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Colonel Washington's Marriage.--His Management of the Estate

of Mount Vernon-Appointed a Judge of the County Court, and a Member of the Virginia Legislature-Chosen a Member of the first Congress-Appointed Commander in Chief of the American Forces— Arrives at Camp-Arranges the ArmyDeficiency of Arms and Ammunition - Colonel Arnold detached to Quebec-Success of American CruizersEvils of temporary enlistments-An attack on the Enemy's Posts meditated Possession taken of the Heights of DorchesterBoston evacuated,

1759.] Soon after the resignation of his military commission, Colonel Washington married Mrs. Martha Custis, a young and beautiful widow, who possessed an ample fortune, and who was endowed with those amiable and pleasing accomplishmens of mind and manners, which give the best security for happiness in the married state. With her, he lived in all the confidence, endearment and felicity which this relation can produce.

On his estate of Mount Vernon, he extensively engaged in the business of agriculture, and was greatly distinguished for the judgment he displayed in the improvement of his lands. Every branch of business was conducted upon system, exact method and economy were observed throughout every department of his household, the accounts of his overseers he weekly inspected, the divisions of his farm were numbered, the expense of cultivation, and the produce of each lot were regularly registered; and, at one view, he could determine the profit or loss of any crop, and ascertain the respective advantages of particular modes of husbandry. He became one of the greatest landholders in North America. Besides other great and valuable tracts, his Mount Vernon estate consisted of nine thousand acres, all under his own management. On which, in one year, he raised seven thousand bushels of wheat, and ten thousand of Indian corn. His domestic and farming establishments were composed of nearly a thousand persons ; and the woollen and linen cloth necessary for their use, was chiefly manufactured on the estate *

Order and industry were carried into all his concerns. The authority he exercised over his slaves was blended with great tenderness and humanity, and their affection and gratitude insured a prompt and cheerful obedience to his commands. Mount Vernon was ever the seat of hospitality, and here its rights were liberally exercised. Colonel Washington, although exact in requiring the punctual fulfilment of contracts and engagements, yet was diffusive in offices of humanity and deeds of charity, to those of his vicinity who needed his assistance.

Froin the close of the war on the frontiers of Virginia, to the cominencement of the revolu

* See “ Legacies of Washington," printed at Trenton, in 1.800.

tionary contest, Colonel Washington acted as a Judge of a County Court, and represented his district in the House of Burgesses of his province. Although never distinguished as a popular speaker, yet the soundness of his judgment, the wisdom of his counsels, and the uniform propriety of his behaviour, secured him the confidence and esteem of all who were acquainted with his character.

While a legislator of Virginia, he took an active and influential part in opposition to the principle assumed by the British Parliament, to tax the American Colonies. When it became expedient 10 train the militia for the defence of those

to rights, which the country determined never to sacrifice, the independent companies, in the northern part of Virginia, chose him their commander.

He was elected a member of the first Congress, which met in Philadelphia in 1774; in which body he had a distinguished agency in the arrangement of the military resources of the United Provinces. He was the active member of the committees, to which business of this nature was entrusted.

Juns 15, 1775.) At the commencement of hostilities, Congress deemed it necessary to appoint a commander in chief of the American forces. The eminent character of Colonel Washington pointed him out as the best qualified to unite the confidence of the public, and successfully to conduct the arduous conflicts of the war. Congress unanimously elected him “ general and commander in chief of the United Colonies, and of all the

I beg

forces now raised, and to be raised by them." When the President of Congress communicated his election, he thus addressed him.

“Mr. President, although 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 trust. However, as the Congress desire it, I will enter upon the momentous duty, and exert every power I possess in their service,

I and for the support of the glorious cause. they will accept my most cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation.

“ But lest some unlucky 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 utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honoured wịth. I beg leave, Sir, 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. Thiese, I doubt not, they will discharge, and that is all I desire.”

Congress, when his commission was executed, unanimously and solemnly resolved, to support him with their lives and fortunes, as the general of their army, in the defence of their country. General Washington instantly prepared to enter upon the eventful duties of his command. The


difficulties which he was to encounter, will clearly appear fron a slight view of the state of the country, and of the condition of the

army. As a means to repel the encroachments of the British Parliament, the American merchants had generally entered into resolutions, not to import articles of merchandise from Great Britain; and at the commencement of the war, the country was, in a great degree, destitute of ammunition, and of every material necessary to clothe an army, and furpish the men with tents. There were no considerable magazines of provisions, and few tools suitable for the work of fortification. The men who con, posed the arıny were raised by different states, on short inlistments, and on different establishments; and they carried into the camp, the feelings and habits formed by their respective pursuits in privaie life. They were animated by the love of liberty, and possessed the resolution and bravery of hardy yeomanry; but they could not easily be brought to submit to the rigid rules of military subordination and discipline. The authority of Congress and of different colonics, was blended in all the arrangements of the army. These causes occasioned numerous and complicated embarrassments to the commander in chief:

The appointment of General Washington was universally approved. On his journey to head quarters, he met with most affectionate attention, and received the fullest assurances of assistance and support. He was escorted by companies of respectable volunteers ; and, at Springfield, an hundred miles from Boston, a committee of thie.

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