President George Washington's Farewell Address (1796)

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Citation: Washington's farewell address.. New York, New York Public Library, 1935. pg. 105; 136. Courtesy of the Milstein Division of United States History, Local History & Genealogy, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
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In his farewell Presidential address, George Washington advised American citizens to view themselves as a cohesive unit and avoid political parties and issued a special warning to be wary of attachments and entanglements with other nations.

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In early 1796, President George Washington decided not to seek reelection for a third term and began drafting this farewell address to the American people. The address went through numerous drafts, in large part due to suggestions made by Alexander Hamilton.

In the 32-page handwritten address, Washington urged Americans to avoid excessive political party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances with other nations.

The address was printed in Philadelphia’s American Daily Advertiser on September 19, 1796. Washington’s final manuscript is at The New York Public Library.

For more information, see the University of Virginia's The Papers of George Washington collection.

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