[George Washington]

George Washington Archive of 27 Eulogies 1799-1800, Fantastic and Near Impossible to Duplicate


Extensive Archive of George Washington Eulogies


This marvelous collection of eulogies of George Washington includes twenty-seven different eulogies, discourses, sermons, and orations on the death of President George Washington, delivered in December 1799 and in January and February 1800. The eulogies come from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and Pennsylvania.


[GEORGE WASHINGTON.] Archive of 32 individually printed pamphlets related to the death of George Washington. Includes three duplicates and both a first and a “new” edition of another eulogy. The group also includes a printed copy of Washington’s farewell address, together with a brief biographical sketch with details of his final illness and funeral. Total of 932 pp.


After George Washington died at his home of Mount Vernon, Virginia, on December 14, 1799, news spread slowly through the new nation. It took four days for the news to reach the federal capital in Philadelphia, and news did not reach the frontier capital of Frankfort, Kentucky, until January 9, 1800.


On December 30, 1799, Virginia Congressman and future Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall recommended to Congress that they observe February 22, 1800, what would have been Washington’s sixty-ninth birthday, as a national day of mourning. The House of Representatives passed the resolution the same day, and the Senate passed it the next day. President John Adams signed the resolution on January 6, 1800, and issued a proclamation to the people of the United States to assemble and “testify their grief for the death of General George Washington, by suitable eulogies, orations and discourses, or by public prayers.”


People throughout the young nation organized more than four hundred mourning ceremonies, held between late December and February 22, 1800. Mourners gathered in churches in villages and towns to hear orations, eulogies, poems, discourses, and sermons inspired by Washington’s life, death, and virtues. Ministers, politicians, lawyers, scholars, and military men filled the need for speakers on these occasions, and many of their orations were published in pamphlet form. Together, they form an incredible record of the reverence with which Americans viewed George Washington’s life and career. Truly the “father of the nation,” he embodied the virtues they hoped to emulate in the new national experiment.


Items and Excerpts

-          Daniel Adams, An Oration, Sacred to the Memory of Gen. George Washington, Delivered at Leominster, Feb. 22, 1800 (Leominster, MA: Adams & Wilder, 1800). 26 pp., 5.75" x 9.5" Lacking pp. 15-24.

“Many men have done valiantly, but thou Oh! WASHINGTON, hast excelled them all.” (p17)

Daniel Adams (1773-1864) was a prominent physician and author of mathematics, grammar, and reading textbooks.


-          Richard Alsop, A Poem; Sacred to the Memory of George Washington, Late President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1800). 24 pp., 5.5" x 8"


-          Aaron Bancroft, An Eulogy on the Character of the Late Gen. George Washington. Delivered before the Inhabitants of the Town of Worcester, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, on Saturday the 22d of February 1800 (Worcester: Isaiah Thomas Jr., 1800). 22 pp., 5" x 8.25"

“In every future period of our national existence, the instruction to the Military Commander, and the charge to the Political Guide, will be comprised in one sentence, GO, IMITATE OUR WASHINGTON.” (p12)

Aaron Bancroft (1755-1839) was a minuteman at Lexington and Bunker Hill, a 1778 graduate of Harvard College, and a minister, who wrote a biography of George Washington, published in 1808.


-          Thomas Barnard, A Sermon, Preached December 29, 1799, in the North Meeting House, Salem, The Lord’s Day after the Melancholy Tidings were Received of the Death of General George Washington, Who Died Dec. 14, 1799 (Salem, MA: Thomas C. Cushing, [1800]). 28 pp., 5" x 8"

“General WASHINGTON was truly a great and good man. While history records the truth, his character will ever stand super-eminently high; and in every country where her pages are read he will be esteemed and admired. But the view of him, which must most endear him to us, is that of the Father of this People, their constantly active and powerful friend, both in the quietude of retirement, and amidst the threatening evils of war.” (p22)


