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George Washington's Acceptance as General of the Continental Army

Transcript of the appointment and acceptance of George Washington as the general and commander in chief of the continental army

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On the 15. June 1775, Congress having resolved "That a general be appointed to command all the continental forces raised or to be raised for the defence of American liberty" proceeded to a choise and the ballots being taken, George Washington esq, was unanimously elected.

On the day following the president informed Mr. Washington that congress had unanimously made choice of him to be general and commander in chief of the American forces and requested he would accept that employment, to which Mr. W. standing in his place answered:

"Mr. President,

Though I am truly sensible of the high honor done me in this appointment, yet I feel great distress from a consciousness that my abilities & military experiences may not be equal to the extensive & important trust. However as the congress desire it, I will enter upon the momentous duty and exert every power I profess in the service & support of the glorious cause. I beg they will accept my most cordial thanks for their 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 this command I am honored with.

As to pay, sir, I beg leave to assure the congress, that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment at the expence of my domestic life 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."

As soon as he could get himself in readiness, he set out for Boston to take upon him the command of the army before that town.

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