WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL TO HIS OFFICERS,
FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
To Captain Robert Stewart and Gentlemen Officers of the Virginia Regiment.
MY DEAR GENTLEMEN.
If I had words that could express the deep sense I entertain of your most obliging & affectionate address to me, I should endeavour to shew you that gratitude is not the smallest engredient of a character you have been pleased to celebrate; rather, give me leave to add, as the effect of your partiality & politeness, than of my deserving.
That I have for some years (under uncommon difficulties, which few were thoroughly acquainted with) been able to conduct myself so much to your satisfaction, affords the greatest pleasure I am capable of feeling; as I almost despared of attaining that end — so hard a matter is it to please, when one is acting under disagreeable restraintsl But your having, nevertheless, so fully, so affectionately & so publicly declared your approbation of my conduct during my command of the Virginia Troops, I must esteem an honor that will constitute the greatest happiness of my life, and afford in my latest hours the most pleasing reflections. — I had nothing to boast, but a steady honesty — this I made the invariable rule of my actions; and I find my reward in it.
I am bound, Gentlemen, in honor, by inclination & by every affectionate tye to promote the reputation & interest of a Corps I was once a member of; though the Fates have disjoined me from it now, I beseech you to command, with equal confidence & a greater degree of freedom than ever, my best services. Your Address is in the hands of the Governor, and will be presented by him to the Council. I hope (but cannot ascertain it) that matters may be settled agreeable to your wishes. On me, depend for my best endeavours to accomplish this end.