Horace Binney.

An inquiry into the formation of Washington's Farewell address .. online

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ihoii, cnmparcil with tlic autograph copy, to convert all the
conjcctMrcs, wliicli tlu^ recovery of that revision would
sui)crs(Hlc, into most reasonable certainty at the present


1 jissume, tlun-eforc, as reasonably well proved, that Wash-
ini^ton wrote tliat autograph copy from the revision by Ham-
ilton of his original draught, amended or corrected, which
wits sent tn \\ashington on the 6th of September; and that
Washiui^ton copied thr whole of that revision in extenso, as
it was o])viously his intention to do, when he wrote his letter
to Hamilton of the 'ioth of August; and that afterwards he
cauci'Ued and altered, as the cancelled passages and altered
words, now restored by Mr. Lenox, or by his direction, w^ill
sliow. Tliis, 1 re][K\it, is mere hypothesis ; but the appear-
ances will be found to sustain it strongly ; and if they do not,
tlie main (piestion will stand as it did before the suggestion
was made.

There are one or two facts or appearances noticed by the
])ro])rietor of the autograph copy, wdiich seem to cross this
tlieory of a complete transfer of the revision into that copy
in the first instance, before parts were cancelled. But, per-
Ijaps, for want of access to the original of the printed copy,
they do not appinir to me to be decisive ; and there are also
sevend facts or app(\irances which seem to be irreconcilable
with any other livjiothesis, or with the actual condition of
the autograph copy, as the printed copy from it shows it to
be. 1 will consider the appearances or facts of each descrip-


There is nothing decisive in the flict wliicli is noticed by
the proprietor of the antograph copy, tliat some of " Iht al/tni-
" tions ivere evidenthj made during the icritiiKj of flic jxipc/,'"
as " in these instances, a part and even tlie -whoU" of a
" sentence is struck out, which afterwards occurs in tlie body
" of the Address."

These changes are certainly few and partial, and tliey may
have been made in the course of the writing, without con-
ducing materially to the proof that this was generally the
case with the other alterations.

The only instances of this nature which I have discovered,
though there may- be others, are two, one on page 359 in
Mr. Irving's Appendix, and the other on page 360. The
last will be noticed in another place. On page 359, two
lines are transferred from an earher part of a sentence to the
end of a paragraph, which is the end of the same sentence.
It would probably require close inspection of the autograph
to determine that this change had been made " during tlic
" writing of the paper," and not afterwards. I do not mean
to question the fact, for I have not examined the autograph
in reference to this point ; but little if any more space would
have been necessary for the insertion of the two lines can-
celled, than is commonly left between paragraphs.

But supposing that in this, and in the other instance to be
noticed presently, Washington did transpose parts of a para-
graph " in the course of writing," and even cancel a short
paragraph, and write another leaving out a line or two of the
first, there is strong countervailing evidence against this as
being the general course.

There are ten clauses in small type at the foot of the pages
in Mr. Irving's Appendix which, by the Preface, are iudi-


rated as liavinj,' boon " stnirk out," I presume cmicelled, in
tli.« l).)(ly of the iiutoi^'raph, and now restored by careful
exaininatiou, and placed at the bottom of the respective

One of tlicse clauses on pages 362, 363, contains nineteen
lines and a fraction in the small iy^o. Another of them on
pnfjes 3()(i, 3()T, contains nearly fifteen lines. A third on
])a£;e 3(i3, contains nearly eleven lines ; and the aggregate of
all the lines of the clauses referred to as having been so
struck out, and now restored and placed at foot, is a large
fraction of a line more than sixty lines. All these lines
were written in the body of the autograph, and then struck
out or cancelled. If they had been printed in the Appendix
in the same type with the body of the Address, they would
have tilled three full pages of it, or nearly one-fifth of the
whole Address, as it now stands in Mr. Irving's Appendix.
Of rourse. T do not mean to be understood as speaking "with
technical accuracy, for I have not asked the opinion of a
printer in regard to this fact. It cannot be supposed, I
think, that such masses as these were first written, and then
cancelled /// thv aiurse of the 'writing.

