax Parish is now
Alexandria. Before the Federal District was ceded to Congress, Alexandria
was in Fairfax County. General Washington had a pew in Pohick Church, and
one in Christ Church at Alexandria. He was very instrumental in establishing
Pohick Church, and I believe subscribed [supported and contributed to]
largely. His pew was near the pulpit. I have a perfect recollection of being
there, before his election to the presidency, with him and my grandmother...

He attended the church at Alexandria when the weather and roads permitted a
ride of ten miles [a one-way journey of 2-3 hours by horse or carriage]. In
New York and Philadelphia he never omitted attendance at church in the
morning, unless detained by indisposition [sickness]. The afternoon was
spent in his own room at home; the evening with his family, and without
company. Sometimes an old and intimate friend called to see us for an hour
or two; but visiting and visitors were prohibited for that day [Sunday]. No
one in church attended to the services with more reverential respect. My
grandmother, who was eminently pious, never deviated from her early habits.
She always knelt. The General, as was then the custom, stood during the
devotional parts of the service. On communion Sundays, he left the church
with me, after the blessing, and returned home, and we sent the carriage
back for my grandmother.

It was his custom to retire to his library at nine or ten o'clock where he
remained an hour before he went to his chamber. He always rose before the
sun and remained in his library until called to breakfast. I never witnessed
his private devotions. I never inquired about them. I should have thought it
the greatest heresy to doubt his firm belief in Christianity. His life, his
writings, prove that he was a Christian. He was not one of those who act or
pray, "that they may be seen of men" [Matthew 6:5]. He communed with his God
in secret [Matthew 6:6].

My mother [Eleanor Calvert-Lewis] resided two years at Mount Vernon after
her marriage [in 1774] with John Parke Custis, the only son of Mrs.
Washington. I have heard her say that General Washington always received the
sacrament with my grandmother before the revolution. When my aunt, Miss
Custis [Martha's daughter] died suddenly at Mount Vernon, before they could
realize the event [before they understood she was dead], he [General
Washington] knelt by her and prayed most fervently, most affectingly, for
her recovery. Of this I was assured by Judge [Bushrod] Washington's mother
and other witnesses.

He was a silent, thoughtful man. He spoke little generally; never of
himself. I never heard him relate a single act of his life during the war. I
have often seen him perfectly abstracted, his lips moving, but no sound was
perceptible. I have sometimes made him laugh most heartily from sympathy
with my joyous and extravagant spirits. I was, probably, one of the last
persons on earth to whom he would have addressed serious conversation,
particularly when he knew that I had the most perfect model of female
excellence [Martha Washington] ever with me as my monitress, who acted the
part of a tender and devoted parent, loving me as only a mother can love,
and never extenuating [tolerating] or approving in me what she disapproved
of others. She never omitted her private devotions, or her public duties;
and she and her husband were so perfectly united and happy that he must have
been a Christian. She had no doubts, no fears for him. After forty years of
devoted affection and uninterrupted happiness, she resigned him without a
murmur into the arms of his Savior and his God, with the assured hope of his
eternal felicity [happiness in Heaven].

Is it necessary that any one should certify, "General Washington avowed
himself to me a believer in Christianity?" As well may we question his
patriotism, his heroic, disinterested devotion to his country. His mottos
were, "Deeds, not Words"; and, "For God and my Country."

With sentiments of esteem,

I am, Nelly Custis-Lewis



George Washington's adopted daughter, having spent twenty years of her life
in his presence, declared that one might as well question Washington's
patriotism as question his Christianity. Certainly, no one questions his
patriotism; so is it not rather ridiculous to question his Christianity?
George Washington was a devout Episcopalian; and although as an Episcopalian
he would not be classified as an outspoken and extrovert "evangelical"
Founder as were Founding Fathers like Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, and
Thomas McKean, nevertheless, being an Episcopalian makes George Washington
no less of a Christian.

 Yet for the current revisionists who have made it their goal to assert that
America was founded as a secular nation by secular individuals and that the
only hope for America's longevity rests in her continued secularism, George
Washington's faith must be sacrificed on the altar of their secularist
agenda.


