To the Honorable the General Assembly:
I received your Message of this day acquainting me that the two Houses of the General Assembly had on Saturday last, elected a Governor and Council of State, for the ensuing year, and desiring that I would qualify as Governor and proceed in the execution of that important office.
In answer to which I am to inform you that I have since the commencement of the present disputes with Great Brittain, considered it a duty incumbent on every individual, not only to stand forth in the cause of his country in defence of her Freedom and Liberty, but also to perform any Trust she may call upon him to execute. Under these considerations and that of your very Honorable and unanimous appointment of me, for the third time to be Governor of this State, being such a mark of your approbation of my past conduct, that however diffident I may be of my own abilities, I should be wanting in duty to my country if I did not except the same.
Give me leave to assure your Honorable Body that such powers as I am invested with by the Constitution and Laws of this State, shall be executed according to the best of my abilities and understanding.
I have now qualified, and shall enter upon the important duties of my office with the greatest alacrity.