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George Washington’s Resignation as Commander-in-Chief, [20–23 December 1783]

From: Jefferson Papers | Main Series | Volume 6 | George Washington’s Resignation as Commander-in-Chief, [20–23 December 1783]

Washington’s surrender of his commission at a formal audience granted by Congress was a symbolic event of the highest significance. The documents presented in the present series are evidence enough that Congress as well as the Commander-in-Chief fully appreciated the nature of the occasion. Nevertheless, though this event at Annapolis on 23 Dec. 1783 has not received the attention accorded...
Order for a publick Audience of General Washington. 1st. The president and Members are to be seated and covered, and the Secretary to be standing by the Side of the president. 2dly. The Arrival of the General is to be announced by the Messenger to the Secretary, who is thereupon to introduce the General attended by his Aids to the Hall of Congress. 3dly. The General being conducted to the...
I send you the sketch, which I have been obliged to obliterate and blot after making what I intended for a fair copy. You will observe my plan was to make a short review in very general terms of those actions which redound to the General’s particular credit, viz. the discouraging circumstances under which he accepted the command—his steadiness and perservance when obliged to retire across the...
The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place; I have now the honor of offering my sincere Congratulations to Congress and of presenting myself before 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 Independence and Sovereignty, and pleased...
The Committee to whom were referred &c. have agreed to the following report. Sir The U.S. in congress assembled receive with emotions too affecting for utterance this solemn Resignation of the authorities under which you have led their troops with Success through a perilous and a doubtful war. Called by your country to defend its invaded rights you accepted the sacred charge before it had...