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Inaugural Documents


Transcript of Letter from President-elect George Washington to Henry Knox, April 10, 1789,
National Archives, Records of the Department of State

To the Acting Secretary at War
Mount Vernon, April 10, 1789

    My dear Sir: The cloth and Buttons which accompanied your favor of the 30th. Ult, came safe by Colo. Hanson; and really do credit to the manufactures of this Country. As it requires Six more of the large (engraved) button to trim the Coat in the manner I wash it to be, 30 I would thank you, my good Sir, for procuring that number and retaining them in your hands until my arrival at New York.

[Note: This was the suit, of plain brown cloth made by a manufactory in the vicinity of Boston, which Washington wore when inaugurated the first President of the United States. ]

    Not to contemplate (though it is a serious object) the loss which you say the General Government will sustain in the article of Impost, the stupor, or listlessness with which our public measures seem to be pervaded, is, to me, matter of deep regret. Indeed it has so strange an appearance that I cannot but wonder how men who sollicit public confidence or who are even prevailed upon to accept of it can reconcile such conduct with their own feelings of propriety.

    The delay is inauspicious to say the best of it, and the World must condemn it.

    With sentiments of the sincerest friendship, I am etc.

    PS. The advices by the Mail of this Evening will, surely, inform us of a Quoram in both Houses of Congress.

[MS.H.S.]

An exhibition Taking the Oath, will be displayed to the public January 12 through January 25, 2009.

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