TIktc are two other clauses of like description in pages
361, 3()(i, which might be added to the ten, but I distinguish
tluMu to make a subsequent remark of my oAvn more intel-

The natural and most probable, if not certain course, of
Washington, if it is regarded in the light of these clauses,
was to write ov(n- the whole draught he was copying, includ-
ing; all of the clauses referred to, and then to go back and
alter words, or strike out paragraphs, as he should think fit.
To write out, and then to cancel, every part of these twelve


paragraphs, '' in the course of writing," or " during tlic wri-
ting," is a much less reasonable supposition.

One striking fact in regard to all the clauses at tlie foot
of the pages, is, that but one of them bears a tra((> of \crbal
alteration by Washington ; which is less than tlie most facile
and felicitous writer must have made in the first dnuu^ht
of such long paragraphs. This only exception is on page
366 of Mr. Irving's Appendix, where constitdtion is substi-
tuted for order ^ and adJiereitf.'i for retainers. There must, I
think, have been some intention of Washington to retain
these paragraphs at the time these words were changed. The
rest must all have been fairlv transcribed bv Washinj^ton
into his autograph Address from the exemplar that was
before him. It can be shown demonstrably that Washinnjton
did not compose any of the ten clauses referred to ; and
therefore, if the supposition of his having made the cancella-
tion " during the writing," is suggested to give a more usual
appearance of authorship in Washington, it is of no a\ail ;
for, except in a few of the rather self-justifying thouglits,
Washington's authorship is not there, wherever else it may
be. It was his further consideration of these thoughts tliat
probably induced him to cancel more than one of tliesc para-
graphs ; and the rest, only because they added to the knigth
of the Address.

Another fact equally worthy of notice, is, that when the
ten clauses first referred to were written and th(ni struck
out, nothmg was substituted in their place, except in t^vo
instances, one on page 369, and tlie other on page 375. On
page 369, a clause which was written on a separate piece of
paper, is wafered on or over the passage tliat had been written
in the autogra]3h copy and then cancelled, and is now printed

l:;x Tin: wafkukd papkr on education.

at f«M>t. 'lliut wafcred paper bears a clause wliich Wash-
in"t<)ii, 1)V his letter of September 1st, requested Hamilton
to introduce into liis revision in regard to education gene-
rally, in coiuiection witli the subject of a university parti-
cularly; and suggested tliat a section comprehending both
subjects '' would come in very properly after the one wliich
" relates to our religious obligations ; or, in a preceding part,
"as one of the recommendatory measures to counteract the
" evils arising from geographical discriminations," Hamil-
ton, in his reply of September -ith, said, that " the idea of
'• th(> university" would be most properly reserved for Wash-
ington's speech at the beginning of the session, " A general
" suggestion," he said, "respecting education will very fitly
" come into the Address," He introduced it, no doubt, in
\n> revision, in the very place which Washington first pointed
out, '* after the clause which relates to our religious obliga-
" tions ;" and there Washington has wafered it over a
clause in recommendation of industry and fruo^ality, wdiich
had been cancelled by him, and is now found at the foot of
the printed page in Mr. Irving's Appendix. As Washington
was specially concerned in this education clause, and could
not have intended to omit it, the natural explanation of the
wafered paper is, that in copying the revision into his auto-
grapli, perhaps from the education clause being written in
the margin of Hamilton's rough revision, and only referred
to by a mark of some kind in the place w^here it was to go,
A\ a.shington overlooked the clause in copying, and had left
no place in his copy-book for it, except by w^aferiug it over
a very good and rather necessary paragraph on the subject
of induNtry and economy.

