Farewell to Arms
On December 4, 1783, Washington took leave of his principal officers at New York City's Fraunces Tavern. He'd enjoyed the sweet taste of victory several times, but had also swallowed a few bitter defeats. The general had also pacified his former officers, many of whom had not been paid what they'd been promised. He implored these impatient patriots to back down from their threats of military takeover. As he relinquished command, he pledged further service to his new country to “the utmost of my abilities.”
Washington Irving, in
Seeking a quiet life, he returned home to his estate at Mount Vernon in Virginia. En route, he stopped at Annapolis, Maryland, where Congress was meeting, to surrender his commission as commander in chief. But in the months and years that followed, others would hold him to his pledge of service.