George Washington's Farewell Address is considered one of the greatest speeches in American history, second to Lincoln's address at Gettysburg. It has been analyzed, referenced, and reenacted (the speech is read every year on the US Senate floor on February 22) countless times.
Washington didn't actually deliver publicly the over-seven thousand word address. It appeared in the newspapers on September 19, 1776. The father of the nation indicated he would not seek a third term as President of the United States. He would instead "retire" to his home in Mount Vernon. This was truly his desire since the end of the Revolutionary War. He simply wanted to tend his land. He truly was a 'Cincinnatus'.
Washington warns, in the address, against division: geographic, political, international. But he is also positive, attempting to guide the people and leave an American legacy. "The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity," he wrote, "must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local distinctions."
Washington wanted to form an American identity in the people. They were no longer British colonists. Nor were they citizens of a particular state, federalists, republicans, farmers, soldiers, whatever. They were Americans.
We read from the Gospel of John this week part of Christ's 'farewell address.' It's better than Washington's. His 'command' to the people (just like Washington 'commanded' the people not to be divisive) was: "love one another" (John 13:34).