American Revolution - Highlights - GENERAL WASHINGTON RESIGNS

GENERAL WASHINGTON RESIGNS (Illustration) American History American Presidents Famous Historical Events Law and Politics Social Studies Revolutionary Wars American Revolution

Britain’s forces left New York on November 25, 1783. This hand-colored wood engraving, “Evacuation of New York by the British, November 25, 1783,” was issued at the office of Pictorial War Record, in New York, circa November 30, 1883. Online via the Library of Congress. Click on the image for a better view.


Although General Washington did not keep a personal diary for most of the war, he did maintain one for 1781. His thoughts and observations about Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown are included in his diary. (Follow the links to his handwritten originals.)

Within two months of the Treaty of Paris, Washington resigned his commission as Commander-in-Chief. (Follow the link to his signed resignation letter.) As Washington put it:

...the commander in chief is about to retire from service...

George III was shocked. How could a man with so much power willingly give it up to return to Martha, his wife and Mount Vernon, his Virginia farm?

Washington's resignation was treated differently from the standard Discharge from the Continental Army. Although Congress regretfully accepted his departure, and Washington's officers bid him farewell as he left his command, the General who prayed for wisdom during the toughest moments of the war would not be out of public life for long.

The hero, who had successfully led his young country through a difficult war, would soon have another job.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: May 30, 2017

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