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which may cast a shade over that glory which has been RO justly acquired, and tarnish the reputation of an army which is celebrated through all Europe for its brtitude and patriotisra ? And for what is this done? 'To bring the object we seek nearer ? No; most cer lainly, in iny opinion, it will cast it at a greater dis tance. For myself, (and I take no merit in giving the assurance, being induced to it from principles of gra titude, veracity, and justice, and a grateful sense of the confidence you have ever placed in me) a recollection of the cheerful assistance and prompt obedience I have experienced from you, under every vicissitude of for tune, and the sincere affection I feel for an army have so long had the honour to command, will oblige me to declare in this publick and solemn manner,
that in the attainment of complete justice for all your toils and dangers, and in the gratification of every wish, so far as may be done consistently with the great duty ! owe my country, and those powers we are bound to respect, you may freely command my services to the utmost extent of my abilities.
“ While I give you these assurances, and pledge myself in the most unequivocal manner, to exert whatever abilities I am possessed of in your favour, let me entreat you, gentlemen, on your part, not to take any measures, which viewed in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity, and sully the glory you have hitherto maintained :-let me request you to rely on the plighted faith of your country, and place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress; that previous to your dissolution as an army, they will cause all your accounts to be fairly liquidated, as di. rected in the resolutions which were published to you two days ago; and that they will adopt the most effectual measures in their power to render ample justico to you
faithful and meritorious services. And let ma conjure you, in the name of our common coun try, as vou value your own sarred honour : as you
respect the rights of humanity ; and as you regard the military and national character of America ; to express your utmost horrour and detestation of the man who wishes, under any specious pretences, to overturn the liberties of our country; and who wickedly attempts to open the floodgates of civil discord, and deluge brır rising empire in blood.
“ By thus determining, and thus acting, you wil' prirsue the plain and direct road to the attainment of your wishes; you will defeat the insidious designs of our enemies, who are compelled to resort from open force to secret artifice. You will give one more dislinguished proof of unexampled patriotism and patient virtue, rising superiour to the pressure of the most complicated sufferings; and you will by the dignity of your conduct afford occasion for posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to mankind-had this day been wanting, the world had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.”
In the judgment, honour, and friendship of their Ge. neral, the officers placed unbounded confidence ; and his recommendations carried in resistible weight. The most desperate had not the hardihood to oppose his ad. vice. General Knox moved, and Brigadier General Putnam seconded a resolution,“ assuring him that the officers reciprocated his affectionate expressions with the greatest sincerity of which the human heart is capable,” which passed unanimously. On motion of General Putnam a committee was then chosen, con. sisting of General Knox, Colonel Brooks, and Captain Heywood, to prepare resolutions on the business before them. They reported the following resolutions, which on mature deliberation passed unanimously,
: Resolved unanimously, that at the commencement of the present war, the officers of the Ainerican army engaged in the service of their country from the pur. est love and attachment to the rights and liberties of
human nature · which motives still exist in the highest degree ; ard that no circumstances of distress or danger shall induce a conduct that may tend to sully the reputation and glory which they have acquired, at the price of their blood and eight years faithful seryices.
“ Resolved unanimously, that the army continue to hare an unshaken confidence in the justice of Congress and their country, and are fully convinced that the Representatives of America will not disband or disperse the army until their accounts are liquidated, the balances accurately ascertained, and adequate funds established for payment; and in this arrangement, the officers expect that the half pay, or a commutation for it, should be efficaciously comprehended.
“Resolved unanimously, that his Excellency the Commander in Chief be requested to write to his Excellency the President of Congress, earnestly entreating tho most speedy decision of that honourable body upon the subject of our late address, which was forwarded by a Committee of the army, some of whom are waiting upon Congress for the result. In the alternative of peace or war, this event would be highly satisfactory, and would produce immediate tranquillity in the minds of the army, and prevent any further machinations of designing men, to sow discord between the civil and military powers of the United States.
“On motion, resolved unanimously, that the officers of the American army view with abhorrence and reject with disdain, the infamous propositions contained in a late anonymous address to the officers of the army, and resent with indignation the secret attempts of some unknown persons to collect the officers together, in 8 manner totally subversive of all discipline and good order.
“ Resolved unanimously, that the thanks of the officers of the army be given to the Committee wiio pre. konted to Congress the late address of the aniy, fos
the wisdu m and prudence with which they have con. ducted that business; and that a copy oi' the proceedings of this day, be tramitted by the President to Major General M’Dov/a!; and that he be requested to continue his solicitions at Congress, until the objocts of his mission an accomplished.”
Machinations whj 'threatened the army with dis grace, and the cov lity with ruin, being thus happily suppressed, Gener ? Washington without delay exe. cuted his promis) is the officers; and in a letter to Congress with fecs.g and force supported their claims upon their country
Soon after the proceedings, nine states concurrea in a resolution, ammuting the half pay into a sum equal to five year o' whole pay. Still Congress depend. ed on the states to furnish the funds to enable them to fulfil this engager hent.
In April the ratification of the preliminary articles of peace between France and Great Britain was receive ed, and on the 19h of that month, a cessation of hostilities was proclaimed in the American camp.
In June Generul WASHINGTON addressed a circular letter on the important interests of the Union, to the Governors of the several states.
It began, SIR, “ The great object for which I had the honour to hold an appointment in the service of my country, being accomplished, I am now preparing to resign it into the hands of Congress, and return to that domestick retirement, which it is well known, I left with the greatest reluctance; a retirement for which I have never ceased to sigh through a long and painful absence, in which (remote from the noise and trouble of the world) I meditate to pass the remainder of life in a state of undisturbed repose ; but, before I carry this resolution into effect, I think it a duty incumbent on me to make this my last official communication, to congratulate you on the glorious events which Heaven
has been pleased to produce in our favour; to offer my sentiments respecting some important subjects which appear to me to be intimately connected with the tran. quillity of the United States; to take my leave of your Excellency as a publick character, and to give my final blessing to that country in whose service I have spent the prime of my life; for whose sake I have consumed so many anxious days and watchful nights ; and whose happiness being extremely dear to me, wili always constitute no inconsiderable part of my
Impressed with the liveliest sensibility on this pluasing occasion, I will claim the indulgence of detasting the more copiously on the subject of our mutual felicitation. When we consider the magnitude of the prize we contended for, the doubtful nature of the contest, and the favourable manner in which it has terminatea, we shall find the greatest possible reason for gratitude and rejoicing : this is a theme that will afford infinite delight to every benevolent and liberal mind, whether the event in contemplation be considered as a source of present enjoyment, or the parent of future happiness; and we shall have equal occasion to felici tate ourselves on the lot which Providence has assign ed us, whether we view it in a natural, political, or a moral point of view.
“ The citizens of America, placed in the most enviable condition, as the sole lords and proprietors of a vast tract of continent, comprehending all the various soils and climates of the world, and abounding with all the necessaries and conveniences of life, are now, by the late satisfactory pacification, acknowledged to be possessed of absolute freedom and independency; they are from this period to be considered as the actors on a most conspicuous theatre, which seems to be peculiar designed by Providence for the display of human greatness and felicity : here they are not only sur. rounded with every thing that can contribute to the