Category Archives: Other Speeches

The time is near at hand…

Pardon Me Kunstler

“Gentlemen, You Must Pardon Me” by Mort Kunstler

“The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves.” George Washington

Historical Information

Newburgh, New York, March 15, 1783

One final trial remained in the Winter of 1782-83, Washington’s army was wracked by hardship and unrest as the American economy neared collapse. Money had almost entirely lost its value. Soldiers received news from home that their farms and businesses were failing, and that their wives and children faced the specter of poverty and starvation. Their only hope was that Congress would follow through on its earlier promise to provide veterans and their families with substantial pensions and back pay. But this Congress now refused to do so. The government was out of money, and the states refused to supply the funds necessary to run the country, let alone to support veterans. Enraged, many soldiers and officers spoke of marching on Congress and enforcing their will on the nation at the points of bayonets. A manifesto spread through camp attacking “a country that tramples upon your rights, disdains your cries and insults your distresses,” and called on Washington to spearhead a military rebellion. On the brink of total victory, democracy in America hung by a thread.

This was Washington’s hour. No other man in America possessed the power to step into the gap that yawned between soldiers and civilians and pull the country back together. Had he sought personal power, Washington might easily have joined with his soldiers and taken over the country. Instead, on March 15 he appeared before his officers, assembled in a large wooden building at Newburgh, New York. His bearing was grave but firm. In a stirring speech, he begged the officers to convince their men to desist from talk of rebellion, and to trust him and Congress to do their duty. In doing so, he said, “You will give one more distinguished proof of unexampled patriotism & patient virtue, rising superior to the pressure of the most complicated sufferings; And you will, by the dignity of your Conduct, afford occasion for Posterity to say, when speaking of the glorious example you have exhibited to mankind, ‘had this day been wanting, the World had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.'”

His speech completed, Washington paused. He glanced at his audience, which remained silent, and pulled out a letter – unfortunately rather dull – describing Congress’s troubles in raising money. Before starting to read, Washington paused again, reached in his coat pocket, and pulled out a pair of spectacles. He had never worn them in public. By way of explanation, he gazed at his officers and said, “Gentlemen, you must pardon me. I have grown gray in your service and now find myself growing blind.” It is unlikely that any of the officers heard a word that followed as he read the letter, but their eyes were cloudy with tears. Washington strode out of the room, and the officers voted unanimously to abandon all talk of rebellion and profess total obedience to Congress. With a simple gesture, Washington had saved democracy in America.


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Posted by on February 19, 2018 in Other Speeches


Let us unite…

George Washington Yorktown by NC Wyeth

“George Washington at Yorktown” by N C Wyeth

“Let us unite, therefore, in imploring the Supreme Ruler of nations, to spread his holy protection over these United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our constitution; to enable us at all times to root out internal sedition, and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that prosperity, which his goodness has already conferred, and to verify the anticipation of this government being a safeguard to human rights.” George Washington

Read: Sixth Annual Address by George Washington (November 19, 1794)

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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Other Speeches


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My brave fellows…

“The Attack upon the Chew House” by Howard Pyle

“My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than can be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses and all that you hold dear.” George Washington

Find Out What Happened: The Battle of Germantown

Watch: American Revolution

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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Other Speeches


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Having now finished…

"The American Cincinnatus, 1783" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

“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.” George Washington

Read: Cincinnatus and the Disbanding of Washington’s Army

The Entire Speech: Resignation Speech of George Washington

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Other Speeches


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I consider…

"General George Washington Resigning His Commission" by John Trumbull

“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.” George Washington

Read: American Exceptionalism


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Your country is at stake…

"Nancy Morgan Hart" by Louis S. Glanzman

“My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than can be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty, and to your country, which you probably can never do under any other circumstances.” George Washington, Encouraging his men to re-enlist in the Army, December 31,1776

Read: Nancy Morgan Hart, A Heroine of the Revolution

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Posted by on March 28, 2012 in Other Speeches


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The friends of humanity…

"The Boston Massacre" by Francis Luis Mora

“The friends of humanity will deprecate War, wheresoever it may appear; and we have experience enough of its evils, in this country, to know, that it should not be wantonly or unnecessarily entered upon. I trust, that the good citizens of the United States will show to the world, that they have as much wisdom in preserving peace at this critical juncture, as they have hitherto displayed valor in defending their just rights.” George Washington, Address to the merchants of Philadelphia, May 16, 1793

Read: What Was The Boston Massacre?

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Posted by on March 27, 2012 in Other Speeches


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