|Courtesy Raab Collection|
The letter had been in the private collection of Paul Richards. According to the Raab Collection, this September 7, 1788 correspondence to Richard Peters, speaker of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, is the first letter in which Washington thanks God for victory in the Revolution and passage of the U.S. Constitution.
The purchase price is $140,000.
Continued resistance to the Constitution was fomenting still at the time Washington communicated his thoughts to Speaker Peters. “It would seem from the public Gazettes that the Minority in your State are preparing for another attack of the–now–adopted Government; how formidable it may be; I know not. But that Providence which has hitherto smiled on the honest endeavors of the well meaning part of the People of this Country will not, I trust, withdraw its support from them at this crisis,” Washington writes.
The three-page missive primarily addresses farming topics, but concludes abruptly with the above mention of the current political concerns. See the complete text here.
“Mount Vernon notes that Washington’s use of the term ‘Providence’ to mean ‘Divine Providence,’ and the organization states thusly his theological beliefs: ‘It is clear that he believed in a Creator God of some manner, and seemingly one that was also active in the universe. This God had three main traits; he was wise, inscrutable, and irresistible. Washington referred to this God by many names, but most often by the name of ‘Providence,’” the Raab website reports.