Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO DAVID HUMPHREYS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIII (1794-1798)
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TO DAVID HUMPHREYS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIII (1794-1798) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XIII (1794-1798).
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TO DAVID HUMPHREYS.
Mount Vernon, 26 June, 1797.
My Dear Humphreys:
Since I did myself the pleasure of writing to you by Capt. O’Brian, I have been favored with your letters of the 1st of January and 18th of February.—The last in date was the first received; but neither came to hand until long after I had left the chair of Government, and was seated in the shade of my own Vine and Fig tree.
The testimony of your politeness and friendship to Mrs. Washington and myself, which accompanied the latter, are accepted with the same cordiality and chearfulness with which I am sure they were presented. Presents however, to me, are of all things the most painful; but when I am so well satisfied of the motives which dictated yours my scruples are removed; and I receive the buckles (which are indeed very elegant) as a token of your regard and attachment; and will keep and wear them occasionally for your sake.
As the Gazettes of this country are transmitted from the department of State, to all our diplomatic characters abroad, you will of course have perceived that the measure advised by you relative to the disavowal of the forged letter (attempted to be imposed on the public, as written by me in 1776) had been previously adopted; without any of the accompaniments contained in your draught which was received long after the publication of it.
I am clearly in sentiment with you that every man who is in the vigor of life, ought to serve his country, in what ever line it requires and he is fit for; It was not my intention therefore to persuade you to withdraw your services whilst inclination and the calls of your Country demanded your service. but the desire of a companion in my latter days, in whom I could confide, might have induced me to express myself too strongly on the occasion. The change however which I presume has ere this taken place in your domestic concerns would of itself have annihilated every hope of having you as an inmate if the circumstance had been known at the time.
On this event, which I persuade myself will be fortunate and happy for you, I offer my congratulations, with all the sincerity and warmth you can desire;—and if ever you should bring Mrs. Humphreys1 to the U. States no roof will afford her and you a more welcome reception than this, while we are the inhabitants of it.
To the Department of State and the Gazettes which will be transmitted from thence, I shall refer you for the political state of our affairs; but in one word I might have added, that nothing short of a general peace in Europe, will produce tranquility in this Country; for reasons which are obvious to every well informed observant man among us. I have confidence however in that providence, which has shielded the U. States from the evils which have threatened them hitherto.—And, as I believe the major part of the people of this country, are well affected to the Constitution and Government of it, I rest satisfied that if ever a crisis should arise to call forth the sense of the Community it will be strong in support of the Honor and dignity of the nation. Therefore however much I regret the opposition, which has for its object the embarrassment of the administration, I shall view things in the “calm light of mild philosophy” and endeavor to finish my course in retirement and ease.
An absence from home of eight years (except short occasional visits to it which allowed no time to investigate or look into the real state of my private concerns) has very much deranged them, and occasioned such depredations upon buildings and all things around them, as to make the expence of repairs almost as great and the employment of attending to work men almost as much, as if I had commenced an entire new establishment.
The public buildings in the Federal City go on well:—one wing of the Capitol (with which Congress might make a very good shift), and the President’s House will be covered in this Autumn, or to speak more correctly perhaps the latter is now receiving its cover, and the former will be ready for it by that epoch. An elegant bridge is thrown over the Potomack at the little falls, and the navigation of the river above will be completed nearly, this season, through which an immensity of Produce, must flow to the shipping Ports thereon.
Alexandria you would scarcely know; so much has it encreased, since you was there. Two entire streets where Shallops, then laded and unladed, are extended into the River, and some of the best buildings in the Town erected on them.—What were the Commons, are now all enclosed, and many good houses placed on them.
As my circle is now small my information will be of course contracted, as Alexandria and the Federal City will probably be the extent of my perambulations. If you have entered the Matrimonial list—I pray you to present me in respectful terms to your lady and at all times and under all circumstances that you would believe me to be, as I really am, my dear Sir, &c.
[1 ]Miss Bulkly.