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lic duties, and that I am, with sentiments of esteem and regard, dear Sir, &c. *
TO THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCE.
Mount Vernon, 4 January, 1784. DEAR SIR, Herewith I give you the trouble of receiving the account of my expenditures in Philadelphia, and on my journey home. If I recollect right, Colonel Cobb told me this was the mode you had suggested to him, as proper for my proceeding in this matter.
Equally unexpected by them, as it appeared just in my eye to do it, I have given my late aids, who attended me from the seat of my military command, one hundred dollars each to bear their expenses home. I could not think it reasonable, that, from their attachment to me, or from motives of etiquette, they should incur this charge themselves. Their finances, I well knew, were unable to bear it, although I had some difficulty to prevail on them to accept this aid. Cobb I would not suffer (on account of his domestic and other concerns) to proceed any further than Philadelphia with me, but his distance from thence home would be equal to that of the other gentlemen from this place. All stand, therefore, upon an equal footing in my allowance.
* In the month of May, 1781, General Washington made arrangements, by authority of Congress, to have all his official papers recorded in volumes. He appointed Colonel Richard Varick to superintend this work, to classify the papers according to a plan furnished by General Washington himself, and to engage such a number of copyists as he should deem expedient. It was an undertaking not less laborious than confidential and important. Colonel Varick was employed, with three or four assistants, two years and a half in executing it. The papers were not only classified and arranged with exactness of method, but were transcribed throughout in a fair, large, and distinct hand.
I cannot close this letter without a renewal of those sentiments of friendship and regard, which I have always felt and professed for you ; nor without such expressions of my sensibility, as result from a susceptible mind, for the many instances of polite attention and civility, which I have received from Mrs. Morris and yourself, particularly during my late stay in Philadelphia. I flatter myself it is unnecessary to repeat the assurances of the pleasure it would give Mrs. Washington and me, to see you and Mrs. Morris at this retreat from my public cares; and yet, if I obey the dictates of my inclination and wishes, I must do it. My best wishes and respectful compliments, in which Mrs. Washington joins me, are offered to you both; and with sincere affection, I am, dear Sir, &c.
TO JONATHAN TRUMBULL, JUNIOR.
Mount Vernon, 5 January, 1784. DEAR TRUMBULL, Your obliging letter of the 15th of November did not reach me until some days after we had taken possession of the city of New York. The scene, that followed, of festivity, congratulation, addresses, and resignation, must be my apology for not replying to it
I sincerely thank you for the copy of the address of Governor Trumbull to the General Assembly and freemen of your State.* The sentiments contained in it are such, as would do honor to a patriot of any age or nation ; at least they are too coincident with my own, not to meet with my warmest approbation. Be so good as to present my most cordial respects to the Governor, and let him know, that it is my wish, that the mutual friendship and esteem, which have been planted and fostered in the tumult of public life, may not wither and die in the serenity of retirement. Tell him, that we should rather amuse our evening hours of life in cultivating the tender plants, and bringing them to perfection, before they are transplanted to a happier clime.
* An address of Governor Trumbull to the Assembly of Connecticut, in October, 1783, declining a reelection. He was then in the seventythird year of his age, and had been governor of Connecticut fourteen years.
Notwithstanding the jealous and contracted temper, which seems to prevail in some of the States, yet I cannot but hope and believe, that the good sense of the people will ultimately get the better of their prejudices; and that order and sound policy, though they do not come so often as one would wish, will be produced from the present unsettled and deranged state of public affairs. Indeed, I am happy to observe, that the political disposition is actually meliorating every day. Several of the States have manifested an inclination to invest Congress with more ample powers; most of the legislatures appear disposed to do perfect justice; and the Assembly of this commonwealth have just complied with the requisitions of Congress, and, I am informed, without a dissenting voice. Every thing, my dear Trumbull, will come right at last, as we have often prophesied. My only fear is, that we shall lose a little reputation first.*
Some parts of Governor Trumbull's address had not been acceptable to the majority of the legislature. He had spoken of the necessity of enlarging the powers of Congress, and of strengthening the arm of government. The following is a paragraph of the reply reported by a committee of the General Assembly, which was rejected by the lower house.
“ That the secretary request of his Excellency a copy of his address,
After having passed, with as much prosperity as could be expected, through the career of public life, I have now reached the goal of domestic enjoyment; in which state, I assure you, I find your good wishes most acceptable to me. The family at Mount Vernon joins in the compliments and cordiality, with which
I am, dear Sir, &c.
TO DAVID HUMPHREYS.
Mount Vernon, 14 January, 1784. MY DEAR HUMPHREYS, I have been favored with your letter of the 16th. Be assured that there are few things, which would give me more pleasure than opportunities of evincing to you the sincerity of my friendship, and disposition to render you services at any time when it may be in my power.
Although all recommendations from me to Congress must now be considered as coming from a private character, yet I enter very cheerfully into your views; and, as far as my suggesting of them to that honorable body, accompanied by my testimonial of your competency to the execution of the duties of either of the offices in contemplation, will go, you have them freely; and the enclosed letter, which is a copy of the one I have written to Congress on the occasion, will be an evidence of my good wishes, whatever may be the success.
that it may be published, which this Assembly are especially desirous of, as they consider those important principles of justice, benevolence, and subordination to law, therein inculcated, as constituting the only solid basis upon which social happiness can be established, and therefore deserving the serious attention of the good people of the State.”
Upon this paragraph Mr. Trumbull remarked in his letter to General Washington ; “It was rejected, lest, by adopting it, they should seem to convey to the people an idea of their concurring with the political sentiments contained in the address ; so exceedingly jealous is the spirit of this State at present respecting the powers and the engagements of Congress, arising principally from their aversion to the half-pay and commutation granted to the army ; principally I say arising from this cause. It is but too true, that some few are wicked enough to hope, that, by means of this clamor, they may be able to rid themselves of the whole public debt, by introducing so much confusion into public measures, as shall eventually produce a general abolition of the whole." MS. Letter, November 15th, 1783.
I cannot take my leave of you without offering those acknowledgments of your long and zealous services to the public, which your merits justly entitle you to, and which a grateful heart should not withhold ; and I feel very sensibly the obligations I am personally under to you, for the aid I have derived from your abilities, for the cheerful assistance you have afforded me upon many interesting occasions, and for the attachment you have always manifested towards me. I shall hold in pleasing remembrance the friendship and intimacy, which have subsisted between us, and shall neglect no opportunity on my part to cultivate and improve them ; being with unfeigned esteem and regard, my dear Humphreys, your most affectionate friend, &c.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS.
Mount Vernon, 14 January, 1784. SIR, The goodness of Congress in the assurances they were pleased to give me, of charging themselves with the interests of those confidential officers, who had attended me to the resignation of my public employments, and the request of your Excellency to Colonel Humphreys, after I had been honored with my public audience, that, if any thing should occur to him in consequence of what had just been suggested, he would communicate it to you in a letter, induce me to take