1 his little fact is very significant in regard to tlie manner


of copying the xVddress. The clause upon education was of
great importance in Washington's estimation ; so much so,
as to have been asked for by a special communication to
Hamilton ; and it was to be the precursor of a reconnnenthi-
tion to Congress at its approaching session, to establish a
national university. It must of necessity therefore a])i)('ar
in some proper place in the Address. It could not be omit-
ted. It is not possible that Washington could have had any
objection to the paragraph upon the subject of industry and
frugality. Habits of this nature were not only of great
importance to the people, but they were his own habits, ob-
served by himself w^ith due reference to his own station and
fortune, and inculcated upon all his family and dependants.
But more than this, it was a paragraph necessary to complete
Hamilton's view of the moral virtues to be inculcated, after
having given the first place to religion and morality in their
more solemn acceptation. His abstract announced " industry
" and economy," along with " religion and morals," as matters
upon which the draught was further to dilate ; and so he
introduced the notice in his original draught, and kept it in
the revision. Why was so good a paragraph obhterated, by
w^afering over it the clause upon education 1

There is a little contrivance in some printing offices and
factories which consume much water, by whicll it is shown
when the supply pump has filled the cistern. It is a float on
the water, and is sometimes called a ttJlkde : for when it
shows itself above the top of the cistern, it is seen to bear a
label in pretty large letters, '' Stop the pump." The wafered
clause over the paragraph on industry and economy, is a tdl-
tak. It says that the copy-book was full, and tliat th(«rc was
no place to put it in where AVashington had suggested it ought


to po, but by wafcrin.j]: it over the not so indispensably ne-
cessary clause iii r(\L,^ard to industry and economy; and yet
tliis clause was citJ:lit })ages distant from the close of the Ad-
dress. This is not demonstration, certainly, that the whole
copy was made before the cancellations were begun, but it is
an in(luc(Miient or persuasion to that opinion.

IJut much better than these remarks to show that Wash-
ini,'t()u did make that autograph copy from the revision before
he alt(M'ed it, is the existence of a previous draught which it
closely follows in paragraphs, subjects, language^ and above
all in the order of place or position of every part ; which
previous draught was amended and revised by its author be-
fore the autograph was made, and was so written, at Wash-
ington's instance, as to be readily followed in a copy for the
press, and which revision was in Washington's hands before
the autograph was begun, and was intended to revise the
previous amended draught, — not to alter its substance or
order, nor to add to it in any kno"wn particular, except that
which the wafered paper on education exhibits. More than
finite prol)abilities, as we have suggested, show that the ex-
emplar was in that paper, — the revision, and that this was
the m()d(d from which the autograph was first written in ex-
tenso, and then altered as far as it was altered. We can,
how(>v(n-, confirm and add to these probabilities, by con-
sidering the character of Washington's alterations of the
autograph copy.

The ten clauses refeiTcd to, amounting together to sixty
linens and a fraction more, which have been restored since can-
cellation, and are now placed at the foot of the pages in the
Appendix, are one and aU of them, in point of origin, derived
from Hamilton's original draught, each one of them having


been altered verbally, and not otherwise, by Hamilton's
amended copy, or revision, as we have a right to infer,
because the touch of Washington's pen does not appear upon
them, except in the two words on page 366, before referred
to. All these clauses, after being carried into the autograph
copy, were cancelled in the places where Hamilton's oriirinal
draught had placed them, the preceding and succeeding para-
graphs not being cancelled, but remaining in that autograph
copy precisely as they do in Hamilton's draught. It maybe
said of all the clauses which were cancelled by Washin<''ton,
that they are not surpassed in truth or pertinency by perhaps
any which were not cancelled. Some of them were founded
upon express suggestion by Washington in liis preparatory
draught ; and the most probable motive for cancelling any
of them, — such of them at least as gave no offence to his
modesty, — was to abridge the length of the Address. The
cancellation of one of them appears to have been a necessity,
through oversight, because his copy-book was already full,
and there was no space left for the education clause. He was
therefore compelled to wafer it over the clause upon frugality
and economy, which Washington would hardly lIa^•e yielded
to anything but to the clause upon which he had specially
instructed Hamilton. The cancelled and restored para-
graphs, which were derived in point of origin from Ham-
ilton's original draught, may be seen in the reprint of the
autograph copy, in the Appendix to this Inquiry, wliere tlie
margin opposite to each paragraph respectively, refers to the
page of Hamilton's original draught in the same Ajipendix,
where the clause of origin will be found inclosed witliiii

I present in this place, as an illustration, one of the longest


<-lau^('s which w(To so cancelled in the autograph copy, and

is now restored, and placed at the foot of the reprint, in
Mr. Irvine's work, in pa<,a^s 362, 363, together with the
curre.spoiiding clause in Hamilton's original draught.

