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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 conveyed 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 expen. diture of all the public money he had ever received. 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 1,98:21 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 economy 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 ev. ery eye. The general sympathy was felt by the resigning hero, and wet his cheek with a manly tear. After a decent pause, he addressed Thom. as Miffin, 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 congratula. tions 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 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 ser-, vices 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 fortunate. 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 em. ployments of public life.”* .
* The commission now returned to Congress, had been received from them shortly after the commencement of hostilities. It was accompa
- 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) I "CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary. « June 17th. 1775."
At the time this commission was accepted, the United Colonies had no assurance of foreign assistance, and were without established government, 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 diffidence 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 bave 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 aflirmed, that it could not have been more successful than under the auspices of Washington.