|Washington Rejects Masonry|
|What Washington Was About!|
|Washington Against Illuminati!|
|Washington Against Masonry!|
|Portrait of George Washington: In Search of the Truth|
|Slaves Held Washington Died Baptized Catholic|
|George Washington Kept Picture Of Blessed Virgin|
|George Washington and Slavery|
|Chronology of Slavery at Mount Vernon|
|Slavery at Mount Vernon|
|Washington and Slavery|
|Slave Burial Ground at Mount Vernon|
|Slave Memorials at Burial Site|
|George Washington's Character|
|Night Of Decision|
|From Article "Spiritual Heritage"|
|George Washington's Vision|
|The Man Of God|
|Washington's Own Words|
|God's Protection Of Washington During Revolutionary War|
|Washington, DC,During War Of 1812|
|The Vision of General George McClellan|
|Two Stories of the Ghost at Gettysburg|
|The Ghost of Gettysburg|
|The Phantom Horseman of Little Round Top|
|George Washington's Seventeen Rules of Life|
|Washington's Rules of Conduct|
|George Washington's Advice|
|#1 Rely on God|
|#3 Resist Political Pressures|
|#4 Formula For Peace|
|#5 Preserve The Constitution|
|#6 Liberty Must Include Responsibility|
|#7 Avoid Foreign Influence|
|#8 Don't Expect Favors From Nations|
|#10 Thanksgiving To God|
|Washington's First Inaugural Address|
|Washington's Farewell Address 1796|
|What Washington Really Looked Like|
|The Ghost From Valley Forge|
"George Washington was born in the State of Virginia, in the year 1732. He died at Mount Vernon, Virginia, on December 14, 1799, on the eve of the octave of the Immaculate Conception. His mother's name was Mary.
"George Washington was noticeably unhappy in the heretical beliefs in which he was brought up. The Masons who were in his day starting to control Europe, tried hard to involve Washington. They invited him to enlist in their ranks. He consented and became a Mason. When he fully discovered their purposes, he avoided them. On September 25, 1798, speaking of the Masonic lodges, he wrote: 'The fact is, I presided over none, nor have I been in one more than once or twice within the last thirty years.'
"George Washington had a devotion and repeatedly uttered reverence for the Holy Name of Jesus. He went out of his way, in the year 1776, to issue to the Colonial troops a warning and a threat of what would happen to them-both from God and from him-if they dared to violate in their conversation the Holy Name of Jesus. He said: 'The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish, and wicked practice, of profane cursing and swearing (a Vice heretofore little known in an American Army) is growing into fashion; he hopes the officers will, by example, as well as influence, endeavour to check it, and that both they, and the men will reflect, that we can have little hopes of the blessing of Heaven on our Arms, if we insult it by our impiety, and folly; added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense, and character, detests and despises it.'
"George Washington always said grace before meals, blessing himself, when he did so, with the Sign of the Cross.
"George Washington, first President of the United States, in the later years of his life kept on the wall of his banquet room a beautiful picture of Mary, the Mother of God. Many people of different faiths who dined with Washington noticed this picture, and remarked about it with quiet and troubled voices when they left. Washington would never take it down. It is still somewhere in his home in Mount Vernon, where he spent the last few years of his life.
"And then came the time for Washington to die. It was a sudden death. Not long before he breathed his last, he sent for a Catholic priest, indeed, a Jesuit, who stood at his bedside and fulfilled the purpose for which he was called. The simple Jesuit priests who used to live in Lower Maryland in days gone by well knew this fact."
|The real foundations of the plot of the takeover of the United States were laid during the period of our Civil War. Not that Weishaupt and the earlier masterminds had ever overlooked the new world, as I have previously indicated Weishaupt had his agents planted over here as far back as the Revolutionary War, but George Washington was more than a match for them.|
|"...George Washington said he had only been to the masonic lodge once or twice in 30 years, called masonry "child's play", and later did not want to be associated with the masons..."|
The more a person learns, the more one realizes there is always more to a story than meets the eye and begins to see what was not seen before. It is a process driven by a hunger and desire to know the truth for oneself, that enables the student to read between the lines and get past preconceived notions, misinformation, or propaganda to whatever remnants of truth that may be found. This is our quest, to ask questions and seek truthful answers, not based on or sifted through the perceptions and biases of another. Each and every individual has a responsiblity to weigh available information that goes above and beyond the shallow and superficial, to determine for themselves and their own conscience what is true or a lie, right or wrong, and good or bad. Going on the premise that many facts of history have been altered and obscured, an inquisitive mind naturally asks who, what, why, where, and when in order to obtain the truth of a matter. It is in the spirit of truth and search for it, that inspired the effort to find answers in this portrayal of the Father of our Country.
This essay is not intended to be a history lesson, but rather a verbal illustration reflecting, highlighting, and expressing particular aspects of special interest. Since there is so much information to digest on any given subject, in varying degrees of complexity, it is necessary to cut to the chase and get to the point. Many of the founding fathers believed the real American Revolution was not as much about refusing to pay unjust taxes, as it was the revolution of ideas which preceded and caused the war. Together, the thirteen colonies set out to create something new under the sun and an unparalleled event, a government which derived its just authority from the consent of the governed, yet it cannot be denied there was a strong Masonic influence undermining for control.
Many stories circulate about the Masonic activities of George Washington and so it is on that basis this adventure started. It began with a question that led to other questions. For example, what were the Masonic ties to George Washington, who attended him when he was on his deathbed, and why was he excessively bled in his weakened condition. The vile practice of bleeding was a subject of much criticism even in those days and Mrs. Washington was not at all sure it was the right thing to do for his ailment. Historians agree that Washington was bled first on four occasions by Albin Rawlins. Then enters Dr. James Craik, an old friend and personal physician of General Washington diagnosing quinsy (tonsil related), who did more bleedings at midmorning, early afternoon, and a final bleeding at about 3:30 p.m., at which time five pints of life giving fluid were taken in last application of the lancet (pointed, two-edged surgical instrument). There were two other physicians present as well, Dr. Gustavus Brown and Dr. Elisha Dick, a younger doctor who diagnosed violent inflammation of the membranes of the throat and seriously doubted the wisdom of such treatment, proposing instead a tracheotomy that was overruled by Craik and Brown, who were both educated at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Scottish rites anyone? Craik also happened to reside in Alexandria, Virginia. Hmmm....
Some in the medical profession say he probably died of asphyxia, a condition resulting from inflammation of the epiglottis, shock from loss of blood, and dehydration. There can be little doubt that excessive bleeding reduced him to a low state and very much aggravated his disease. George Washington bore his suffering with fortitude and resignation to Divine Will. With surprising self-possession he prepared to die, composing his form without a sigh, groan, or pangs of struggle, he appeared tranquil and said to Craik, "I am dying, sir, but am not afraid to die", as his noble spirit took flight on December 14, 1799. Shortly after his death, in January of 1800, Dr. Craik wrote to Dr. Brown saying he had met with Dr. Elisha Dick again concerning the situation of their illustrious friend General Washington. Craik acknowledges Elisha's clear reasoning and evident knowledge of the cause of certain symptons after examining the General, assuring them (James Craik and Gustavus Brown) it was not really quinsy as they (Craik and Brown) had supposed but a violent inflammation of the membranes of the throat and he was averse to bleeding. Dr. Craik goes on to admit he thought if he (Craik) and Brown had acted accordingly to Elisha's suggestion, their good friend might still be alive. But, in spite of that he excuses and downplays their serious mistake by adding the disclaimer they were governed by the best light they had and because they thought they were right, they were justified. Excuse me, but we have found out otherwise! Not only were they advised, they were warned, and they still decided against a better and more suitable option, that could have saved the life of their "dear friend"! Of course this Dr. Craik was awarded honorary status to this day. Something is starting to smell very rotten and beginning to look and sound mighty suspicious if you ask me. Do the words betrayal and assassination ring a bell?
That brings us to the next logical question, why would someone want the General out of the way and what did he do to displease them to the extent of taking such drastic measures? Especially since he was buried at Mt. Vernon with Masonic rites conducted by Alexandria Lodge #22. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is just a mile from the Potomac in Alexandria, overlooking the nation's capitol and standing 333 ft. on historic Shooters Hill. Washington was Charter Master of the Alexandria Lodge while he served as President of the United States. The Washington Family Crest is displayed over the stage of the auditorium. Hattie Elizabeth Burdette was commissioned to paint General Washington in the Masonic Regalia he wore as acting Grand Master, for the laying of the cornerstone of the U.S. Capital in 1793. He owned at least two Masonic aprons, three Masonic constitutions, a Masonic jewel, wrote letters to various Masonic Lodges, and attended Masonic ceremonies and celebrations. Nevertheless, George Washington was an individual of high integrity with profound respect for religious principles. Were there problems of differing viewpoints and conflicting belief systems? You bet!
Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternity that sought to transform the social landscape of the early Republic. Masonry first appeared in the colonies in the 1730's and by the eve of the American Revolution, there were dozens up and down the continent that exploded in numbers in the following decades, expanding even to small communities on the frontier while Massachusetts became the home of 21 Lodges by 1779. Freemasons like to take all the credit for what George Washington stood for, when his own words clarified his position as he solemnly warned of impending dangers, probable snares of greed and corruption, and lust for power in his Inaugural Speech (1789) and Farewell Address (1796). Freemasons secretly and underhandedly strived to create a new hierarchical order, affording members an extended support network, promoting itself as "enlightened" while characterizing Christian belief as sectarian bigotry, and was a surrogate religion for an Enlightenment suspicious of traditional Christianity. While American Freemasons evolved to survive and thrive, its roots in exclusionary ruling class unionism with special privileges, made it a home for those working against the real principles of the American Revolution. Dishonest revolutionary mythology was a smokescreen used to hide the memberships self-serving objectives and to pander to the brotherhood's delusions of greatness. Freemasonry plays fast and loose with the truth.
