Anyone who really knows me, understands that I am a passionate patriot. I love America immensely. It offers freedom, hope and opportunity like no other country in the world. As such, I will be posting All About America every Wednesday, because I am proud to be an American! The content will vary and may include photos, facts, commentary, quotes, excerpts of speeches, etc. I will use different sources and make every attempt to site the source. Sometimes I may offer commentary, other times, if I think the content speaks for itself, I may not. I hope you enjoy All About America as much as I do, and that you’ll come back and visit often. And may God Bless America!
This has been taken from my second favorite book of all time, The American Patriot’s Almanac by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb. It is filled with tons of amazing information and history, and anyone who loves history or consider themselves to be patriotic, will love this book. I did a full review of this book and if you would like to see it, simply click here.
In early 1873, the infant United States faced a crisis. The Revolutionary War was practically over, but the army had not been paid. Soldiers who had fought for years were in desperate need of money. Congress had no funds, and rumors spread that it would send the men home without pay.
By mid-March, the threat of violence filled the air. Officers encamped at Newburgh, New York, talked of mutiny against the government. George Washington, realizing the country verged on disaster, sat at his desk on March 14 and wrote an address urging his men to have patience.
The next day, when the general strode into the hall where his officers had gathered, a hush fell over the room. These men had come to love their commander in chief during the war, but now they looked at him with resentful eyes.
Washington began to speak. He urged his men to have patience. He promised to do everything he could to secure their pay. He asked them to consider the safety of their new country, and begged them not to “open the flood gates of civil discord.”
He paused. His men stared uneasily.
Washington produced a letter from a congressman explaining difficulties the government faced. He started to read, stumbled over the words, stopped. Then he pulled from his pocket something the men had never seen him use before – spectacles.
“Gentlemen, you must pardon me,” he said softly. “I have grown gray in the service of my country, and now find myself growing blind.”
The hardened soldiers fought back tears as they suddenly recalled Washington’s own sacrifices. Later, when the general left the room, they voted to give Congress more time. As Thomas Jefferson later observed, “The moderation and virtue of a single character probably prevented this Revolution from being closed, as most others have been, by a subversion of that liberty it was intended to establish.”
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