rf:st()Ki:i) rAiiA(;RArn from hamiltons original


Besides the more serious causes al- Besides the more serious causes which
rca«ly hinted as threatening our Union, have been hinted at, as endangering
there is one less dangerous, but suffi- our Union, there is another less dan-
ciontlv dangerous to make it prudent to gerous, but against which it is necessary-
be upon our guard against it. I allude to be on our guard : I m.ean the petu-
to the petulance of party differences of lance of party differences of opinion.
opinion. It is not uncommon to hear It is not uncommon to hear the irrita-
thc irritations which these excite vent tions which these excite vent themselves
themselves in declarations that the dif- in declarations that the different parts of
fercnt parts of the United States are ill- the Union are ill-assorted, and cannot
affected to each other, in menaces that remain together — in menaces from the
the Union will be dissolved by this or inhabitants of one part to those of ano-
that measure. Intimations like these ther, that it will be dissolved by this or
are as indiscreet as they are intempe- that measure. Intimations' of the kind
rate. Though frequently made with le- are as indiscreet as they are intempe- i
vity, and without any really evil inten- rate. Though frequently made with le-
tion, they have a tendency to produce vity, and without being in earnest, they
the consequences which they indicate, have a tendency to produce the con-
They leach the minds of men to consider sequence which they indicate. They
the Union as precarious : — as an object teach the minds of men to consider the
to which they ought not to attach their Union as precarious, as an object to
hopes and fortunes ; — and thus chill the which they are not to attach their hopes
sentiment in its favor. By alarming the and fortunes, and thus weaken the sen-
pride of those to whom they are ad- timent in its favor. By rousing the
dressed, they set ingenuity at work to resentment, and alarming the pride of J
depreciate the value of the thing, and to those to whom they are addressed, they
discover reasons of indifference towards set ingenuity to work to depreciate the
it. This is not wise. It will be much value of the object, and to discover
wiser to habituate ourselves to reverence motives of indifference to it. This is
the Union as the palladium of our na- not wise. Prudence demands that we
tional h.^ppiness; to accommodate our should habituate ourselves in all our .



words and actions to that idea, and to words and actions to reverence ll.e
discountenance whatever may suc^gest a Union as a sacred, and inviohihle pal-
suspicion that it can in any event be ladium of our happiness; and .should
abandoned.— /nv-«5r'.9 Wasliington, vol. discountenance whatever can lead to a
'^' P- ^^ - suspicion that it can in any event be

abandoned.— iZami7/o/i'a IForA*, vol. vii,

p. 581,

These altogether verbal differences are such as a writer
might make in his owti composition when amendini,' or re-
vising it ; and the greater part of them at least are such as no
one but the author would think of. If this paragraph lias
been accurately restored at the foot of the reprint of the
autograph copy in Mr. Irving's xippendix, Washington's pen
has not altered a word of it before he cancelled it.

I might add to the ten clauses referred to, another clause,
the last which Washington cancelled, and whicli has been
restored and placed at the foot of pages 376, 377. It stood
the last in the FareweU Address until it was cancelled, and
was the very last in Hamilton's original draught ; but Wash-
ington prepared the last clause now standing in the Farewell
Address, from the first cancelled clause from Hamilton's
revision, which may be found at the foot of page 357 of Mr.
Irving's Appendix.

The two other clauses which I distinguished from the ten,
to make my remark concerning them more intelligi1)le, are
to be found, the first of them at the foot of page 3()(). Tliat
clause which, for the reasons already given, I infer to Ikino been
taken from Hamilton's revision, is not merely a verbal altera-
tion of the corresponding clause in Hamilton's original
draught, but is a reconstruction of a clause of that draught,
in the same relative place, first commenced by Hamilton in
his amended copy sent to Washington the 30th July, placed


nrolmhlv in tlio same state in his correction of Washington's
(Iraiii^ht sent to hiiu tlie lOtli August, and further enlarged
ill liis revision sent tlie (ith September. Washington has
struck I lamiUon's ren'scd clause from the end of a paragraph,
and lia-> put in its })lace a clause almost identical with it,
omitting hut a single line. This is the second of the in-
stances, so lar as I have discovered, which bear upon the
iii([iiirv suggested by the Preface to the autograph copy in
Mr. Ir\ing's work, whether Washington made the altera-
tions in his autograph "during the writing" or after the
entire copy was made. To show the extent of the change,
tlie clausf^ in Hamilton's original draught, enlarged in Ham-
ilton's correction of Washington's draught, and still further
extended in what I infer to be Hamilton's revision, and the
clause as it stands in the Farewell Address, are here pre-
sented in parallel columns.