The Proceedings of the U.S. Anti-Masonic Convention, held in Philadelphia, Sept. 11, 1830, very eloquently lays out an irrefutable case in no uncertain terms. Let it be noted that George Washington called Freemasonry "Child's Play" in 1780 and subsequently announced to a committee of right worshipfuls of King David's Lodge that, "It was not agreeable to him to be addressed as a Mason." When Washington retired to private life, Freemasons Andrew Jackson and Edward Livingston were two of three men to vote against Congressional resolutions giving thanks to Washington, who is also quoted in 1798 as saying, "It was not my intention to doubt that the doctrine of the Illuminati and principles of Jacobism had spread to the U.S., no one is more satisfied of this fact than I am." In a letter to the President of the Continental Congress in 1787, George Washington warned against delegating extensive trust to one body of men, hence the necessity for the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. He was also in favor of the abolition of slavery and freed his own.
To get a clearer image of what kind of man George Washington was, I have closely paraphrased sections of his two most important speeches. Herein, I believe, lies part of the answer to why he may have been eliminated. In his first Inaugural Address he had the moral conviction and personal courage to state for the record, some very interesting and important words of wisdom. He said, "Nor can the members of Congress exempt themselves from the consequences of any unjust and tyrannical acts which they may impose on others. No government before introduced among mankind ever contained so many checks and restraints to prevent it from degenerating into any species of oppression. The blessed Religion revealed in the Word of God will remain an eternal and awful monument to prove the best Institutions may be abused by human depravity and in some instances be made subservient to the vilest purposes. Should hereafter those who are entrusted with management of this government, incited by the lust of power overleap the known barriers of this Constitution and violate the inalienable rights of humanity, it will only serve to show that no amount of words however provident and sacred, can be formed to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on one side aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other. The People of this Country should guard against ambition as their greatest enemy and should not imitate other nations that have been celebrated for a false kind of patriotism, wishing to aggrandize our own Republic at the expense of freedom and happiness of the rest of mankind. I rejoice in the belief that mankind will reverse the absurd position that the 'many' were made for the 'few'. I most ernestly supplicate that Almighty God, to whose keeping I commend my dearest Country, will never suffer so fair an inheritance to become prey to all the protection and emoluments of the general government. While others in their political conduct shall demean themselves, let us be honest and firm, let us advance directly forward in our duty. Should the path at first prove intricate and thorny, it will grow smooth and plain as we go. In public and private life, let the eternal line that separates right from wrong be the fence."
Finally, it seems appropriate to finish by quoting part of Washington's 1796 Farewell Address. He warns us of, "Associations that are likely to become potent engines by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which lifted them to unjust dominion. For the preservation and permanency of our government it is requisite to discountenance irregular opposition to it's acknowledged authority and resist with care the spirit of innovation upon it's principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect in the form of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes remember that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing Constitution of a Country and beware of changes based on an endless variety of mere hypothesis and opinions. Especially remember for the efficient management of your common interests of this Country, that government consistent with the perfect security of Liberty is indespensable. Liberty with power properly distributed and adjusted, is itself its surest Guardian. The spirit is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissention is itself a frightful despotism and leads to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an Individual, who uses the disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty. The common and continual mischief of the spirit of Party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise People, to discourage and restrain it. The spirit of Party always serves to distract the Public Councils and enfeeble the Public administration, agitating the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindling animosity of one part against the other, fomenting riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption which finds facilitated access to the government itself through channels of Party passions. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments into one, thus creating a real despotism. Love of power, proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth. 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. Real Patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the People, to surrender their interests."
Oh yes, George Washington was a great man who understood tyranny and tried his very best to convey to future generations the absolute seriousness of guarding our precious Liberty from those who would try and take it away, from within or without. He was of all people most wise to the goals of the "elitists".
"New York - It was a long tradition among both the Maryland Province Jesuit Fathers and the Negro slaves of the Washington plantation and those of the surrounding area that the First President died a Catholic. These and other facts about George Washington are reported in the Paulist Information magazine by Doran Hurley.
"The story is that Father Leonard Neale, S.J., was called to Mount Vernon from St Mary's Mission across the Piscatawney River four hours before Washington's death. Tradition also holds that shortly after Washington's death Father Neale sent a heavily sealed packet to Rome. If this be true, it may yet turn up in the Vatican archives, or it may have been lost during the Jesuits' hidden years.
"Washington's body servant Juba is authority for the fact that the General made the Sign of the Cross at meals. He may have learned this from his Catholic lieutenants, Stephen Moylan or John Fitzgerald. At Valley Forge, Washington forbade the burning in effigy of the Pontiff on "Pope's Day." Several times as President he is reported to have slipped into a Catholic church to hear Sunday Mass."
| "Washington - (Special) - A picture of the Blessed Virgin Mary and one of St. John were among the effects found in an inventory of the articles at Mount Vernon at the death of George Washington, first president of the U.S.A. The Rev. W.C. Repetti, S.J., archivist at Georgetown University, reports he has discovered this information in an appendix to a biography of Washington.
"The book is a LIFE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON by Edward Everett, published by Sheldon & Co. in New York in 1860. Appendix No. 2 pages 286-7, lists an official 'inventory of articles at Mt. Vernon with appraised values annexed. Taken by sworn appraisers after the decease of General Washington,' the list includes:
1 Likeness of St. John 15.00
1 Likeness of Virgin Mary 15.00
"The fact that he had a picture of the Blessed Virgin is rather unexpected, and, to the best of my knowledge, has not been brought out,' says Father Repetti.
"The long report among slaves of Mount Vernon as to Washington's deathbed conversion would be odd unless based on truth. These were not Catholic Negroes! Supposedly, Father Neale was rowed across the Piscatawney by Negro oarsmen; and men often talked freely when slaves were nearby, confidently ignoring their presence."
|1743||At the age of eleven, George Washington inherits 10 slaves.|
|1754||George Washington inherits eight slaves (four adults, four children) from his brotherâ€™s estate. Washington moves to Mount Vernon.|
|1754||Washington purchases at least eight slaves.|
|1759||George Washington marries Martha Custis who initially brings to Mount Vernon 11 slaves, increasing the population to 50.|
|1759-1772||Washington purchases at least 42 slaves.|
|1775-1787||During the Revolutionary War, George Washington resolves never to buy or sell another slave. His slave population continues to grow naturally, as he also refused to separate families.|
|1786||Earliest completed census of Mount Vernon slaves is conducted and lists 216 men, women, and children with 105 belonging to George Washington and 111 belonging to the estate of Marthaâ€™s first husband, Daniel Parke Custis.|
|1799||In July, Washington drafts a second inventory in preparation of freeing his slaves in his will (Virginia law prevented George Washington from emancipating the slaves belonging to the Custis estate). Listed were 316 slaves with 123 belonging to George Washington.|
|1799||In December, George Washington dies. 316 slaves were living at Mount Vernon of whom approximately 42% were too young or too old to work, but were provided for by the estate.|
|1801||In January, George Washingtonâ€™s 123 slaves are freed. Detailed instructions were left in his will for the care and support of the newly freed people and records indicate that some lived on at Mount Vernon as pensioners until the 1830â€™s.|
|1)||Mount Vernon slaves lived and worked in six locations: the five farms which made up Washingtonâ€™s 8,000-acre plantation and the grist mill, located three miles from the Mansion.|
|2)||Many slaves were field hands with much of this labor done by women. Others were skilled in trades such as carpentry, masonry, and blacksmithing. House slaves included cooks, butlers, and personal valets and maids.|
|1)||George Washington was born into a society that accepted slavery.|
|2)||After fighting for freedom in the Revolutionary War, Washingtonâ€™s opinion of slavery changed and he personally resolved never to buy or sell another slave.|
|3)||George Washington wrote to Lawrence Lewis in 1797; "I wish my soul that the legislature of this State could see a policy of gradual abolition of slavery."|
|4)||In his will, George Washington freed his slaves and left detailed instructions for their care and support.|
|1)||Located 50 yards southwest of George Washingtonâ€™s tomb.|
|2)||Known to have been a cemetery for slaves and free blacks who worked for the Washington family.|
|3)||Graves are unmarked; identities and numbers of those buried are largely unknown. William Lee, George Washingtonâ€™s personal servant during the Revolutionary War is known to be buried there. He was freed in 1801 and died in 1828. West Ford (1784-1863), a prominent free black who worked at Mount Vernon after Washingtonâ€™s death as a manager and later assisted the Ladiesâ€™ Association with historical facts is thought to be buried there.|
|1929||Flat tablet of Georgian marble was placed by the Mount Vernon Ladiesâ€™ Association. Inscription reads: "In memory of the many faithful colored Servants of the Washington family buried at Mount Vernon from 1760 to 1860/their unidentified graves surround this spot/1929."|
|1983||Granite columns, atop of three concentric circles, with the words Faith, Hope, and Love on the circles, inscribed: "In memory of the Afro-Americans who served as slaves at Mount Vernon/ This monument marking their burial ground/Dedication September 21, 1983/Mount Vernon Ladiesâ€™ Association." Designed by Howard University architecture students.|
| "I knew George Washington intimately and thoroughly; and were I called on to delineate his character, it would be in terms like these:
"His mind was great and powerful, his penetration strong, and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. Hence the common remark of his officers, of the advantage he derived from councils of war, where hearing all suggestions, he selected whatever was best; and certainly no general ever planned his battles more judiciously.
"He was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest unconcern. Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed.
"His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or conscience, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and great man.
"His temper was naturally high toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it. If ever, however, it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in wrath.
"In his expenses he was honorable, but exact; liberal in contributions to whatever promised utility; but frowning and unyielding on all visionary projects and all unworthy projects and all unworthy calls on his charity. His heart was not warm in it's affections; but he exactly calculated every man's value, and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it.
"His person, you know, was fine, his stature exactly what one would wish, his deportment easy, erect and noble; the best horseman of his age, and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback.
