The Stairwell Room

Washington Appointed Commander in Chief

Artist: Nathaniel Currier (1813–1888) & James Ives (1824–1895), c.1876
Medium: Lithograph
Library of Congress

Washington Appointed Commander in Chief

“A high Honor”A Wise Choice

In June 1775, while Congress met in Philadelphia, there was an urgent question of who would lead the army against the British forces threatening Boston. George Washington's military experience in the French and Indian War and his influence as a Virginia delegate, made him appealing as someone who could unite the colonies. Thomas Johnson, Jr. of Maryland nominated Washington, who was elected unanimously. In accepting his military command, Washington said: "I am truly sensible of the high Honor done me in this Appointment."

Congress’s choice of Washington proved to be a wise one. Eight years later, he resigned his commission to Congress, having led the American forces to victory and independence from Britain.





KEy Images on the
George WasHINGTON Wall

Cornwallis Sues for Cessation of Hostilitie
Washington Entering New York
Washington's Farewell to his Officers
Washington Crossing the Delaware
Washington Monument
Washington Resigning His Commission
Washington receiving French generals at Mt. Vernon

Key Documents on the Wall

Washington's Resignation Speech

Exhibits in the Stairwell Room

John Shaw # 1 Des