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procession, with dejected countenances, testifying feelings of delicious melancholy, which no language can describe. Having entered the barge, he turned to the company, and, waving his hat, bade them a silent adieu.
They paid him the same affectionate compliment, and after the barge had left them, returned in the same solemn manner to the place where they had assembled.
Congress was then in session at Annapolis in Maryland, to which place General Washington repaired, for the purpose of resigning into their hands the authority with which they had invested him. He arrived on the 19th of December. The next day, he informed that body of his inten tion to ask leave to resign the commission he had. the lionour of holding in their service, and re
. On his way he stopped a few days at Philadelphia, for the purpose of settling his accounts with the comptroller. The following account of this part of his duty is extracted from Mr. Gordon. “While in the city, he delivered in his accounts to the comptroller down to December the 13th, all in his owa hand-writing, and every entry made in the most particular manner, stating the occasion of each charge, so as to give the least trouble in examining and comparing them with the vouchers with which they were attended.
“ The heads are as follows, copied from the folio manuscript paper book, in the file of the treasury-office, No. 3700 ; being a black box of tin, containing, under lock and key, both that and the vouchers.
Total of expenditures from 1775 to 1783, ex-
quested to know whether it would be their pleasure that he should offer his resignation in writing, or at an audience.
To give the more dignity to the act, they determined that it should be offered at a public audience on the following Tuesday at twelve o'clock.*
contractors, and of liquors, &c. from them £. s. de and others
3387 14 4 Secret intelligence and service
1982 10 0 Spent in reconnoitring and travelling
1874 88 Miscellaneous charges
2952 10 1 Expended besides, dollars according to the scale of depreciation
6114 14 0
16311 17 1 • Two hundred guineas advanced to General M.Dougall are not included in the 19821. 10s. not being yet settled, but included in some of the other charges, and so reckoned in the general sum.
• Note, 104,364 of the dollars were received after March 1780, and although crediled at forty for one, many did not fetch at the rate of a hundred for one; which 27,775 of them are returned without deducting any thing from the above ac. count, and therefore actually made a present of to the public. • General Washington's account from June
£ s. d. 1775 to the end of June 1783
16,311 171 Expenditure from July 1st, 1783, to December 13th
1717 5 4 Added afterwards from that date to December 213 84 Mrs. Washington's travelling expences in com. ing to the General and returning
19,306 11 9
•Lawful money of Virginia, the same as the Mas. sachussetts, or
14,479 18 97
The 23d of December.
When the hour arrived for performing a ceremony so well calculated to recall to the mind the various interesting scenes which had passed since the commission now to be returned was granted, the gallery was crowded with spectators; and many respectable persons, among whom were the legislative and executive characters of the state, several general officers, and the consul-general of France, were admitted on the floor of Congress.
The representatives of the sovereignty of the union remained seated and covered. The spectators were standing and uncovered. The General was introduced by the secretary, and conducted to a chair. After a decent interval, silence was commanded, and a short pause ensued. The president* then informed him, that “ the United States in Congress assembled were prepared to receive his communications." With a native dig.
“ The general entered in his book, • I find upon the final adjustment of these accounts, that I am a considerable loser, my disbursements falling a good deal short of my receipts, and the
money I had upon hand of my own ; for besides the sums I carried with me to Cambridge in 1775, I received monies afterwards on private account in 1777 and since, which, except small sums that I had occasion now and then to apply to private uses, were all expended in the public service. Through hurry, I suppose, and the perplexity of business (for I know not how else to account for the deficiency) I have omitted to charge the same, whilst every debt against me is here credited. July 1st, 1783." * General Mifflin.
nity improved by the solemnity of the occasion, the General rose, and delivered the following ada dress.
- 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 to 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 independance and sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity, afforded the United States, of becoming a respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointinent 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 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.
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“ I consider it as an indispensable duty, to close this last act of my official life by commending the interests of our dearest country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendance of them to his holy keeping:
“ Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of action, and bidding an affec, tionate farewell to this august body, under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.”
After advancing to the chair, and delivering his commission to the president, he returned to his place, and received, standing, the following answer of Congress, which was delivered by the president,
“Sir, “ 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 a doubt. ful war. Called upon by your country to defend its invaded rights, you accepted the sacred charge, before it had forincd alliances, and whilst it was without funds or - a government to support you. You have conducted
the great military contest with wisdom and fortitude, invariably regarding the rights of the civil power through all disasters and changes. You have, by the love and confidence of your fellow citizens, enabled them to display their martial genius, and transmit their fame to posterity. You have persevered, till these United States, aided by a magnanimous king and nation, have been enabled, under a just Providence, to close the war in freedom, safety, and independance; on which happy cvent, we sincerely join you in congratulations.
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