"He wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and correct style. This he had acquired by conversation with the world, for his education was merely reading, writing, and common arithmetic, to which he added surveying at a later day. His time was employed in action chiefly.
"On the whole, his character was, in it's mass, perfect, in nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance.
"For his was the singular destiny and merit of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war, for the establishment of it's independence; of conducting it's councils through the birth of a government, new in it's forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example..."
|Narrator: "Around the lives of all great men, history weaves romantic and colorful stories. Many are based on fact and some are pure imagination. There are many wonderful stories told about the man who for one terrible and momentous winter occupied this house. (House where George Washington was residing during Valley Forge)
But none is so little known or awe inspiring as the event that took place here one evening. Our very existence as well as our future is largely dependent on that remarkable 'Night of Decision.'"
Story starts out with soldiers in camp grumbling about whether replenishment supplies will be coming soon to help them out. A gypsy fortune teller in camp tells the other soldiers that supplies will not be coming. A Colonial Officer arrests the gypsy and has him flogged.
Narrator: "Valley Forge, December 1777, the winter of despair was just beginning."
A messenger arrives for Washington with news. Message tells Washington that supplies will not be coming. Washington shows message to one of his Colonel's.
Colonel: "Do they expect us to go on fighting without food and supplies?"
Washington: "That is precisely the point Colonel, I believe those supply wagons were deliberately cancelled. Supplies are ample but a large element in the Continental Congress would like us to give up. This is a form of persuasion."
Washington: "The British are tired of this war too. Congress has been contacted by agents of the British with an offer that grants every one of our demands, everything except independence."
Colonel: "Is Congress ready to settle for that?"
Washington: "A good many of the gentlemen in the Congress are."
Colonel: "In the face of it, sir, why do you go on?"
Washington: "Are you ready to give up Colonel?"
Washington hears noises of gypsy being flogged. He asks Officer of the guard what the flogging is all about.
Officer of the Guard: "Another one of those gypsies sir, a fortune teller. This one told our men that the supply wagons will never arrive."
Washington: "By who's orders is he being flogged?"
Officer of the Guard: "Major Warren."
Washington: "The order is revoked."
Washington continues conversation with Colonel.
Washington: "You don't put any credence in that sort of thing, Colonel Danforth?"
Colonel: "Well, no sir, but..."
Washington: "He could of learned about those wagons in a hundred different ways."
Colonel: "General, this group that wants to quit. Just how important are they in Congress?"
Washington: "Very important! They are still considerably a minority but they are making themselves felt. They even asked me for support."
Colonel: "You, you refused of course?"
Washington: "Oh yes, I refused! But I don't know that I had the right!"
Washington: "There are 12,000 men here in rags, Colonel, and starving. Shouldn't they be consulted about any settlement? Five-Hundred of them die every month of disease and privation. There is little glory or satisfaction in that kind of death. And then of course, there are the dead. I wonder how they would feel about settling for anything less than they died for."
Colonel: "I don't know which side of the question you favor sir?"
Washington: "To be honest Colonel, at this moment I don't know myself. I do not know myself."
Washington takes a walk outside of the building to get some air and to think things over on this cold night.
Washington praying to God: "When will spring ever come? Oh God, do I have the right to decide the fate of so many and so much? Help me!"
A spirit of a dead Indian chief, whom Washington fought in the battle of Monongahela in 1755, appears to Washington.
Chief: "Your God has come to your aid before, He will again. I am Chief Otumqus, Chief of Shawnee."
Chief: "Twenty-two summers have come and gone since we met at the battle of Monongahela."
Washington: "Yes, of course, July 1755, I was leading a detachment of Virginians under the command of General Braddock."
Chief: "Redcoats stood tall in sunlight like field of dry corn waiting for harvest night."
Washington: "Yes, it was a slaughter. We lost half of the entire British Colonial Army that day."
Chief: "All British Officers in field fell, dead or wounded, all but you Washington."
Washington: "Yes, I remember well."
Chief: "I fired at you again and again. Fifteen bullets at the heart and not one found its mark. It has caused me much wonder."
Washington: "I was very fortunate that day."
Chief: "Not fortunate, the Great Spirit protected Washington that day for good and great purpose."
Washington: "I wish I could believe that!"
Chief: "Believe it!"
Noise in camp makes George Washington turn around to look and when he turns back around to talk to the chief, the chief had disappeared. Washington, then, goes back to his quarters. Washington gets a visit from Lafayette. Washington tells Lafayette about his talk with Indian Chief.
|Lafayette: "I have never considered myself a mystic, mon General, but I can find no ready explanation for what impressed that Indian so profoundly. What he said about the battle was only true, was it not?"
Washington: "Oh, my dear Lafayette, he must have been just a creation of my own troubled mind. He must have been. There were no footprints in the snow. Otumqus was supposed to have died in his own village two years ago."
Lafayette: "What if he did!"
Washington: "What if he did? A man dead two years, your talking nonsense. A hallucination caused by remembering an impressive day in my youth."
Lafayette: "How many battles have you been in, mon General?"
Washington: "Scores, perhaps hundreds."
Lafayette: "Tres biens, how many times have you been wounded?"
Washington: "Never. Oh this has been a day of madness. First me, then you, a gypsy's predictions, a visit from a dead indian. Yet, and yet, I can remember very well the words I wrote in a letter to my brother after the battle. I said: 'By the all powerful dispensations of Providence I have been protected beyond all human possibility and explanation.'"
Lafayette: "Beyond all human possibility! I agree!"
Washington: "My dear Lafayette, you are a incurable romantic!"
Lafayette: "Mon General, I am a Frenchman."
Washington: "Why should Providence choose me for favors?"
Lafayette: "That, you would have to ask Providence! But, as for what Otumqus referred, perhaps it was for this particular time and this particular place that you were saved."
Washington: "Do I have the stubbornness to continue against the most impossible obstacles? Do I find the courage to give up while there is still something left? Still something to be gained? When I face the facts with a cold eye, I know, and you do too, that if the British persevere we eventually shall be crushed by shear weight of numbers. Unless your nation enters the war, and that is a fact, and can you promise me France will come to our aid?"
Lafayette: "I cannot promise that. But I have every hope..."
Washington: "Every hope?"
Washington walks out room to talk to his Officer of the Guard.
Washington: "Every officer on my staff is to be here for an urgent meeting at 9:00 pm sharp!"
Washington returns to room with Lafayette. Washington tells Lafayette he plans to give up the struggle and he will tell this to his officers at the meeting.
Lafayette: "I think you are very tired. Tired of fighting Congress, the inequities, the intrigues. In addition to all that the responsibility of fighting a war on so many fronts is more than any one man can bare. You are not able to see things clearly. General Washington, I only got this more I can say, that I realize that once you have made a decision it is hopeless to try to dissuade you."
Washington: "I trust my decision will not affect our friendship?"
Lafayette: "Nothing could do that, mon General!"
Lafayette walks out of room almost weeping.
Washington sits in chair and has a vision. It gives him hope to change his mind and go on with the fight.
At 9:00 pm his officers along with Lafayette are assembled in his room for the meeting. Washington walks in room with expression of determination, hope and optimism which surprises all in the room.
Washington: "Good evening, gentlemen. I would like each of you to consider ways and means of building the morale of the men under your command. Projects to keep them busy to achieve the highest level of preparation for our spring campaign."
Major: "Spring campaign? But I thought..."
Washington: "You thought what?"
Colonel: "Pardon me sir? We are despairing of the future. If you know something, if you are free to tell us the basis for this sudden optimism? Some news of the French perhaps? News of a victory in the North?"
Washington: "There is no news Colonel, good or bad. We must make our own good news. But I can say that I am now confident that this war will end in our favor and with complete victory!"
Colonel: "Victory? Surely, General?"
Washington: "Meeting is adjourned."
Officers all leave room except for Lafayette.
Washington: "I tell you, I, my friend, you know I am a hard headed and practical a man as you have ever known. But I was sitting in this chair like this. I put back my head and closed my eyes but it wasn't just a dream because when I opened my eyes, it was still there. I saw our nation victorious. I saw it grow in size and power to become the major force for good on this earth. I saw it. A dream, a vision, I know it will come to pass. In my heart, I know it."
Lafayette looks at Washington with great amazement and hope.
Narrator: "A dream, a vision, whatever it was George Washington experienced it has today become all fact. You won't find anything about it in an ordinary history book but it has appeared in print in a number of versions in a number of times in the past 150 years. All versions agree that Washington's dream of the Revolution would be successful and that the infant nation would grow until the boundaries would stretch from Canada to Mexico and from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There would be a bitter civil war between the Northern and Southern states. The Northern States would be called the Union and the Southern States would be called the Confederacy and the Union would emerge victorious. He dreamed all this supposedly and more but what is absolutely no dream are the facts of the battle of Monongahela. On this, all versions and all historians agree. There were three bullet holes in his hat, two horses were shot from under him. There were four bullet holes in the chest area of his uniform. Hundreds of French and Indian rifles firing at almost point blank range throughout that long and dreadful afternoon. And nothing touched him, nothing. Well, those are the facts. The incredible facts about the mystery of George Washington. Like Chief Otumqus, it will cause us much wonder."
("Night of Decision" taken from the series entitled: "One Step Beyond" narrated by John Newland. Note: Hollywood often exaggerates real life stories. "Night of Decision" is no exception. First, they had a real far fetched scene which I did not transcribe and then they said a dead Indian chief appeared to Washington and told him his story. In real life, the Indian Chief did tell Washington this story but he was not dead and he did not tell him the story at Valley Forge. The following article is more accurate about the Indian Chief.)
Chief Justice John Marshall said Washington was a firm believer in the Christian religion. Elias Boudinot, who served as President of Congress during the Revolution, said, The General was a Christian. Reverend Devereaux Jarratt, a Virginia Minister, said that Washington was a professor of Christianity.
