Tuesday, February 12, 2013

GWash's 1st SOTU

January 8, 1790
Federal Hall, New York City

A taste:

"To the security of a free constitution [education] contributes in various ways - by convincing those who are intrusted with the public administration that every valuable end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people, and by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority; between burthens proceeding from a disregard to their convenience and those resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society; to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness - cherishing the first, avoiding the last - and uniting a speedy but temperate vigilance against encroachments, with an inviolable respect to the laws."

Alexander Hamilton is credited with composing most of it, but as was Washington's custom with such things, he wrote the final draft over in his own hand, so it can be said that the final product was indeed George Washington's.

All 7 pages can be viewed here.

1 comment:

Art Deco said...

I do not think you can locate a point where he urges Congress to appropriate funds for free stuff for his favored constituencies. It is not recognizable as a State of the Union Address by today's standards.