QUOTE

After researching Washington's life, Dr. Tim LaHaye wrote: "Our first
President was a godly man of humble character and sterling commitment to
God. William White reports of his sincere piety in 'Washington Writings':
'It seems proper to subjoin to this letter what was told to me by Mr. Robert
Lewis, at Fredricksburg, in the year 1827. Being a nephew of Washington, and
his private secretary during the first part of his presidency, Mr. Lewis
lived with him on terms of intimacy, and had the best opportunity for
observing his habits. Mr. Lewis said that he had accidentally witnessed his
private devotions in his library both morning and evening; that on those
occasions he had seen him in a kneeling posture with a Bible open before
him, and that he believed such to have been his daily practice.'" [2]






At the end of the Revolutionary War, when the announcement of official peace
arrived in America, George Washington issued his final sentiments. In his
circular letter to the States on June 8, 1783, even though Washington
gratefully acknowledged that we had won the war, he urged them to recall
something of much greater importance and to remember...


... the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and
without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never
hope to be a happy Nation. [3]
From George Washington's first official order through his last, he displayed
a Christian emphasis.

QUOTE

While encamped on the banks of a river, Washington was approached by
Delaware Indian chiefs who desired that their youth be trained in American
schools. In Washington's response, he first told them that "Congress... will
look on them as on their own children." [4] That is, we would train their
children as if they were our own. He then commended the chiefs for their
decision:

You do well to wish to learn our arts and our ways of life and above all,
the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier
people than you are. Congress will do everything they can to assist you in
this wise intention. [4]

According to George Washington, what students would learn in American
schools "above all" was "the religion of Jesus Christ."




For much more on George Washington and the evidences of his strong faith,
examine the following sources...



George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks, editor
(Boston: Ferdinand Andrews, Publisher, 1838), Vol. XII, pp. 399-411.

George Washington, The Religious Opinions of Washington, E. C. M'Guire,
editor (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1836).

William Johnson, George Washington The Christian (1917).

William Jackson Johnstone, How Washington Prayed (New York: The Abingdon
Press, 1932).

James D. Richardson, editor, The Messages and Papers of the Presidents
(Published by the Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, pp. 51-57 (1789), 64
(1789), 213-224 (1796), etc.

George Washington, Address of George Washington, President of the United
States, Late Commander in Chief of the American Army, to the People of the
United States, Preparatory to his Declination (Baltimore: George & Henry S.
Keatinge, 1796), pp. 22-23.

George Washington, The Maxims of Washington (New York: D. Appleton and Co.,
1855).

REFERENCES

George Washington's letter of August 20, 1778 to Brig. General Thomas
Nelson, in John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington,
Vol. XII (Washinton: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 343.

Tim LaHaye, Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Brentwood, Tennessee: Wolgemuth &
Hyatt, Publishers, Inc., 1987), p. 103.

George Washington's Circular to the States, June 8, 1783, in John C.
Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XXVI
(Washinton: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 496.

George Washington's Speech to Delaware Indian Chiefs on May 12, 1779, in
John C. Fitzpatrick, editor, The Writings of George Washington, Vol. XV
(Washinton: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1932), p. 55.



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WASHINGTON'S FIRST DRAFT FOR AN ADDRESS--

Enclosed in his Letter of May 15, 1796, to Hamilton

(Holograph: New York State Library)

NOTES: Superscript numbers refer to endnotes (hyperlinked) following the text. The use of "strikethrough" indicates text edited out by Washington, and smaller text within braces { } indicates text inserted by Washington.

