“The Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” -- George Washington, in a speech to Hebrew congregation of Newport, RI, 1790, before ratification... Continue Reading →
A student of history can't really have a full picture of George Washington without examining his relentless pursuit of a runaway slave. Even though he was living in Pennsylvania, which required slaves to be freed if residing in the state six months, Washington avoided obeying the law by sending his slaves back to Virginia every... Continue Reading →
Letters purporting to be from Gen. George Washington casting doubt on the ability of Americans to defeat the British, and expressing regret in the declaration of independence, were forgeries. But they haunted Washington for the rest of his career. More.
A popular myth is that George Washington repeatedly turned down an offer to become king of America. In reality this did not happen. Inventing George Washington: America's Founder, in Myth and Memory, by Edward Lengel, punctures myths about Washington and highlights some of the burdens that national leaders, particularly presidents, carry. It's somehow reassuring that even... Continue Reading →
Probably what has deterred me from more curiosity about George Washington is that he is so often portrayed as a plaster saint rather than a real live human with feet of clay. One cannot really appreciate his greatness without first recognizing his perceived faults. History for Dummies has a good summary of Washington's character flaws: "He... Continue Reading →
Dec. 14, 1799: The excruciating final hours of President George Washington