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President George Washington Leaves Office Presidential Americana Rare 1st 1796 For Sale
EXCEEDINGLY SCARCE, ORIGINAL 1797 [i.e., 1796]EDITION OF "THOMAS'S MASSACHUSETTS, CONNECTICUT, RHODE ISLAND, NEW HAMPSHIRE & VERMONT ALMANACK, WITH AN EPHEMERIS, FOR THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1797. This historicallysignificant treatise was printed in 1796 by Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831), Worcester, Massachusetts. Thomas was a noted American patriot and fervent supporter of George Washington, who performed the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence and reported the first account of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. Notably, volume contains President George Washington's farewell address in its entirely, comprising 10 pages of text. We believe this to be the first time the address was published in book form.This addressproved to be aninfluential primer on republican virtue and a warning against partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars. We could not locate another obtainable copy of this important almanac [Evans 31291].
As Washington was approaching the end of his of his second term as president, he delivered this address in Philadelphia to his "Friends and Fellow Citizens," in which he set the new precedent, now part of the Constitution, not to seek a third term in office. He states, in part: "The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now appraise you of the resolution I have formed to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made."
Originally published in David Claypoole's "American Daily Advertiser" on Sept. 19th, 1796, under the title "The Address of General George Washington To The People of The United States on his declining of the Presidency of the United States," the letter was almost immediately reproduced in newspapers across the country and then in pamphlet form. The work was later named "Farewell Address," as it was Washington's valedictory after 45 years of service to the new republic, first during the French and Indian War, then throughout the American Revolution, and finally as the young nation's first president under the U.S. Constitution of 1787.
The letter was originally drafted in 1792 with the help of James Madison, as Washington prepared to retire following a single term in office. He set the letter aside however,and ran for a second term after the rancor between his Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, and his Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, convinced him that the growing divisions between the newly formed Federalist and Democratic-Republican parties, along with the current state of foreign affairs,would tear the fragilenation apart in the absence of his leadership.
Four years later, as his second term came to a close, Washington revisited the letter and with the help of Alexander Hamilton prepared a revision of the original draft to announce his intention to decline a third term in office. He also reflects on the emerging issues of the American political landscape in 1796, expresses his support for the government eight years after the adoption of the Constitution, defends his administration's record, and gives valedictory advice to the American people. The final draft was written by Washington after years of exhaustion due to his advanced age, years of service to his country, the duties of the presidency, and increased attacks by his political opponents. It was published almost two months before the Electoral College cast their votes in the 1796 presidential election.
Condition: Rare book remains infair condition[see images]. Volume bound in illustrated self-wraps; spine stitched with string and binding somewhat loose,scattered edge wear and chipping, occasional tearing,moderate toning, some dampstaining, last two leaves detached. Almanack unpaginated andcontaining 24 leaves [i.e., 48 pages]; and measures approx 7.5" tall x 4.5" wide. Quite a find and a very worthy acquisition indeed.
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President George Washington Leaves Office Presidential Americana Rare 1st 1796 : $225