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able me in balancing the various pretensions of different candidates for appointments, to act with a sole reference to justice, and the public good. This is in substance, the answer that I have given to all applications, and they are not few, which have already been made.”
Washington elected President.....On his way to the seat of government
at New York, receives the most flattering marks of respect......Addresses Congress.....The situation of the United States in their foreign and domestic relations, at the inauguration of Washington.....Fills up public offices solely with a view to the public good..... Proposes a treaty to the Creek Indians, which is at first rejected. ...Col. Willet in duces the heads of the nation to come to New York, to treat there. The North Western Indians refuse a treaty, but after defeating Generals Harmar and Sinclair, they are defeated by Gen. Wayne..... They then submit, and agree to treat.....A new system is introduced for meliorating their condition.
It was intended that the new government should have commenced its operations on the 4th. of March, 1789; but from accidental causes, the election of Gen. Washington to the Presidency was not officially announced to him at Mount Vernon, till the 14th. of next April. This was done by Charles Thomson, Secretary of the late Congress, who presented to him the certificate sigued by the president of the senate of the United States, stating that George Washington was unanimously elected president. This unexpected delay was regretted by the public, but not by the newly elected president. In a letter to Gen. Kuox, he ob. served, “ As to myself, the delay may be compar. ed to a reprieve ; for in confidence I tell you, that with the world it would obtain little credit, my movements to the chair of government will be accompanied by feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution ; so unwilling am I in the evening of life, nearly consumed in public cares, to quit a peaceful abode for an ocean of difficulties, without that competeney of political skill, abilities, and inclination, which are necessary to manage the helm. I am sensible that I am embarking the voice of the people, and a good name of my own, on this voyage, but what returns will be made for them, heaven alone can foretell. Integrity and firmness are all I can promise. These, be the voyage long or short, shall never forsake me, although I may be deserted by all men ; for of the consolations which are to be derived from these, under any circumstances, the world cannot deprive me.”
On the second day after receiving notice of his appointment, Washington set out for New York. On his way thither, the road was crowded with numbers anxious to see the man of the people. Escorts of militia, and of gentlemen of the first character and station, attended him from state to state, and he was every where received with the highest honours which a grateful and admiring people could conser. Addresses of congratulation were presented to him by the inhabitants of almost every place of consequence througlı which he pass
ed, to all of which he returned such modest, unassuming answers, as were in every respect suitable to his situation. So great were the honours with which he was loaded, that they could scarce. ly have failed to produce haughtiness in the mind of any ordinary man; but nothing of the kind was ever discovered in this extraordinary personage. On all occasions he behaved to all men with the affability of one citizen to another. He was truly great in deserving the plaudits of his country, but inuch greater in not being elated by them.
Of the numerous addresses which were presented on this occasion, one subscribed by Dennis Ramsay, the mayor of Alexandria, in the name of the people of that city, who were the neighbours of Mr. Washington, was particularly and universally admired. It was in the following words ; ATO GEORGE WASHINGTON, ESQ. PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
Again your country commands your care. Obedient to its wishes, unmindful of your case, we see you again relinquishing the bliss of retirement, and this too, at a period of life when nature itself seems to authorize a preference of repose.
“ Not to extol your glory as a soldier ; not to pour forth our gratitude for past services; not to acknowledge the justice of the unexampled honour which has been conferred upon you by the spontaneous and unanimous suffrage of three millions of freemen, in your election to the supreme magistracy, nor to admire the patriotism which directs your conduct, do your neighbours and friends now address you. Themes less splendid, but more endearing, impress our minds. The
first and best of citizens must leave us ; our aged must lose their ornament; our youth their model; our agriculture its improver ; our commerce its friend; our infant academy its protector; our poor their benefactor ; and the interior navigation of the Potowmac, an event, replete with the most extensive utility, already by your unremitted exertions brought into partial use, its institutor and promoter.
• Farewell. Go, and make a grateful people happy; a people who will be doubly grateful when they contemplate this recent sacrifice for their interest.
" To that Being who maketh and unmaketh at his will, we commend you ; and after the accom. plishment of the arduous business to which you are called, may he restore to us again the best of men, and the most beloved fellowcitizen.”
To this Mr. Washington returned the following answer;
“ GENTLEMEN, “ Although I ought not to conceal, yet I can. not describe the painful emotions which I felt, in being called upon to determine whether I would accept or refuse the Presidency of the United States. The unanimity in the choice; the opinion of my friends communicated from different parts of Europe as well as from America ; the ap. parent wish of those who were not entirely satisfied with the constitution in its present form, and an ardent desire on my own part to be instrumental in connecting the good will of my countrymen to. ward each other, have induced an acceptance.