« AnteriorContinuar »
grels. John Hancock, president. Attested, Charles Thomion, secretary.
30. New Hampshire, Jofiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton. Masachusetts-Bay, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry. RhodeIsland, Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery. Conne&ticut, Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott.
31. New-York, William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris. New Jersey, Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinfon, John Hart, Abrabam Clark. Pennsylvania, Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Rofs. Delaware, Cesar Rodney, George Read.
32. Maryland, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles. Carroll of Carrollton. Virginia, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson jun. Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton. North-Carolina, William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn. South-Carolina, Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward jun. Thomas Lynch jun. Arthur Middleton. Georgiu, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton.
GENERAL WASHINGTON'S APPOINTMENT AND
ACCEPTANCE OF THE COMMAND OF THE AMERICAN
MR. PRESIDENT, 1. THOUGH I am truly fensible of the high honor 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 :
2. However, as the congress defire it, I will enter upon the mohentous duty, and exert every power I possess in their fervice, and for the support of the glorious cause. I beg they will accept my most cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation.
3. But leít some unlucky event should happen unfavorable 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 honored with.
4. As to pay, fir, I beg leave to assure the congrefs, that as no pecuniary confideration 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. Those I doubt not they will discharge, and that is all I desire.
GEN. WASHINGTON'S ADDRESS TO THE ARMY.
1. THE United States in congress assembled, after giving the most honorable testimony to the merits of the federal armies, and presenting them with the thanks of their country, for their long, eminent and faithful service, having thought proper, by their proclamation, bearing date the 18th of October last, to discharge such part of the troops as were engaged for the war, and to permit the officers on furlough to retire from service, from and after to-morrow i
2. Which proclamation having been communicated in the public papers, for the information and government of alf concerned, it only remains for the commander in chief to address himself once more, and that for the last time, to the armies of the United States, (however widely dispersed individuals who compose them may be,) and to bid them an affectionate-a long farewell.
3. But before the commander in chief takes his final leave of those he holds most dear, he wishes to indulge him. self a few moments in calling to mind a slight view of the paft : he will then take the liberty of exploring, with his military friends, their future prospects ; of advifing the general line of conduct, which, in his opinion, ought to be pursued ; and he will conclude the address, by expressing the obligations he feels himself under for the spirited and able aslistance he has experienced from them, in the performance of an arduous office.
4. A contemplation of the complete attainment, (at a period earlier than could have been expected,) of the object for which we contended, against so formidable a power, cannot but inspire us with astonishment and gratitude. The disadvantageous circumstances on our part, under which the war was undertaken, can never be forgotten..
5. The fignal interpofitions of Providence, in our feeble condition, were such as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving ; while the unparalleled persever. ance of the armies of the United States, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement, for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle.
6. It is not the meaning, nor within the compass of this address, to detail the hardships peculiarly incident to our service, or to describe the distresses which, in several instances, have resulted from the extremes of hunger and nakedness, combined with the rigors of an inclement season : nor is it necessary to dwell on the dark side of our past affairs.
7. Every American officer and soldier must now console himself for any unpleasant circumstance which
have occurred, by a recollection of the uncommon scenes in which he has been called to act no inglorious part, and the astonish, ing events of which he has been a witness--events which have seldom, if ever before, taken place on the stage of hu. man action ; nor can they probably ever happen again.
8. For who has before seen a disciplined army formed at once from such raw materials ? Who that was not a witness could imagine that the most violent local prejudices would cease fo foon, and that men who came from the different parts of the continent, strongly disposed by the habits of education to despise and quarrel with each other, would instantly become but one patriotic band of brothers ?
9. Or who that was not on the spot, can trace the steps by which such a wonderful revolution has been effected, and such a glorious period put to all our warlike toils ?
10. It is universally acknowledged, that the enlarged prospects of happiness, opened by the confirmation of our independence and fovereignty, almost exceed the power of description : and shall not the brave men who have contri
buted fo essentially to these inestimable acquisitions, retiring victorious from the field of war to the field of agriculture, participate in all the blessings which have been obtained ?
11. In fach a republic, who will exclude them from the. rights of citizens, and the fruits of their labors ? In such a country, so happily circumstanced, the pursuits of commerce, and the cultivation of the soil, will unfold to industry the certain road to competence.
12. To those hardy soldiers who are actuated by the fpirit of adventure, the fisheries will afford ample and profitable employment ; and the extensive and fertile regions of the west, will yield a most happy afylum to those who, fond of domestic enjoyment, are seeking personal independence.
13. Nor is it possible to conceive that any one of the United States will prefer a national bankruptcy, and the dissolution of the union, to a compliance with the requifitions of congress, and the payment of its just debts ; fo that the officers and soldiers may expect considerable alliftance, in recommencing their civil occupations, from the fums due to them from the public, which must and will most inevitably be paid.
14. In order to effect this desirable purpose, and remove the prejudices which may have taken possession of the minds of any of the good people of the states, it is earnestlys recommended to all the troops, that, with strong attachment to the union, they should carry with them into civil society the most conciliating dispositions, and that they should prove themselves not less virtuous and useful as citizens, than they have been victorious as foldiers.
15. What though there fhould be fome envious individ. uals, who are unwilling to pay the debt the public has contracted, or to yield the tribute due to merit; yet, let such unworthy treatment produce no invective, or any instance of intemperate conduct. Let it be remembered, that the unbiassed voice of the free citizens of the United States, has promised the just reward, and given the merited applaufe.
16. Let it be known and remembered, that the reputa. tion of the federal armies is established beyond the reach of malevolence; and let a consciousness of their achievements and fame, ftill excite the men who composed them to honorable actions, under the perfuafion that the private virtues
of economy, prudence, and industry, will not be lefs amiable in civil life, than the more fplendid qualities of valor, perseverance, and enterprise, were in the field.
17. Every one may rest assured, that much, very much of the future happiness of the officers and men, will depend upon the wife and manly conduct which shall be adopted by them, when they are mingled with the great body of the community.
18. And, although the general has so frequently given it as his opinion, in the molt public and explicit manner, that unless the principles of the federal government were properly supported, and the powers of the union increased, the honor, dignity, and justice of the nation would be lost
for ever ;
19. Yet he cannot help repeating, on this occasion, so interesting a sentiment, and leaving it as his last injunction to every officer and every soldier, who may view the subject in the same serious point of light, to add his best endeavors to those of his worthy fellow citizens, towards effecting these great and valuable purposes, on which our very existence as a nation fo materially depends.
20. The commander in chief conceives little is now wanting to enable the foldier to change the military character into that of the citizen, but that steady, decent tenor of behavior, which has generally distinguished not only the army under his immediate command, but the different detachments and armies, through the course of the war.
21. From their good senfe and prudence he anticipates the happiest consequences ; and while he congratulates them on the glorious occasion which renders their services in the field no longer necessary, he wishes to express the strong obligations he feels himself under, for the assistance he has received from every class, and in every
instance. 22. He presents his thanks in the most serious and affectionate manner, to the general officers, as well for their counfels on many interesting occasions, as for their ardor in promoting the success of the plans he had adopted to the commandants of regiments, and corps, and to the other officers, for their zeal and attention in carrying his orders promptly into execution-to the staff, for their alacrity and exactness in performing the duties of their feveral depart