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of Representatives. It concerns myself, and will therefore be as brief as possible. When I was first honoured with a call into the service of my country, then on the eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I contemplated my duty, required that I should renounce every pecuniary compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed. And being still under the impres, sions which produced it, I must decline as inapplicable to myself, any share in the personal emoluments, which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive department; and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the station in which I am placed, may, during my continuation in it, be limited to such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require. ,
Having thus imparted to you my sentiments, as they have been awakened by the occasion which brings us together, I shall take my present leave ; but not without resorting once more to the benign Parent of the human race, in humble supplication, that since he has been pleased to favour the Ameri. can people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their Union, and the advancement of their happiness; so his divine blessing may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations, and the wise measures on which the success of this government must depend.
ANSWER OF THE SENATE. SIR,
WE, the Senate of the United States, return you our sincere thanks for your excellent speech, delivered to both Houses of Congress, congratulate',
you on the complete organization of the federal government, and felicitate ourselves and our fellow-citizens, on your elevation to the office of President, an office, highly important by the powers constitutionally annexed to it, and extremely honourable from the manner in which the appointment is made. The unanimous suffrage of the elective body in your favour, is peculiarly expressive of the gratitude, confidence and affection of the citizens of America, and is the highest testimonial at once of your merit, and of their esteem. We are sensible, Sir, that nothing but the voice of your fellow-citizens, could have called you from a retreat, chosen by the fondest predilection, endeared by habit, and consecrated to the repose of declining years ; we rejoice, and with us, all America, that, in obedience to the call of our common country, you have returned once more to public life. In you all parties confide, in you all interests unite, and we have no doubt, that your past services, great as they have been, will be equalled by your future. exertions; and that your prudence and sagacity as a statesman, will tend to avert the dangers to which we were exposed, to give stability to the present government, and dignity and splendor to that country, which your skill and valour as a soldier, so eminently contributed to raise to indepen.
dence and empire. . . When we contemplate the coincidence of circum
stances, and wonderful combination of causes, which gradually prepared the people of this country for independence; when we contemplate the rise, progress and termination of the late war, which gave them a name among the nations of the earth, we are, with you, unavoidably led to acknowledge and adore the great Arbiter of the universe, by whom empires rise and fall. A review of the many signal instances of divine interposition in favour of this country, claims our most pious gratitude. And permit us, Sir, to observe, that among the great events which have led to the formation and establishment of a federal government, we esteem your acceptance of the office of President as one of the most propitious and important.
In execution of the trust reposed in us, we shall endeavour to pursue that enlarged and liberal policy, to which your speech so happily directs. We are conscious that the prosperity of each State is insepa. rably connected with the welfare of all, and that in promoting the latter, we shall effectually advance the former. In full persuasion of this truth, it shall be our invariable aim to divest ourselves of local preju. dices and attachments, and to view the great assemblage of communities and interests committed to our charge with an equal eye. We feel, Sir, the force, and acknowledge the justness of the observation, that the foundation of our national policy should be laid in private morality. If individuals be not influ. enced by moral principles, it is in vain to look for public virtue ; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to 'enforce, both by precept and example, the utility as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice. We beg you to be assured, that the Senate will at all times cheerfully co-operate in every measure, which may strength. en the Union, conduce to the happiness, or secure and perpetuate the liberties of this great Confedera. ted Republic.
We commend you, Sir, to the protection of Al. mighty God, earnestly beseeching him long to preserve a life so valuable and dear to the people of the United States; and that your administration may be prosperous to the nation and glorious to yourself,
In SENATE, May 16, 1789.
JOHN ADAMS, President of the
Senate of the United States.
THE PRESIDENT'S REPLY.
! I THANK you for your address, in which the most affectionate sentiments are expressed in the most obliging terms. The coincidence of circum. stances which led to this auspicious crisis ; the confidence reposed in me by my fellow-citizens, and the assistance I may expect from counsels which will be dictated by an enlarged and liberal policy, seem to presage a more prosperous issue to my administra. tion, than a diffidence of my abilities had taught me to anticipate. I now feel myself inexpressibly hap. py in a belief, that Heaven, which has done so much for our infant nation, will not withdraw its providential influence before our political felicity shall have been completed ; and in a conviction that the Senate will at all times co-operate in every measure which may tend to promote the welfare of this Confedera. ted Republic.
Thus supported by a firm trust in the great Arbi. ter of the universe, aided by the collected wisdom of the Union, and imploring the divine benediction on our joint exertions in the service of our country, I readily engage with you in the arduous but pleasing task of attempting to make a nation happy.
ANSWER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESEN.
THE Representatives of the people of the United States present their congratulations on the event by which your fellow-citizens have attested the preeminence of your merit. You have long held the first place in their esteem; you have often received
tokens of their affection ; you now possess the only proof that remained of their gratitude for your services, of their reverence for your wisdom, and of their confidence in your virtues. You enjoy the highest, because the truest honour, of being the First Magistrate, by the unanimous choice of the freest people on the face of the earth.
We well know the anxieties with which you must have obeyed a summons, from the repose reserved for your declining years, into public scenes, of which you had taken your leave forever ; but the obedience was due to the occasion. It is already applauded by the universal joy which weicomes you to your station, and we cannot doubt but that it will be rewarded with all the satisfaction, with which an ardent love for your fellow-citizens must review successful efforts to promote their happiness.
This anticipation is not justified merely by the past experience of your signal services. It is particularly suggested by the pious impressions under which you commence your administration, and the enlightened maxims by which you mean to conduct it. We feel with you the strongest obligations to adore the invisible hand which has led the American people through so many difficulties, to cherish a con. scious responsibility for the destiny of republican li. herty, and to seek the only sure means of preserving and recommending the precious deposit in a system of legislation, founded on the principles of an honest policy, and directed by the spirit of a diffusive patriotism.
The question arising out of the Fifth Article of the Constitution, will receive all the attention demanded by its importance, and will, we trust, be decided under the influence of all the considerations to which you allude.
In forming the pecuniary provisions for the executive department, we shall not lose sight of a wish