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old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has bitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even datter myself, that they may be productive of some parsial benefit, some occasional good ; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism ; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.
How far, in the discharge of my official duties, I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.
In relation to the sill subsisting war in Europe, my Proclamation of the 22d of April, 1793, is the index to
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 bes 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. Having 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
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without any thing more, from the obligation which justice od humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which
i s free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.
T'he inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experi
With ine, 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 administra tion, I ain 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, I 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.
GEORGE WASHINGTON. United States, September 17th, 1796.
DEFINITIVE TREATY OF PEACE
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND
HIS BRITANNIC MAJESTY.
U THE NAMA OF THE Most HOLY AND UNDIVIDED Trinity.
Ir having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the most serene and most potent prince, George the Third, by the grace of God King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg, Arch Treasurer and Prince Elector of the holy Roman empire, &c. and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore ; and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two countries, upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience, as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony : And having, for this desirable end, already laid the foundation of peace and reconciliation, by the Provisional Articles, signed at Paris, on the thirtieth of November, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, by the Commissioners empowered on each part, which articles were agreed to be inserted in, and to constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but which Treaty was not to be concluded until terms of peace should be agreed upon between Great Britain and France, and his Britannic Majesty should be ready to conclude such Treaty accordingly; and the Treaty between Great Britain and France having since been concluded, his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, in order to carry into full effect the Provisional Articles above mentioned, according to the tenor thereof, have constituted and appointed, that is to say : his Britannic Majesty on his part, David Hartley, esquire, member of the Parliament of Great Britain ; and the said United States on their part, John Adams, esquire, late a Commissioner of the United States of America at the Court of Versailles, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Massachusetts, ana Chief Justice of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary of the said United States to their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands ; Benjamin Franklin, esquire, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Pennsylvania, President of the Convention of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles ; John Jay, esquire, late President of Congress, and Chief Justice of the State of New York, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the said United States at the Court of Madrid, to be the Plenipotentiaries for the concluding and signing the present definitive Treaty; who, after having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers, have agreed upon and confirmed the following articles :
Art. 1. His Britannic Majesty acknowledges the said United States, namely, New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, to be free, sovereign, and independent States , that he treats with them as such; and for himself, his heirs and successors, relinquishes all claims to the government, propriety, and territorial rights of the same,
and every part thereof.
Art. 2. And that all disputes which might arise in future, on the subject of the boundaries of the said United States may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared, that the following are and shall be their boundaries, namely, from the northwest angle of Nova Scotia, namely, that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of St. Croix river to the Highlands ; along the said Higalands which divide those rivers that empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic ocean, to the northwesternmost head of Connecticut river, thence down along the middle of that river, to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude ; from thence, by a line due west on said lati
tude, until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataraquy thence along the middle of said river into lake Ontario, through the middle of said lake until it strikes the commr'inication by water between that lake and lake Erie ; thence along the middle of said communication into lake Erie, through the middle of said lake until it arrives at the water communication between that lake and lake Huron; thence along the middle of said water communicacior into the lake Huron ; thence through the middle of said lake to the water communication between that lake and lake Superior ; thence through lake Superior northward of the isles Royal and Philipeaux, to the Long Lake; thence through the middle of the said Long Lake, and the water communication between it and the lake of the Woods, to the said lake of the Woods ; thence through the said lake to the most northwestern point thereof, and from thence on a due west course to the river Mississippi ; thence by a line to be drawn along the middle of the said river Mississippi until it shall intersect the northernmost part of the thirty-first degree of north latitude. South, by a line to be drawn due east from the determination of the line last mentioned, in the latitude of thirty-one degrees north of the equator, to the middle of the river Appalachicola or Catahouche; thence along the middle thereof to its junction with the Flint river ; thence straight to the head of St. Mary's river; and thence down along the middle of St. Mary's river to the Atlantic ocean.
East, by a line to be drawn along the middle of the river St. Croix, from its mouth, in the Bay of Fundy, to its source, and from its source, directly north, to the aforesaid Highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic ocean from those which fall into the river St. Lawrence : comprehending all islands within twenty leagues of any part of the shores of the United States, and lying between lines to be drawn due east from the points where the aforesaid boundaries between Nova Scotia on the one part, and East Florida on the other, shall respectively touch the bay of Fundy, and the Atlantic ocean; excepting such islands as now are, or heretofore have been, within the limits of the said Prov 'nce of Nova Scotia.