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Washington's POLITICAL LEGACIES.
} Resolved, That a General be appointed to command all the continental forces, raised, or to be raised, for the defence of American liberty.
THAT five hundred dollars per month be allowed for the pay and expences of the general.
The Congress then proceeded to the choice of a General, by ballot, and GEORGE WASHINGTON, ESQ. was unanimously elected.
Friday, June 16, 1775. THE President informed col. WASHINGTON that the Congress had, yesterday, unanimously made choice of him to be general and commander in chief of the American forces, and requested he would accept of that employment ; to which col. WASHINGTON, standing in his place, as a member of the house, answered :
MR. PRESIDENT, “ THOUGH I am truly sensible of the high honour done me in this appointment, yet I feel great distress, from a consciousness that 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, 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 event should happen unfavourable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the room, that I, this day, declare with the ut. most sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honoured with.
“ with respect to pay, sir, I must beg leave to assure Congress, that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment, at the expence of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expences. Those I doubt not they will discharge, and that is all I desire."
ON THE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES, GENE
RAL WASHINGTON ISSUED THE FOLLOWING ORDERS :
Head-Quarters, Newburg, April 18, 1783. THE commander in chief orders the cessation of hostilities between the United States of America and the king of GreatBritain, to be publickly proclaimed to-morrow at 12 o'clock, at the new building; and that the proclamation which will be communicated herewith, be read to-morrow evening, at the head of every regiment and corps of the army ; after which, the chaplains, with the several brigades, will render thanks to Almighty God for all his mercies, particularly for his over-ruling the wrath of man to his own glory, and causing the rage of war to cease amongst the nations.
ALTHOUGH the proclamation before alluded to, extends only to the prohibition of hostilities, and not to the annunciation of a general peace, yet it must afford the most rational and sincere satisfaction to every
be. nevolent mind, as it puts a period to a long and doubtful contest-stops the effusion of human blood-opens the prospect to a more splendid scene--and, like another morning star, promises the approach of a brighter day than has hitherto illuminated this western hemisphere.! on such a happy dayday which is the harbinger of peace--a day which completes the eighth year of the war, it would be ingratitude not to rejoice : it would be insensibility not to participate in the general felicity.
The commander in chief, far from endeavouring to stifle the feelings of joy in his own bosom, offers his most cordial congratulations on the occasion, to all the officers of every denomination to all the troops of the United States in general, and in particular to those gallant and persevering men, who had resolved to defend the rights of their invaded country so long as the war should continue ; for these are the men who ought to be considered as the pride and boast of the American army, and who, crowned with well-earned laurels, may soon withdraw from the field of glory to the more tranquil walks of civil life.
WHILE the General recollects the almost infinite variety of scenes through which we have passed with a mixture of pleasure, astonishment and gratitude-while he con
templates the prospects before us with rap. ture-he cannot help wishing that all the brave men, of whatever condition they may be, who have shared in the toils and dangers of effecting this glorious revolution, of rescuing millions from the hand of oppression, and of laying the foundation of a great empire, might be impressed with a proper idea of the dignified part they have been called to act (under the smiles of providence) on the stage of human affairs; for happy, thrice happy, shall they be pronounced hereafter, who have contributed any thing, who have performed the meanest office in erecting this stupendous fabric of Freedom and Empire, on the broad basis of independency; who have assisted in protecting the rights of human nature, and establishing an asylum for the poor and oppressed of all nations and religions.
The glorious task for which we first few to arms, being thus accomplished--the liber. ties of our country being fully acknowledged and firmly secured, by the smiles of Heav. en, on the purity of our cause, and the honest exertions of a feeble people, determined to be free, against a powerful nation disposed to oppress them; and the character of those