The Continental Congress commissioned George Washington as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army on June 19, 1775. Washington was selected over other candidates such as John Hancock based on his previous military experience and the hope that a leader from Virginia could help unite the colonies. Washington left for Massachusetts within days of receiving his commission and assumed command of the Continental Army in Cambridge on July 3, 1775. After eight years of war, Washington resigned his commission as Commander in Chief on December 23, 1783.
The Journals of the Continental Congress reports that George Washington was unanimously selected as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army on June 15, 1775. In a speech given to the Continental Congress on June 16, Washington accepted the commission and requested that he not receive a salary for his service, only that his expenses be paid at the conclusion of the war. On June 17, the Continental Congress drafted Washington’s commission as commander in chief.