Quote of the day

From George Washington, “the indispensable man,” to the President of the Congress, accepting his appointment to lead the Continental Army.

“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 and military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important trust.

by Rembrandt Peale

by Rembrandt Peale

“However, as the Congress desire it, I will enter upon the momentous duty and exert every power I possess in the service and 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 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.”

George Washington (born on this day in 1732), June 16, 1775

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