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Message in Reply to the Senate

December 10, 1793

Address of the Senate to George Washington, President of the United States.


Accept, sir, the thanks of the Senate for your speech delivered to both Houses of Congress at the opening of the session. Your reelection to the Chief Magistracy of the United States gives us sincere pleasure. We consider it as an event every way propitious to the happiness of our country, and your compliance with the call as a fresh instance of the patriotism which has so repeatedly led you to sacrifice private inclination to the public good. In the unanimity which a second time marks this important national act we trace with particular satisfaction, besides the distinguished tribute paid to the virtues and abilities which it recognizes, another proof of that just discernment and constancy of sentiments and views which have hitherto characterized the citizens of the United States.

As the European powers with whom the United States have the most extensive relations were involved in war, in which we had taken no part, it seemed necessary that the disposition of the nation for peace should be promulgated to the world, as well for the purpose of admonishing our citizens of the consequences of a contraband trade and of acts hostile to any of the belligerent parties as to obtain by a declaration of the existing legal state of things an easier admission of our right to the immunities of our situation. We therefore contemplate with pleasure the proclamation by you issued, and give it our hearty approbation. We deem it a measure well timed and wise, manifesting a watchful solicitude for the welfare of the nation and calculated to promote it.

The several important matters presented to our consideration will, in the course of the session, engage all the attention to which they are respectively entitled, and as the public happiness will be the sole guide of our deliberations, we are perfectly assured of receiving your strenuous and most zealous cooperation.


Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate.

DECEMBER 9, 1793.

Reply of the President:

GENTLEMEN: The pleasure expressed by the Senate on my reelection to the station which I fill commands my sincere and warmest acknowledgments. If this be an event which promises the smallest addition to the happiness of our country, as it is my duty so shall it be my study to realize the expectation.

The decided approbation which the proclamation now receives from your House, by completing the proofs that this measure is considered as manifesting a vigilant attention to the welfare of the United States, brings with it a peculiar gratification to my mind.

The other important subjects which have been communicated to you will, I am confident, receive a due discussion, and the result will, I trust, prove fortunate to the United States.


DECEMBER 10, 1793.

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

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