Washington: A Life

On April 23, 2017, in America, American Revolution, Books, Founding Fathers, George Washington, Heroes, History, by Derrick G. Jeter

Of all the founding fathers, George Washington is the least understood. He comes out of history as the marble-man—about as approachable and warm as the marble sarcophagus that entombs his bones at Mount Vernon. He is everyone’s hero. But he is a hero of god-like stature—almost inconceivable that anyone like him could have actually existed […]

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

By unanimous vote on February 4, 1789, George Washington was elected President of the United States of America—our first, and the only one to win unanimously. Washington was reluctant to serve, having spent so many years aways from his beloved Mount Vernon during the Revolutionary War, but he saw himself as a servant of the […]

“Founders’ Son”: The Fathers in Abraham Lincoln’s Life

When Abraham Lincoln departed his Springfield, Illinois home in 1861, to be inaugurated as the sixteenth President of the United States, he told his friends and neighbors that the task before him was “more difficult than that which devolved upon General Washington.” One could argue the historical accuracy of that claim, but all must agree […]

Founding Fathers Friday: John Rutledge

Many of the Founding Father had tragic lives, especially at the end of their lives. But John Rutledge’s life was the stuff of Greek tragedy. Born on September 17, 1739, to one of the wealthiest families in Charleston, South Carolina, Rutledge his early childhood surrounded by luxury and ease. His father, an Irish immigrant and […]

Founding Fathers Friday: George Washington

“The indispensable man.” “The father of his country.” “First and war—first in peace—and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” George Washington was all of these . . . and more. The Duke of Wellington believed Washington was “perhaps the purest and noblest character of modern times.” In the eyes of John Adams, Washington was […]

Founding Fathers Friday: Patrick Henry

At the beginning of the American Revolution three Virginians sat at the pinnacle of prominence: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. Jefferson, the pen of the Revolution, Washington, the sword of the Revolution, and Henry, the voice of the Revolution. Two—Washington and Jefferson—would establish lasting fame as national heroes. And ironically, the man who […]

Founding Fathers Friday: James Monroe

George Washington is the first Founding Father, if not by chronological at least in historical importance. Of this, few would dispute. James Monroe is the last Founding Father—if not in historical importance at least by chronological. Like all of the Virginia Founders, except Patrick Henry, Monroe was born to relative wealth and property. Born on […]

Founding Fathers Friday: James Madison

When George Washington walked into a room every head snapped to gaze upon his nearly six-foot-two frame. And when he was in uniform he displaced respect and reverence equal to his 175 pounds, like a battleship displacing its weight in water. James Madison couldn’t displace water in a glass. No one paid attention when he […]

Founding Fathers Friday: James McClurg

Founders like George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin have become almost demigod-like in our history. Maybe not so much today, but at various times in our history we’ve placed certain Founders on unreachable pedestals. In the summer of 1787, these and other notable Founders hadn’t quite reached the demigod status—though Washington and Franklin were […]

Founding Fathers Friday: George Mason

He once said he’d rather cut off his hand than sign the Constitution. The Founder who became the godfather of the Declaration of Independence and the “Father of the Bill of Rights” never came around to support the newly created national government. In the eyes of George Mason, the only sure guard of liberty came […]