Maryland to Buy George Washington's Army Resignation Letter

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Maryland will spend $600,000 to help buy George Washington's handwritten resignation from the Continental Army that he read to the Continental Congress, then meeting in Annapolis.

State archivists said in February that they acquired the two-page letter to put in the city's State House, where the Revolutionary War hero resigned his commission Dec. 23, 1783. On Wednesday, the state Board of Public Works approved that purchase, along with $150,000 for an accompanying letter written by one of Washington's aides describing the event.

The letter is considered a turning point in America's formation because it established that the military should be subservient to civil authority. Washington said: "Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theatre of Action."

"This is a momentous occasion for the state," state archivist Edward Papenfuse said.

[The state is paying $750,000, half the cost. Private donors are putting up the rest.]

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