[1]1

Friends and Fellow Citizens

The quotation which you will find in this following address, was composed, and intended to have been published, in the year 1792; in time to have announced to the Electors of the President {& Vice President} of the United States, the determination {of the former previous to the sd Election} which he had therein expressed before the Election could be {to that Office could have been} made: but the solicitude of {my confidential} a few friends who were apprised of my intention, and on whose judgment I did very much rely (particularly in one who was privy to the draught*) [Foot-note has scored out: * Mr Madison] that I would suspend my determination, added to the peculiar situation of our foreign affairs at that epoch {in} produ-


[2]

ced me {me to tion, and finally suspend ion of2} first to hesitate, and then to postpone the promulgation; lest among other reasons my retirement might be ascribed to political cowardice.--In place thereof I resolved, if it should be the pleasure of my fellow citizens to honor me again with their suffrages, to devote such services as I could render, a year or two longer: trusting that within that period all impediments to an honorable retreat would be removed.--

In this hope, as fondly entertained as it was conceived, I entered upon the execution of the duties of my second administration.--But if the causes wch produced this postponement had any weight in them at that period it will readily be acknowledged {perceived} that there has been no diminution in them since, until very lately, and it will {serve to} account for the delay wch has taken place in communicating the sentiments which were then committed {to writing} and are now found in the following words.--


[3]

"The period which will close the appointment with which my fellow citizens have honoured me, being not very distant, and the time actually arrived, at which their thoughts must be designating the citizen who is to administer the Executive Government of the United States during the ensuing term, it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should apprize such of my fellow citizens as may retain their partiality towards me, that I am not to be numbered among those out of whom a choice is to be made.''--

"I beg them to be assured that the Resolution which dictates this intimation has not been taken without the strictest regard to the relation which as a dutiful citizen I bear to my country; and that in withdrawing that tender of my service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am not influenced by the smallest deficiency of zeal for its future interests, or of grateful respect for its past kindness: but by the fullest persuation that such a step is compatible with both."--


[4]

"The impressions under which I entered on the present arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion.-- In discharge of this trust I can only say that I have contributed towards the organization and administration of the Government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable.--For any errors which may have flowed from this source, I feel all the regret which an anxiety for the public can excite; not without the double consolation, however, arising from a consciousness of their being involuntary, and an experience of the candor which will interpret them. If there were any circumstances that could give value to my inferior qualifications for the trust, these circumstances must have been temporary.-- In this light was the undertaking viewed when I ventured on it.-- Being, moreover still farther advanced into the decline of life, I am every day more sensible that the increasing weight of years, renders the private walks of it in the shade of retirement, as necessary as they will be acceptable to me.-- May I be allowed to add, that it will be among the highest as well as purest enjoyments that can sweeten the remnant of my days, to partake, in a private station in the midst of my fellow citizens, of that benign influence of good laws under


[5]

a free Government, which has been the ultimate object of all my wishes, and in wch I confide as the happy reward of our cores and labours.-- [May I be allowed further to add as a consideration far more important, that an early example of rotation in an office of so high and delicate a nature, may equally accord with the republican spirit of our Constitution, and the ideas of liberty and safety entertained by the people.--"]3

"In contemplating the moment at which the curtain is to drop forever on the public scenes of my life, my sensations anticipate and do not permit me to suspend, the deep acknowledgments required by that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred on me,-- for the distinguished confidence it has reposed in me,-- and for the opportunities I have thus enjoyed of testifying my inviolable attachment by the most steadfast services which my faculties could render.-- All the returns I have now to make will be in those vows which I shall carry with me to my retirement and to my grave, that Heaven may continue to favor the people of the United States with the choicest tokens of its bene


[6]

ficence; that their union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution which is the work of their own hands, may be sacredly maintained;-- that its administration in every department, may be stamped with wisdom and virtue;-- and that this character may be ensured to it, by that watchfulness over public servants and public measures, which on one hand will be necessary, to prevent or correct a degeneracy;-- and that forbearance, on the other, from unfounded or indiscriminate jealousies which would deprive the public of the best services, by depriving a conscious integrity of one of the noblest incitements to perform them; that in fine the happiness of the people of America, under the auspices of liberty, may be made compleat, by so careful a preservation, and so prudent a use of this blessing, as will acquire them the glorious satisfaction of recommending it to the affection -- the praise -- and the adoption of every Nation which is yet a stranger to it.--"

"And may we not dwell with well grounded hopes on this flattering prospect; when we reflect on the many ties by which the people of America are bound together, and the many proofs they have given of an enlightened judgment and a magnanimous patriotism.--


[7]

