Ever wonder what George Washington was doing on any given day? I've been looking into it. He put his heart and soul into this country. This is where I thank him for it.
It's 6 am, September 15th, 2020. I got up, warmed-up a couple of yesterday's biscuits, then sat down at the computer to see what good, old George Washington was up to on this day, way-back-when. Any year of his life would have done; I picked 1776.
George on September 15, 1776
Turns out, George had quite a day; I almost dropped my biscuit when I read what he was up to. If George was having biscuits that day, I bet he dropped them too—the moment he heard gunfire over on Kips Bay.
GW, stationed at Harlem Heights four miles away, dashed off on his horse to the scene of action. There he found the British were landing at Kips Bay and his troops in disarray. Under a bombardment of British cannon fire, his untested, rag-tag troops panicked, retreated and even tried to surrender. GW rode among them trying to restore order.
I'm no expert on GW, but after reading his letter to John Hancock describing the events (written in the September 16, 1776), and footnotes to the letter, I'd say GW 1) had a temper, and 2) would eat fire if the cause was important enough.
Here is an excerpt from his letter to Hancock (shown with permission from FoundersArchives.gov). :
"...As soon as I heard the Firing, I road with all possible dispatch towards the place of landing when to my great surprize and Mortification I found the Troops that had been posted in the Lines retreating with the utmost precipitation and those ordered to support them, parson's & Fellows's Brigades, flying in every direction and in the greatest confusion, notwithstanding the exertions of their Generals to form them. I used every means in my power to rally and get them into some order but my attempts were fruitless and ineffectual, and on the appearance of a small party of the Enemy, not more than Sixty or Seventy, their disorder increased and they ran away in the greatest confusion without firing a Single Shot4—Finding that no confidence was to be placed in these Brigades and apprehending that another part of the Enemy might pass over to Harlem plains and cut off the retreat to this place, I sent orders to secure the Heights in the best manner with the Troops that were stationed on and near them, which being done, the retreat was effected with but little or no loss of Men..."
Thanks George, for dashing in when we needed you most.
Read the full letter (and very interesting footnotes) at: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/03-06-02-0251
George on September 12, 1789
On September 12, 1789, George Washington wrote to the Pennsylvania Legislature. He was quite a guy with quite a way with words. Here is an excerpt from his letter (shown with permission from FoundersArchives.gov).
"…The virtue, moderation, and patriotism which marked the steps of the American People in framing, adopting, and thus far carrying into effect our present system of Government, has excited the admiration of Nations; and it only now remains for us to act up to those principles, which should characterize a free and enlightened People, that we may gain respect abroad and ensure happiness and safety to ourselves and to our posterity.
It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn. To obtain this desireable end—and to establish the government of laws, the union of these States is absolutely necessary; therefore in every proceeding, this great, this important object should ever be kept in view; and so long as our measures tend to this; and are marked with the wisdom of a well informed and enlightened people, we may reasonably hope, under the smiles of Heaven, to convince the world that the happiness of nations can be accomplished by pacific revolutions in their political systems, without the destructive intervention of the sword."
Thanks George…for passing on a few kernels of wisdom.
Read the full letter at: https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-04-02-0014