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About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer. Washington's Farewell Address issued as a public letter in was one of the most influential statements of American political values. While he declined suggested versions [42] that would have included statements that there could be no morality without religion, he called morality "a necessary spring of popular government". He said, "Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

Washington's public political address warned against foreign influence in domestic affairs and American meddling in European affairs. He warned against bitter partisanship in domestic politics and called for men to move beyond partisanship and serve the common good. He warned against 'permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world' " [44] , saying the United States must concentrate primarily on American interests. He counseled friendship and commerce with all nations, but warned against involvement in European wars and entering into long-term "entangling" alliances.

The address quickly set American values regarding religion and foreign affairs. After retiring from the presidency in March , Washington returned to Mount Vernon with a profound sense of relief. He devoted much time to farming. On July 4, , Washington was commissioned by President John Adams to be Lieutenant General and Commander-in-chief of the armies raised or to be raised for service in a prospective war with France. He served as the senior officer of the United States Army between July 13, and December 14, He participated in the planning for a Provisional Army to meet any emergency that might arise, but did not take the field.

On December 12, , Washington spent several hours inspecting his farms on horseback, in snow and later hail and freezing rain. He sat down to dine that evening without changing his wet clothes. The next morning, he awoke with a bad cold, fever, and a throat infection called quinsy that turned into acute laryngitis and pneumonia. Washington died on the evening of December 14, , at his home aged 67, while attended by Dr.

James Craik , one of his closest friends, Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown , Dr. Elisha C. Dick , and Tobias Lear V , Washington's personal secretary. Lear would record the account in his journal, writing that Washington's last words were " 'Tis well. Modern doctors believe that Washington died largely because of his treatment, which included calomel and bloodletting , resulting in a combination of shock from the loss of five pints of blood, as well as asphyxia and dehydration. To protect their privacy, Martha Washington burned the correspondence between her husband and herself following his death.

Only three letters between the couple have survived. Throughout the world men and women were saddened by Washington's death.

American Revolutionary War

Napoleon ordered ten days of mourning throughout France and in the United States thousands wore mourning clothes for months. During the United States Bicentennial year, George Washington was posthumously appointed to the grade of General of the Armies of The United States by the congressional joint resolution Public Law of January 19, , approved by President Gerald Ford on October 11, , and formalized in Department of the Army Order Number of March 13, with an effective appointment date of July 4, Chief Justice.

Associate Justice. Lee, famously eulogized Washington as follows:. Lee's words set the standard by which Washington's overwhelming reputation was impressed upon the American memory. Washington set many precedents for the national government and the presidency in particular. As early as , Washington was lauded as the " Father of His Country.

Today, Washington's face and image are often used as national symbols of the United States, along with the icons such as the flag and great seal. Perhaps the most prominent commemoration of his legacy is the use of his image on the one-dollar bill and the quarter-dollar coin. The Washington Monument , one of the most well-known American landmarks, was built in his honor.

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The George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, constructed entirely with voluntary contributions from members of the Masonic Fraternity, was also built in his honor. Many things have been named in honor of Washington. Washington's name became that of the nation's capital, Washington, D. The State of Washington is the only state to be named after an American Maryland , Virginia , the Carolinas , and Georgia are all named in honor of British monarchs. Countless American cities and towns feature a Washington Street among their thoroughfares.

The Confederate Seal prominently featured George Washington on horseback, in the same position as a statue of him in Richmond, Virginia. On the death of his father in , the year-old inherited 10 slaves. At the time of his marriage to Martha Custis in , he personally owned at least 36 and the widow's third of her first husband's estate brought at least 85 "dower slaves" to Mount Vernon. Using his wife's great wealth he bought land, tripling the size of the plantation, and additional slaves to farm it. By he paid taxes on slaves this does not include the "dowers". The last record of a slave purchase by him was in , although he later received some slaves in repayment of debts.

Before the American Revolution, Washington expressed no moral reservations about slavery, but in , Washington wrote to Robert Morris that "there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery. Washington could not legally sell the "dower slaves", however, and because these slaves had long intermarried with his own slaves, he could not sell his slaves without breaking up families.

Pennsylvania had begun an abolition of slavery in , and prohibited non-residents from holding slaves in the state longer than six months. If held beyond that period, the state's Gradual Abolition Law [55] gave those slaves the power to free themselves. Washington argued privately that his presence in Pennsylvania was solely a consequence of Philadelphia's being the temporary seat of the federal government, and that the state law should not apply to him.

On the advice of his attorney general, Edmund Randolph , he systematically rotated the President's House slaves in and out of the state to prevent their establishing a six-month continuous residency. This rotation was itself a violation of the Pennsylvania law, but the President's actions were not challenged. The Fugitive Slave Act of [56] established the legal mechanism by which a slaveholder could recover his property, a right guaranteed by the Fugitive Slave Clause of the U.

