On this President’s Day 2015

Portrait and quote from Wikiquote. Image housed in the Hulton Archive.

Portrait and quote from Wikiquote. Image housed in the Hulton Archive.

A letter from Martha Washington to Mercy Otis Warren, wife of James Warren, from New York, (26 December 1789), published in The life of Washington, in the Form of an Autobiography (1840), Vol. 2, p. 181

“I little thought, when the war was finished, that any circumstances could possibly have happened, which would call the General into public life again. I had anticipated that, from this moment, we should have been left to grow old, in solitude and tranquillity, together. That was, my dear madam, the first and dearest wish of my heart; but in that I have been disappointed. I will not, however, contemplate, with too much regret, disappointments that were inevitable. Though the General’s feelings and my own were perfectly in unison, with respect to our predilection for private life, yet I cannot blame him, for having acted according to his ideas of duty, in obeying the voice of his country. The consciousness of having attempted to do all the good in his power, and the pleasure of finding his fellow-citizens so well satisfied with the disinterestedness of his conduct, will doubtless be some compensation for the great sacrifices, which I know he has made.”

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