Our first President was motivated by his faith. When Washington was a twenty-something he wrote a little book titled Daily Sacrifice. It consisted of prayers written out longhand. The first entry said, Let my heart, therefore, gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of Thine Honor that I may not do mine own works, but wait on Thee, and discharge those weighty duties which Thou requirest of me.
Washington â€™s prayer was prophetic -- decades later his weighty duties would include leading a fledging republic known as the United States of America.
Washington wrote out another prayer acknowledging his desire to become more like Christ. Wash away my sin in the Immaculate Blood of the Lamb, and purge my heart by the Holy Spirit, daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ.
Many years later, when George Washington resigned as Commander-in-Chief, he prayed the following prayer for the governors of the states.
"I now make it my earnest prayer that God would have you and the State over which you preside in His holy protection -- that He would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government -- to entertain a brotherly affection and a love for one another -- and finally, that He would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and [peaceful] temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.
George Washington was essentially saying that national happiness would be proportionate to Christlikeness.
When Washington was twenty-three years old he served as a Colonel under General Edward Braddock. He fought in the battle of Monongahela in July of 1755 and the fighting was fierce. It is documented both by his personal journals and first-hand testimony that George Washington actually had two horses shot out from under him and four musket balls passed through his coat. In a letter to his brother, Washington wrote, Death was leveling my companions on every side of me, but by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected.
Fifteen years after this battle, Washington was exploring wilderness territory in the Western Reserve and a band of Indians came up to them with an interpreter. The leader was an old Indian chief who had fought against Washington in the Battle of Monongahala. This exchange was witnessed by those who traveled with Washington and recorded in George Bancroft's History of the United States published in 1838. Through an interpreter the Indian Chief said, I am the chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior of the great battle.
How did he remember Washington? Washington was 6'2" which was pretty remarkable two hundred years ago. The average soldier fighting in the Revolutionary War was 5'1" tall. So Washington was head and shoulders taller than most. That made his very noticeable and a pretty good target for the enemy.
The Indian Chief said, It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief [Washington]. I called to my young men and said, 'Mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe -- he hath an Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do -- himself alone is exposed. Quick let your aim be certain, and he dies.' Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for him, knew not how to miss. Twas all in vain; a power mightier far than we shielded him from harm. He cannot die in battle. I am old, and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something that bids me speak in the voice of prophecy: Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man, and guides his destinies -- he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire.
This Indian chief prophesied those words over George Washington before the Declaration of Independence was written or the Revolutionary War was fought.
On April 30, 1789, George Washington was inaugurated in New York. He requested that a Bible be brought. He placed his right hand on the open book and took the oath of office. Then he delivered his first inaugural address. What George Washington says in that address is more than just nice sentiments. He's speaking out of his personal experience when he said, It would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplication to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have distinguished by some token of providential agency.
There are so many references to providence in that inaugural address that you lose count. George Washington had a sense of destiny. And I believe that sense of destiny was the by-product of his prayer life. When he left home to join the military his mother said, Remember that God only is our sure trust. To Him I commend you. My son, neglect not the duty of secret prayer.
Is it any accident that we have so many paintings of Washington in the posture of prayer? Is it possible that the instances of providence in the life of George Washington are the result of prayer?
| The paintings of George Washington kneeling in prayer in the snow-covered woods of Valley Forge are based on fact. He believed that God would lead him to victory, and anyone who has read his handwritten letters and documents cannot help but be impressed by his reliance on the Almighty and his deep belief in Divine Guidance.
Strengthened by a sense of duty and honor, driven by a love of freedom and hunger for justice, sustained by faith and confidence in divine providence-George Washington would not fail. He would fulfill his destiny. This uncommon man would lead the colonial forces to victory, become the father of our country, be unanimously acclaimed our first President, and set the course for what was to become history's greatest nation.
Little wonder then that he was shown great favor by the God of our universe. As the prophets of old were shown the destiny of mankind, so was Washington shown the destiny of our nation. General Washington had an unusual and profound spiritual experience in Valley Forge. He was given a vision of so momentous importance that it prompts the writing of this paper and the dissemination of this information to all concerned Americans.
Washington told of the event shortly after it took place. It was repeated to his close confidants and fellow patriots during the 22 years he lived after it's occurrence. And it has been carried in print from time to time over the past 200 years. However, since spiritual experiences tend to be ignored by secular historians, it has remained at times an obscurity. Thomas Jefferson best expressed the relationship between man's highest aspiration and the great Creator when he wrote, â€œGod who gave us life, gave us liberty.â€ Throughout history, as is well documented in Holy Scripture and readily attested to by millions of observant people, God has raised up individuals, usually temporal leaders, to fulfill the destiny of men and nations.
It is the personal opinion of this writer that God moulded, inspired and directed George Washington. He was, indeed, chosen to be a special man, at a special time, for a special purpose.
| Various accounts of George Washington's vision and prophecy all agree in content. There have been only minor variations in some details as the story was repeated over the years by those to whom it was related by General Washington.
The place was Valley Forge, in the cold and bitter winter of 1777. Washington's army had suffered several reverses and the situation was desperate. Food was scarce. The Continental Congress was not sending supplies or money. Some of the troops did not even have shoes to wear in the snow. Many soldiers were sick and dying from disease and exposure. Morale was at an all-time low and there was great agitation in the Colonies against continued effort to secure our freedom from England. Nevertheless, General Washington was determined to see the struggle through.
| "This afternoon, as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something seemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld standing opposite me a singularly beautiful female. So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the cause of her presence. A second, a third and even a fourth time did I repeat my question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor except a slight raising of her eyes.
"By this time I felt strange sensations spreading through me. I would have risen but the riveted gaze of the being before me rendered volition impossible. I assayed once more to address her, but my tongue had become useless, as though it had become paralyzed.
"A new influence, mysterious, potent, irresistible, took possession of me. All I could do was to gaze steadily, vacantly at my unknown visitor. Gradually the surrounding atmosphere seemed as if it had become filled with sensations, and luminous. Everything about me seemed to rarify, the mysterious visitor herself becoming more airy and yet more distinct to my sight than before. I now began to feel as one dying, or rather to experience the sensations which I have sometimes imagined accompany dissolution. I did not think, I did not reason, I did not move; all were alike impossible. I was only conscious of gazing fixedly, vacantly at my companion.
"Presently I heard a voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn,' while at the same time my visitor extended her arm eastwardly. I now beheld a heavy white vapor at some distance rising fold upon fold. This gradually dissipated, and I looked upon a strange scene. Before me lay spread out in one vast plain all the countries of the world - Europe, Asia, Africa and America. I saw rolling and tossing between Europe and America the billows of the Atlantic, and between Asia and America lay the Pacific.
"'Son of the Republic,' said the same mysterious voice as before, 'look and learn.' At that moment I beheld a dark, shadowy being, like an angel, standing, or rather floating in mid-air, between Europe and America. Dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of each hand, while with his left hand he cast some on Europe. Immediately a cloud raised from these countries, and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it remained stationary, and then moved slowly westward, until it enveloped America in its murky folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through it at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans and cries of the American people.
"A second time the angel dipped water from the ocean, and sprinkled it out as before. The dark cloud was then drawn back to the ocean, in whose heaving billows it sank from view. A third time I heard the mysterious voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn,' I cast my eyes upon America and beheld villages and towns and cities springing up one after another until the whole land from the Atlantic to the Pacific was dotted with them.
"Again, I heard the mysterious voice say, 'Son of the Republic, the end of the century cometh, look and learn.' At this the dark shadowy angel turned his face southward, and from Africa I saw an ill-omened spectre approach our land. It flitted slowly over every town and city of the latter. The inhabitants presently set themselves in battle array against each other. As I continued looking I saw a bright angel, on whose brow rested a crown of light, on which was traced the word 'Union,' bearing the American flag which he placed between the divided nation, and said, 'Remember ye are brethren.' Instantly, the inhabitants, casting from them their weapons became friends once more, and united around the National Standard.
"And again I heard the mysterious voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn.' At this the dark, shadowy angel placed a trumpet to his mouth, and blew three distinct blasts; and taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia and Africa. Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene: from each of these countries arose thick, black clouds that were soon joined into one. Throughout this mass there gleamed a dark red light by which I saw hordes of armed men, who, moving with the cloud, marched by land and sailed by sea to America. Our country was enveloped in this volume of cloud, and I saw these vast armies devastate the whole country and burn the villages, towns and cities that I beheld springing up. As my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, clashing of swords, and the shouts and cries of millions in mortal combat, I heard again the mysterious voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn.' When the voice had ceased, the dark shadowy angel placed his trumpet once more to his mouth, and blew a long and fearful blast.
"Instantly a light as of a thousand suns shone down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word Union, and who bore our national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, who I perceived were well nigh overcome, but who immediately taking courage again, closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle.
| "Again, amid the fearful noise of the conflict, I heard the mysterious voice saying, 'Son of the Republic, look and learn.' As the voice ceased, the shadowy angel for the last time dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious!
"Then once more I beheld the villages, towns and cities springing up where I had seen them before, while the bright angel, planting the azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: 'While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last.' And taking from his brow the crown on which blazoned the word 'Union,' he placed it upon the Standard while the people, kneeling down, said, 'Amen.'
"The scene instantly began to fade and dissolve, and I at last saw nothing but the rising, curling vapor I at first beheld. This also disappearing, I found myself once more gazing upon the mysterious visitor, who, in the same voice I had heard before, said, 'Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted: Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third, but in this greatest conflict the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and the Union.' With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown to me the birth, progress, and destiny of the United States."
Thus ended General George Washington's vision and prophecy for the United States of America as told in his own words.
| George Washington's vision has been published from time to time and is recorded in the Library of Congress. What I have related regarding this prophecy, as well as the explanations and remarks setting the historical background of this profound event, are not original thoughts or even initially reported facts. It has simply been my duty to set them down in order to increase your understanding and motivation for the struggle ahead.
We are now moving rapidly into the third and greatest peril of Washington's revelation. The signs of its fulfillment are readily evident are readily evident to all who are not blinded by apathy, overindulgence, or self-delusion.
