. Did you know that George Washington had over one hundred headquarters throughout the American Revolution? If you did, perhaps you knew that one of them was right here at this Hasbrouck House.. In fact, the sixteen and a half months he spent here from April of 1782 to August of 1783 marked his longest stay at any headquarters.. This home is where he created the badge of military merit, announced the cessation of hostilities, wrote his circular letter to the states, rejected the idea of an American monarchy and put down the mutiny in the making now known as the Newburgh Conspiracy.. This home is also where he had his 51st birthday. On February 22 1783. Washington didn’t have to spend this birthday alone.. Apart from his military family, Martha Washington traveled to every winter headquarters.. She traveled all the way from Mount Vernon Virginia in November of 1782. Just to be here in Newburgh with her husband., Martha could only comfort, George, so much.. The war was winding down, but he still had plenty of work to do and not much help to do. It. George only had two aides de camp with him at the start of 1783, David Humphreys and Benjamin Walker.. The aides helped write letters and there were plenty to write.. In fact, Washington wrote to Hodijah Baylies an aide on leave on January, 8th pleading with the man to come back and help out.. He wrote that Baylies’ absence put an unfair amount of work on Walker, Humphreys and himself.
. Washington was homesick on top of being overworked.. On February 5th, he wrote a letter to General, William Heath calling these very mountains, dreary and rugged.. He hoped this would be his last winter away from home.. We don’t know if Washington celebrated his birthday in 1783.. There was a celebration a few weeks earlier. It was the fifth anniversary of the alliance between France and America.. Washington ordered some rum for all of his men, as well as the firing of a celebratory rifle salute on both sides of the Hudson River.. He even pardoned military prisoners as part of the occasion. Overall, the day was a blip of joy in a very tense time.. The Continental Army had major issues with Congress. Congress owed officers back pay, but didn’t have the funds.. They had promised officers pensions after the war ended, but some men believed they would never see that money. Washington, wasn’t blind to this conflict.. He suggested that religious services could improve everyone’s mood., The very first religious service at the New Windsor cantonement. The Continental Army’s final camp took place on February 15th., We don’t know if Washington went either way. Tensions were coming to a head.. An anonymous letter circulated among officers on March 10th.. It expressed concerns that Congress would have even less reason to pay them once the war was over.. It called for a meeting and proposed threatening Congress with two options.. The first was to disband before the war ends, move out to the wilderness and leave America undefended.
. The second option was to stick together after the war ends and violently move on Congress. Washington caught word of this letter and knew he had to act.. He rescheduled the meeting to take place four days later.. He showed up and gave a speech denouncing the plans and their author, but saw that his words had no effect on the men in attendance.. He pulled out a letter from his congressman Joseph Jones, that confirmed Congress would pay the men what it owed them., But Washington, couldn’t read Jones’ small handwriting.. Remember he had turned 51 just less than a month. Ago. Aging took its toll on his eyesight.. In fact, Washington had recently received a new pair of reading glasses from a silversmith named David Rittenhouse., But Washington never wore these glasses in public and for good reason.. He stumbled through the first paragraph of Jones’ letter before deciding he needed to put his glasses on. When he did. He said something to the effect of quotGentlemen. You must forgive me.. Not only has my hair grown gray in service to my country, but now I find my eyes growing blind, as well. Eyewitnesses claimed that several men started crying not long after Washington said this.. You might be wondering why putting on a pair of glasses would have such an impact. Well to wear glasses in the eighteenth century was a sign that you were growing old and decrepit.. Washington was showing his men that he’d also suffered from this war.
. The men held a vote at the end of the meeting and almost unanimously decided to peacefully wait for their pay.. This mutiny in the making is now known as the Newburgh Conspiracy. Washington fully fell into his role as an administrator here in Newburgh.. He showed a strategic, pragmatic mind that calmed his men and kept the Continental Army. Together. Washington had a stressful 51st birthday here in Newburgh, but he also had great success.