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[Editor's Note: This farewell address of Washington justly ranks as one

of the great American classics. It was delivered to the American people in 1797

upon the completion of his second term as President. His declination to accept

a third term has become one of the unwritten canons of American law which no

succeeding President has dared to attempt to violate. The [address contains

so much of the wisdom of warning and prophecy that it has ever stood as a guidebook for American statesmanship. Owing to the limitations of the present

volume only extracts can be presented here.]

A solicitude for your welfare, which can not end but with my

life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude,

urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn

contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some

sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the

permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered

to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the

disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have

no personal motives to bias his counsel.

The unity of government which constitutes you one people is

also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the

edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity

at home, your peace abroad, of your safety, of your prosperity, of

that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy

to foresee that from different causes and from different quarters

much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken