II.: Address to Congress on Resigning Commission - John Marshall, The Life of George Washington 
The Life of George Washington. Special Edition for Schools, ed. Robert Faulkner and Paul Carrese (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000).
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- Table of Maps
- Principal Events of Washington’s Life
- Note On This Edition
- Part One: Commander In Chief of the Revolution
- Chapter 1: “the Favorite Soldier of Virginia”: Early Years; the French and Indian War (1732 to 1759)
- Chapter 2: “the Soldier of America”; Victory At Boston (september 1774 to April 1776)
- Chapter 3: War In Canada and the North (june 1775 to November 1776)
- Chapter 4: War In the South; the Declaration of Independence (november 1775 to July 1776)
- Chapter 5: Defeat and the Restoration of “native Courage”: Command In New York (june to September 1776)
- Chapter 6: “unyielding Firmness”: Retreat and Attack In New York and New Jersey (october 1776 to January 1777)
- Chapter 7: The Army and Independence Maintained (january to July 1777)
- Chapter 8: Battle and a Wise Determination to Avoid Battle: the Struggle For Philadelphia (july to September 1777)
- Chapter 9: A Stubborn Contest In the Middle Colonies (september to December 1777)
- Chapter 10: Defeat, Then Victory, In the North: Ticonderoga, Bennington, Saratoga (november 1775 to November 1777)
- Chapter 11: “the Character of Washington”: Preserving Army and Command At Valley Forge (december 1777 to May 1778)
- Chapter 12: “on His Own Responsibility”: a New Army At Monmouth (march to June 1778)
- Chapter 13: “temperate Measures”: Disappointment With the French, Stalemate With the British (july to December 1778)
- Chapter 14: Diplomacy; Frontier Attacks; Congress’s Grand Plan (june 1778 to February 1779)
- Chapter 15: The British Shift the Front: War In Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia (november 1778 to June 1779)
- Chapter 16: Near-mutinies and Calming Influence; Skirmishes; the Allies Fail At Savannah (may to December 1779)
- Chapter 17: Disasters and Misjudgments In South Carolina (january to August 1780)
- Chapter 18: Governing Without Teeth: Mutiny; Failures of Supply; a French Force Stalls (january to September 1780)
- Chapter 19: Arnold’s Treason; Faction and Army Policy In Congress (august to December 1780)
- Chapter 20: “abilities, Fortitude, and Integrity”: Greene and His Lieutenants In the South (august 1780 to April 1781)
- Chapter 21: Mutiny Parried and Quelled; the “miserably Defective” Structure of Congress; Lafayette Checks Cornwallis (november 1780 to July 1781)
- Chapter 22: “the Total Incompetency of the Political System”; Victory At Yorktown (may to December 1781)
- Chapter 23: The Deep South Regained; the Prudence of Greene (april 1781 to January 1782)
- Chapter 24: Peace; Pacifying the Army; the “virtuous Moderation” to Bid Farewell (december 1781 to December 1783)
- Part Two: Father and President of the New Republic
- Chapter 25: Private Statesmanship: Agriculture, Improvements, Union (1783 to 1785)
- Chapter 26: Political Imbecility; Constituting a Government (1784 to 1789)
- Chapter 27: Conciliating the Public: Election, Inauguration, and First Appointments (1789)
- Chapter 28: Defense, Finance, Foreign Affairs— and the First “systematic Opposition” (1790 to 1791)
- Chapter 29: Democratic Rebellion; Indian War; the French Model (march 1791 to March 1793)
- Chapter 30: Reelection; Furor Over Neutrality; the Extraordinary Citizen Genêt (november 1792 to December 1793)
- Chapter 31: “the Path of Duty”: Averting War, Maintaining Independence (december 1793 to June 1794)
- Chapter 32: Executive Vigor Confronts War, Rebellion, and Treaty-making (january 1794 to June 1796)
- Part Three: the First of Americans
- Chapter 33: Last Farewell; Final Duty; Legacy and Character (1796 to 1799)
- Appendix A: Note On Further Reading and Editorial Sources
- I.: Further Reading
- II.: Sources
- Appendix B: Important Writings of Washington
- I.: Speech to the Officers of the Army
- II.: Address to Congress On Resigning Commission
- III.: To the Continental Congress
- IV.: First Inaugural Address
- V.: Farewell Address
Address to Congress on Resigning Commission
Annapolis, December 23, 1783.
Mr. President: 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 with the oppertunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable Nation, I resign with satisfaction the Appointment I accepted with diffidence. A diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which however was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our Cause, the support of the Supreme Power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.
The Successful termination of the War has verified the most sanguine expectations, and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my Countrymen, encreases with every review of the momentous Contest.
While I repeat my obligations to the Army in general, I should do injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge in this place the peculiar Services and distinguished merits of the Gentlemen who have been attached to my person during the War. It was impossible the choice of confidential Officers to compose my family should have been more fortunate. Permit me Sir, to recommend in particular those, who have continued in Service to the present moment, as worthy of the favorable notice and patronage of Congress.
I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.
Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.