The Stairwell Room

Washington's Farewell to his Officers

Artist: Alonzo Chappel (1828-1887), 1865
Medium: Oil on canvas
Chicago History Museum

James Madison

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.






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