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light infantry, to the place of embarkation. The officers followed in a solemn mute procession, with dejected countenances. On his entering the barge •to cross the North River, he turned toward the companions of his glory, and by waving his hat, bid them a silent adieu. Some of them answered this last signal of respect and affection with tears ; and all of them hung upon the barge which con. veyed him from their sight, till they could no longer distinguish in it the person of their beloved commander in chief.;

The army being disbanded, Washington pro. ceeded to Annapolis, then the seat of Congress, to resign his commission. On his way thither, he, of his own accord, delivered to the comptroller of accounts in Philadelphia, an account of the expenditure of all the public money he had ever receiv. ed. This was in his own hand writing, and every entry was made in a very particular manner. Vouchers were produced for every item except for secret intelligence and service, which amounted to no more than 1,9821 10s sterling. The whole which in the course of eight years of war, had passed through his hands, amounted only to 14,4791 18s 9d sterling. Nothing was charged or retained for personal services; and actual disbursements had been managed with such econo. my and fidelity, that they were all covered by the above moderate sum.

After accounting for all his expenditures of public money, secret service money for obvious reas, ons excepted, with all the exactness which established forms required from the inferior officers of his army, he hastened to resign into the hands of the fathers of his country, the powers with which they had invested him. This was done in a public audience. Congress received him as the founder and guardian of the republic. While he appeared before them, they silently retraced the scenes of danger and distress through which they had passed together. They recalled to mind the blessings of freedom and peace purchased by his arm. They gazed with wonder on their fellowcitizen who appeared more great and worthy of esteem in resigning his power, than he had done in gloriously using it. Every heart was big with emotion, Tears of admiration and gratitude burst from every eye. The general sympathy was felt by the resigning hero, and wet bis cheek with a manly tear. After a decent pause, he addressed Thom. as Mifflin, the President of Congress, in the following words.


“MR. PRESIDENT, " The great events on which my resignation depended, having at length taken place, I have now the honour 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 oppor. tunity 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 con. test.

“ 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 persons who have been attached to my person during the war. It was impossible the choice of confidential officers to compose my family should have been more for. tunate. Permit me, Sir, to recommend in particular, those who have continued in the service to the present moment, as worthy of the favourable notice and patronage of Congress.

" I consider it as an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my official life, by commend. ing the interests of our dearest country to the pro. tection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them to his holy keeping.

“ Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of action ; and, bid. ding an affectionate farewell to this august body, under whose orders I have long acted, I here offer my commission, and take niy leave of all the employments of public life.”* .

The commission now returned to Congress, had been received from them shortly after the commencement of hostilities. It was accompa


This address being ended, Gen. Washington advanced and delivered his commission into the hands of the President of Congress, who replied as follows ;

nied with an unanimous resolution of the delegates of the United Col. onies, “ That they would maintain, assist, and adhere to George Washington, with their lives and fortunes, in the cause of American liberty.” The commission, drawn by a special committee, was in the following words;

“ 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,

“TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, ESQ. 6 We, reposing special trust and confidence in your patriotism, valour, 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 hos. tile invasion thereof; and you are hereby vested with full power and au. thority, 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 sold. iers under your command, to be obedient to your orders, and diligent in the exercise of their several duties.

" And we dło also enjoin and require you to be careful in exercising 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 lierewith given you, and punctually to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time, as you shall re. ceive from this, or a future Congress of these United Colonies, or com mitlee of Congress.


- The United States in Congress assembled, receive with emotions too affecting for utterance, the solemn resignation of the authorities under which you have led their troops with success, through a perilous and doubtful war. i

“ Called upon by your country to defend its invaded rights, you accepted the sacred charge be

“ This commission to continue in "force, until revoked by this, or a future Congress. (Signed)

“PEYTON RANDOLPH, President. (Altest) { "CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary. “ June 19th. 1775."

At the time this commission was accepted, the United Colonies had. no assurance of foreign assistance, and were without established govern-, ment, arms, magazines, forts, money, trade, navy, disciplined troops, or experienced officers. .

At the same time they were denounced by their sovereign as in a state of rebellion, Washington, by accepting the command of their armies, not only subjected one of the largest estates in America to confiscation, but his life to execution. The diffinience he avowed on the occasion, was not the common cant of successful candidates for promotion, nor did it arise from apprehensions of personal danger ; but was the offspring of excessive modesty. Though willing to risk every thing on the contest, he really distrusted his ability to contend in regular war, with the expe. rienced Generals of Britain. The doubts and fears which for some time kept him in suspense, at length yielded to a conviction of duty, and the . earnest invitation of friends, who appreciated his talents more correct. ly than he did himself. On the event of his declining the high commission, as was for some time expected, it was privately resolved to confer it on Gen. Ward, of Massachusetts. What would have been the issue of the military opposition of America conducted by that much esteemed officer, no one can tell ; but without invidious comparison, it may be safely affirmed, that it could not have been more successful than under the auspices of Washington:

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