Celebrating President Washington by remembering George Washington

George Washington was born February 22, 1732. No greater man has led this nation. He set the bar high for future presidents and us all as citizens. Photo: www.ponticohills.org

WASHINGTON, February 22, 2012 - Duly celebrated as the ‘Father of our Country,’ George Washington has also been called the ‘Moses of America.’ No greater man has led this nation. He set the bar high for future presidents and us all as citizens. 

His personality, character and leadership were decisive in three crucial events of early America - the Revolutionary War, the Constitutional Convention, and the first national administration.

Washington’s accomplishments are impressive.

He transcribed Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation before age sixteen. His father, Augustine Washington died when young George was eleven. George received no documented formal education. By seventeen-years-old, he was the official surveyor of Culpeper County Virginia. He spent much of his life in some form of military endeavor.

As a result, he understood the key to peace.

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.”  

It would be virtually impossible for one individual to achieve even a fraction of what Washington did in today’s society. Therefore, it is perhaps what he didn’t do that provides a model for what Americans might emulate in times such as these.  

George Washington never gave up nor showed signs of despair, even in the worst of times.  

Washington faced and persevered past many impossible odds. 

The 23 year-old Colonel Washington was the only officer not shot down during a battle with the French and Indians in 1755. Following the battle, Washington wrote a letter to his brother saying, “By the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet [I] escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!”

Imagine remaining steadfast from August to November of 1776 as the British drove the meager American forces all over New York. What commander would not have felt faint at the sight of military pageant when off Long Island a British fleet of up to four hundred ships filled the harbor and 30,000 veteran soldiers stood ready to annihilate the American Army? With only 9,000 men in a fortified camp at BrooklynWashington addressed his men: 

“The enemy have now landed on Long Island and the hour is fast approaching on which the honor and success of his army and the safety of our bleeding country depend. Remember, officers and soldiers, that you are freemen fighting for the blessings of liberty — that slavery will be your portion and that of your posterity if you do not acquit yourselves like men.” 

George Washington didn’t seek to put himself in high places. 

In June of 1775 at the Second Continental Congress, Washington was unanimously elected by his peers to command whatever forces could be mustered to stand against the British. This was not a post he “ran” for but he accepted the appointment in a brief speech, in which he said: 

“I beg they will accept my cordial thanks for this distinguished testimony of their approbation. But lest some unlucky event should happen, unfavorable to my reputation, I beg it may be remembered by every gentleman in the room that I this day declare with the utmost sincerity I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with. As to pay, Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses. Those I doubt not they will discharge, and that is all I desire.” 

Washington never received a salary as commander of the army and his expense records, turned in when he resigned, were impeccable. 

His most important act of honor, revealing ultimately his character, and setting firmly the course for America to remain free was the resigning of his commission to Congress on December 23, 1783. 

No one man in any land had ever been as revered as General George Washington. It was by strength of his personality and leadership that the army held together for those long eight years in fighting off the British. He could have established himself a monarchy with little to no resistance. 

However, the General presented himself to the members of Congress with a bow before reading a prepared speech with trembling hands and a quaking voice.

“… presenting myself before Congress to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the service of my country…Happy in the confirmation of our independence and sovereignty and pleased with the opportunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable nation, I resign with satisfaction the appointment I accepted with diffidence – a diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which, however, was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our cause, the support of the supreme power of the union, and patronage of Heaven.” 

George Washington didn’t forget that the hand of God directed the affairs of all people, including himself and America

Had Washington somehow accepted his position as commander without faith, he certainly could not have left it without surety that the hand of God was on the American cause. One miraculous event after another aided the small, untrained and often weak army ranging from the dense fog that protected them in retreat from Long Island to the thousands of shad that appeared and fed the literally starving army camped at Valley Forge along Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River in 1778.

The diary of a soldier reported:

“Then, dramatically, the famine completely ended. Countless thousands of fat shad, swimming up the Schuylkill to spawn, filled the river….Soldiers thronged the river bank….the cavalry was ordered into the river bed….the horsemen rode upstream, noisily shouting and beating the water, driving the shad before them into nets spread across the Schuylkill….So thick were the shad that, when the fish were cornered in the nets, a pole could not be thrust into the water without striking fish….The netting was continued day after day…until the army was thoroughly stuffed with fish and in addition hundreds of barrels of shad were salted down for future use.” 

That George Washington’s role in forming this nation and his impeccable character are little more than a footnote in most public school curriculums today is a disgrace, second only to those who have attempted to portray him as a deist or not a man of any faith. 

Washington was not only a man of great faith in God but also a believer in Jesus Christ. Literally hundreds of facts corroborate his beliefs both in his own words and in those who knew him.  

In his last message before Congress he said, “I cannot omit the occasion to congratulate you and my country in the success of the experiment nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Sovereign Arbiter of nations that his Providential care may still be extended to the United States, that the virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved, and that the government which they have instituted for the protection of their liberties may be perpetual.” 

In a speech to the Delaware Chiefs in 1779he said, “Brothers, …you do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.” 

In writing to the Reverend William Gordon in 1781: “We have… abundant reason to thank Providence for its many favorable interpositions in our behalf. It has at times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us.”

Our nation needs a man of George Washington’s character to lead us. While waiting for that leader, we might all benefit from mimicking his ways in our daily lives. 

Read more about George Washington: 

1776, David McCullough

The Real George Washington, Jay A. Parry, Andrew M. Allison

Sacred Fire, Peter Lillback

George Washington: “An Instrument in the Hands of Providence”, Providence Foundation

Carla Garrison follows current events with one eye on history and the other on the future.  Her goal is to encourage people to know the truth and use it as a call to personal action. Read more at Truth be Told

Follow Carla on Twitter and Facebook.



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Carla Garrison

Carla writes about current issues and events with an aim toward telling the truth, using the writings of great thinkers, dead and living, as well as common sense.

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