"We may all be considered as the Children of one common Country.-- We have all been embarked in one common cause.-- We have all had our share in common sufferings and common successes.-- The portion of the Earth allotted for the theatre of our fortunes, fulfils our most sanguine desires.-- All its essential interests are the same; whilst its diversities arising from climate from soil and from the other local & lesser peculiarities, will naturally form a mutual relation of the parts, that may give the whole a more entire independence than has perhaps fallen to the lot of any other nation.--"

"To confirm these motives to an affectionate and permanent Union, and to secure the great objects of it, we have established a common Government, which being free in its principles,-- being founded in our own choice,-- being intended as the guardian of our common rights -- and the patron of our common interests -- and wisely containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, as experience may point out its errors, seems to promise every thing that can be expected from such an institution;-- [and if supported by wise Councils -- by virtuous conduct -- and by mutual and friendly allowances, must approach as near to perfection as any human work


[8]

can aspire, and nearer than any which the annals of mankind have recorded."]4

"With these wishes and hopes I shall make my exist [sic] from civil life;-- and I have taken the same liberty of expressing them, which I formerly used in offering the sentiments which were suggested by my exit from military life.-- If, in either instance, I have presumed more than I ought, on the indulgence of my fellow citizens, they will be too generous to ascribe it to any other cause than the extreme solicitude which I am bound to feel, and which I can never cease to feel for their liberty -- their prosperity -- and their happiness.--"5


[9]

Had the situation of our public affairs continued to wear the same aspect they assumed at the time the aforegoing address was drawn I should not have taken the liberty of troubling you -- my fellow citizens -- with any new sentiments or with a repition [sic for repetition], more in detail, of those which are therein contained; but considerable changes having taken place both at home & abroad, I shall ask your indulgence while I express with more lively sensibility, the following most ardent wishes of {my} heart[.]

That party disputes, among all the friends and lovers of their country may subside, or, as the wisdom of Providence hath ordained that men, on the same subjects, shall not always think alike, that charity & benevolence when they happen to differ may so far shed their benign influence as to banish those invectives which proceed from illiberal prejudices and jealousy.--

That as the allwise dispenser of human blessings has favored no Nation of the Earth with more abundant, & substantial means of happiness than United America, that we may not be so ungrateful to our Creator -- so wanting to ourselves -- and so regardless of Posterity -- as to dash the cup of beneficence which


[10]

is thus bountifully offered to our acceptance.

That we may fulfil with the greatest exactitude all our engagements: foreign and domestic, to the utmost of our abilities whensoever, and in whatsoever manner they are pledged: for in public, as in private life, I am persuaded that honesty will {forever} be found to be the best policy[.]

That we may avoid connecting ourselves with the Politics of any Nation, farther than shall be found necessary to regulate our own trade; in order that commerce may be placed upon a stable footing -- our merchants know their rights -- and the government the ground on which those rights are to be supported.--

That every citizen would take pride in the name of an American, and act as if he felt the importance of {the character} it by considering that we {ourselves are <now> a distinct Nation to now keep} have now a nation also exalted or our own to support, and that6 dignity of will be absorbed, if not annihilated, if we enlist ourselves (further than our engagements {obligations} may require) under the banners of any {other}Nation whatsoever.-- And moreover, that


[11]

we would guard against the Intriegues of any {and every} foreign Nation who shall {endeavor to intermingle}intermeddle (however {covertly &} indirectly) in the internal concerns of our country -- or who shall attempt to prescribe rules for our policy with any other power, if their be no infraction of {our} engagements {with themselves, as one of the greatest evils that can befal us as a people}on our part as much as we would do against pestilence or famine; for whatever may be their professions, be assured {fellow Citizens}and the event will (as it always has) invariably prove, that Nations {as well as}more than individuals, act for their own benefit, and not for the benefit of others, unless both interests happen to be assimilated (and when that is the case there requires no contract to bind them together)-- That all their interferences are calculated to promote the former; and in proportion as they succeed, will render us less independant.-- In a word, nothing is m6re certain than that, if we receive favors, we must grant favors; and it is not easy to decide beforehand under such circumstances as we are, on which side the balance will ultimately terminate -- but easy indeed is it to foresee that it may involve us in disputes and finally in War, to fulfil political alliances.-- Whereas, if there be no engagements


