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[60]

Chapter 44:

America Awaits the king's decision.


August, September, 1775.

the duties of Washington were more various and
Chap. XLIV.} 1775. Aug.
burdensome than ever devolved upon a European commander. In the absence of an organized continental government, and with a most imperfect one in Massachusetts, it fell on him to take all thought for his army, from its general direction to the smallest want of his soldiers. Standing conspicuous before the world, with apparently no limiting authority at his side, he made it his rule, as a military chief, to obey most scrupulously the directions of the civil power, which, from its inchoate character, was feeble and uncertain, prompt to resolve rashly, destitute of system, economy, and consistent perseverance. In his intercourse with the neighboring colonial governments, whose good will was his main resource, he showed the same deference to their laws, the same courtesy to their magistrates; and his zeal to give

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