|Gentlemen||December 12th 1796|
It affords me great satisfaction, to find in your address, a concurrence in sentiment with me, on the various topics which I presented for your information and deliberation; and that the latter, will receive from you, an attention proportioned to their respective importance.
For the notice you take of my public services, civil and military, and your kind wishes for my personal happiness, I beg you to accept my cordial thanks. Those services, and greater had I possessed ability to render them, were due to the unanimous calls of my country; and its approbation, is my abundant reward.
When contemplating the period of my retirement, I saw virtuous and enlightened men, among whom I relied on the discernment and patriotism of my fellow-citizens, to make the proper choice of a Successor: men who would require no influential example to ensure to the United States" an able, upright and energetic administration". To such men, I shall cheerfully yield the palm of genius & talent, to serve our common country: but at the sametime, I hope I may be indulged in expressing the consoling reflection (which consciousness suggests) and to bear it with me to my grave, that none can serve it with purer intentions than I have done, or with a more disinterested Zeal.
DNA: RG 46—Records of the U.S. Senate.