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  • Sue Devick

What four essential things did George Washington seek for the Country?

Updated: Dec 13, 2021


On June 8, 1783, George Washington wrote a "circular" letter to the independent states advising government officials of what he felt was needed for the well-being of the country. According to archives containing letters and documents of the Founding Fathers, the first American president wrote that the vital components for a strong nation included:


1st An indissoluble Union of the States under one federal Head.


2ndly A sacred regard to public Justice.


3dly The adoption of a proper Peace Establishment---and


4thly The prevalence of that pacific and friendly disposition among the people of the United States, which will induce them to forget their local prejudices and policies, to make those mutual concessions which are requisite to the general prosperity, and, in some instances, to sacrifice their individual advantages to the interest of the community. (For complete text of letter, see Founders Online at https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/99-01-02-11404.)


Washington was fifty one years old when he wrote the above words of advice for the republic's prosperity. He had served from 1752-1758 in the British provincial militia during the French and Indian War, and from 1775-1783 as a Colonel, General, and Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He had been anxious to retire from public service to his Mount Vernon home. As he wrote to Colonel H. Lee, "Notwithstanding my advanced season of life, my increasing fondness for agricultural amusements, and my growing love of retirement, augment and confirm my decided predilection for the character of a private citizen." He was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia, and passed away in 1799 after a brief illness at his Mount Vernon home.


Sue Devick, M.A.

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