TEN GREAT THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT GEORGE WASHINGTON:
By Tri-corner Tom Moor
1) A brilliant man, he was nonetheless homeschooled and self-taught,
unlike most other founding fathers, who had college educations.
2) At the age of 18 he surveyed the land around the 215 foot Natural Bridge archway,
in Virginia, climbed up the inside wall of the arch and carved his initials 23 feet
above the river, nice and big, “GW” and you can still see them today. It is also said that
he threw a stone up and over the 215 foot arch, which now supports US Highway 11.
3) Was a fearless warrior. In The French and Indian War had two horses shot out from under him,
four bullet holes in his jacket and one through his hat. An Indian who observed the event
remarked that his life must be guided by a “Great Spirit.”
4) Elected General of The Continental Army and swore them in on Cambridge Common, in
Massachusetts, on July 3, 1775. Exactly one year and one day before Independence was
5) Had his Cambridge headquarters at a large mansion on Tory Row, a line of large homes
on Brattle Street formerly occupied by wealthy loyalists who began to leave after
Lexington and Concord. It was there that he celebrated his 17th wedding anniversary
with his wife, Martha. Several generations later, the famous poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
(who wrote The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere), lived in that same house. And the poet
always called it, “The General’s House.”
6) Our first president, called, “First in war, First in Peace, First in the hearts of his countrymen,” and
this was very true. He was the unanimous choice to be our first President, and for both terms
received every single vote of the electoral college. No other president has done this even once.
7) Was a great supporter, and chief creator of our More Perfect Union (that is the one-ness of states in one nation,
and of our people, to think of ourselves, first and foremost, as Americans (as opposed to being Virginians or New Yorkers, etc). To that effect he travelled to every single state in the Union during his presidency. His comments are worth
noting today, in our time of divisive identity politics. In his farewell address, he said,
“The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts.
For this you have every inducement of sympathy and interest. Citizens, by birth or choice, of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference, you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have in a common cause fought and triumphed together; the independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels, and joint efforts of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
But these considerations, however powerfully they address themselves to your sensibility, are greatly outweighed by those which apply more immediately to your interest. Here every portion of our country finds the most commanding motives for carefully guarding and preserving the union of the whole.”
8. Of course the term, “In order to form a more perfect Union,” comes from the Preamble to our constitution,
written by Gouvernour Morris. During the constitutional convention, Alexander Hamilton and a few other
patriots bet Morris that he would not go up and slap George Washington on the back and say, “So very good
to see you well, General.” Morris did this, and Washington stood up and gave him such a withering look that
Morris said he should rather die than try that again…..
9. The nations greatest horseman, fearless Washington would often ride ahead of the lines to scout the British positions.
Also perhaps the nations best dancer, the General had the ladies lined up to dance with him at every formal ball.
10. A man of great faith. In his daily morning prayer he asked God to, “Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of thy son, Jesus Christ, that “living in Thy fear and dying in Thy favor , I may in the appointed time attain the resurrection
of the just unto eternal life.”