-          George R. Burrill, An Oration, Pronounced at the Baptist Meeting House in Providence, on Tuesday the Seventh of January, 1800, at the Funeral Ceremony on the Death of Gen. George Washington (Providence, RI: John Carter, [1800]). 16 pp., 5" x 8"

“Illustrious and beloved Washington, we bid thee the last farewell. Though we consign thee to the mansions of the dead, yet, immortal patriot, thou shalt live forever. In the affections of thy grateful countrymen, thou shalt live forever. In thy bright example to us and to posterity, though shalt live forever. In that liberty which thou hast achieved and confirmed, thou shalt live forever.” (p15)


-          Josiah Dunham, A Funeral Oration on George Washington, Late General of the Armies of the United States. Pronounced, at Oxford, Massachusetts, at the Request of the Field Officers of the Brigade Stationed at that Place, on the 15th Jan. 1800; It Being the Day Devoted to the Funeral Honors of their Departed Chief, Pursuant to the General Orders from the Secretary of War (Boston: Manning & Loring, [1800]). 20 pp., 4.875" x 8"

“One remark may, with propriety, be made;—that the Funeral Orator of Washington, to say any thing new on the subject, must not eulogize, but defame.” (p20)

Josiah Dunham (1769-1844) graduated from Dartmouth College in 1789 and served in the U.S. Army until discharged in 1808. He became a resident of Windsor, Vermont, where he published The Washingtonian, a Federalist newspaper. He served as Vermont Secretary of State from 1813 to 1815. Dunham was a popular speaker, often giving addresses at Washington’s Birthday celebrations, which were published as pamphlets.


-          Nathaniel Fisher, A Sermon, Preached December 29, 1799, in St. Peter’s Church, Salem, The Sunday after the Melancholy Tidings were Received, of the Death of General Washington (Salem, MA: Thomas C. Cushing, [1800]). 24 pp., 5" x 8" (2 copies)

“When we reflect on his goodness, his piety, his firmness, wisdom and prudence;—on his modesty, benevolence and candour;—on his incessant exertions in the field of glory, his unremitting assiduity in the service of his country, and on the rich and invaluable laurels with which, under God, he crowned her, shall we be charged with enthusiasm, when we affirm, that a more virtuous patriot, a wiser statesman, and a greater general, than GEORGE WASHINGTON, never died.” (p23-24)


-          Abel Flint, A Discourse, Delivered at Hartford Feb. 22, 1800, the Day Set Apart by Recommendation of Congress, to Pay a Tribute of Respect to the Memory of General George Washington, Who Died, December 14th, 1799. (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1800). 22 pp., 5.75" x 9.25"

“While we humble ourselves under the late frown of divine Providence, let us be truly grateful to God for so long continuing to us the important life and beneficial labors of the great and good man who has been lately taken from us.” (p20)


-          Levi Frisbie, An Eulogy on the Illustrious Character of the Late General George Washington, Commander in Chief of all the Armies of the United States of America: Who died on Saturday, the 14th of December 1799. Delivered at Ipswich, on the 7th day of January 1800 (Newburyport, MA: Edmund M. Blunt, 1800). 58 pp., 5.5" x 9"

“And will it not be acknowledged by every candid mind, that he clearly understood, and faithfully consulted the benefit of his country, in taking, decidedly, a neutral station with regard to the contending powers of Europe, and in studiously avoiding the calamity of being involved in the distracting politics and destructive wars of the European Nations: and that while he strenuously cultivated the friendship of each, he was religiously faithful and assiduous to acknowledge the claims, respect the rights, and promote the interest and honor of all?” (p29)


-          Abiel Holmes, The Counsel of Washington, Recommended in a Discourse, Delivered at Cambridge, February 22, 1800 (Boston: Samuel Hall, 1800). 24 pp., 5" x 8"

“Can counsels, springing from patriotism so disinterested, from philanthropy so exalted, delivered too with modesty so unaffected, with eloquence so persuasive, require aught else to impress them on your memories, to endear them to your hearts, or to recommend them to your observance?” (p18)

Abiel Holmes (1763-1837) graduated from Yale College in 1783 and became a congregational minister and historian. He published a history entitled American Annals in 1805 and was the father of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. and grandfather of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.


-          Daniel Hopkins, A Sermon, Preached December 29, 1799, in the South Meeting House, Salem, the Lord’s Day after the Melancholy Tidings were Received of the Death of General George Washington, Who Died Dec. 14, 1799 (Salem, MA: Thomas C. Cushing, [1800]). 28 pp., 5" x 8"

“The greatness of WASHINGTON was not eclipsed by his retirement from public life. The very idea of his being alive, an inhabitant of Mount Vernon, had a greater tendency to preserve the union of the States, and to repel foreign invasion, than an army of twenty thousand men.” (p18)


-          William Jackson, Eulogium, on the Character of General Washington, Late President of the United States; Pronounced at the request of the Pennsylvania Society of the Cincinnati, before the President of the United States, and the Members of Both Houses of Congress; on the twenty-second day of February, Eighteen Hundred, in the German Reformed Church, Philadelphia (Philadelphia: John Ormrod, 1800). 44 pp., 4.75" x 7.875" (2 copies; original and “New Edition”)

“To consecrate the memory of illustrious men—to record their actions—and to celebrate their praise, has been the laudable practice of every age, and the grateful duty of every people.... Conforming to this venerable usage, and influenced by all the nobler affections, the veteran associates of the immortal Washington have dedicated this auspicious day, to the review of his glorious achievements, and the celebration of his unrivalled fame.” (p5-6)

William Jackson (1759-1828) joined General Washington’s staff in 1780 and accompanied Henry Laurens to France to secure a loan. Alexander Hamilton nominated Jackson as secretary of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. In 1789, he became a personal secretary to President Washington and served until 1791, when he restarted his law practice. In 1799, Jackson became Secretary General of the Society of the Cincinnati and held the post until his death.


-          Walter King, A Discourse, Delivered in Chelsea, in the City of Norwich, Jan. 5, 1800, as a Token of Humiliation before God, on Account of the Death of Gen. George Washington; Who Died Dec. 14, 1799 (Norwich, CT: Thomas Hubbard, 1800). 22 pp., 5.5" x 8.75"


-          William Linn, A Funeral Eulogy, Occasioned by the Death of General Washington. Delivered February 22d, 1800, before the New-York State Society of the Cincinnati (New York: Isaac Collins, 1800). 44 pp., 5.125" x 8.5"

“As General Washington, like Cincinnatus, left his retirement and the pursuits of agriculture merely for the service of his country, so when his work was finished, he returned with the most heart-felt satisfaction.” (p23-24)

William Linn (1752-1808) graduated from the College of New Jersey (Princeton) in 1772 and was elected the first chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1789.


-          Samuel Miller, A Sermon, Delivered December 29, 1799; Occasioned by the Death of General George Washington, Late President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the American Armies (New York: T. & J. Swords, 1800). 40 pp., 4.875" x 8"

“Our beloved and deplored Washington was, emphatically, a man whom God had made great. Without the tinsel ornament of titled nobility—without the advantage of what is called distinguished and honourable birth, he was raised by the Governor of the world to a degree of greatness, of which the history of man has furnished but few examples.” (p28)


-          George Richards Minot, An Eulogy on George Washington, Late Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America, Who Died December 14, 1799. Delivered before the Inhabitants of the Town of Boston, at the Request of their Committee (Boston: Manning & Loring, [1800]). 24 pp., 5" x 8.75"

“They lament that their beloved WASHINGTON sleeps in death; their consolation is, that his faithful Brother, the vigilant ADAMS, survives.” (p24)


-          Jedidiah Morse, A Prayer and Sermon, Delivered at Charlestown, December 31, 1799; on the Death of George Washington; Late President; and Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America; Who departed this life, at Mount Vernon, in Virginia, on the 14th of the same month, in the 69th year of his age: with an additional sketch of his life (Charlestown, MA: Samuel Etheridge, 1800). 46 pp., 5.125" x 8.5"

“Such were the talents, the virtues, the signal and beneficent military and political achievements, such the highly honourable and favoured lot, in life and in death, of MOSES. And such, methinks I hear you say, with united voice—such was our WASHINGTON. Never, perhaps, were coincidences in character and fortune, between any two illustrious men who have lived, so numerous and so striking as between Moses and Washington.” (p30)

Jedidiah Morse (1761-1826) was the “father of American geography,” known for his textbooks and for being the father of telegraphy pioneer and painter Samuel Morse.


-          Thomas Paine, An Eulogy on the Life of General George Washington, Who died at Mount Vernon, December 14th, 1799, in the 68th year of his age. Written At the request of the citizens of Newburyport, and delivered at the first Presbyterian Meeting-House in that town, January 2nd, 1800. (Newburyport: Edmund M. Blunt, 1800). 22 pp., 5.5" x 8.75"

“Though remote from the causes of European contest, yet affected by the convulsions it excited, in vain had our nation attempted to maintain with honor an unprotected neutrality. Piracy plundered the ocean;—Invasion threatened our shores.—Again, were the eyes of America directed with trembling solicitude to her venerable deliverer; and, again did this man without example, this patriot without reproach, whose life was his country, whose glory was mankind, resign with alacrity, to the cause he had sworn to defend, the tranquil hope of repose, to which he had devoted the unclouded evening of a life of toils!” (p20)

Thomas Paine (1773-1811) was the son of Declaration-signer Robert Treat Paine (1731-1814), graduated from Harvard College in 1792, and legally changed his name to Robert Treat Paine Jr. in 1801, likely to avoid association with the author of Common Sense, whom Federalists had grown to despise for his infidelity and attacks on George Washington.


-          William Patten, A Discourse, Delivered in the 2d Congregational Church, Newport, December 29th, 1799; Occasioned by the Death of General George Washington, Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America, Who Deceased December 14, 1799. Ætat. 68 (Newport, RI: Henry Barber, 1800). 20 pp., 4.875" x 8"

“Indeed, my afflicted, respected Auditors, if any thing great in its nature, or consequences, have taken place in the political experience of this country, since Washington came on the stage of action, then he was great: for he was the chief instrument, in the hand of Heaven, of accomplishing the events, and effecting the changes, for which that epoch is distinguished.” (p11)


-          Ezekiel Savage, An Eulogy on Gen. George Washington, Who Died Dec. 14, 1799; Delivered at St. Peter’s Church, in Salem, the 22d of February, 1800; Being the Anniversary of His Birth, and the Day Assigned by Government for a General Mourning Throughout the United States (Salem, MA: Joshua Cushing, 1800). 24 pp., 5" x 7.875" (2 copies)

“Fathers, Friends and Fellow Citizens! Let us all endeavour to honour his memory by imitating his virtues. Let us call to mind his social and civic deeds—his uniform patriotism, and martial ardour.” (p22)


-          Joshua Spalding, A Sermon, Preached at the Tabernacle, in Salem, December 29, A. D. 1799, on the Death of General Washington (Salem, MA: Thomas C. Cushing, [1800]). 20 pp., 4.875" x 8" (2 copies)

“Our WASHINGTON lived at the most eventful and momentous period: he shined, a summer’s sun: he held his course, a harvest day. His was a day of great men, and a day of great events; and all conspired to make WASHINGTON great.” (p13)


-          Samuel Stillman, A Sermon, Occasioned by the Death of George Washington, Late Commander in Chief of the Armies of the United States of America, Who Died December 14, 1799, Aged 68 (Boston: Manning & Loring, [1800]). 26 pp., 5" x 8"

“Though dead, my brethren, he speaketh to us by his private, and his public life. But what shall I say when so much is to be said? Or what leave unsaid without being unjust to WASHINGTON? The uncommon excellencies of his character, check my feeble effort; much rather would I ‘in expressive silence muse his praise.’” (p10)

Samuel Stillman (1737-1807) was, from 1765 to his death, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Boston, where John Hancock, John Adams, and Henry Knox came to hear him preach.


-          Joseph Story, An Eulogy on General George Washington; Written at the Request of the Inhabitants of Marblehead, and Delivered before Them on the Second Day of January, A.D. 1800 (Salem, MA: Joshua Cushing, 1800). 24 pp., 5.5" x 8.5"

“We have lost a father, but we have enthroned a saint. By imitating his unsullied virtues, though dead, yet shall he live.” (p15)

“Full oft the votive hymn of praise shall flow,

And letter’d marble lift the conscious sky,

To tell the pilgrim’s heart a Nation’s wo;

To tell, our WASHINGTON shall never die.” (p24)

Joseph Story (1779-1845) was born in Marblehead and graduated from Harvard College in 1798. He read law in Marblehead and gained admission to the bar in 1801. He served as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1812 until his death.


-          Joseph Strong, A Sermon, Preached at Norwich, on Hearing of the Death of General George Washington, Who died December 14th, 1799. Ætat. 68 (Norwich, CT: John Trumbull, 1800). 18 pp., 5" x 7.625"


-          An Address in Latin, by Joseph Willard, President; and a Discourse in English by David Tappan, S.T.D. Hollis Professor of Divinity; Delivered before the University in Cambridge, Feb. 21, 1800. In Solemn Commemoration of General George Washington ([Charlestown, MA]: Samuel Etheridge, 1800). 44 pp., 5.5" x 8.75"

“While the American Family, in one great funereal procession, is mourning its deceased Father; while every description of its members is emulous to honor him by a tribute as various and unrivalled, as his merits; this antient University, who was an early witness and subject of his protecting virtues, now presents at his tomb her humble, yet fervent oblation.” (p11)

David Tappan (1752-1803) was an American theologian who held the Hollis Chair at Harvard Divinity School from 1792 until his death.


-          Peter Thacher, A Sermon, Occasioned by the Death of General George Washington, and Preached Feb. 22, 1800, by their direction, before His Honor Moses Gill, Esq. Commander in Chief, the Honorable Council, the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Boston: Young & Minns, [1800]). 22 pp., 5.5" x 8.75"


-          Benjamin Trumbull, The Majesty and Mortality of created Gods Illustrated and Improved. A Funeral Discourse, Delivered at North-Haven, December 29, 1799. On the Death of General George Washington; Who Died December 14, 1799. (New Haven: Read & Morse, 1800). 32 pp., 5" x 8"

“Impartiality, justice and patriotism were prominent features of his whole administration, both in his military and civil capacity.” (p29)

“While we contemplate great and pre-eminent characters let us strive to imitate them. Behold, ye magistrates of America, ye created and mortal gods, the character of your political father, your beloved Washington, and while you admire, imitate his exalted virtues.” (p31)


-          George Washington, The Address of the Late George Washington, When President, to the People of the United States, on Declining Being Considered a Candidate for their Future Suffrages, September 17, 1796 (n.p., [1800]), 24 pp., 5" x 8.5"; and Biographical Sketch of Gen. George Washington (n.p., [1800]), 36 pp., 5" x 8.5"


-          Samuel Worcester, An Oration, Sacred to the Memory of Gen. George Washington, Pronounced at Fitchburg, on the Day of National Mourning, Feb. 22, 1800 (Leominster, MA: Adams & Wilder, 1800). 22 pp., 5" x 8.25"

“Many, no doubt, have surpassed our beloved and deplored WASHINGTON, in the greatness of single talents, in the lustre of single virtues, and in the splendor of single actions. But to what age, or country shall we look for the man, who will bear, on the whole a comparison with him. Like a piece of well constructed machinery, his character, however admirable in its parts, cannot be properly estimated, unless it be viewed in the whole.” (p13-14)



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Item: 66745

Price: $4,500.00
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