Lot 112

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Newspaper Printing of Washington’s Farewell to Continental Army at End of Revolutionary War

"And being now to conclude these his last public orders, to take his ultimate leave in a short time of the military character, and to bid a final adieu to the Armies he has so long had the honour to command—he can only again offer in their behalf, his recommendations to their grateful country, and his prayers to the God of armies."

Because this issue of The New-York Morning Post contains George Washington's farewell orders to the Continental Army, it has been reprinted several times. This copy is one of those reprints.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, Farewell Orders to the Armies of the United States, The New-York Morning Post, November 7, 1783 (Vol. III, No. 155). New York: Morton and Horner. 4 pp., 11" x 16.125". Facsimile reprint. Restoration mostly to edges but also some loss infilled.

"it only remaining for the Commander in Chief to address himself once more, and that for the last time, to the armies of the united states (however widely dispersed the individuals who composed them may be) and to bid them an affectionate—a long farewell." (p3/c1)

"The singular interpositions of Providence in our feeble condition were such, as could scarcely escape the attention of the most unobserving, while the unparalleled perseverance of the armies of the united states, through almost every possible suffering and discouragement, for the space of eight long years, was little short of a standing miracle." (p3/c1)

"Who that was not a witness could imagine, that the most violent local prejudices would cease so soon, and that men who came from the different parts of the continent, strongly disposed by the habits of education to despise and quarrel with each other, would instantly become but one patriotic band of brothers?" (p3/c1)

"Let it be known and remembered that the reputation of the federal armies is established beyond the reach of malevolence. And let a consciousness of their atchievements and fame, still incite the men who composed them to honourable actions, under the persuasions that the private virtues of economy, prudence, and industry, will not be less amiable in civil life, than the more splendid qualities of valour, perseverance and enterprise were in the field:" (p3/c2)

"He presents his thanks in the most serious and affectionate manner, to the General Officers, as well for their counsels on many interesting occasions, as for their ardor in promoting the success of the plans he had adopted.—To the Commandants of regiments and corps, and to the others for their great zeal and attention in carrying his orders promptly into execution—To the staff for their alacrity and exactness in performing the duties of their several departments—And to the Non-commissioned Officers and Private Soldiers; for their extraordinary patience in suffering, as well as their invincible fortitude in action." (p3/c2)

"And being now to conclude these his last public orders, to take his ultimate leave in a short time of the military character, and to bid a final adieu to the Armies he has so long had the honour to command—he can only again offer in their behalf, his recommendations to their grateful country, and his prayers to the God of armies." (p3/c3)

Historical Background
In April 1783, a committee of the Congress of the Confederation chaired by Alexander Hamilton began planning for the transition to a peacetime military force for the United States. George Washington submitted the army's views on May 2, which included a small regular army, a well-trained and organized militia, a system of arsenals, and a military academy to train the army's artillery and engineer officers.

Later that month, Congress ordered Washington to use men enlisted for fixed terms to staff temporary garrisons, and such soldiers reoccupied New York City on November 25. In June 1784, Washington ordered Henry Knox to discharge all but 500 infantry and 100 artillerymen before winter. In October 1783, the Confederation Congress approved Washington's reductions. On November 2, 1783, Washington issued his Farwell Orders from Rockingham, New Jersey, to the furloughed men, and it was published first in Philadelphia newspapers and then in newspapers throughout the nation.

Washington bid farewell to his remaining officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York City on December 4. He appeared before Congress, then sitting at Annapolis, Maryland, on December 23 and returned his commission as commander-in-chief.

Additional Content
This issue also includes several orders from the adjutant general of New York (p1/c1); a proclamation by British General Guy Carleton and British Admiral Robert Digby against insulting the American flag (p1/c2); a notice from Samuel Loudon that he would return the publication of the New-York Packet newspaper to New York City from its temporary residence in Fish-Kill, New York (p1/c4); and a variety of notices and advertisements.

The New-York Morning Post (1783-1785) was a semi-weekly newspaper published in New York City as a continuation of The New-York Evening Post, begun in 1782. It was published by William Morton and Samuel Horner (d. 1786). It continued until February 1785, when it was continued by The New-York Morning Post, and Daily Advertiser and subsequent variant titles until 1792.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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