Front Page Titles (by Subject) FAREWELL ADDRESS 1 - The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 8
FAREWELL ADDRESS 1 - Alexander Hamilton, The Works of Alexander Hamilton, (Federal Edition), vol. 8 
The Works of Alexander Hamilton, ed. Henry Cabot Lodge (Federal Edition) (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904). In 12 vols. Vol. 8.
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abstract of points to form an address
- I.—The period of a new election approaching, it is his duty to announce his intention to decline.
- II.—He had hoped that long ere this it would have been in his power, and particularly had nearly come to a final resolution in the year 1792 to do it, but the peculiar situation of affairs, and the advice of confidential friends, dissuaded.
- III.—In acquiescing in a further election he still hoped a year or two longer would have enabled him to withdraw, but a continuance of causes has delayed till now, when the position of our country, abroad and at home, justify him in pursuing his inclination.
- IV.—In doing it he has not been unmindful of his relation as a dutiful citizen to his country, nor is now influenced by the smallest diminution of zeal for its interest or gratitude for its past kindness, but by a belief that the step is compatible with both.
- V.—The impressions under which he first accepted were explained on the proper occasion.
- VI.—In the execution of it he has contributed the best exertions of a very fallible judgment—anticipated his insufficiency—experienced his disqualifications for the difficult trust, and every day a stronger sentiment from that cause to yield the place—advance into the decline of life—every day more sensible of weight of years, of the necessity of repose, of the duty to seek retirement, etc.
- VII.—It will be among the purest enjoyments which can sweeten the remnant of his days, to partake in a private station, in the midst of his fellow-citizens, the laws of a free government, the ultimate object of his cares and wishes.
- VIII.—As to rotation.
- IX.—In contemplating the moment of retreat, cannot forbear to express his deep acknowledgments and debt of gratitude for the many honors conferred on him—the steady confidence which, even amidst discouraging scenes and efforts to poison its source, has adhered to support him, and enabled him to be useful—marking, if well placed, the virtue and wisdom of his countrymen. All the return he can now make must be in the vows he will carry with him to his retirement: 1st, for a continuance of the Divine beneficence to his country; 2d, for the perpetuity of their union and brotherly affection—for a good administration insured by a happy union of watchfulness and confidence; 3d, that happiness of people under auspices of liberty may be complete; 4th, that by a prudent use of the blessing they may recommend to the affection, the praise, and the adoption of every nation yet a stranger to it.
- X.—Perhaps here he ought to end. But an unconquerable solicitude for the happiness of his country will not permit him to leave the scene without availing himself of whatever confidence may remain in him, to strengthen some sentiments which he believes to be essential to their happiness, and to recommend some rules of conduct, the importance of which his own experience has more than ever impressed upon him.
- XI.—To consider the Union as the rock of their salvation, presenting summarily these ideas:
Fitness of the parts for each other by their very discriminations:
- 1.The strength and greater security from external danger.
- 2.Internal peace, and avoiding the necessity of establishments dangerous to liberty.
- 3.Avoids the effect of foreign intrigue.
- 4.Breaks the force of faction by rendering combinations more difficult.
The Atlantic board to the western country by the strong interest of peace, andThe Western, by the necessity of Atlantic maritime protection.Cannot be secure of their great outlet otherwise—cannot trust a foreign connection.Solid interests invite to Union. Speculation of difficulty of government ought not to be indulged, nor momentary jealousies—lead to impatience.Faction and individual ambition are the only advisers of disunion.Let confidence be cherished. Let the recent experience of the West be a lesson against impatience and distrust.
- 1.The North, by its capacity for maritime strength and manufacture.
- 2.The agricultural South furnishing materials and requiring those protections.
- XII.—Cherish the actual government. It is the government of our own choice, free in its principles, the guardian of our common rights, the patron of our common interests, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment.But let that provision be cautiously used—not abused; changing only in any material points as experience shall direct; neither indulging speculations of too much or too little force in the system; and remembering always the extent of our country.Time and habit of great consequence to every government of whatever structure.Discourage the spirit of faction, the bane of free government; and particularly avoid founding it on geographical discriminations. Discountenance slander of public men. Let the departments of government avoid interfering and mutual encroachment.
- XIII.—Morals, religion, industry, commerce, economy.Cherish public credit—source of strength and security.Adherence to systematic views.
- XIV.—Cherish good faith, justice, and peace with other nations:
If these could exist, a nation invariably honest and faithful, the benefits would be immense.But avoid national antipathies or national attachments.Display the evils; fertile source of wars — instrument of ambitious rulers.
- 1.Because religion and morality dictate it.
- 2.Because policy dictates it.
- XV.—Republics peculiarly exposed to foreign intrigue, those sentiments lay them open to it.
- XVI.—The great rule of our foreign politics ought to be to have as little political connection as possible with foreign nations.Cultivating commerce with all by gentle and natural means, diffusing and diversifying it, but forcing nothing—and cherish the sentiment of independence, taking pride in the appellation of American.
- XVII.—Our separation from Europe renders standing alliances inexpedient—subjecting our peace and interest to the primary and complicated relations of European interests.Keeping constantly in view to place ourselves upon a respectable defensive, and if forced into controversy, trusting to connections of the occasion.
- XVIII.—Our attitude imposing and rendering this policy safe.But this must be with the exception of existing engagements, to be preserved but not extended.
- XIX.—It is not expected that these admonitions can control the course of the human passions, but if they only moderate them in some instances, and now and then excite the reflections of virtuous men heated by party spirit, my endeavor is rewarded.
- XX.—How far in the administration of my present office my conduct has conformed to these principles, the public records must witness. My conscience assures me that I believed myself to be guided by them.
- XXI.—Particularly in relation to the present war, the proclamation of the 22d of April, 1793, is the key to my plan.Approved by your voice and that of your representatives in Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually guided me, uninfluenced by, and regardless of, the complaints and attempts of any of the powers at war or their partisans to change them.I thought our country had a right under all the circumstances to take this ground, and I was resolved, as far as depended on me, to maintain it firmly.
- XXII.—However, in reviewing the course of my administration, I may be unconscious of intentional errors, I am too sensible of my own deficiencies not to believe that I may have fallen into many. I deprecate the evils to which they may tend, and pray Heaven to avert or mitigate and abridge them. I carry with me, nevertheless, the hope that my motives will continue to be viewed with indulgence; that after forty-five years of my life devoted to public service, with a good zeal and upright views, the faults of deficient abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
- XXIII.—Neither interest nor ambition has been my impelling motive. I never abused the power confided to me. I have not bettered my fortune, retiring with it, no otherwise improved than by the influence on property of the common blessings of my country. I retire with undefiled hands and an uncorrupted heart, and with ardent vows for the welfare of that country, which has been the native soil of myself and my ancestors for four generations.