Mr. President (of the Congress):
The great events on which my resignation depended
having at length taken place; I have now the honor of offering my sincere
Congratulations to Congress and of presenting myself before them to surrender
into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence
of retiring from the Service of my Country.
Happy in the confirmation of our Independence
and Sovereignty, and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States
of becoming a respectable Nation, I resign with satisfaction the Appointment
I accepted with diffidence. A diffidence in my abilities to accomplish
so arduous a task, which however was superseded by a confidence in the
rectitude of our Cause, the support of the Supreme Power of the Union,
and the patronage of Heaven.
The Successful termination of the War has verified
the most sanguine expectations, and my gratitude for the interposition
of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my Countrymen, increases
with every review of the momentous Contest.
While I repeat my obligations to the Army in general,
I should do injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge in this place
the peculiar Services and distinguished merits of the Gentlemen who have
been attached to my person during the War. It was impossible the choice
of confidential Officers to compose my family should have been more fortunate.
Permit me Sir, to recommend in particular those, who have continued in
Service to the present moment, as worthy of the favorable notice and patronage
I consider it an indispensable duty to close this
last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our
dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the
superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.
Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire
from the great theatre of Action; and bidding an Affectionate farewell
to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer
my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.
December 23, 1783