In 1790 George Washington, the first President of the United States, wrote to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, in part, as follows:
“The citizens of the United States of America have the right to appland themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens it. giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”
To the Hebrew Congregations of Savannah, Georgia, the Father of His Country wrote:
“I rejoice that a spirit of liberality and philanthropy is much more prevalent than it formerly was among enlightened nations of the earth, and that your brethren will benefit thereby in proportion as it shall become still more extensive; happily the people of the United States have in many instances exhibted examples worthy of imitation, the salutary influence of which will doubtless exten much further if gratefully enjoying those blessings of peace which (under the favor of heaven) have been attained by fortitude in war, they shall conduct themselves with reverence to the Deity and charity towards their fellow-creatures.
“May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, planted them in a promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of heaven and make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.”
These sentiments were characteristic of the immorial masterbuilder of American independence. He firmly believed in the might of right. He mastered the art of leading without dictating. The righteousness of the people’s cause and the justice of their grievances permeated his soul. Every inch a man, he was a great organizer and inspirer of men. His own indomitable faith in the cause of liberty spurred him and his men on to deeds of unparallelled valor and sacrifice. A visionary, an idealist, he was endowed with extraordinary will power, tenacity, preseverance and courage which helped to trans late his dreams and ideals into nspiring realities.
The accomplishments of Washington as a soldier in the noble cause of liberty, a far-sighted statesman during America’s most trying period, as the founder of a great nation dedicated to freedom; which recognized no denominational frontiers or discriminatory barriers; his compassion for the oppressed and the downtrodden: his genius for securing for the nation the best help and wisest cousel from his ablest associates and contemporaries; his dignity and sense of responsibility in high office; his chivalry, his loyolty and his sympathetic understanding of the people’s needs and the nation’s hopes; his prophetic wisdom in fashioning America’s policy in its relations with other nations- all these have enshrined Washington in the hearts of the American people for all time
Geoge Washington’s declaration that “the citizens of the United States of America have the rith to applaud themselves for having given to mankind example of an enlarged and liberal policy worthy of imitation and that the Goverment of the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” is typical of the humanitarian spirit in which America’s independence was conceived.
The examples of Washington’s broadmindness and sense of justice are decidedlyworthy of imitation at this particular time when alien anti-American forces are at work in this country, disseminating destructive doctrines that seek to plant alien bigotry and race hatred here, and that strive to creat conflict among Americans in behalf of Hitler’s Nazi Government which is practising bigotry and cruelty at home, while conducting directed against the Jews and against democratic institutions abroad.
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