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Washington's Letter to Touro Synagogue
Newport, Rhode Island     August 17, 1790

Gentlemen:

While I receive with much satisfaction, your Address replete with
expressions of affection and esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of
answering you, that I shall always retain a grateful remembrance of
the cordial welcome I experienced in my visit to Newport, from all
classes of Citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past, is
rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are
succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security.  If we have
wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are
now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good
Government, to become a great and a happy people.

The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud
themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and
liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation.  All possess alike liberty of
conscience and immunities of citizenship.  It is now no more that
tolerance is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of
people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural
rights.  For happily the Government of the United States, which gives
to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only
that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as
good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to
avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my
administration, and fervent wishes for my felicity.  May the Children
of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and
enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit
in safety under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to
make him afraid.  May the father of all mercies scatter light and not
darkness in our paths, and make us all in our several vocations
useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy.
George Washington
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