Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Farewell to the Officers at Fraunces Tavern

'With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.'

'I cannot come to each of you but shall feel obliged if each of you will come and take me by the hand.'

Thus Washington addressed the assemblage at Fraunces Tavern on December 4, 1783. It is a well-documented fact that Washington wept upon the delivery of these words. We have relied principally on Benjamin Tallmadge’s account. 

 If his account makes it appear that Washington was flushed with sentimentality, do not be deceived. He was in fact in great distress over the failure of Congress to meet the fiscal obligation it owed to the troops. He had every reason to weep, having devoted his life to leading men in the endeavor to establish a country in which everyone could exercise his freedom. 

Washington resigned his commission as commander in chief of the armies on December 23 and returned to his home in Mt. Vernon. This, some historians declare, was the greatest act of his life.

Read "Why Washington Wept" by Thomas Fleming.


Shelly said...

We need more of Washington's selfless sense of purpose and duty today.

Secondary Roads said...

Washington stood head and shoulders above the great men that surrounded him. I agree with Shelly.

vanilla said...

Shelly, that could but be greatly to our benefit!

Chuck, Washington was much more than most men. Thanks for your help with the blogging issue.

Secondary Roads said...

Vanilla, Yes he was. My 5th great grandfather was with him at Valley Forge, which is where my ancestor died.

Jackie said...

We need another Washington right now. But, sadly, I don't think we will ever see that amount of self-sacrifice again in our life times. At least not within our government.

I watched a documentary on him not too long ago and it was very sad but inspiring at the same time.

He and his few soldiers that crossed the Delaware were truly something.

Shame on our government even then for leaving our soldiers so poorly armed and clothed.

My husband's family came here to this country before the revolution. They too fought for our freedom.

My husband is a direct descendant of Edward Hooper who signed the Declaration of Independence.

I can as his wife be a member of 'The Daughters Of The American Revolution'. But we can't afford $4,000 a year in dues.

This is wonderful tidbit of history. Thanks Vanilla!

vanilla said...

Chuck, we all owe a debt of gratitude to your ancestor,and to all who have fought for our freedoms.

Jackie, you have a wonderful heritage. I have an aunt who had the genealogical verification to our heritage, since she aspired to join the DAR. The proofs were good, but I think the entry fee stood in her way, too.

Anyway, what I mean to say is gratitude to your ancestor for his courage.

Lin said...

Oh, that wouldn't happen today. What happened to us???

vanilla said...

Lin, that, dear Reader, is the question.

Sharkbytes said...

Interesting post, since I'm currently reviving my love affair with the American Revolution. Just finished 2 books and am starting a third.

vanilla said...

Shark, I am not nearly so well-versed in Revolutionary history as I should be, but I work on it bit by bit.