Nations on every continent, under the political forces of Communism, are now hostile to the United States. America has few friends left in the world and even fewer still who will have the strength or will to stand beside her in any future struggles.
Lenin foretold the series of events: "First we will take Russia, next we will capture the nations of eastern Europe, then we will take the masses of Asia. Finally, we will surround the United States and that last bastion of freedom will fall into our hands like over-ripe fruit.'"
In Washington's vision, he saw America attacked and invaded by vast military forces from Europe, Asia and Africa. He saw that with those forces there "gleamed a dark, red light" -- the color and symbol of Communism. He saw our cities aflame (as a result of nuclear attack, burned by the invading enemy forces, or perhaps set afire by mobs fomenting anarchy and revolution); the whole nation devastated, and millions dying in mortal combat.
Then, at the point of fiercest and final battle, the great angel, the guardian of this nation, descended from the heavens with legions of white spirits who joined forces with the Americans and destroyed the invading armies.
| The Colonist Christian beliefs and their firm reliance on God's protection proved invaluable throughout the Revolutionary War and the establishing of the nation of the United States of America. This protection of God was certainly upon the Father of our Nation, George Washington.
One incident that dramatically revealed this occurred during the French and Indian War while Washington was serving as a Commander under British General Braddock.
During an attack by the enemy, Washington had two horses shot from under him, four bullets passed through his coat and he was fired upon numerous times from near point blank range and remained unharmed.
An Indian who took part in the battle later stated: 'Washington was not born to be killed by a bullet! For I had seventeen shots fired at him and after all, could not bring him to the ground.'
An indian chief and several of his warriors had singled out Washington to kill him. When they could not, they concluded he was under the protection of the Great Spirit, had a charmed life and could not be slain in battle.
Washington, in a letter to his brother reported: 'But by the all powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation.'
God was preserving and preparing Washington through this and many other events for a special end. When the war for independence began, Washington was selected as General of the Army of the United States. The day after he took charge he issued orders requiring: 'All officers and soldiers not engaged in actual duty to attend Divine Services to implore blessings of heaven upon the means used for their safety and defense.'
Shortly after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the blessing of heaven and Providential protection of God were manifested upon the Colonial Army.
During fighting on Long Island, British General Howe and his 32,000 well trained troops had inflicted heavy losses on Washington's army but had not succeeded in capturing or destroying it. General Howe then prepared to attack the 8,000 American troops on Brooklyn Heights. The British Army had Washington's army surrounded in a great semi-circle with their backs to the mile wide East River.
Here we see the first amazing event, for General Howe remained in this position for two days and did not attack. Had he attacked, victory would have been certain for the superior British force. It is not known even to this day why he delayed.
Washington, greatly outnumbered, realized to fight would mean defeat and the likely end of the war. Surrender was unthinkable! To retreat was the only thing to do. But how?
The British completely blocked any route on land which left only the wide East River. The American Army could have easily been surrounded by the British but Providential adverse weather conditions kept British ships from sailing up the East River.
As a result the American Army was able to make an attempt to escape. To make sure the British did not discover their retreat, Washington set out to evacuate his army in great secrecy. He set orders for every rowboat, sailboat and seagoing vessel to be collected in the area. At 8:00 pm on the night of August 29, 1776 the evacuation of the troops commenced. Heavy rain was falling as the evacuation began and the adverse winds which hindered the British ships continued. In this weather, the sailboats were of little use and only few rowboats were employed in the retreat. At this rate, evacuation seemed impossible. But at 11:00 pm the Northeast wind which had raged for three days amazingly stopped and the water became so calm that the boats could be loaded with extra weight. A gentle breeze arose from the South and Southwest which favored their travel across the river to New York.
| The retreat continued throughout the darkness of the pre-dawn. But as the sun began to rise, many troops were yet to be evacuated. Their death seemed apparent. But again, an astonishing thing occurred. Major Benjamin Talmage was still on the island and he recorded what happened in his memoirs: 'After dawn of the next day approached, those of us who remained in the trenches became very anxious for our own safety and when the dawn appeared there were several regiments here on duty. At this time, a very dense fog began to rise out of the ground and off the river. It seemed to settle in a peculiar manner over both encampments. I recollect this peculiar Providential occurrence perfectly well. And so very dense was the atmosphere that I could scarcely discern a man six yards distance. We tarried until the sun had risen but the fog remained as dense as ever.' The fog remained until the last boats left Long Island.
Another miraculous event occurring during this retreat was recorded by Washington Irving in his 'Life of Washington'. Near the ferry, where the troops were being evacuated, a family lived who favored the British cause. Upon seeing the army's embarkation, the lady of the house sent a servant to warn the British of what was happening. The servant managed to slip past the American guards but upon reaching the British lines he ran into an outpost of German speaking soldiers (Hessians) and was unable to communicate with them. The servant was put under guard at the outpost as a suspicious person until early in the morning when a British officer examined him.
Upon hearing the story, some soldiers were sent to validate it. They cautiously approached the American Camp only to find it completely empty. Had the servant ran into anybody else, the British would have been able to surprise the American Forces in the midst of their retreat.
British troops were hurriedly dispatched to the river. When they arrived, the fog had lifted enough for them to see four boats upon the East river. The only boat close enough to be captured contained three vagabonds who stayed behind to plunder. Otherwise, thousands of men, with nearly all of their supplies had miraculously retreated to New York.
Here we see the American General Greene say: 'The best effective retreat I ever read or heard of!' This event was so astonishing that surely the explanation given by many of the Colonists was true: 'That God was defending the cause of liberty.'
The Colonists continued to pray and rely upon God throughout the war. During the harsh winter of 1777 to 1778 when the American troops were suffering at Valley Forge, Washington could often be found upon his knees within the woods laying the cause of his bleeding country at the throne of grace.
In the prayer room of the Capitol, we can see in the stained glass window the kneeling figure of George Washington. Behind him, a prayer from the first verse of Psalm sixteen is etched: 'Preserve me Oh Lord, for in Thee do I put my trust.' Washington was observed by his troops, his officers, and various civilians to regularly pray in his tent as well as in secluded groves.
On May 6, 1982, President Reagan remarked on this event in his National Day of Prayer Proclamation: 'I said before that the most sublime picture in American history is of George Washington on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. That image personifies a people who knew that its not enough to depend on our own courage and goodness. We must also seek help from God, our Father and preserver.'
In this difficult of times, General Washington constantly relied upon God and trusted in Him for success. God was faithful to answer his prayers and through Washington He eventually established our independence and secured the beginning of the most free and prosperous nation the world has ever seen.
How did God answer George Washington's prayers at Valley Forge? The following is one historian's account of the miracles that occurred that winter which helped remedy the impending starvation of the Colonial Army: 'One foggy morning the soldiers noticed the Schuylkill River seemed to be boiling. The disturbance was caused by thousands and thousands of shad which were making their way upstream in an unusual early migration. With pitchforks and shovels the men plunged into the water throwing the fish onto the banks. Dragoons rode their horses into the stream to keep the shad from swimming on out of reach. Suddenly and wonderfully there was plenty of food for the army.'
Another Providential event that occurred that winter was France becoming an ally to America. Much needed French money and troops began to poor into the new nation. The Continental Congress acknowledged this as the hand of God as they declared a National Day of Thanksgiving on May 7.
| In Washington's orders issued at Valley Forge, May 5, 1778, he proclaimed: 'It having pleased the Almighty, Ruler of the Universe propitiously to defend the cause of the United American States, and finally by raising us up a powerful friend among the Princes of the earth to establish our Liberty and Independence upon a lasting foundation; it becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the Divine Goodness and celebrating the events which we owe to His benign interposition.'
The troops survival, Washington's amazing leadership and all the miraculous occurrences during the winter at Valley Forge can only be attributed to Almighty God!
There are four other paintings in the Capitol Rotunda, all of which have a Christian significance. As we look at the story behind the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, we will see how God again used the weather to assist the Colonials in their fight for freedom.
In October of 1781, British General Cornwallis had his troops stationed at Yorktown, Virginia. While Cornwallis waited for reinforcements, Washington marched his troops from New York to Yorktown. Unknown to Washington or Cornwallis, a French fleet under Admiral De Grasse arrived just in time to defeat the British fleet sent to relieve General Cornwallis at Yorktown.
Without reinforcements, Cornwallis was barely holding out against the siege of the American and French forces. As a last resort, he decided to attempt to retreat across the York River. At 10:00 pm on the night of October 17, sixteen large boats were loaded with troops and embarked for Gloucester. After the first few boats had landed, a great turn of events occurred. In the official dispatch to his superior, Cornwallis wrote: 'But at this critical moment the weather from being moderate and calm changed to a violent storm of wind and rain and drove all the boats, some of them with troops on board, down the river.'
Due to this miraculous weather change, Cornwallis was unable to complete his intended retreat and found his force divided when Washington's batteries opened at day break. When the boats finally returned he ordered them to bring back the troops that had passed during the night. Later that day, he surrendered his forces to General Washington. This essentially marked the end of the war.
General Washington and our Congress recognized the Providence of God in the Battle of Yorktown. The journals of Congress record this entry: 'Resolved a Congress will, at 2:00 pm this day, make a procession to the Dutch Lutheran Church and return thanks to Almighty God for crowning the Allied arms of the United States and France with success by the surrender of the Earl of Cornwallis.'
And in his congratulatory order to the Allied army on the day of the surrender, General Washington concluded: 'The General congratulates the army upon the glorious events of yesterday. Divine service is to be performed tomorrow in the several brigades and divisions. The Commander-in-Chief recommends that the troops not on duty should universally attend, with that seriousness of deportment and gratitude of heart which the recognition of such reiterated and astonishing interpositions of Providence demand of us.'
|On August 24, 1814, in the War of 1812, fires were set by the British burning the public buildings of Washington. Hours after, a hurricane visited the Washington City that afternoon. The oldest residents said they could not recall a storm so intense. The storm extinguished those fires that were still burning. It was said a tornado formed from the hurricane right in the center of the British troops causing more damage to the British than the American defense of the city. This prompted the immediate withdrawal of the British from the city. Some say the storm and tornado were the wrath of God! Could it be that God was angry at the British for what they did to the city named after His faithful servant George Washington!|
| Closely related to George Washington's Vision, but not as well known is a vision given to General George B. McClellan, one of the generals who took part in the second peril against America.
