“On Saturday last the Legislature of this State, now in session in this city, having received information of the approach of the President of the United States of America, passed the following resolve, viz.
General Assembly, State of Connecticut.
New-Haven, October, A. D. 1789.
In the House of Representatives.
Mr. Edwards, Governor Griswold, Mr. Tracy, Major Hart, Mr. Dana, Mr. Learned, Mr. Ingersoll, Col. Seymour, Col. Leffingwell, Col. Grosvenor, Mr. Davenport, are appointed, with such gentlemen as the Honourable Council shall join, a committee to prepare and report an address from this Legislature, to the President of the United States on his arrival in this city, and to meet the President at some convenient distance from said city, and attend him to his lodgings, and to present such address as shall be ordered, and to attend the President on his journey as far as propriety shal1 in their opinion require.
Test, James Davenport, Clerk.
In the Upper House.
John Chester, and James Hillhouse, Esquires, are appointed a committee to join the committee of the House of Representatives.
Test, George Wyllys, Sec’ry.
The Legislature also requested his Excellency the Governor to order his company of guards in this city, to attend the committee in escorting the President. At the time appointed by the President, the committee presented him with the following address:
TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA.
IMPRESSED with the sentiments which animate the millions of our fellow-citizens, We, the Legislature of the State of Connecticut, cannot, on this occasion, be silent.
Your presence recalls to our admiration that assemblage of talents, which with impenetrable secrecy, and unvarying decision, under the smiles of Divine Providence, guided to victory and peace the complicated events of the late long and arduous war.
The scenes of perilous horror through which you conducted the American arms, taught your country and mankind to receive you as the greatest of heroes. Your sacred regard to the rights of freemen, and the virtues of humanity, inspired the united voice of all America to hail you as the first and worthiest of citizens.
With grateful veneration we behold the father of his country — our friend — our fellow-citizen — our supreme magistrate.
When peace had succeeded to the vicissitudes of war, your ardent desire for retirement was sanctioned by the voice of patriotism.
Your country has again solicited your aid, In obedience to her wishes, you have sacrificed the felicity of dignified retirement, and have hazarded oil the tempestuous ocean of public life the rich treasure of your fame. This display of patriot zeal gives you a new right, to what you before possessed, the hearts of all your fellow-citizens.
While we thus express our sentiments, and those of the freemen whom we represent, we beg liberty to assure you of our zeal to support your public administrations.
May the Divine Being, who has given you as an example to the world, ever have you in his holy keeping; may he long preserve you, the happiness and the glory of our country: May the assurance, that the government formed under your auspices will bless future generations, rejoice the evening of your life; and may you be finally rewarded with the full glories of immortality.
In the name and behalf of the Legislature of the State of Connecticut.
SAMUEL HUNTINGTON, Governor.
To which Address the President was pleased to return the following answer.
To the Legislature of the State of Connecticut.
COULD any acknowledgments which language might convey, do justice to the feelings excited by your partial approbation of my past services, and your affectionate wishes for my future happiness, I would endeavour to thank you: — But to minds disposed as your’s are, it will suffice to observe, that your address meets a most grateful reciption, and is reciprocated in all its wishes with unfeigned sincerity.
If the prosperity of our common country has in any degree been promoted by my military exertions, the toils which attended them, have been amply rewarded by the approving voice of my fellow citizens. I was but the humble agent of favouring Heaven, whose benign interference was so often manifested in our behalf, and to whom the praise of victory alone is due.
In launching again on the ocean of events, I have obeyed a summons to which I can never be insensible. When my country demands the sacrifice, personal ease will always be a secondary consideration.
I cannot forego this opportunity to felicitate the Legislature of Connecticut on the pleasing prospect which an abundant harvest presents to its citizens. — May industry like theirs, ever receive its reward, and may the smiles of Heaven, crown all endeavors which are prompted by virtue, among which it is justice to estimate your assurance of supporting our equal government.
