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Plate /

Extract from President Washington's Speech to the

first American Congress, April 30, 1789.*

See Plates 13 and 14.

With the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almishty Beins, who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supp's every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a government instituted by tnemselves and may enable every instrument employed in its administration, to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have ad

* The small type in this speech, distinguish such words and parts of words, as are represented by particular signs.

vanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of provi dential agency. And in the important revolution jus accomplished in the system of their united government the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the even has resulted, cannot be compared with the mean by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratitude along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising ou of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongls al my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me I trust, in thinking that there are none underthe influence of which, the proceedings of a new and free govern ment can more auspiciously commence.

By the article establishing the executive departments, it is made the duty of the president “ to recommend to your consideration, such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” The circumstances and which I now meet you, will acquit me from entering into that subject further than to refer you to the great constitutional charter under which we are assembled : and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitute in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, the

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