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Message in Reply to the House of Representatives

January 14, 1790

Address of the House of Representatives to George Washington, President of the United States.

SIR: The Representatives of the people of the United States have taken into consideration your speech to both Houses of Congress at the opening of the present session.

We reciprocate your congratulations on the accession of the State of North Carolina, an event which, while it is a testimony of the increasing good will toward the Government of the Union, can not fail to give additional dignity and strength to the American Republic, already rising in the estimation of the world in national character and respectability.

The information that our measures of the last session have not proved dissatisfactory to our constituents affords us much encouragement at this juncture, when we are resuming the arduous task of legislating for so extensive an empire.

Nothing can be more gratifying to the Representatives of a free people than the reflection that their labors are rewarded by the approbation of their fellow-citizens. Under this impression we shall make every exertion to realize their expectations, and to secure to them those blessings which Providence has placed within their reach. Still prompted by the same desire to promote their interests which then actuated us, we shall in the present session diligently and anxiously pursue those measures which shall appear to us conducive to that end.

We concur with you in the sentiment that agriculture, commerce, and manufactures are entitled to legislative protection, and that the promotion of science and literature will contribute to the security of a free Government; in the progress of our deliberations we shall not lose sight of objects so worthy of our regard.

The various and weighty matters which you have judged necessary to recommend to our attention appear to us essential to the tranquillity and Welfare of the Union, and claim our early and most serious consideration. We shall proceed without delay to bestow on them that calm discussion which their importance requires.

We regret that the pacific arrangements pursued with regard to certain hostile tribes of Indians have not been attended with that success which we had reason to expect from them. We shall not hesitate to concur in such further measures as may best obviate any ill effects which might be apprehended from the failure of those negotiations.

Your approbation of the vote of this House at the last session respecting the provision for the public creditors is very acceptable to us. The proper mode of carrying that resolution into effect, being a subject in which the future character and happiness of these States are deeply involved, will be among the first to deserve our attention.

The prosperity of the United States is the primary object of all our deliberations, and we cherish the reflection that every measure which we may adopt for its advancement will not only receive your cheerful concurrence, but will at the same time derive from your cooperation additional efficacy, in insuring to our fellow-citizens the blessings of a free, efficient, and equal government.

January 12, 1790.

Reply of the President:

GENTLEMEN: I receive with pleasure the assurances you give me that you will diligently and anxiously pursue such measures as shall appear to you conducive to the interest of your constituents, and that an early and serious consideration will be given to the various and weighty matters recommended by me to your attention.

I have full confidence that your deliberations will continue to be directed by an enlightened and virtuous zeal for the happiness of our country.


January 14, 1790.

George Washington, Message in Reply to the House of Representatives Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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