New-Haven, October 17th, 1 789.
The Address of the Congregational Ministers of the city of New-Haven.
To the PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES.
THE Congregational Ministers of the city of New-Haven, beg leave to make their most respectful address to the President of the United States. We presume that we join with the whole collective body of the congregational Pastors and Presbyterian Ministers throughout these States, in the most cordial congratulations of themselves, of their country, and of mankind, on your elevation to the head of the combined American Republic. As Ministers of the blessed JESUS, the Prince of Peace, we rejoice, and have inexpressible pleasure in the demonstrations you have given of your sincere affection towards that holy religion, which is the glory of Christian States, and will become the glory of the world itself, at that happy period, when Liberty, public Right, and the veneration of the MOST HIGH, who presides in the Universe with a most holy and benevolent Sovereignty, shall triumph among all the Nations, Kingdoms, Empires, and Republics on earth. — We most sincerely rejoice in the kind and gracious Providence of ALMIGHTY GOD, who hath been pleased to preserve your life, during your late dangerous sickness, and to restore you to such degree of health, as gives us this opportunity to express our joy, and affords us the most pleasing hopes that your health may be firmly established. We pray the Lord of Hosts, by whose counsels and wisdom you have been carried triumphantly and gloriously through the late war, terminating in the establishment of American Liberty, and perhaps in the liberty of all nations, that he would be pleased ever to have you under his holy protection, continue you a blessing to Church and State, support you under your arduous cares, and perpetuate that estimation and honor, which you have justly acquired of your country. May this new and rising Republic become, under your auspices, the most glorious for population, perfection of policy and happy administration of government that ever appeared on earth. And may you, Sir, having finished a course of distinguished usefulness, receive the reward of public virtue in the kingdom of eternal glory.
SAMUEL AUSTIN, jun.
City of New-Haven, Oct. 17, 1789.
To which the PRESIDENT was pleased to return the following Answer.
To the Congregational Ministers of the City of New-Haven.
THE kind congratulations contained in your address, claim and receive my grateful and affectionate thanks. — Respecting, as I do, the favourable opinions of men distinguished for science and piety, it would be false delicacy to disavow the satisfaction, which I derive from their approbation of my public services, and private conduct.
Regarding that deportment, which consists with true religion, as the best security of temporal peace, and the sure mean of attaining eternal felicity, it will be my earnest endeavour (as far as human frailty can resolve) to inculcate the belief and practice of opinions which lead to the consummation of those desirable objects.
The tender interest which you have taken in my personal happiness, and the obliging manner in which you express yourselves on the restoration of my health, are so forcibly impressed on my mind as to render language inadequate to the utterance of my feelings. — If it shall please the Great Disposer of Events to listen to the pious supplication, which you have presented in my behalf, I trust the remainder of my days will evince the gratitude of a heart devoted to the advancement of those objects, which receive the approbation of Heaven, and promote the happiness of our fellow-men.
My best prayers are offered to the Throne of Grace for your happiness, and that of the congregations com mitted to your care.
City of New-Haven, October 17th, 1789.
The citizens of this place were highly gratified by the presence of The President of the United States, who came to town last Saturday afternoon in good health. The next day he attended Divine Service in Trinity Church. His Excellency the Governor, his Hon. the Lieutenant Governor, Hon. Roger Sherman, the Hon. the Speaker, of the House of Representatives, with the Treasurer, dined with him; — and attended the afternoon Service, at the Rev. Dr. Edwards’s Meeting.
Early on Monday morning the President sat out from hence, for the Eastern States.”
-Excerpt courtesy of The Library of Congress, Chronicling America, “Gazette of the United-States. [volume] (New-York [N. Y.]),” October 24, 1789. (top) Image courtesy of Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, “WASHINGTON AT VERPLANCK’S POINT NEW YORK, 1782, REVIEWING THE FRENCH TROOPS AFTER THE VICTORY AT YORKTOWN,” by John Trumbull, 1790