Monday, February 22, 2016

George Washington

On 22 February 1732 was born to Augustine Washington & his second wife, Mary Ball Washington, a baby they named George, at what is today Colonial Beach in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Born into the gentry, George was raised by his older half-brother, Lawrence. At age 17 he was licensed by the College of William & Mary as a surveyor, an occupation that helped him invest in land in the Shenandoah Valley. Just before the French & Indian War (1754-1758) in 1753 he was early on charged by the governor with delivering a litter to the French asking them to vacate the Ohio Valley.

There he met and befriended Iroquois chiefs and secured their support for England. He distinguished himself in early fighting in Ohio, and in 1755 accompanied General Braddock on the ill-fated Braddock expedition and acquitted himself bravely in that disaster.

After the Battles of Lexington & Concord began the American Revolution in 1775, Washington appeared at congress in a military uniform. Known for his military experience, and patriotism, he was appointed General & Commander-inn-chief. Since the British later issued a royal proclamation labelling the rebels as traitors, Washington was subject to hanging if captured. In those days, patriotism didn't come cheap, nor love of liberty.

A great disciplinarian and organizer, Washington's chief virtue was refusing to admit he was whipped. Estimates vary, but probably less than 25% and sometimes less than 10% of the American population supported independence, depending on the Revolutionary Army's fortunes. A third of the population opposed the Revolution, and another third remained neutral. It's the same old story: the few patriots fought, bled, & died, and only later the non-combatants shouted hip-hip-hooray and waved flags -- after the British pulled out. Washington fought from 1775 to 1781, six long years without giving up, backed by a congress as reliable and helpful as a nest of rattlesnakes. They made his life more miserable by printing millions of unbacked paper money, the Continental Currency.

In the confusion after the War Washington participated in the Constitutional Convention of 1785. He was (I think) disgusted with the excesses of democracy the Revolution had unleashed and favored a strong central government. Most people don't realize that the constitution actually overthrew many of the self-government accomplishments of the Revolution when it overthrew the Articles of Confederation.

Washington couldn't convince Patrick Henry to support the new constitution. Henry remarked, "I smell a rat." He did, sure enough, and opposed entrusting any central government with both the power of the purse (taxation) and the power of the sword (centralized military as opposed to local militia). Washington became the first president under the new constitution, and served two terms. Very wisely, he refused a third term, and died in 1797.

In his cabinet Washington named Thomas Jefferson secretary of state and Alexander Hamilton secretary of the treasury.

From Washington's time forward American political thought can be divided into two parties, the Jeffersonian party of agrarianism and local government, and the Hamiltonian lovers of powerful central government, big business, and central banking. Today only the Hamiltonians are left in power, leaving the rest of us to root hog, or die.

In these degenerate days envious of true heroes, many have tried to debunk Washington's character. All have come away shaking their heads, beaten & unable to gainsay his iron integrity, humanity, courage, perseverance, and sincerity. He was indeed the Father of his Country.


  1. Thank you for posting this!

    As you already know, most folks are unaware that yesterday was George Washington's birthday.

    Also, I had never seen that painting of Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge, so I used Google to find my own copy.

    When I went to the local VA clinic for my scheduled health checkup, I reminded the staff that it was George Washington's birthday, and that it was traditional to celebrate by indulging in cherry pie.

    Last night, at my Family Home Evening group's meeting, I reminded everyone that it was George Washington's birthday, and then I surprised everyone by giving each person an individual sized cherry pie.

    Those pies were on sale at Wal-Mart for eighty-eight cents ($00.88) each, so I bought a couple dozen (24), which was more than enough to distribute.

    For myself, I bought cherry chocolate chip ice cream, a regular sized cherry pie, and some whipped cream to put on top of the pie.

    So, that was MY celebration.

    I remember that when I was kid, oh, so LONG ago, that our school cafeteria always served cherry pie on George Washington's birthday.

    But, today - - - ?

    1. served cherry pie on George Washington's birthday.

      How far we have fallen.