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Winchester with the intention of quito ting military life. He had been chosen a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, and was affianced to the charming widow of Daniel Parke Custis, who was about his own age—twenty-six years. They were wedded at the “White House," the residence of the bride, on Jan. 17, 1759. Then Washington took his seat in the Assembly at Williamsburg. At about the close of the honeymoon of Washington and his wife the speaker of the Assembly (Mr. Robinson), rising from his chair, thanked Washington for his public services. The young colonel, surprised and agitated, rose to reply, but could not summon words. His
face crimsoned with was again entertained at the mansion confusion, when the accomplished speaker of Mr. Robinson, and he lingered as long adroitly relieved him by saying, “Sit in the company of Miss Phillipse as duty down, Colonel Washington; your modesty would allow. He wished to take her with is equal to your valor, and that surpasses him to Virginia as his bride at some the power of any language I possess." time in the near future, but his natural The speaker was the father of Beverly modesty did not allow him to ask the Robinson, of New York, at whose house boon of a betrothal. He left the secret Washington had met and fell in love with with a friend, who kept him informed his sister-in-law, Mary Phillipse. of everything of importance concerning the On June 15, 1775, Washington, then a rich heiress of Phillipse Manor on the member of Congress from Virginia, was Hudson, but delayed to make the proposal nominated by Thomas Johnson, a member of marriage. At length he was informed from Maryland, as commander-in-chief that he had a rival in Col. Roger Morris, of the Continental army, and was chosen, his companion-in-arms under Braddock, unanimously, by ballot. On the opening who won the fair lady, and the tardy lover of the Senate the next day, the president married the pretty little Martha Custis officially communicated to him a notice of three years afterwards.
his appointment. Washington immediateAfter the capture of Fort Duquesne, ly arose in his place and made the follow. Washington took leave of the army at ing reply: “Mr. President, though I am
truly sensible of the high honor done me favorable to my reputation, I beg it may in this appointment, yet I feel great dis- be remembered by every gentleman in the tress from a consciousness that my abili- room that I this day declare, with the ties and military experience may not be utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the extensive and important trust. equal to the command I am honored with. However, as the Congress desires it, I As to pay, sir, I beg leave to assure the will enter upon the momentous duty, and Congress that, as no pecuniary consideraexert every power I possess in their ser- tion could have tempted me to accept the vice and for the support of the glorious arduous employment, at the expense of cause. I beg they will accept my most domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish cordial thanks for this distinguished tes. to make any profit from it. I will keep an timony of their approbation. But, lest exact account of my expenses. These, I some unlucky event should happen, un- doubt not, they will discharge, and that
is all I desire.” The Congress, by unan- one side was a profile head of Washington, imous vote, resolved that they would with the Latin legend, “ Georgio Washing. maintain and assist the commander-in- ton, Svpremo Dvci Exercitvym Asertori chief, and adhere to him, with their lives Libertatis Comitia Americana "-" The and fortunes, in the cause of American American Congress to George Washington, liberty. The commander-in-chief of the the Commander-in-chief of its Armies, the Continental army left Philadelphia on Assertor of Freedom.” On the reverse, the June 21, and arrived at Cambridge on device shows troops advancing towards July 2. He was everywhere greeted with a town; others marching towards the enthusiasm on the way. His arrival in water; ships in view ; General Washington New York was on the same day that Gov
in front, and mounternor Tryon arrived from England, and
ed, with his staff, the same escort received both. On the
whose attention he is morning of July 3, the troops were drawn
directing to the emup in order upon the common, at Cam
barking enemy. The bridge, to receive the commander-in-chief.
legend is, “Hostibus Accompanied by the general officers of
Primo Fugatis”— the army who were present, Washington
“ The enemy for the walked from his headquarters
first time put to to a great elm-tree, at the
flight." The exergue north side of the common, and
under the device, under its shadow, stepped for
“ Bostonium Recuperatum, xvii. martii. mdcclxxvi.” -“ Boston recovered, March 17, 1776.”
On Dec. 27, 1776, the Congress, sitting in Baltimore, alarmed at the dangerous aspect of affairs, “ Resolved, that General Washington shall be, and he is hereby, invested with full, ample, and complete powers to raise and collect together, in the
most speedy and efWASHINGTON'S HEADQUARTERS AT CAMBRIDGE, 1775.
fectual manner, from
any or all of these ward a few paces, made some remarks, United States seventy-six battalions of indrew his sword, and formally took com- fantry, in addition to those already voted mand of the Continental army. See by Congress; to appoint officers for the ARMY (Continental Army).
said battalions of infantry; to raise, offiOn March 25, 1776, when news of the cer, and equip 3,000 light-horse, three regiBritish evacuation of Boston reached Con- ments of artillery, and a corps of engineers, gress, that body resolved that its thanks and to establish their pay; to apply to any be presented to the commander-in-chief of the States for such aid of the militia as and the officers and soldiers under his com- he shall judge necessary; to form such magmand, “for their wise and spirited con- azines or provisions, and in such places, duct in the siege and acquisition of Bos. as he shall think proper; to displace and ton; and that a medal of gold be struck appoint all officers under the rank of brigin commemoration of this great event and adier-general, and to fill up all vacancies presented to his Excellency.” This medal in every other department in the Ameriwas nearly 234 inches in diameter. On can armies; to take, wherever he may be,