The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 30

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 30

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 30

The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799 - Vol. 30

Excerpt

To EDWARD PEMBERTON

Mount Vernon, June 20, 1788.

Sir: I have just received the letter and piece of poetry1 which you did me the favour to address to me on the 21st. of March last: and take an early opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of them, and of expressing my sense of the sentiments you are pleased to entertain for me. It cannot fail of being agreeable to me, that my conduct (through the difficult scenes in which I have been called to act) should be approved where my person is unknown.

Not arrogating to myself any particular skill in deciding critically on the merits of poetical compositions, you will excuse me for being silent on a subject in which I pretend not to judge and for adverting rather to the friendly wishes you make for myself and Country, than to the style and numbers in wch. they are communicated. You may be assured, Sir, that the good opinion of honest men, friends to freedom and well- wishers to mankind, wherever they may be born or happen to reside, is the only kind of reputation a wise man would ever desire.

Although your observations on ancient Colonization, and the recent Contest between Great Britain and America seem to be [well] founded: yet it only remains now to profit of our actual situation by a liberal commercial intercourse. In the mean time, your disinterested friendship for this Country will probably be gratified, on the adoption of measures now in contemplation, in finding that it will arrive at a degree of respectability and happiness, to which it has hitherto been a stranger. I am &c.2

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