Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Thomas Jefferson, diary entry concerning George Washington, February 1, 1800

Dr. Rush tells me that he had it from Asa Green that when the clergy addressed Genl. Washington on his departure from the govmt, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Xn religion and they thot they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However he observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice. Rush observes he never did say a word on the subject in any of his public papers except in his valedictory letter to the Governors of the states when he resigned his commission in the army, wherein he speaks of the benign influence of the Christian religion.

I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that Genl. Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did.

Thomas Jefferson, personal journal entry, February 1, 1800.

The Works of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Paul L. Ford (Federal Edition) (New York and London, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904-05). 12 vols -- VOLUME I: THE ANAS (1791-1806) AND VARIOUS CONVERSATIONS WITH THE PRESIDENT

The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Being His Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages ...By Thomas Jefferson, Published 1859, H. W. Derby. (Pg. 198)

(Note: Gouverneur Morris, mentioned in the entry, was responsible for writing several sections of the Constitution, including the Preamble, worked directly with Washington at Valley Forge and at the Constitutional Convention, and acted as Ambassador to France during Washington's Presidency.)

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