Ohio History Journal

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Secretary Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society.

On June 15, 1775, the Continental Congress passed the en-

actment establishing the Continental army and after fixing the

pay of the commander-in-chief at five hundred dollars a month,

proceeded, by ballot, to elect that officer. Washington was

unanimously chosen and this result was formally announced to

him on the next day, when the newly elected general had taken his

seat. Rising in his place, with the modesty and dignity so

characteristic of him, he "briefly expressed his high and grateful

sense of the honor conferred upon him and his sincere devotion

to the cause;" declaring with sincerity his lack of fitness for the

responsible position, and then added, "as to pay, I beg leave

to assure Congress that, as no pecuniary consideration could

have tempted me to accept this arduous employment, at the

expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to

make any profit out of it. I will keep an exact account of my

expenses. Those I doubt not, they will discharge and that is

all I desire." To that decision Washington faithfully adhered.

Not only did he refuse the salary, which might have been his,

amounting in the aggregate to $48,000, but he further relinquished

also the land bounty, to which as general-in-chief he was entitled,

from Virginia, viz., 23,333.33 acres, which would have been worth

at the time he might have received them, ten dollars an acre,

aggregating therefore $233,333.33.  Thus the United States

received from General Washington his services and gifts of the

value of $281,333, or more than half the estate of which he died,

seized, which estate, including both personal and real property,

he himself estimated not long before his death, at over half a

million dollars.

When the French and Indian War arose the royal colonial

governor of Virginia, in order to encourage enlistments, offered