Judith Sargent Murray Society
JSM's dates: 1751-1820

Judith Sargent Murray's Letter 719

George Washington
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Letter 719

To Mrs Pilgrim of London Old England
Gloucester November 7th 1789

...you ask for American News, but shut up in this remote apartment
under the arrest of pain, and struggling with infirmities for me to
attend or arrange is become impossible - yet the applauses bestowed
upon our beloved, and patriotic President reach even this recess of
sorrow, and the name of Washington, is sounded, and resounded, by my
attendants - This celebrated Chief, hath recently made a progress
through the principal Towns in the New England States - Both sexes, and
all ages, went forth to meet him, and he was re[ceived] by all ranks of
people, with enthusiastic joy - Thousands of his fellow Citizens lined
his way, embodied troops, voluntarily assembled, and, paraded in
military Order, have shouted him welcome [-] Arches adorned with
festoons of flower[s] - Orchestras in every street, as if reared for
the occasion, by the hand of magic, have graced the way over which he
passed, wafting from their several bands, airs the most melodious and
appropriate - The festive board hath been magnificently spread [-] the
muses have been exhausted - Countless odes, have been composed, and set
to musick, have united their congratulations, while every heart, and
every tongue, as if inspired by one spirit, have exultingly joined, to
swell his triumph, and the Hero condescending, as great, passing
through our most populace Towns, for the purpose of gratifying the
many, quitted his Carriage, and came on uncovered - he rode a beautiful
white horse, richly caparisoned, and well suited to his rider, of whom
he seemed intuitively proud - While in the State of Massachusetts, the
President was received on board the French admiral's ship with such
honours as are paid to crowned heads [-] In the convalescence of your
Nation, and its sovereign, I take a filial share, I feel that I am
descended from the dignified race of Englishmen, and I am still enough
an idolator to reverence the Monarchical claims - yes, I confess I
reverence them in a superior degree - Nor can the most rigid
republican, deny the kingly character, to be sacred, while it is worn
by the Prince of heaven - and when kings in imitation of the God who
made them, consult in their comparatively little spheres, the best
interests of that part of the family, committed to their guardianship,
surely there cannot be, this side of mortality, Personages more august,
more worthy the homage of the heart - That I have pleasure in the view
of your cheerful fire side, I take the liberty to repeat - To Mr
Pilgrim I tender my respectful regards - ....

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2000 © Bonnie Hurd Smith

Independent scholar and author Bonnie Hurd Smith is the president and CEO of History Smiths, a marketing company that works with businesses to incorporate history -- their own and their community's -- into their branding, marketing, and community outreach to attract customers, boost customer loyalty, and secure a high status reputation in the communities they serve.