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On Washington’s birthday: A Jewish congregation’s letter to George Washington welcoming him to Rhode Island in 1790.
Washington had come to Rhode Island in celebration of that state’s ratification of the Constitution. This paragraph, written by these immigrant Jews, speaks directly to today’s far less tolerant government and society that now believes it has the right to squelch religious freedom:
Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People ~~ a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance ~~ but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: ~~ deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language equal parts of the great governmental Machine.