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Earliest report we have offered of Washington resigning from public office ...

Item # 688300

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September 20, 1796

SUPPLEMENT TO THE FEDERAL GAZETTE, Sept. 20, 1796 which accompanies the "regular" issue of the FEDERAL GAZETTE & BALTIMORE DAILY ADVERTISER, Baltimore, Sept. 20, 1796
The "Supplement" is a broadside edition (single sheet, printed on one side only). Broadside supplements were typically created to report late-breaking news that could not be included in the regular issue. That event appears to be the resignation of Washington from public office following his second term as President.
The supplement begins with a heading: "By This Day's Mail" beneath which is: "The first important article that strikes us is, the resignation of the Father of America. His paternal address to his Children, though lengthy, will appear in this Gazette in the morning."
The latter reference is to his formal Farewell Address, which did appear in the next day's newspaper dated September 21. But this broadside-edition announcement of the afternoon before predates it.
The report in the Supplement has a dateline of "Tuesday, September 20" and begins: "We read with the most sensible grief, a paragraph taken from a Philadelphia paper, that our old tried friend General Washington, the best, the most virtuous and the greatest man in the world, it were supposed from an association of circumstances, evidenced his intention to resign, to retire to the calm and undisturbed walks of private life. Gracious Heaven! how innumerable are the obligations which we owe to his unparalleled services..." continuing with many glowing comments.
The "regular" issue of September 20 is included as well in the typical four page format. It has no reference to Washington's resignation, hence the broadside Supplement which appeared later in the day.
This is the earliest report of Washington's resignation we have seen in any newspaper. We have had several dated September 21 and 24, while most newspapers printed the Farewell Address in their September 25-29 editions.
Both issues are in very nice condition.

Category: The 1600's and 1700's