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Delaware. . . . . . . . 7th December, 1787
The first ten of the Amendments were proposed on the 25th September, 1789, and ratified by the constitutional number of States on the 15th December, 1791; the eleventh, on the 8th January, 1798; the twelfth, on the 25th September, 1804; the thirteenth, on the 1st February, 1863; the fourteenth, on the 21st July, 1868; and the fifteenth, on the 30th March, 1870.
WASHINGTON'S RESIGNATION OF HIS 00MMISSION.
The War of the Revolution having terminated auspiciously, Washington took leave of his officers and army at New York, and repaired to Annapolis, Md., where Congress was then in session. On the 20th of December, 1783, he transmitted a letter to that body apprising them of his arrival, with the intention of resigning his commission, and desiring to know whether it would be most agreeable to receive it in writing or at an audience. It was immediately resolved that a public entertainment be given him on the 22d, and that he be admitted to an audience on the 23d, at 12 o'clock. Accordingly, he attended at that time, and, being seated, the President informed him that Congress were prepared to receive his communications. Whereupon he arose, and spoke as follows:
“MR. PRESIDENT: — The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place, I have now the honor of offering my sincere congratulations to Congress, and of presenting myself before them, to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country.
“Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointment I accepted with diffidence: a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task; which, however, was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.
“The successful termination of the war has verified the most sanguine expectations; and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my countrymen, increases with every review of the momentous contest. “While I repeat my obligations to the army in general, I should do injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge, in this place, the peculiar services and distinguished merits of the gentlemen who have been attached to my person during the war. It was impossible the choice of confidential officers to compose my family should have been more fortunate. Permit me, sir, to recommend, in particular, those who have continued in the service to the present moment, as worthy of the favorable notice and patronage of Congress. “I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them to his holy keeping. “Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theater of action, and bidding an affectionate farewell to this august body, under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.”
WASHINGTON'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS.
In accordance with previous arrangements, General Washington met Congress in New York, on the 30th of April, 1789, for the purpose of being inaugurated as the first President of the United States. The oath of office having been administered by the Chancellor of the State of New York, in presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, the President delivered the following Inaugural Address:
“ Fellow-citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
“Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years — a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary, as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health, to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken, in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondency one who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unpracticed in the duties of eivil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotion, all I dare aver is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is, that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country, with Some share of the partiality in which they originated. “Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe — who presides in the councils of nations—and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States — a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes—and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their united government, the tranquil deliberations, and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established without some return of pious gratifude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to