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The Washington Benevolent Society of Boston, Massachusetts, was formed in 1812 by a group of men who belonged to the Federalist Party. The society held regular quarterly meetings at which a member would deliver an address. April 30th was commemorated by a public celebration because it was the anniversary of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States. The Federalists were very much against the War of 1812, and this oration, given in 1813, expresses many of the ideas about states' rights that would lead to the New England states holding the Hartford Convention in December, 1814.