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mous suffrage, and was chosen President of the United States for four years from the 4th of March 1789,
On the 14th of April, official information reached nim of his election. Having already made up his mind to obey the summons of a whole country, on the second day after this notification, he quitted the quiet walks of Mount Vernon for the arduous duties of the supreme magistracy of his nation. Although grateful for this renewed declaration of the favourable opinion of the community, yet his determination to accept the office was accompanied with diffidence and apprehension. “I wish,” he observed, “that there may not be reason for regretting the choice, for indeed all I can promise is, to accomplish that which can be done by an honest zeal.” The feelings, with which he entered upon publick life, he left upon bis private journal.
“ About ten o'clock, I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestick felicity; and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensa cions than I have words to express, set out for New York, with ihe best dispositions to render service to my country in obedience to its call, but with less hope of answering its expectations.”
He was met on the road by the gentlemen of Alex andria, and conducted to a publick dinner. From the numerous addresses presented to the General on this occasion, we select that of the citizens of Alexandria, because it is a testimonial of the affection and veneration in which his neighbours and friends held his pri. vate as well as puolick character, and because, in itself it has peculiar interest. The following is the address
“ Again your country commands your care. Obe. dient to its wishes, unmindful of your easc, wo see you Again relinquishing the bliss of retireinent, 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 törth our gratitude for past services : not to acknow
edge the justice of the unexampled honour which has been conferred upon you by the spontaneous and unanimous suffrages of three millions of freemen, in vour election to the supreme magistracy; nor to ad nire the patriotism which directs your conduct, do vour neighbours and f.iends now address you. Themes ess 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 mo. del ; our agriculture its improver ; our commerce its friend; our infant academy its protector ; our poor their benefactor, and the interiour navigation of the Potomack (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 pccple happy, a people, who will be doubly grateful when they con template this recent sacrifice for their interest. .
“ To that Being, who maketh and unmaketh at his will, we commend you; and after the accomplishment of the arduous business to which you are called, may he restore to us again, the best of men, and the most beloved fellow citizen!" To which General WASHINGTON replied as follows:
" GENTLEMEN, “ Although I ought not to conceal, yet I cannot describe the painful emotions which I felt in being called upon to determine whether I would accept or refuso the Presidency of the United States. The ananimity in the choice, the opinion of my friends communicated from different parts of Europe as well as from Ameri. ca, the apparent 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 towards cach other, have induced an acceptance. Those who know we best (and you, my fellow citizens, arc, from vour situation, in that number) know better than any
others my love of retirement is so great, that no enrth
“ In the mean time I thank you most sincerely for the expressions of kindness contained in your valedic. tory address. It is true, just after having bade adieu to my domestick connexions, this tender proof of your friendships is but too well calculated still farther to awaken my sensibility, and increase my regret at part ing from the enjoyments of private life.
66 All that now remains for me is to commit mysell and you to the protection of that beneficent Being who, on a former occasion, hath happily brought us together after a long and distressing separation. Per. haps the same gracious Providence will again indulge me. Unutterable sensations must then be left to inore expressive silence-while from an aching heart, I bid you all, my affectionate friends, and kind neighbours, farewell !"
It was the wish of General WASHINGTON to avoid parade on his journey to the scat of government, but he found it impossivle. Numerous bodies of respecto ablo citizens, and detachments from the militia escort. ed him the whole distance, and at every place through which he passed, he received the most flattering cri. dence of the high estimation, in which his countrymen held his talents and his virtues