Gambar halaman

alty, but just such a contribution on each side, if there were two contributing parties, as would leave to the principal party the merit nd the responsibility of the fundamental thoughts, and to the other the merit of expanding, defending, and presenting them in the most suitable form, a task which public engagements, or a particular turn of mind, may have made unusual to the one, while it was habitual and easy to the other; and that no sense of honor had been wounded, nor any pretension of vanity consulted, by leaving the traces of a joint co-operation, just as each party has left them. Such as the character of both Washington and Hamilton gave assurance that the co-operation, if it took place, would be, such upon very full examination of the facts, it turns out to have been. The reader will probably regard the character of each, after he has considered the proofs, with as much esteem and admiration as he felt before the fact of co-operation was known to him. It is not improbable that he will regard it with even greater.

A recent perusal of the correspondence between Washington and Hamilton, in regard to the Farewell Address, has led to the

preparation of this paper. Part of that correspondence, the letters of Washington, has been in print for some years, and is to be found in the Congress edition of Hamilton's works. The letters of Hamilton to Washington have not been heretofore printed. The writer did not keep a copy of any of them. The originals were found among the papers of Washington, at the time of his death, and copies of them have been supplied by Mr. Sparks, the Editor of Washington's writings, and the author of his biography, to Mr. John C. Hamilton, the author of Hamilton's Life, and of “The History of the Republic,” now in course of publication, who has given me permission to print them. I am indebted to the same gentleman for permission to print certain other papers, derived by him from the kindness of Mr. Sparks, which enable me to identify the original or preparatory draught by Washington of a Farewell Address, as the same which he sent to Hamilton on the 15th May, 1796, and which became the basis of Hamilton's work. The permission of Mr. Hamilton enables

me to place a copy of this preparatory paper in an appendix. The originals of Hamilton's letters to Washington, and Washington's original draught, were, I understand, deposited in the office of the Department of State, after the conclusion of Mr. Sparks's great work; but Mr. Hamilton informs me, that by order of Mr. Marcy, when Secretary of State, diligent search was made, at Mr. Hamilton's request, and these letters and draught were not found.

For the greater convenience of the reader, I have appended to this Essay, 1. A copy of Washington's original or preparatory draught of a Farewell Address; 2. A copy of Hamilton's “ Abstract of Points to form an Address ;" 3. A copy of Hamilton's original draught of an Address; 4. Washington's Farewell Address, conforming to the record of it in the Department of State; and 5. A copy of Washington's autograph paper, from which the Farewell Address was printed. I should not have felt at liberty to use for this purpose the reprint of that autograph paper in the appendix to the fifth volume of Mr. Irving's Life of Washington; but I have been favored, through Mr. Hamilton, with a permission to reprint it, by its proprietor, Mr. Lenox, who printed a very fine edition of it for private distribution. The pagings in Mr. Irving's appendix, are noted in this reprint, to facilitate a reader in tracing my references to that appendix.



FROM the first publication of Washington's Farewell Address, in September, 1796, it has never been universally agreed, that the paper was written altogether by the illustrious man whose name is subscribed to it.

The first intimations of doubt on this point, were confined to private conversation or society, and with the admission that the paper spoke Washington's well-known sentiments, and was not above the high intellectual capacity he had uniformly exhibited; but the doubt was excused by suggestions, that the paper wanted the presence of Washington's characteristic forms of expression and construction, and that it manifested more systematic arrangement and connection, with fuller argumental supports, than were usual in his writings.

This language was confined, also, to comparatively few persons, as only a few were, at that time, familiar with Washington's writings. But in subsequent years, as this familiarity was enlarged, and as rival or unfriendly sentiments towards Washington and some of his confidential friends, were more disposed to reveal themselves, the doubts grew stronger; and, as special facts bearing upon the question

came out from time to time, they became more general. At length there arose a popular repugnance to the opinion, which in some degree suppressed further curiosity and inquiry. The deep and undivided reverence of the people for Washington, was unwilling to learn, that, even on an occasion of ceremony, he had worn any vesture but his own. It was, perhaps, a prejudice; but it was a natural one, in such a country as ours was, and some of it may still remain. The lapse of more years, however, and the express mention of Alexander Hamilton's name as an assistant in the work, opened the inquiry again,-always in the most deferential manner towards Washington, but with new features, tending to diversify opinions upon the matter, and in a certain degree to embitter them; until finally three varieties of opinion were found to prevail, none of them strictly accordant with the absolute truth, yet all of them professing the most elevated respect for Washington. They probably divide the country at the present time. It has been a remarkable test of the universal admiration and love of Washington among us, that no one of these opinions has ever disclosed or involved the least abatement in the love of any of his countrymen towards this immortal man, whose priority in all hearts has become the established heritage of his name forever.

One of these varieties of opinion, existing perhaps as early as any, among persons in immediate proximity to Washington, but not then revealed to any extent, and which had no special basis of fact whatever for it, was, that the Farewell Address was a transcript by Washington of Hamilton's thoughts as well as language. Those who entertained this opinion, derived it, probably, from what they

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »