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my abilities and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important trust: However, as the Congress desire it, I will enter upon the momentous duty, and exert every power I possess in their service, and for support of the glorious cause. I beg they will accept my most cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation..

"But, lest some unlucky event should happen, unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered, by every gentleman in the room, that I, this day, declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with.

"As to pay, sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress, that, as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment, at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses. Those, I doubt not, they will discharge, and that is all I desire."

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to draught a commission and instructions for the general.

The persons chosen to compose the committee, were Mr. Lee, Mr. E. Rutledge, and Mr. J. Adams.

SATURDAY, June 17, 1775.

Met according to adjournment.

The committee appointed to draught a commission to the general, reported the same, which, being read by paragraphs and debated, was agreed to as follows:


The delegates of the United Colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, the counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex, on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina:


We, reposing special trust and confidence in your patriotism, valor, conduct, and fidelity, do, by these presents, constitute and

appoint you to be general and commander-in-chief, of the army of the United Colonies, and of all the forces now raised, or to be raised, by them, and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their service, and join the said army for the defence of American liberty, and for repelling every hostile invasion thereof: And you are hereby vested with full power and authority to act as you shall think for the good and welfare of the service.

And we do hereby strictly charge and require all officers and soldiers, under your command, to be obedient to your orders, and diligent in the exercise of their several duties.

And we do also enjoin and require you, to be careful in executing the great trust reposed in you, by causing strict discipline and order to be observed in the army, and that the soldiers be duly exercised, and provided with all convenient necessaries.

And you are to regulate your conduct in every respect by the rules and discipline of war, (as herewith given you,) and punctually to observe and follow such orders and directions, from time to time, as you shall receive from this, or a future Congress of these United Colonies, or committee of Congress.

This commission to continue in force until revoked by this, or a future Congress.

By order of the Congress,

Ordered, That the same be fairly transcribed, signed by the President, attested by the secretary, and delivered to the general.

Resolved, unanimously, Whereas, the delegates of all the Colonies, from Nova Scotia to Georgia, in Congress assembled, have unanimously chosen George Washington, esq., to be general and commander-in-chief, of such forces as are, or shall be, raised for the maintenance and preservation of American liberty; this Congress doth now declare, that they will maintain and assist him, and adhere to him, the said George Washington, with their lives and fortunes in the same cause.


Address of the President of Congress to George Washington, and his reply, 26th August, 1783.

MONDAY, August 25, 1783.

Congress being informed of the arrival of the commander-inchief in the neighborhood of Princeton:

Ordered, That he have an audience in Congress to-morrow at twelve o'clock.

TUESDAY, August 26, 1783.

According to order, Gen. Washington attended, and being introduced by two members, the President addressed him as follows:

SIR: Congress feel particular pleasure in seeing your excellency, and in congratulating you on the success of a war, in which you have acted so conspicuous a part.

It has been the singular happiness of the United States, that during a war so long, so dangerous, and so important, Providence has been graciously pleased to preserve the life of a general, who has merited and possessed the uninterrupted confidence and affection of his fellow-citizens. In other nations many have performed services, for which they have deserved and received the thanks of the public. . But to you, sir, peculiar praise is due. Your services have been essential in acquiring and establishing the freedom and independence of your country. They deserve the grateful acknowledgments of a free and independent nation. Those acknowledgments Congress have the satisfaction of expressing to your excellency.

Hostilities have now ceased, but your country still needs your services. She wishes to avail herself of your talents in forming the arrangements which will be necessary for her in the time of peace. For this reason your attendance at Congress has been requested. A committee is appointed to confer with your excellency, and to receive your assistance in preparing and digesting plans relative to those important objects.

To which his excellency made the following reply.

MR. PRESIDENT: I am too sensible of the honorable reception I have now experienced, not to be penetrated with the deepest feelings of gratitude.

Notwithstanding Congress appear to estimate the value of my life beyond any services I have been able to render the United States, yet I must be permitted to consider the wisdom and unanimity of our national councils, the firmness of our citizens, and the patience and bravery of our troops, which have produced so happy a termination of the war, as the most conspicuous effect of the divine interposition, and the surest presage of our future happiness.

Highly gratified by the favorable sentiments which Congress are pleased to express of my past conduct, and amply rewarded by the confidence and affection of my fellow-citizens, I cannot hesitate to contribute my best endeavors towards the establishment of the national security in whatever manner the sovereign power may think proper to direct, until the ratification of the definitive treaty of peace, or the final evacuation of our country by the British forces; after either of which events, I shall ask permission to retire to the peaceful shade of private life.

Perhaps, sir, no occasion may offer more suitable than the present to express my humble thanks to God, and my grateful acknowledgments to my country, for the great and uniform support I have received in every vicissitude of fortune, and for the many distinguished honors which Congress have been pleased to confer upon me in the course of the war.

Resignation, by George Washington, of the office of commander-in-chief to Congress, and answer of the President of Congress, 23d December, 1783.

SATURDAY, December 20, 1783.

Congress assembled: Present, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

A letter, of this day, from the commander-in-chief, was read, informing Congress of his arrival in this city, with the intention of asking leave to resign the commission he has the honor of holding in their service, and desiring to know their pleasure in what man

ner it will be most proper to offer his resignation; whether in writing or at an audience. Whereupon,

Resolved, That his excellency, the commander-in-chief, be admitted to a public audience, on Tuesday next, at twelve o'clock.

Resolved, That a public entertainment be given to the commanderin-chief on Monday next.

TUESDAY, December 23, 1783.

Congress assembled: Present as before.

According to order, his excellency the commander-in-chief was admitted to a public audience, and being seated, the President, after a pause, informed him, that the United States in Congress assembled were prepared to receive his communications: Whereupon he arose, and addressed as follows:

MR. PRESIDENT: The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place, I have now the honor of offering my sincere congratulations to Congress, and of presenting myself before them, to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country.

Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States, of becoming a respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointment I accepted with diffidence; a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task; which however was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.

The successful termination of the war has verified the most sanguine expectations; and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my countrymen, increases with every review of the momentous contest.

While I repeat my obligations to the army in general, I should do injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge, in this place, the peculiar services and distinguished merits of the gentlemen who have been attached to my person during the war. It was impossible the choice of confidential officers to compose my family should

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