A broadside of Washington’s Farewell Address, from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress
It came to be known as George Washington’s Farewell Address. But it was never given as a speech. Distributed instead as a letter to the people of the United States it’s considered one of the most important documents in American history.
In his letter to “Friends and Citizens,” Washington devoted most of it to offer advice as a “parting friend” on what he believed were the greatest threats to the survival of a fledging nation. Among his subjects were foreign relations and free trade, credit and government borrowing as well as political factions and the party system. The letter is a masterpiece and, although written 218 years ago, his advice is worthy of our attention as it still governs much of our public affairs today. Just as Ronald Reagan did more recently George Washington looked ahead to the country’s future with great optimism.
Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only Law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited….What a paradise would this region be!
~~ John Adams, 1756 ~~
We call it “modern times.” We’re up-to-date, we’re high tech. At the cutting edge, the leading edge, smarter and brighter than ever before. We’re enlightened! We have the Internet, and much of the world’s knowledge right here at our fingertips. In so many ways, we are a truly blessed nation.
Some say they don’t care what the older generation thinks. After all, what do they know? Others quote the Founding Fathers to validate a point, usually political, while at the same time ignoring the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe those same founders wrote and spoke so much about. Continue reading