Manuscript/Mixed Material George Washington, September 17, 1796, Farewell Address

About this Item

since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real Patriots, who may resist the intriegues of the favourite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The Great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign Nations is in extending our commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be fulfilled, with64 perfect good faith. Here let us stop.

Europe has a set of primary interests, which to us have none, or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence therefore it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by65 artificial66 ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or 67 the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships, or enmities:

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one People, under an efficient government, the period is not far off, when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon68 to be scrupulously respected; when69 belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly

64. The words “circumspection indeed, but with” are crossed out.

65. The article “an” is crossed out.

66. The word “connection” is crossed out.

67. The word “in” is crossed out.

68. The words “to observe” are crossed out.

69. The words “neither of two” are crossed out.

About this Item

Title
George Washington Papers, Series 2, Letterbooks 1754-1799: Letterbook 24, April 3, 1793 - March 3, 1797
Contributor Names
Washington, George, 1732-1799 (Author)
Created / Published
Subject Headings
-  United States
-  Manuscripts
Genre
Manuscripts
Call Number/Physical Location
series: Series 2, Letterbooks 1754-1799
MSS 44693: Reel 024
Source Collection
George Washington papers
Repository
Manuscript Division
Language
English
Online Format
image
online text
pdf

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The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress

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The Diaries of George Washington

The following statement is made by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, the copyright owners of The Diaries of George Washington.

Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976-79; a series of The Papers of George Washington. Copyright 1976-79 by the Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia. Used by permission of the publisher. The publisher is not responsible for the correctness and completeness of the images and texts as they appear in this online collection.

University Press of Virginia External

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Washington, George. George Washington Papers, Series 2, Letterbooks -1799: Letterbook 24, April 3, 1793 - March 3, 1797. 1793. Manuscript/Mixed Material. https://www.loc.gov/item/mgw2.024/.

APA citation style:

Washington, G. (1793) George Washington Papers, Series 2, Letterbooks -1799: Letterbook 24, April 3, 1793 - March 3, 1797. [Manuscript/Mixed Material] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/mgw2.024/.

MLA citation style:

Washington, George. George Washington Papers, Series 2, Letterbooks -1799: Letterbook 24, April 3, 1793 - March 3, 1797. 1793. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mgw2.024/>.

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