Constitution Article IV, Section 2. Passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed into law by Washington, the Act made assisting an escaped slave a federal crime, overruled all state and local laws giving escaped slaves sanctuary, and allowed slavecatchers into every U. Washington was the only prominent, slaveholding Founding Father who succeeded in emancipating his slaves. His actions were influenced by his close relationship with Marquis de La Fayette. He did not free his slaves in his lifetime, however, but included a provision in his will to free his slaves upon the death of his wife.


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Following her death in , the dower slaves were inherited by her grandchildren. It has been argued that Washington did not speak out publicly against slavery, because he did not wish to create a split in the new republic, with an issue that was sensitive and divisive. The Senate vote was not recorded, but the House passed it overwhelmingly, 47 to 8.

Washington was baptized into the Church of England. Throughout his life, he spoke of the value of righteousness, and of seeking and offering thanks for the "blessings of Heaven. In a letter to George Mason in , Washington wrote that he was not among those alarmed by a bill "making people pay towards the support of that [religion] which they profess," but felt that it was "impolitic" to pass such a measure, and wished it had never been proposed, believing that it would disturb public tranquility.

His adopted daughter, Nelly Custis Lewis, stated: "I have heard her [Nelly's mother, Eleanor Calvert Custis, who resided in Mount Vernon for two years] say that General Washington always received the sacrament with my grandmother [Martha Washington] before the revolution. He was an early supporter of religious toleration and freedom of religion. In , he ordered that his troops not show anti-Catholic sentiments by burning the pope in effigy on Guy Fawkes Night.

When hiring workmen for Mount Vernon, he wrote to his agent, "If they be good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa, or Europe; they may be Mohammedans , Jews, or Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists. This was a relief to the Jewish community of the United States, since the Jews had been either expelled or discriminated against in many European countries. The United States Bill of Rights was in the process of being ratified at the time.

In addition to Martha's biological family noted above, George Washington had a close relationship with his nephew and heir Bushrod Washington , son of George's younger brother John Augustine Washington. As a young man, Washington had red hair. Washington did not wear a wig; instead he powdered his hair, [72] as represented in several portraits, including the well-known unfinished Gilbert Stuart depiction.

Washington suffered from problems with his teeth throughout his life. He lost his first tooth when he was twenty-two and had only one left by the time he became President. Modern historians suggest the mercury oxide which he was given to treat illnesses such as smallpox and malaria probably contributed to the loss. The set made when he became President was carved from hippopotamus and elephant ivory, held together with gold springs.

One of the most enduring myths about George Washington involves his chopping down his father's cherry tree and, when asked about it, using the famous line "I cannot tell a lie, I did it with my little hatchet. Template:Spoken Wikipedia-2 Template:Sisterlinks. Sign In Don't have an account? Start a Wiki. Contents [ show ]. File:Washington 3. Buchanan, John. George Washington. Times, A Guide to All Things Washington. ISBN Grizzard is a leading scholar of Washington.

Hirschfeld, Fritz. University of Missouri Press, Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency: George Washington. Acclaimed interpretation of Washington's career. Elkins, Stanley M. The Age of Federalism. Ferling, John E. Biography from a leading scholar. Fischer, David Hackett. Washington's Crossing.

Flexner, James Thomas.

Washington: The Indispensable Man. ISBN reissue. Single-volume condensation of Flexner's popular four-volume biography. Freeman, Douglas S. George Washington: A Biography. The standard scholarly biography, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. George Washington: A Biographical Companion. Comprehensive encyclopedia by leading scholar Grizzard, Frank E.

Higginbotham, Don, ed.

American Intervention and World Politics: War and Diplomacy in 1917 - David Stevenson

George Washington Reconsidered. University Press of Virginia, George Washington: Uniting a Nation. Hofstra, Warren R. George Washington and the Virginia Backcountry. Madison House, Essays on Washington's formative years. Lengel, Edward G. New York: Random House, Lodge, Henry Cabot. George Washington, 2 vols. The Presidency of George Washington. Intellectual history showing Washington as exemplar of republicanism.

Spalding, Matthew. Stritof, Sheri and Bob. However, he was born when Britain and her colonies still used the Julian calendar, so contemporary records record his birth as February 11, The provisions of the Calendar New Style Act , implemented in , altered the official British dating method to the Gregorian calendar with the start of the year on January 1. George Washington: The Founding Father. ISBN X. Retrieved on October 6, Safire, William New York: W. CMH Pub 70— ISBN 0—16——0. Retrieved on American Memory.

Library of Congress. Retrieved on May 17, Digitized by Google. January 29, Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry. Retrieved on August 21, Amory, M. San Francisco Chronicle. Accessed May 7, Library of Congress Accessed April 15, Pederson, Mark J. Rozell, Ethan M. Fishman, eds.

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Gregg II and Matthew Spalding, eds. George Washington and the American Political Tradition. Religion and the Founding of the American Republic. Library of Congress Exhibition. Field Enterprises Educational Corporation. LOC Gordon Wood concludes that the greatest act in his life was his resignation as commander of the armies—an act that stunned aristocratic Europe.

The earliest known image in which Washington is identified as such is on the cover of the circa Pennsylvania German almanac Lancaster: Gedruckt bey Francis Bailey.