ton's DRACGBT.

that jou would cherish to- that you should cherish to- that you should cherish a
wnnl.s it an afTectionate wards it a cordial and im- cordial, habitual, and inl-
and inviolable attachment, movable attachment ; that movable attachment to it,
ond that yon should watch you should accustom your- accustoming yourselves to
for its preservation with selves to reverence it as the think and speak of itas the
zealous solicitude. palladium of your poll- palladium of your political

tical safety and prosperity, safety and prosperity * *

[ffamillon's Amended adapting constantly your * * * *•

Draught of Washington.'] words and actions to that * * * *

momentous idea ; that you watching for its preserva-

that you should habituate should watch for its pre- tion with jealous anxiety,

yourselves to think and servation with zealous discountenancing what-

speakofit as the palladium anxiety, discountenance ever may suggest even a

of your prosperity, and whatever may suggest or suspicion that it can in any


should frown upon what- suspicion that it can in any event he abandoned, and

ever may lead to suspicion event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon

that it can in any event be frown upon the first dawn- the first dawning of every

abandoned. ingof any attempt to alien- attempt to alienate any

ate any portion of our portion of our country from

country from the rest, or the rest, or to enfeeble the

to enfeeble the sacred ties sacred ties which now link

which now link together together the several parts,
the several parts.

Of course such an alteration as this does not affect the
question of authorship, but it affects the secondary question
of the time and manner of Washington's alteration. If the
right hand paragraph is written in the autograph after the
middle or cancelled paragraph, and not by interUneation, then
if no blank space had been left for it, it must have been
done when the autograph was in the course of being written,
and not after it had been completely copied in the order of
the revision. If there had been a blank space left, or the
new paragraph was interlined, then the opposite consequence
follows. The Preface says there are many interlineations,
but does not indicate them distributively, and does not say
whether this was or was not one of them. It is a point of
little importance, except in the history of the autograph.

The last of the two clauses I distinguished from the ten,
is at page 366 ; and it is quite an interesting alteration, and
must have received much consideration on the part of "\\'asli-
ington. We shall insert here, in parallel columns, three
clauses : one from Hamilton's original draught as it stands ;
another, as we infer, from Hamilton's amended coi)y, or
revision ; and in a third column, from A\'ashington's auto-
graph, the passage in the paragraph which A^'asllillgton
inserted after striking out a part of the paragraph contained
within brackets in the middle column : —





An.lrempmbcrftlso,that And remember especial- And remember especial-
for the I'lficnciou.s manage- ly, that for the eflicient ma- ly, that for the efficient ma-
mcnt of your common in- nagement of your common nageraent of your common
tcrests, in a country so ex- interests, in a country so interests, in a country so
tensive oa ours, a govern- extensive as ours, a gov- extensive as ours, a gov-
ment of a,s much force and crnment of as much vigor ernment of as much vigor
itrcnfjth as is consistent as is consistent with the as is consistent with the
with the perfect security perfect security of liberty, perfect security of liberty,
oflibcrty, is indispensable, is indispensable. Liberty is indispensable. Liberty
Liberty itself will find in itself will find in such a itself will find in such a go-
such a government, wilh government, with powers vernment, with powers pro-
powers properly distribu- properly distributed and perly distributed and ad-
ted and arranged, its surest adjusted, its surest guar- justed, its surest guardian.
guanlian and protector. — dian. [Owing to you as I [It is indeed little less than
[In my opinion, the real do a frank and free disclo- a name, where the govern-

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Online LibraryHorace BinneyAn inquiry into the formation of Washington's Farewell address .. → online text (page 11 of 20)