I examine a crucial moment in American state building and the structuring of the American public sphere: George Washington’s Farewell Address. George Washington helped shape the politically most salient information technology of his day: the publicly provided circulation of newspapers through the mail. Washington then used this technology in his Farewell Address in order to make his “Friends and Fellow Citizens” into Americans. Washington educated those he named as Americans on their duty to hold their leaders intelligently accountable for those leaders’ foreign policy decisions. Washington used rhetoric, communications technology, and administrative innovation to make a public, a republic, and an empire.