George Washington

Today is Washington’s Birthday! Celebrate by reading his papers, preserved in the Founders Online site from the National Archives. Consider this letter he wrote to General William Woodford, urging him not to resign from the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War:

Trifling punctilios [scruples] should have no Influence upon a Mans conduct in such a Cause; and at Such a time as this—If Smaller matters do not yield to greater; If trifles, light as Air, in comparison of what we are contending for, can withdraw, or withold Gentlemen from Service, when our All is at Stake, and a single cast of the Die may turn the Tables, what are we to expect—It is not a common Contest we are Ingaged In—every thing valuable to us depends upon the Success of it—and the success upon a speedy, & vigorous Exertion.

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