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"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, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support."

From George Washington to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island | Wednesday, August 18, 1790


Editorial Notes

This letter written during George Washington’s first term as President of the United States is Washington’s clearest statement of religious tolerance. This letter was a formal reply to an address that Moses Seixas, warden of Newport’s Touro Synagogue, delivered to Washington during his visit to the synagogue during his visit on 17 August 1790.   There are some who believe that this letter was originally drafted for President Washington by Thomas Jefferson, Washington’s Secretary of State.

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