"It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even his personal services to the defence of it, and consequently that the Citizens of America (with a few legal and official exceptions) from 18 to 50 Years of Age should be borne on the Militia Rolls, provided with uniform Arms, and so far accustomed to the use of them, that the Total strength of the Country might be called forth at a Short Notice on any very interesting Emergency."

Letter to Alexander Hamilton | Friday, May 02, 1783


Editorial Notes

Washington outlined four divisions for the establishment of peace: regular and standing force; well-organized militia; arsenals of military stores; and military academies.  In his Sentiments on a Peace Establishment, he outlined these divisions and offered this justification for building a strong army.

Washington’s Sentiments on a Peace Establishment, 1 May 1783


Buy Tickets What to Do Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save