[12]

on our part, we shall be unembarrassed, and at liberty at all times, to act from circumstances, and according to the dictates of Justice -- sound policy -- and our essential Interests.--

That we may be always prepared for War, but never unsheath the sword except in self defence so long as Justice and our essential rights, and national respectability can be preserved without it -- for without the spirit {gift} of divination {prophecy}, it may safely be pronounced, that if this country can remain in peace 20 years longer -- and I devoutly pray that it may do so to the end of time -- such in all probability will be its population, riches & resources, when combined with its peculiarly happy & remote Situation from the other quarters of the globe -- as to bid defiance, in a just cause, to any eathly7 power whatsoever.--

That whensoever, and so long as we profess to be Neutral, let our public conduct whatever our private affections may be, accord therewith; without suffering partialities on one hand, or prejudices on the other to controul our Actions.-- A contrary practice is not only incompatible with our declarations, but is


[13]

pregnant with mischief -- embarrassing to the Administration -- tending to divide us into parties -- and ultimately productive of all those evils and horrors which proceed from faction -- and above all.

That our Union may be as lasting as time.-- {for}While {we are} encircled in one band we shall possess the strength of a Giant and there will be {will be}none {who can} make us afraid -- Divide, & we shall become weak; a prey to foreign Intriegues and internal discord; -- and shall be as miserable & contemptible as we are now enviable and happy ------ And lastly --

That the several branches {departments}of Government may be preserved in their utmost Constitutional purity, without any attempt of the one to encroach on the rights or priviledges of another {-- that the Genl & State governmts may move in their propr Orbits} -- And that the authorities of our own constituting may be respected {by ourselves}as the most certain means of having them respected by foreigners.-- In expressing these sentiments it will readily be perceived that I can have no view now -- whatever malevolence might have ascribed to it before -- than such as result from a perfect conviction of the utility of


[14]

the measure.-- If public servants, in the exercise of their official duties are found incompetent or pursuing wrong courses discontinue them.-- If they are guilty of mal-practices in office, let them be more ex [em] plarily punished -- in both cases the Constitution & Laws have made provision, but do not withdraw your confidence from them -- the best incentive to a faithful discharge of their duty -- without just cause; nor infer, because measures of a complicated nature -- which time, opportunity and close investigation alone can penetrate, and for these reasons are not easily comprehended by those who do not possess them {means}, that it necessarily follows they must be wrong; -- This would not only be doing injustice to your Trustees, but be counteracting your own essential interests -- rendering those Trustees (if not contemptable in the eyes of the world) little better at least than cyphers in the Administration of the government and the Constitution of your own chusing would reproach you for such conduct.

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[15]

As this Address, Fellow citizens will be the last I shall ever make to you, and as some of the Gazettes of the United States have teemed with all the Invective that disappointment, ignorance of facts, and malicious falsehoods could invent, to misrepresent my politics & affections; -- to wound my reputation and feelings; -- and to weaken, if not entirely to destroy the confidence you had been pleased to repose in me; it might be expected at the parting scene of my public life that I should take some notice of such virulent abuse.-- But, as heretofore, I shall pass thern over in utter silence; never having myself, nor by any other with my participation or knowledge, written or published a scrap in answer to any of them..-- My politicks have been unconcealed; -- plain and direct.-- They will be found (so far as they relate to the Belligerent Powers) in the Proclamation of the 22d of April 1793; which having met your approbation, and the confirmation of Congress, I have uniformly & steadily adhered to them -- uninfluenced by, and regardless of, the {complaints &} attempts of any of those powers {or their partisans}to change them.--


[16]

The Acts of my Administration are on Record.-- By these, which will not admit {change with circumstances -- nor admit} of different interpretations, I expect to {judged}abide.-- If they will not acquit me, in your estimation, it will be a source of regret; but I shall hope notwithstanding, as I did not seek the Office with which you {have}honored me, that charity may throw her mantle over my want of abilities to do better -- that the grey hairs of a man who has, excepting the interval between the close of the Revolutionary War, and the organization of the new governmt -- either in a civil, or military character, spent five and forty years -- All the prime of his life -- in serving his country, be suffered to pass quietly to the grave -- and that his errors, howeve:r numerous; if they are not criminal, may be consigned to the Tomb of oblivion, as he himself soon will be to the Mansions of Retirement.--

