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ment, to which the firft of patriots would have chosen to consign his fame-it is my earnest prayer to heaven, that our country may subsist, even to that late day, in the plenitude of its liberty and happiness, and mingle its mild glory with WASHINGTON's.



OF INTERRING THE REMAINS OF Gen. WASHINGTON. { 1. GENTLEMEN of the fenate, and gentlemen of the

house of representatives, in compliance with the request in one of the resolutions of congress of the twenty-first of December last, I transmitted a copy of those resolutions by my secretary, Mr. Shaw, to Mrs. Washington, assuring her of the profound respect congress will ever bear to her perfon and character ; of their condolenie in the late afflicting dispensation of Providence, and intreating her assent to the interment of the remains of general GEORGE WASHINGTON, in the manner expressed in the first resolution.

2. As the sentiments of that virtuous lady, not less beloved by this nation, than she is at present greatly afflicted, can never be so well expressed as in her own words ; I transmit to congress her original letter.

3. It would be an attempt of too much delicacy, to make any comments on it, but there can be no doubt, that the nation at large, as well as all the branches of the government, will be highly gratified by any arrangement which may diminish the facrifice she makes of her individual feelings.

JOHN ADAMS. United States, Jan. 8, 1800.


Mount Vernon, December 31, 1799. 1. SIR_While I feel with keenelt anguish, the late dispensations of Divine Providence, I cannot be insensible to the mournful tributes of respect and veneration, which are paid to the memory of my dear deceased husband ; and, as his best services and most anxious wishes, were always devo. ted to the welfare and happiness of his country, to know that they were truly appreciated, and gratefully remembered, affords no inconsiderable confolation.

2. Taught by the great example, which I have so long had before me, never to oppose my private. wishes to the public will, I must consent to the request made by congress, which you have had the goodness to transmit me ; and in doing this I need not, I cannot say, what a sacrifice of in. dividual feeling I make to a sense of public duty.

3. With grateful acknowledgments and unfeigned thanks for the personal respect and evidences of condolence expressed by congress and yourself ; I remain very respectfully, fir, your most obedient and humble servant, .

MARTHA WASHINGTON. : The president of the United States.


ED STATES. 1. UNACQUAINTED with the state of society here, Europe saw with wonder, the spirit of freedom unconquerable in America : rising, the more it suffered, the more fu. perior to all the attempts of the wisest and most powerful nation of Europe.

2. The ministers of Britain at that time, were men of great eminence and abilities, in managing business, on the European fyftem : but they had no ideas of the state of things in America, or of a system in which nature and soci. ety had combined to produce and to preserve freedom.

3. What they called rebellion, was only the tendency of nature and society towards freedom, made more active, by their opposition. Miftaking the cause, they perpetually mistook in their measures : and what could not have hade pened from any other cause but total mistake, it was their singular ill fortune never to judge right, either through de. fign, or by mistake. The result was the natural effect of things.

4. It did not partake of the nature of miracles, of the extravagant spirit of chivalry, or of the madness of relig. ious or political enthusiasm. - It was nothing more than the natural effect, of natural causes.

5. Freedom, for a century and a half, had been the constant product and effect, of the state of society in the British colonies : and when the decisive trial was to be made, this state of society produced its natural effect ;--a firm, steady, unabating, and unceasing contest, which could not admit of any other period, but the total destruction, or complete establishment of freedom..

6. No other cause but that which first produced the freedom of America, will prove sufficient to support and preserve it. It is in the state of society that civil freedom has its origin, and support. The effect can never be more pure or perfect, than the causes from whence it arises ; and all those causes terminate in the state and condition of the pecple. 5.7. The form of government by which the public business is to be done, a bill of rights to ascertain the just claims of the people, a constitution to direct and restrain the legii. lature, a code of laws to guide and direct the executive allthority, are matters of high importance to any people; and are justly esteemed among the wisest productions, of ancient or modern times.

8. But no people ought to expect that any thing of this nature will avail to secure, or to perpetuate their liberties. Such things are consequences, not the causes ; the evidences, not the origin of the liberties of the people.

9. They derive their whole authority and force, from the public sentiment ; and are of no further avail to secure the liberties of the people, than as they tend to express, to form, and to preserve the public opinion. If this alters and changes, any bill of rights, any constitution or form of government, and law, may easily be set aside, be changed, or be made of none effect.

10. For it will never be dangerous for the government of any people, to make any alterations or changes, which the public opinion will either allow, justify, or support. Nor ought any people to expect, that their legilators or governors will be able to preserve their liberties, for a long period of time. Any body of men who enjoy the powers and profits of public employments, will unavoidably with to have those profits and powers increased.

11. The difficulties they will meet with in the execution of their office, the unreasonable opposition that will be made by many to their wisest and best measures, and the constant attempts to displace them, by those whose only aim and wish is to succeed them ; such things, joined with a natural love of power and profit, will not fail to convince all men in public employments, that it would be best for the public to put more confidence and power in them.

12. While they thus with and aim to increase and add strength to their own powers and emoluments, those powers and emoluments will be called the powers and the dignity of government. It may be doubted whether men are much to blame, for wishing and aiming at that, which their fituation and employment naturally lead to. The effect seems to be universal.

13. It has ever been the case that government has had an universal tendency, to increase its own powers, revenues and influence. No people ought to expect that things will have a different tendency among them : that men will cease to be men, or become a more pure and perfect order of beings, because they have the powers of government committed to them.

14. On what then can the people depend, for the support and preservation of their rights and freedom? On no beings or precautions under heaven, but themselves. The spirit of liberty is a living principle. It lives in the minds, principles, and sentiments of the people.

15. It lives in their industry, virtue, and public sentiment : or rather it is produced, preserved, and kept alive, by the state of society. If the body of the people thall lofe

their property, their knowledge, and their virtue, their greatest and most valuable bleslings are loft at the same time.

16. With the loss of these, public sentiment will be corrupted : with the corruption of the public sentiment, bills

of rights, constitutions written upon paper and all the vol. i umes of written law, will lose their force, and utility.

17. Their government will immediately begin to change : and when the people have themselves lost the cause, the principle, and the spirit of freedom, they will no longer be capable of a free government : they are better suited for the restraints of aristocracy, or what is far better, for the regulations of monarchy. The constitutions and the laws of such a people, will no more preserve their freedom, than the tombs and the coffins of Montesquieu and Franklin, will retain their abilities and virtues.

18. Ye people of the United States of America, behold here the precarious foundation on which ye hold your liberties. They rest not on things written on paper, nor on the virtues, the vices, or the designs of other men, but they depend on yourselves ; on your maintaining your property, your knowledge, and your virtue. Nature and society have joined to produce, and to establish freedom in America.

19. You are now in the full possession of all your natural and civil rights ; under no restraints in acquiring knowledge, property, on the highest honors of your country ; in the most rapid state of improvement, and popula. tion ; with perfect freedom to make further improvements in your own condition.

20. In this state of society, every thing is adapted to promote the prosperity, the importance, and the improvement of the body of the people. But nothing is so established among men, but that it may change and vary. If you should lose that spirit of industry, of economy, of knowledge, and of virtue, which led you to independence and to empire, then, but not till then, will you lose your freedom : preserve your virtues, and your freedom will be perpetual !

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