Acceptence of Command of the Continental Army

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June 16, 1775
by George Washington

Though I am truly sensible by the high honor done me in this appointment, yet I feel great distress from a consciousness that my abilities and my military experience may not be equal to the extensive and important trust: however, as the Congress desire it, I will enter into the momentous duty and exert every power I possess in their service, and for support of the glorious cause: and I beg that they will accept my cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation. But lest should some unlucky event happen unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it be remembered by every gentleman in the room that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity, I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with. As to pay, I beg leave to assure 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. These, I doubt not, they will discharge, and that is all I desire.