To err, is the lot of humanity, and never, for a moment, have I ever had the presumption to suppose that I had not a full proportion of it.-- Infallibility not being the attribute of Man, we ought to be cau-


[17]

tious in censuring the opinions and conduct of one another.-- To avoid intentional error in my public conduct, has been my constant endeavor; and I set malice at defiance to charge me, justly, with the commission of a wilful one; -- or, with the neglect of any public duty, which, in my opinion ought to have been performed, since I have been in the Administration of the government.-- An Administration which I do not hesitate to pronounce -- the infancy of the government, and all other circumstances considered -- that has been as delicate -- difficult -- & trying as may occur again in any future period of our history.-- Through the whole of which I have to the best of my judgment, and with the best information and advice I could obtain, consulted the true & permanent interest of my country without regard to local considerations -- to individuals -- to parties.-- or to {Nations}

To conclude, and I feel proud in having it in my power to do so with truth, that it was not from ambitious views; -- it was not from ignorance of the hazard {to which}I knew I was exposing my reputation; -- it was not from an expectation of pecuniary compen


[18]

sation -- that I have yielded to the calls of my country; -- and that, if my country has derived no benefit from my services, my fortune, in a pecuniary point of view, has received no augmentation from my country, but the reverse.-- But in delivering this last sentiment, let me be unequivocally understood as not intending to express any discontent on my part, or to imply any reproach on my country on that account.--

{The following may, or not, be omitted.}
The first wd be untrue -- the other ungrateful.-- And no occasion more fit than the present may ever occur perhaps to declare, as I now do declare, that nothing but the principle upon which I set out -- and from which I have, in no instance departed -- not to receive more from the public than my expences has restrained the bounty of several Legislatures at the close of the War with Great Britain from adding considerably to my pecuniary resources.
{The preceding may, or not, be omitted.}

-- I retire from the Chair of government no otherwise benefitted in this particular than what you {have}all experienced from the increased value of property, flowing from the Peace and prosperity with which our country has


[19]

been blessed amidst the tumults which have harrassed {and involved}other countries {in all the horrors of War}.-- I leave you with undefiled hands -- an uncorrupted heart -- and with ardent vows to heaven for the welfare & happiness of that country in which I and my forefathers to the third or fourth Ancestry {progenitor}d:rew our first breath.

Go: Washington

ENDNOTES

1The pagination of the manuscript is here supplied in brackets by the editor, so that Washington's references to the pages, cited in his accompanying letter to Hamilton, may be identified.

2The underwriting shows that the word "hesitation" was altered to "me to tion." The phrase had originally read, "produced hesitation, and finally suspension."

3The brackets are so added by pencil in the original, and are what Washington refers to as "parenthesis's" in his letter to Hamilton of May 15th.

4The part from "and" to "recorded" is so bracketted in pencil in the original by Washington, as alluded to in his letter to Hamilton of May 15th.

5This is the end of the quoted portion from the 1792 document. The second half of p. 8 is blank.

6All this portion is so thoroughly scored out as to make the restoration somewhat dubious.

7So abbreviated by contraction at the end of a line in the manuscript.



From: Washington's Farewell Address, In facsimile, with transliterations of all the drafts of Washington, Madison, & Hamilton, together with their correspondence and other supporting documents. Edited, with a History of its Origin, Reception by the Nation, Riste of the Controversy respecting its Authorship, and a Bibliography, By Victor Hugo Paltsits. At New-York, Printed & Published by The New York Public Library, In the Year 1935. Dedicated to the memory of James Lenox, by whose foresight and public spirit the final manuscript of the farewell address has been preserved.

Ezra Ames portrait of Washington, owned by the New York State Education Department
Ezra Ames portrait of George Washington (Click on image for larger view.)

 


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TRAITOR McCain

jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law

f.ck Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition

 

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