The only source I know concerning this Vision is the Evening Courier of Portland, Maine. It carries a lengthy account of a vision purporting to be the General's own words. The General was alive at the time and could have reputed the account and demanded an immediate retraction if it were false!
General McClellan is not as well known as other military leaders, in America, but he did serve his country well, despite his faults and his disagreements with President Lincoln which eventually led to his removal from his Command. At the time of this vision, McClellan had gone to Washington, D.C. to take over the command of the United States Army. This being the third day since his arrival, he was working, at two o'clock at night, over the reports of scouts and checking his maps. Being weary from work he leaned his head on his arms on the table and fell asleep.
In about ten minutes the locked door suddenly opened, and in strode someone right up to him and in a voice of authority said: "General McClellan, do you sleep at your post? Rouse you, or ere it can be prevented, the foe will be in Washington."
The General then gives some details of his strange feelings. Seemingly suspended in infinite space from a hollow distance above him, he heard a voice. He started up - not really knowing whether he was awake or not. The walls of the room, with its furniture and other objects were no longer visible, but the maps covering the table were still before him. Then, he was gazing upon a living map of America from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean.
The General was unable to identity the being standing before him, only a vapor having the general outline of a man.
Then he looked at the mysterious map before him and was amazed to see the movements of the various troops and had a complete picture of the enemy's lines and distribution of forces. Being greatly elated, he felt he now knew what strategy to use to end the way speedily and victoriously.
But then the elation gave way to great apprehension, because on this moving map, he saw the enemy's soldiers moving to the very position he had intended to occupy in a few days. He then knew that the enemy was aware of his plan of attack.
Then the voice spoke again, "General McClellan, you have been betrayed. And had not God willed otherwise, ere the sun had set the Confederate flag would have waved above the Capitol and your own grave. But note what you see. Your time is short."
Noting the movement of troops of on the living map- he took his pencil and transferred their position to the paper map on his desk. Then McClellen was aware of the figure near becoming luminous with light and glory, bright as the noonday sun. Then raising his view he looked into the face of George Washington.
Sublime and dignified our first President looked upon the bewildered General and spoke the following: "General McClellan, while yet in the flesh, I beheld the birth of the American Republic. It was indeed a hard and bloody one, but God's blessing was upon the nation and therefore, though this, her first great struggle for existence, He sustained her and with His mighty had brought her out triumphantly. A century has not passed since then, and yet the child Republic has taken her position of peer with nations whose pages of history extend for ages into the past. She has, since those dark days, by the favor of God, greatly prospered. And how, by very reason of this prosperity, has been brought to her second great struggle. This if by far the most perilous ordeal she has; passing as she is from childhood to opening maturity, she is called on to accomplish that vast result, self-control, self rule, that in the future will place her in the van of power and civilization..."
"But her mission will not then be finished for ere another century shall have gone by, the oppressors of the whole earth, hating and envying her exaltation, shall join themselves together and raise up their hands against her. But if she shall be found worthy of her high calling they shall surely be discomforted, and then will be ended her third and last great struggle for existence. Thenceforth shall the Republic go on, increasing in power and goodness, until he borders shall end only in the remotest corners of the earth, and the whole earth shall beneath her shadowing wing become a Universal Republic. Let her in her prosperity, however remember the Lord her God, her trust be always in him, and she shall never be confounded."
After this, Washington raised his hand over the General's Head in blessing and immediately a peal of thunder rumbled through space. McClellan awoke with a start and found himself in his room and spread out before him on the table were his maps.
In viewing the maps, he noticed a difference, for they were covered with marks, signs, and figures which he had made during the vision.
The General had to walk around the room to realize he was actually awake. Then, taking another look at the maps he found the markings still there. Realizing this experience was Divinely given, he ordered his horse saddled and went from camp to camp ordering changes to be made, which were necessary to frustrate the enemy's planned offensive. The strategy was successful and prevented the City of Washington from being captured. The Confederate Army, at that time was so close that Abraham Lincoln sitting in the White House could hear the roar of Confederate artillery.
Thus the Union was saved and General McClellan concludes his account of his Vision with these words:
"Our beloved, glorious Washington shall again rest quietly, sweetly in his tomb, until perhaps the end of the Prophetic Century approaches that is to bring the Republic to a third and final struggle, when he may once more laying aside the crements of Mount Vernon, become a Messanger of Succor and Peace from the Great Ruler, who has all all Nations of this Earth in His keeping."
"But the future is too vast for our comprehension; we are children of the present. When peace shall have folded her bright wings and settled our land the strange, unearthly map marked while the Spirit eyes of Washingtion looked down, shall be preserved among American Archives as a precious reminder to the American nation what in their second great struggle for existence, they owe to God and the Glorified Spirit of Washington. Verily the works of God are above the understanding of man!"
|The Ghost of Gettysburg - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA was once the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. It is also the home of a mysterious ghost that has haunted the battlefield of Gettysburg for generations. While the soldiers were in Gettysburg, many reported that they had seen a ghost roaming the fields. Most of these reports were from the men of the 20th Maine (a Union regiment). Colonel John Pittenger of the Union (North) Army was sent on a mission to discover who the ghost of was in the summer of 1863. Soon, in July of 1863, Colonel Pittenger and General Hunt had a discussion about the ghost. General Hunt explained that during the battle, a man, dressed in Revolutionary clothes, came galloping onto the field on a white horse. General Hunt said that he clearly saw the face of the man. It was, according to him, George Washington! But...he had been dead for years! Could it really have been General Washington, the first President of the United States, that had helped them win the battle of Little Roundtop? Though Pittenger did not believe this and was nervous about turning in a report about a George Washington ghost, Hunt swore that he and all the other men at the battle would go to there grave believing that General, President, George Washington had helped them win the war at Gettysburg.|
| The Battle of Gettysburg is considered by historians as the turning point of the Civil War. It was during these three days of battle that the Confederate troop fiercely fought the Federal troops in an effort to bring an end to the war. On the first day, July 1, the Union line held as Confederate troops assaulted its right flank. On the second day Longstreetâ€™s Confederate troops assaulted the Unionâ€™s left flank, forcing them back towards the high ground. Late in the afternoon, the Federal generals realized that there were no troops defending the heights of the Little Round Top. In a desperate race to beat the Rebels, Union troops arrived on the slopes of Little Round Top just minutes ahead of the first wave of Rebel forces. The following is an account of the struggle to hold Little Round Top that did not make it to the history books:
The Twentieth Maine was posted to the extreme left of the Union line; Colonel Chamberlainâ€™s regiment became the anchor on which the entire Federal line rested. If the Confederates could have turned that position, the whole Union line would have collapsed like a house of cards.
Chamberlain had little time to contemplate the importance of his position. Even as the regiment took up a defensive line on the hill, they came under constant and heavy artillery fire. No sooner was the Twentieth Maine in line than a vigorous infantry assault on their right replaced the artillery barrage. The attack rapidly extended along the whole of the Twentiethâ€™s front. The action, Chamberlain reported, was quite sharp and at close quarters.
Even as the regiment was heavily engaged, an officer from the center of the line informed Chamberlain that the enemy was maneuvering in the valley below, trying to work around behind the regimentâ€™s far left flank. Mounting a boulder to get a better look, Colonel Chamberlain could indeed see a larger body of Rebels moving behind the front, passing from the foot of Big Round Top over to his left.
Chamberlain immediately stretched his defensive line to the left, at the same time â€œrefusingâ€ his extreme left wing, so that it was bent at a sharp angle to the right. No sooner had the Twentieth Maine carried out this difficult maneuver, still under heavy fire, the Confederates burst upon the newly extended left flank. They were repulsed only to charge again with even greater ferocity.
All along the line, for a full hour, Confederate troops made desperate efforts to break the Union line and overrun the defenses at Little Round Top. Breakthroughs were made in many places, only to be repulsed after bitter, deadly, hand-to-hand fighting.
The edge of the fight flowed backward and forward on the steep slope of the hill, like ocean waves crashing on the granite shores of Maine. Between attacks, the Twentieth Maine gathered munitions from the cartridge boxes of the fallen, for by now their ammo was beginning to run short.
At this point, half of Chamberlainâ€™s left wing was already casualties, and a third of his whole command were either dead or wounded. What munitions were left had been robbed from the dead. It was at this critical juncture that a fresh enemy force appeared on the field. As the Confederates closed on the Unionâ€™s position, it was clear they were in large numbers and were coming on as if they meant to sweep everything before them. Chamberlain admitted that it did not seem possible to withstand another shock like this now coming on.
The battle was at a crisis point. A roar of musketry to the rear of the Twentieth Maine also warned of a possible Rebel breakthrough behind them. The New Englandersâ€™ thin blue line was exhausted, out of ammo, and outnumbered. Defeat was imminent, and with it, the collapse of the whole Union line â€” perhaps of the very Union itself.
According to the official version, it was at this point that Colonel Chamberlain ordered his men to fix bayonets and charge. Amidst the deafening din of musketryâ€”front and rearâ€”and the blood-curdling Rebel yell, the Colonel reported â€œthe word was enough.â€ Supposedly the entire length of Chamberlainâ€™s over extended battle-line heard his order to fix bayonets and moved forward as one.
With a massive Rebel force but yards away, this thin blue line swept all before it. The fresh, well-armed Confederate force simply threw down their arms and surrendered! A second wave of Confederates also broke and ran without a shot being fired. Some four hundred prisoners, including two field officers and a large number of line officers, were captured from four different Rebel regimentsâ€”all by one bedraggled bunch of Yankees!
