The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 8

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Author: George Washington  | Date: 1775

Washington

I
On His Appointment as Commander-in-Chief*
(1775)

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 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.2

*Washington had been chosen general and commander-in-chief by the Continental Congress sitting in Philadelphia on June 15, 1775 —that is, two days before the Battle of Bunker Hill. During the discussion in Congress as to the proper person to receive this appointment, John Adams, in favoring Washington, described him as "a gentleman whose skill and experience as an officer, whose independent fortune, great talents, and excellent universal character, would command the approbation of all America, and unite the cordial exertions of all the Colonies better than any other person in the Union." On the following day the president of Congress officially notified Washington of his appointment, requesting his acceptance. In reply, Washington made the speech here given, as recorded in the journals of Congress.

2Washington kept such an account, and at the end of the war presented it to Congress as drawn up by his own hand. A facsimile of it has been published by Franklin Knight

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Chicago: George Washington, "I. On His Appointment as Commander-In-Chief," The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 8 in The World’s Famous Orations, ed. William Jennings Bryan (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906), Original Sources, accessed December 9, 2019, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=661D58FUKUIDGCX.

MLA: Washington, George. "I. On His Appointment as Commander-In-Chief." The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 8, in The World’s Famous Orations, edited by William Jennings Bryan, New York, Funk and Wagnalls, December, 1906, Original Sources. 9 Dec. 2019. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=661D58FUKUIDGCX.

Harvard: Washington, G, 'I. On His Appointment as Commander-In-Chief' in The World’s Famous Orations, Vol. 8. cited in December, 1906, The World’s Famous Orations, ed. , Funk and Wagnalls, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 9 December 2019, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=661D58FUKUIDGCX.