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my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the 22d of April, 1793, is the index to my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me; uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Hav. ing taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it with moderation, perseverance and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe, that according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will be best referred to your own reflections and experience. With me, a predominant motive has been, to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency, which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors.

Whatever they may be, 1 fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope, that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that after forty-five years of my life dedicated to its service, with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it which is so natural to a

man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws, under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors and dangers.

G. WASHINGTON. United States, September 17, 1796.









An Act establishing the Digest of Laws, as reported by the

committee appointed to revise the laws of this State, and amended by the General Assembly, at their present Session. WHEREAS the Committee appointed to revise the Laws of this State, have completed the business of their appointment, and the several bills by them reported, as proper to constitute the public statute laws of this state, have been carefully examined and considered by this Assembly, and such amendments have been made thereto, and additional acts passed, as have been deemed proper; and the Digest reported by said Committee, after being amended as aforesaid, has been approved, and the several acts therein contained have been separately passed and enacted:

Section 1. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, and by the authority thereof it is enacted, That the

Secretary Secretary of this State cause all the Laws contained to prepare in said Digest to be arranged under proper titles, with the Laws a copious index and proper marginal notes, and prepar- press. ed for the press as soon as conveniently may be; and that three hundred copies be reserved for the use of the State, 300 copies and to be disposed of as provided for in the following for the section.

Section 2. And be it further enacted, That the Committee appointed to superintend and direct the publish- How dising of said Digest, be and they are hereby authorized to tributed. cause the same to be printed and bound accordingly:


that the said copies, when finished, be distributed in the following manner, viz: one copy to his Excellency the Governor; one to his Honor the Lieutenant Governor; one to each of the present members of this General Assembly; four to the Secretary of State of the United States; one to the Supreme Executive of each of the United States ; one to the Secretary, one to the Attorney General, one to the General Treasurer, one to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, one to each Clerk of the Supreme Judicial Court, and Court of Common Pleas; and one to each Sheriff, two to each Town Clerk, one to each Jailer in this State, one to the Library of Brown University, one to the Judge of the Circuit Court of the United States for the first Circuit, one to the District Judge and one to the District Attorney for Rhode Island District, one to the Library of Congress, one to the Secretary of the Senate, and one to the Clerk of the House of Representatives of the United States, one to the present Secretary, and one to the

Clerk of the House of Representatives, for their own use. Tobe kept

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the copies to as appen- be presented to the Secretary, the Attorney General, the

General Treasurer, Clerk of the House of Representatives, Clerks of the Courts, Sheriffs, Town Clerks, and Jailers, be preserved by said officers as appendages to their several offices, and delivered, with the other books and papers appertaining to their said offices, to their



Governor to an

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That within one month

after said laws shall have been printed and distribuproclama. ted as aforesaid, the Governor, or person executing tion when the duties of Governor, be and he is hereby authorized take effect. and requested to issue his proclamation, announcing

that the laws contained in said digest shall be in full

force and effect immediately after the expiration of thirty Proclama- days from the date of said proclamation : that the Secprinted in retary shall cause said proclamation to be published

in all the newspapers printed within this State: that the said laws contained in said digest shall be in force and take effect from the expiration of thirty days after the date of said proclamation, and not before ; and the

acts and laws contained in said digest, from the said statutes. time, shall and hereby are declared to be the public stat

ute laws of this State; and that all other public statute laws heretofore made and published, which are not

all the newspapers.

Digest contains

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