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final result to that kind Providence who has heretofore, and so often, signally favored the people of these United States.

THINKING in this manner, and feeling how incumbent it is upon every person of every description, to contribute at all times to his country's welfare, and especially in a moment like the present, when every thing we hold dear and sacred is so seriously threatened; I have finally determined to accept the commission of commander in chief of the armies of the United States; with the reserve only, that I shall not be called into the field until the army is in a situation to require my presence, or it becomes indispensible by the urgency of circumstances.

In making this reservation, I beg it to be understood, that I do not mean to withhold any assistance to arrange and organize the army, which you may think I can afford. I take the liberty also to mention, that I must decline having my acceptance considered as drawing after it any immediate charge upon the public; or that I can receive any emoluments annexed to the appointment, before entering into a situation to incur expence.

THE secretary of war being anxious to return to the seat of government, I have detained him no longer than was necessary to a full communication upon the several points he had in charge.

I have the honor to be, &c. &c.




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(No. V.)



I, GEORGE DENE ALE, clerk of Fairfax county court, do certify, That the subsequent copy of the last will and testament of GEORGE WASHINGTON, deceased, late president of the United States of America, with the schedule annexed, is a true copy from the original recorded in my office.

In testimony whereof, I have bereunto set my hand this 23d day of January, 1800.




GEORGE WASHINGTON, of Mount Vernon, a citizen of the United States, and lately president of the same, Do make, ordain and declare this instrument, which is written with my own hand, and every page thereof subscribed with my name to be my LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT, revoking all others.


Imprimus. All my debts, of which there are but few, and none of magnitude, are to be punctually and speedily paid; and the legacies herein after bequeathed, are to be discharged as soon as circumstances will permit, and in the manner directed.

Item. To my dearly beloved wife, Martha Washington, I give and bequeath the use, profit and benefit of my whole estate,

* In the original manuscript, GEORGE WASHINGTON's name is written at the bottom of every page.

real and personal, for the term of her natural life, except such parts thereof as are specially disposed of hereafter. My improved lot in the town of Alexandria, situated on Pitt and Cameron streets, I give to her and her heirs for ever; as I also do my houshold and kitchen furniture of every sort and kind, with the liquors and groceries which may be on hand at the time of my decease, to be used and disposed of as she may think proper.

Item. Upon the decease of my wife, it is my will and desire, that all the slaves which I hold in my own right, shall receive their freedom. To emancipate them during her life, would, though earnestly wished by me, be attended with such insuperable difficulties on account of their intermixture by marriages with the dower negroes, as to excite the most painful sensations, if not disagreeable consequences to the latter, while both descriptions are in the occupancy of the same proprietor, it not being in my power, under the tenure by which the dower negroes are held, to manumit them. And whereas among those who will receive freedom according to this devise, there may be some who, from old age or bodily infirmities, and others who, on account of their infancy, will be unable to support themselves, it is my will and desire, that all who come under the first and second description, shall be comfortably clothed and fed by my heirs while they live; and that such of the latter description as have no parents living, or, if living, are unable or unwilling to provide for them, shall be bound by the court until they shall arrive at the age of 25 years; and in cases where no record can be produced, whereby their ages can be ascertained, the judgment of the court, upon its own view of the subject, shall be adequate and final. The negroes thus bound, are (by their masters or mistresses) to be taught to read and write, and be brought up to some useful occupation, agreeably to the laws of the cominonwealth of Virginia providing for the support of orphan and other poor children. And I do hereby expressly forbid the sale or transportation out of the said commonwealth, of any slave I may die possessed of under any pretence whatsoever. And I do moreover most pointedly and most solemnly enjoin it upon my executors hereafter named, or the survivors

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