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" For myself, the delay may be compared to a reprieve; for in confidence I can assure you—with the world it would obtain little credit—that my movements to the chair of Government will be accompanied with feelings not unlike those of a culprit who is going to the place of his execution "

From George Washington to Henry Knox | Wednesday, April 01, 1789

Editorial Notes

George Washington was deeply conflicted about taking on the role of president of the United States.  In December 1783, after eight years leading the American army and winning freedom from Great Britain, he had very publicly resigned his military commision, turning it back over to Congress and bidding farewell, as he headed home for a well-deserved retirement. Now, just a few years later, it was clear that he was going to be the first president, leading him to feel like a bit of a hypocrite, and already missing his home and retirement.

George Washington to Henry Knox, Wednesday | April 01, 1789