A Tearful Farewell to His “Family”
On December 4, 1783, George Washington gathered his officers for a final dinner in the Long Room at Fraunces Tavern in New York City. He embraced each of them and said: With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you:
I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy, as your former ones have been glorious and honourable.
Later that month, Congressman James McHenry of Maryland wrote that the most emotional part of Washington's resignation speech occurred when "he spoke of the officers who had composed his family." McHenry observed that Washington's hand shook, "and he was obliged to support the paper with both hands.