The Washington Monument at the national capital makes one think of Washington's pure and lofty character. Speaking at the laying of the cornerstone, July 4, 1848, Robert C. Winthrop, Speaker of the House, said: "Lay the cornerstone of a monument which shall adequately bespeak the gratitude of the whole American people. Build it to the skies, you cannot outreach the loftiness of his principles; found it on the massive and eternal rock, you cannot make it more enduring than his fame. Construct it of peerless Parian marble, you cannot make it purer than his life. Exhaust upon it the rules and principles of ancient and modern art, you cannot make it more proportionate than his character." Pure and lofty like that noble shaft, splendidly upright and heroic, George Washington today rebukes every sordid motive, all party spirit, every fear and misgiving, and bids us love and serve this America for what it has been, for what it is today, and for what, under God, it is yet to be in the ages to come.
Was the oldest of five children.
Was fifty-seven years old when he entered upon the office of president.
Always had his hair powdered at public receptions, and never shook hands at such times.
His father had a farm of one thousand acres, so that a chopped cherry tree wasn't such a heavy loss.
Of sixty-nine electoral votes cast for the first President, Washington had sixty-nine.
When Washington first took charge of the army, it comprised 14,000 men, 9,000 of whom were from Massachusetts.
He was married to Mrs. Custis, January 6, 1759, and for seventeen years they lived the simple life on their Mount Vernon estate.
At his inaugural, he wore a full suit of fine cloth made by his own servant, and the dresses of his wife were also woven on the plantation.
He was just twenty-one years old when Governor Dinwiddie sent him on a perilous journey to Ohio to find out the strength of the French, which he accomplished.
The Indians said he bore a charmed life after he got four bullets through his coat and two horses shot out from under him in a movement led by General Braddock against Fort Duquesne.
At thirteen he was the strength marvel of the neighborhood, being abundantly able to out-wrestle, out-run, out-leap, out-pitch at quoits, any boy of his age in Virginia, to say nothing of his hatchet accomplishments.
He wrote Governor Clinton at the close of the war: "The scene is at last closed, and I feel eased of a load of public care. I hope to spend the remainder of my days in cultivating the affection of good men and in the practice of the domestic virtues."
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.—George Washington
President Washington made the shortest inaugural address of any chief executive. It was made at Philadelphia, March 4, 1793, when, for the second time, he took the oath of office. It contained 134 words and was as follows:
"Fellow citizens: I am again called upon by the voice of the country to execute the functions of its chief magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain for this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of United America."
"Washington, the brave, the wise, the good,
Supreme in war, in council, in peace,
Valiant without ambition, discreet without fear,
Confident without presumption.
In disaster, calm; in success, moderate; in all, himself.
The hero, the patriot, the Christian.
The father of nations, the friend of mankind,
Who, when he had won all, renounced all,
And sought in the bosom of his family and of nature, retirement,
And in the hope of religion, immortality."