Soon after the battle, reports filtered out that during the crisis point of the battle, an apparition appeared, an apparition, which had turned the tide of battle in favor of the Federal forces. The troops, it was said, beheld a pale rider in their midst. It had come from nowhere and was dressed in antique costume. It rode along the thin blue line of Federals, and everywhere it passed, men picked up hope and took courage in the fight. The men in blue were suddenly brimming with confidence, as if some great and charismatic leader had suddenly appeared in their midst to lead them to certain victory. Inspired by the apparition, the Twentieth Maine moved for-ward behind him, and despite their lack of numbers, their counter-attack proved irresistible.
The Rebels seemed to have seen the apparition as well. A number of them were seen to fire on it, thinking it a Union commander as it was also clad in blue. But despite their concentrated fire at the figure on horseback, bullets had no effect on it. Soon, the phantom rider, with its tricorner hat and turned-back coattails, had spread dismay and panic among the Rebel ranks.
In discussing the incident afterwards, soldiers reported that the phantom rider closely resembled portraits they had seen of George Washington. Well aware of the crucial role they had played in the battle, some ventured the theory that Washington had appeared to them in their hour of trial in order to save the very Union he had once fought so hard to establish.
On the face of it, the appearance of General Washington on the field of Gettysburg may seem outlandish. Yet, the War Department did not regard it so at the time. As rumors filtered back to Washington, D.C., Secretary of War Stanton dispatched a staff officer, Colonel Pittenger, to investigate. He interviewed a number of participants, including General Oliver O. Howard of Maine. He apparently gathered extensive eyewitness testimony of the incident; of course, his findings were never published. The official dispatches remained the accepted account of the battle, the one which historians have repeated without question ever since.
|1)||Act at all times as in the presence of God, and make it the great object in all things to please Him. In order to do this,|
|2)||Seek first of all to gain clear views of His will and with regard to all things to be perfectly conformed to it. In doing this,|
|3)||Cherish no thoughts, indulge no feeling, speak no words, and do no actions, but what you really think, after all the light you can gain, will most honor God, most benefit yourself and others needs, and give you the greatest joy when they come to be exhibited before the assembled universe at the judgement day.|
|4)||Begin and end each day by a season of communion with God, and by a solemn and hearty commitment of yourself and all your interest, temporal and eternal, to His guidance, care and disposal.|
|5)||Daily read, with deep attention and fervent prayer, a portion of the word of God, for the purpose of understanding, believing, and obeying it.|
|6)||Never express or indulge the least degree of unkindness towards any human being, and give no needless pain to any one of the human race, or even of the animal creation.|
|7)||Make it your object to promote the greatest happiness, on the whole, of all upon whom you may have influence, both of the present and all future generation.|
|8)||Regard the hand of God in all the dispensations of His providence, and in whatsoever state He places you, therewith be content.|
|9)||Envy none who are above you, and despise none who are below you: but possess and manifest the utmost goodwill towards all men.|
|10)||Never speak to or feel towards them in a manner that you ought not to wish them, under similar circumstance, to speak to or feel with regard to you.|
|11)||Let all statements and narrations be an exact exhibition of the real truth.|
|12)||Act for God, for the universe, and for eternity; and in such a manner as is adapted to promote the highest good forever. In order to do this,|
|13)||Look habitually to Jesus Christ: let your whole soul be imbued with His spirit, and manifest it in all your actions.|
|14)||Look to the Holy Ghost as the author of all good in man; seek habitually His teaching, His illuminating and purifying influences, that He may dwell in you as His temple, and take full possession of all your powers and talents for Himself.|
|15)||Earnestly desire that He would take of the things of Christ and more and more show them unto you; and carefully avoid everything which tends to hinder you from becoming perfectly like Him.|
|16)||Make it as your meat and drink to do the will of God, and perseveringly have respect to all His commandments.|
|17)||Feel and acknowledge that all the good that you ever have received, that you now receive, or ever will receive is of grace through Jesus Christ; trust in him for all which you need, both for this life and the life to come; rely on his merits, imitate his example, and in view of every blessing give him and the Father and the Holy Ghost all the glory.|
|George Washington's father died when George was only eleven years old, leaving him, with his brothers and sisters, to the care of a most excellent and sensible mother. It was that mother's influence, more than anything else, which made George the man he became. George went to a little country school, where he learned to read, write, and cipher. By the time he was twelve, he could write a clear, bold hand. Here is Washington's signature at the age of twelve:|
|In one of his writing-books he copied many good rules and sayings. Here are some of these sayings:|
|1)||Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.|
|2)||Undertake not what you cannot perform, but be careful to keep your promise.|
|3)||Be not forward, but friendly and courteous.|
|4)||Be not curious to know the affairs of others, neither approach to those that speak in private.|
|5)||Be not tedious in disclosure.|
|6)||Speak not evil of the absent, for it is unjust.|
|7)||Let your recreations be manful, not sinful.|
|8)||When a man does all that he can, though it succeeds not well, blame him not.|
|9)||Mock not, nor jest at anything of importance; break no jests that are sharp-biting, and, if you deliver anything witty and pleasant, abstain from laughing thereat yourself.|
|10)||Use no reproachable language against any one, neither curse nor revile. Associate yourself with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation.|
|11)||Be not immodest in urging your friend to discover a secret.|
|12)||Speak not of doleful things in time of mirth, nor at the table.|
|13)||Break not a jest where none takes pleasure in mirth.|
|14)||Laugh not aloud, nor at all without occasion.|
|15)||When you speak of God or His attributes, let it be seriously, in reverence.|
|The man who is known to all Americans as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," gave us much sound advice on how to keep our independence and freedom. George Washington's advice is part of our American heritage that should be known to all our citizens.|
| When George Washington took the oath as first President of the United States on April 30, 1789, he added this four-word prayer of his own: "So help me God." These words are still used in official oaths by Americans talking public office, in courts of justice, and in other legal proceedings. Washington's words show that he was a man who believed in asking God's help in every part of our private and public lives. During the terrible times of the Revolutionary War, Washington repeatedly counseled his troops to put their faith and trust in God. Here is one of his messages:
"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, freeman or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own .... The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army .... Let us therefore rely on the goodness of the cause and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions."
In his first Inaugural Address as President of the United States, Washington reverently acknowledged our country's dependence on Almighty God:
"It would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe - who presides in the council of nations - and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes."
After serving as our President during probably the most important two terms in our history, Washington advised us again that religion and morality are necessary for good government. In his Farewell Address on September 19, 1796, he clearly said:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."
| George Washington was a man of great personal honesty. The famous story about Washington chopping down the cherry tree, and admitting it to his father with the words, "I cannot tell a lie," perfectly illustrates the character of the Father of Our Country. In his Farewell Address, Washington, having served our country in war and peace, gave his advice that we as a nation should be bound by the same rules of honor and honesty that should bind individuals. He said:
"I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs that honesty is always the best policy."
As part of his belief that our nation should practice honesty, Washington urged that our Government always be honorable in money matters. He urged our country to borrow as little money as necessary and to avoid piling up a big debt. He realized that emergencies, such as unavoidable wars, would require us to borrow from time to time; but he urged that these debts be paid off as rapidly as possible. Washington said that failure to do this means we will be making our children pay the debts we ourselves should pay. Here are his words from his Farewell Address:
"Avoid likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear."
| Washington was well aware of how politicians are subjected to political and economic pressures which may persuade them to give up their principles, or to favor one group over another. In the midst of such pressures from all sides, Washington stood like a rock of strength and advised us how to keep to a standard of truth and justice. As President of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Washington gave this advice to his fellow Delegates:
"If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the event is in the hand of God."
The men who followed Washington's Advice produced the United States Constitution, which has properly been called "the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man."
| George Washington was not only "first in war," but also "first in peace." He developed the best formula for keeping the peace that has ever been devised by man: the formula of discouraging the enemy from attack by making sure that he knows beforehand that America is ready for war. In his Fifth Annual Address to Congress, given in Philadelphia on December 3, 1793, Washington said:
"There is a rank due to the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure the peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war."
Washington's advice on how best to keep the peace is thus in two parts: (1) we must be ready for war, and (2) just as important, the enemy must know we are ready.
| Washington realized that as our country grew, there would be "bad guys" who would try to seize powers they shouldn't have and change the wonderful plan for American freedom and independence set up by the Founding Fathers. On the other hand, he knew that some changes in the Constitution would be necessary from time to time. Washington advised us that these changes should be made only in the way the Constitution provides - and not in any other way. He said in his Farewell Address:
"If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed."
Washington thus advised that we should be alert to protect the freedom of the people against men who try to take too much power in an unconstitutional way. Washington believed that "Government is like fire - a good servant, but a dangerous master."
| As a schoolboy, Washington wrote in his copybook:
"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire - conscience."
Washington had risked everything he had in the Revolutionary struggle for liberty. But he knew that "liberty" does not mean license to do anything without restrictions. True liberty must include responsibility to conscience - to God and to country. In his Farewell Address, he advised us to give full support to our new Government:
"Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty."
| Washington knew that European nations had been constantly involved in one war after another. He knew that their political and economic interests were not the same as ours. He knew also that various foreign nations would try constantly to extend their influence over the American Government and people. Washington believed that the only way for the United States to grow strong and keep her hard-won independence was to remain free from European wars, problems, and influence. In his Farewell Address, he said:
"History and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government."
