[WASHINGTON, George]. Text of Washington's Farewell Address, printed in Columbian Centinel, Boston, 24 September 1796, vol. 26, no. 6, whole no. 2106. 4 pages, folio, printed in four columns, "USA" engraved at center of masthead; separations at center fold, otherwise very good condition. Washington's Address printed in six columns, across pages 2 and 3.
"THE NAME OF AMERICAN...MUST ALWAYS EXALT THE JUST PRIDE OF PATRIOTISM"
The text of Washington's famous Farewell Address, warning his fellow citizens against the dangers of factionalism, entangling alliances and sectional conflict. Perhaps less well known is Washington's insistence on the centrality of religion: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports....Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle" (page 2, col. 4). The most urgent message he wanted to impart--one aimed especially at Thomas Jefferson and his pro-France followers--was the danger of tipping the nation's diplomacy towards one or another of the great European powers: "Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course...Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice? It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world..." (page 3, col. 1).
The issue also contains an ad for John Hancock's store on Merchant's Row, and this theatrical notice: "On Monday Evening, Sept. 26, will be presented a Comedy (never acted here) called Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespear."