Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
An Imperial Presidency?
Washington's Letter to Langdon
George Washington to John Langdon, April 14, 1789
(Courtesy of the Lilly Library, University of Indiana)
Text transcript of Washington's letter.

As soon as the results of the election were confirmed, the Senate dispatched messengers Charles Thomson and Sylvanus Bourne to notify Washington and Adams. Despite his professed reluctance to assume the presidency, Washington immediately accepted the call of his country and wrote this letter to the President pro tempore of the Senate on the day Thomson arrived at Mount Vernon.

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