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Message in Reply to the Senate

October 31, 1791

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


SIR: The Senate of the United States have received with the highest satisfaction the assurances of public prosperity contained in your speech to both Houses. The multiplied blessings of Providence have not escaped our notice or failed to excite our gratitude.

The benefits which flow from the restoration of public and private confidence are conspicuous and important, and the pleasure with which we contemplate them is heightened by your assurance of those further communications which shall confirm their existence and indicate their source.

While we rejoice in the success of those military operations which have been directed against the hostile Indians, we lament with you the necessity that has produced them, and we participate the hope that the present prospect of a general peace on terms of moderation and justice may be wrought into complete and permanent effect, and that the measures of Government may equally embrace the security of our frontiers and the general interests of humanity, our solicitude to obtain which will insure our zealous attention to an object so warmly espoused by the principles of benevolence and so highly interesting to the honor and welfare of the nation.

The several subjects which you have particularly recommended and those which remain of former sessions will engage our early consideration. We are encouraged to prosecute them with alacrity and steadiness by the belief that they will interest no passion but that for the general welfare, by the assurance of concert, and by a view of those arduous and important arrangements which have been already accomplished.

We observe, sir, the constancy and activity of your zeal for the public good. The example will animate our efforts to promote the happiness of our country.

OCTOBER 28, 1791.

Reply of the President:

GENTLEMEN: This manifestation of your zeal for the honor and the happiness of our country derives its full value from the share which your deliberations have already had in promoting both.

I thank you for the favorable sentiments with which you view the part I have borne in the arduous trust committed to the Government of the United States, and desire you to be assured that all my zeal will continue to second those further efforts for the public good which are insured by the spirit in which you are entering on the present session.


OCTOBER 31, 1791.

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

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