Washington predicted that foreign propaganda would operate inside and outside our Government. He warned that 'foreign influence' in our Government would even trick Americans about whom we can trust. He said in his Farewell Address:
"Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people to surrender their interests."
| In advising us against becoming entangled with foreign problems, Washington warned us against giving favors to other nations in the hope of receiving favors in return. He warned that we will be "reproached with ingratitude for not giving them more," and we will have to "pay with a portion of our independence" for placing ourselves in such a position. He said in his Farewell Address:
"There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard."
| Washington was one of our greatest American patriots, and he demanded patriotism in the men who served with him in war and peace. Legend tells us that the night he crossed the Delaware, he gave the famous command: "Put none but Americans on guard tonight." Even though we cannot find this quotation in his published writings, it accurately represents his thinking. In his Farewell Address he advised all our citizens:
"The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation."
| Washington advised Americans to set aside a day of public Thanksgiving to God for the great favors He has bestowed on our nation. On October 3, 1789 Washington proclaimed the first Thanksgiving Day â€“ the first of a long series of presidential orders that have remained part of American life down to the present:
"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
"Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted' for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us."
"And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have show kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best."
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d dy of October, A.D. 1789.
(signed) G. Washington
| At his first inauguration, George Washington took the oath of office for the presidency on April 30, 1789. He was standing on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City with his hand on an open Bible. After he finished taking the oath, the audience in attendance gave a thunderous ovation and bells of the various churches began ringing in his honor. After his oath of office was completed, he went to deliver his inaugural address to Congress.
"Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aide can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes; and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success, the functions allotted to his charge."
"In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow-citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States."
"Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the system of their United government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted can not be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which them past seem to presage."
"These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me I trust in thinking, that there are none under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free Government can more auspiciously commence."
"We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained; and since the preservation of sacred fire of liberty and the destiny of the republican model of government are justly considered as deeply, perhaps finally, staked of the experiment..."
"I shall take my present leave; but not without resorting once more to the Benign Parent of the Human Race, in humble supplication that, since He has been pleased to favor the American people with opportunities for deliberating in perfect tranquility, and dispositions for deciding with unparalleled unanimity on a form of government for the security of their union and the advancement of their happiness, so His divine blessings may be equally conspicuous in the enlarged views, the temperate consultations and the wise measures on which the success of this Government must depend."
| Friends and Citizens:
The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those out of whom a choice is to be made.
I beg you, at the same time, to do me the justice to be assured that this resolution has not been taken without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation which binds a dutiful citizen to his country; and that in withdrawing the tender of service, which silence in my situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness, but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.
The acceptance of, and continuance hitherto in, the office to which your suffrages have twice called me have been a uniform sacrifice of inclination to the opinion of duty and to a deference for what appeared to be your desire. I constantly hoped that it would have been much earlier in my power, consistently with motives which I was not at liberty to disregard, to return to that retirement from which I had been reluctantly drawn. The strength of my inclination to do this, previous to the last election, had even led to the preparation of an address to declare it to you; but mature reflection on the then perplexed and critical posture of our affairs with foreign nations, and the unanimous advice of persons entitled to my confidence, impelled me to abandon the idea.
I rejoice that the state of your concerns, external as well as internal, no longer renders the pursuit of inclination incompatible with the sentiment of duty or propriety, and am persuaded, whatever partiality may be retained for my services, that, in the present circumstances of our country, you will not disapprove my determination to retire.
The impressions with which I first undertook the arduous trust were explained on the proper occasion. In the discharge of this trust, I will only say that I have, with good intentions, contributed towards the organization and administration of the government the best exertions of which a very fallible judgment was capable. Not unconscious in the outset of the inferiority of my qualifications, experience in my own eyes, perhaps still more in the eyes of others, has strengthened the motives to diffidence of myself; and every day the increasing weight of years admonishes me more and more that the shade of retirement is as necessary to me as it will be welcome. Satisfied that if any circumstances have given peculiar value to my services, they were temporary, I have the consolation to believe that, while choice and prudence invite me to quit the political scene, patriotism does not forbid it.
In looking forward to the moment which is intended to terminate the career of my public life, my feelings do not permit me to suspend the deep acknowledgment of that debt of gratitude which I owe to my beloved country for the many honors it has conferred upon me; still more for the steadfast confidence with which it has supported me; and for the opportunities I have thence enjoyed of manifesting my inviolable attachment, by services faithful and persevering, though in usefulness unequal to my zeal. If benefits have resulted to our country from these services, let it always be remembered to your praise, and as an instructive example in our annals, that under circumstances in which the passions, agitated in every direction, were liable to mislead, amidst appearances sometimes dubious, vicissitudes of fortune often discouraging, in situations in which not unfrequently want of success has countenanced the spirit of criticism, the constancy of your support was the essential prop of the efforts, and a guarantee of the plans by which they were effected. Profoundly penetrated with this idea, I shall carry it with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue; that, in fine, the happiness of the people of these States, under the auspices of liberty, may be made complete by so careful a preservation and so prudent a use of this blessing as will acquire to them the glory of recommending it to the applause, the affection, and adoption of every nation which is yet a stranger to it.
Here, perhaps, I ought to stop. But a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end but with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all-important to the permanency of your felicity as a people. These will be offered to you with the more freedom, as you can only see in them the disinterested warnings of a parting friend, who can possibly have no personal motive to bias his counsel. Nor can I forget, as an encouragement to it, your indulgent reception of my sentiments on a former and not dissimilar occasion.
Interwoven as is the love of liberty with every ligament of your hearts, no recommendation of mine is necessary to fortify or confirm the attachment.
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.
The North, in an unrestrained intercourse with the South, protected by the equal laws of a common government, finds in the productions of the latter great additional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise and precious materials of manufacturing industry. The South, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the agency of the North, sees its agriculture grow and its commerce expand. Turning partly into its own channels the seamen of the North, it finds its particular navigation invigorated; and, while it contributes, in different ways, to nourish and increase the general mass of the national navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a maritime strength, to which itself is unequally adapted. The East, in a like intercourse with the West, already finds, and in the progressive improvement of interior communications by land and water, will more and more find a valuable vent for the commodities which it brings from abroad, or manufactures at home. The West derives from the East supplies requisite to its growth and comfort, and, what is perhaps of still greater consequence, it must of necessity owe the secure enjoyment of indispensable outlets for its own productions to the weight, influence, and the future maritime strength of the Atlantic side of the Union, directed by an indissoluble community of interest as one nation. Any other tenure by which the West can hold this essential advantage, whether derived from its own separate strength, or from an apostate and unnatural connection with any foreign power, must be intrinsically precarious.
While, then, every part of our country thus feels an immediate and particular interest in union, all the parts combined cannot fail to find in the united mass of means and efforts greater strength, greater resource, proportionably greater security from external danger, a less frequent interruption of their peace by foreign nations; and, what is of inestimable value, they must derive from union an exemption from those broils and wars between themselves, which so frequently afflict neighboring countries not tied together by the same governments, which their own rival ships alone would be sufficient to produce, but which opposite foreign alliances, attachments, and intrigues would stimulate and embitter. Hence, likewise, they will avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. In this sense it is that your union ought to be considered as a main prop of your liberty, and that the love of the one ought to endear to you the preservation of the other.
These considerations speak a persuasive language to every reflecting and virtuous mind, and exhibit the continuance of the Union as a primary object of patriotic desire. Is there a doubt whether a common government can embrace so large a sphere? Let experience solve it. To listen to mere speculation in such a case were criminal. We are authorized to hope that a proper organization of the whole with the auxiliary agency of governments for the respective subdivisions, will afford a happy issue to the experiment. It is well worth a fair and full experiment. With such powerful and obvious motives to union, affecting all parts of our country, while experience shall not have demonstrated its impracticability, there will always be reason to distrust the patriotism of those who in any quarter may endeavor to weaken its bands.
In contemplating the causes which may disturb our Union, it occurs as matter of serious concern that any ground should have been furnished for characterizing parties by geographical discriminations, Northern and Southern, Atlantic and Western; whence designing men may endeavor to excite a belief that there is a real difference of local interests and views. One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts. You cannot shield yourselves too much against the jealousies and heartburnings which spring from these misrepresentations; they tend to render alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal affection. The inhabitants of our Western country have lately had a useful lesson on this head; they have seen, in the negotiation by the Executive, and in the unanimous ratification by the Senate, of the treaty with Spain, and in the universal satisfaction at that event, throughout the United States, a decisive proof how unfounded were the suspicions propagated among them of a policy in the General Government and in the Atlantic States unfriendly to their interests in regard to the Mississippi; they have been witnesses to the formation of two treaties, that with Great Britain, and that with Spain, which secure to them everything they could desire, in respect to our foreign relations, towards confirming their prosperity. Will it not be their wisdom to rely for the preservation of these advantages on the Union by which they were procured ? Will they not henceforth be deaf to those advisers, if such there are, who would sever them from their brethren and connect them with aliens?
To the efficacy and permanency of your Union, a government for the whole is indispensable. No alliance, however strict, between the parts can be an adequate substitute; they must inevitably experience the infractions and interruptions which all alliances in all times have experienced. Sensible of this momentous truth, you have improved upon your first essay, by the adoption of a constitution of government better calculated than your former for an intimate union, and for the efficacious management of your common concerns. This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers, uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment, has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of true liberty. The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable. Liberty itself will find in such a government, with powers properly distributed and adjusted, its surest guardian. It is, indeed, little else than a name, where the government is too feeble to withstand the enterprises of faction, to confine each member of the society within the limits prescribed by the laws, and to maintain all in the secure and tranquil enjoyment of the rights of person and property.
I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.
This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.
The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.
Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism. A just estimate of that love of power, and proneness to abuse it, which predominates in the human heart, is sufficient to satisfy us of the truth of this position. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositaries, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them. If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed. The precedent must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit, which the use can at any time yield.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. 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.
It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
Promote then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.
Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it 7 It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?
In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.
So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils 7 Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.
Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.
Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?
It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.
Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.
Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.
How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.
In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.
After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.
The considerations which respect the right to hold this con duct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.
The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.
The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.
Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.
Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.
|Forensic reconstructionists created a model of George Washington as he likely appeared as a 19-year-old surveyor. It will be displayed at Mount Vernon.|
|A team of artists and scientists believe this is what General Washington looked like at age 45, when leading the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.|
|He's portrayed here at age 57, taking the oath of office.|