Washington's Farewell Address: The President’s Address to the People of the United States, Announcing His Intention of Retiring from Public Life at the Expiration of the Present Constitutional Term of Presidency
Date of this Version
G. Washington, The President’s Address to the People of the United States, Announcing His Intention of Retiring from Public Life at the Expiration of the Present Constitutional Term of Presidency, 2nd edition (Philadelphia: J. Ormrod, 1796)
This is a digital “facsimile” edition of a contemporary pamphlet version of President George Washington’s “Farewell Address,” first issued in the Philadelphia Daily Advertiser newspaper on September 19, 1796. Co-authored with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, it expresses Washington’s decision to decline a third term of the presidency and offers his parting advice to his “friends and fellow-citizens.”
Washington’s “farewell address” emphasizes the importance of Union, the danger of partisanship, the threat of parties allied to foreign countries or interests, the accomplishment of a national government, the precedence of national over sectional interests, the maintenance of the public credit, the avoidance of large military establishments, and the overall momentousness of the American experiment in democracy. Throughout the address Washington demonstrates the restraint, modesty, and humility that—combined with his personal judgment, honesty, steadfastness, commitment to the republic, and devotion to the idea of liberty—made him so deeply reverenced by his contemporaries and by fellow-citizens for centuries to come.