Saturday, August 30, 2014

George Washington, Myths & Facts

There are lots of stories about George Washington, most involving his character.  Thus the fabled story about the Cherry Tree.  He was six feet tall,  a physically strong man, therefore the story of him throwing a coin across the Potomac. Teeth? read to the end about the wooden teeth, (surprise).


(Wigs were popular in his time, but he never wore one, he did however use the white powder)

I have read more history since traveling, than in school.  From what I read it was Washington’s character, not his military strategy that made him a great leader. As Jefferson said of him, ‘he had the uncanny ability to judge a person’s abilities and limits. He picked good leaders.’


(hair without the powder)

He fought in the French and Indian war and was once captured by the French.  He was released to return to his command, saying much about his diplomacy.

After the F & I War, he courted and married the richest widow in Virginia, Martha Dandridge Curtis (gotta see some smarts here also, if you want to climb the social ladder Surprised smile).  Together they raised her two children.  There was never any children born to George and Martha, the bout with small pox during his early travels, had rendered him impotent.


I like the idea that he presided over the convention that produced our Constitution that replaced the ‘Articles of Confederation’.

I am reminded as I write of a song about Mary the mother of Jesus, “Mary Did You Know?” Since George’s mother was Mary it goes thru my mind, Mary (Washington) did you  Know:

Your son would be called the Father of a nation?That there would be children named for his memory for hundreds of years? That he would live to see a city named for him and  it would become the greatest seat of power in the world?

Mary did you know that the personality you bestowed on him would win him elections to be the first President of a NEW country?

Mothers, they are the best.

History shows George was a slave owner, that was the day he lived in, but his writings and personal history show he thought it was not the best of form for a new country.  At his death he freed every slave and indentured person under his authority.


Another amazing fact, unlike his older siblings he never attended school. He was home-schooled that gave him an elementary education (5th grade). Yet he impressed the most educated men in the world, he pushed for public education and had a University named after him.

Nothing anyone could say nor write that would lower my opinion of a couple presidents. George was definitely one.


NOW, Wooden teeth? No! They were carved from hippopotamus ivory, and formed using a combination of gold, lead, human, donkey and horse teeth. The work was done by Dr. John Greenwood,  ‘Father of modern dentistry’. George had only one of his original teeth at the time of his inauguration.  That is the rest of the story.

Thanks for being with us in Colonial Virginia.  We Visited Mt. Vernon years ago and while living in Arlington the boys and I climbed to the top of the Washington Monument. I am glad our leaders in the beginning were well rounded and good natured folk.

Nite Shipslog

PS: (Sermons lived not preached)

Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter's antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

(DID you think of Chatty? I did!)



Every boys (and some girls) dream, THE HOT ROD! Today you will see old men driving them trying to recapture that ‘50’s feeling.


betty said...

How interesting about his teeth; definitely took some thinking on the part of the dentist to work with what he had available and make those what I'm thinking were working teeth. He certainly did leave his mark on our country in so many different ways our first president did.


Paula said...

They just don't make presidents like they use to. I too found the teeth subject very interesting. Thanks for the history lesson.

Rose said...

Very Interesting. I used to hear people say Washington's teeth were made of wood but I recall researching that years ago and found out it was untrue.

I enjoyed this Post very much.

Hugs to my favorite couple!

shirl72 said...

Brings back lots of things I had
forgotten, the Cherry Tree. The
teeth is very interesting wonder
how much they cost.

I wonder what our early Presidents would think of today's world. Good
History lesson.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I like the twist you gave to the facts and the myths...Mary did you know is a great way to tell George Washington's story. I enjoyed the post. Hope you all are enjoying your time there. It's to be a hot 90 degree day here.

Mevely317 said...

"Mary, did you know?" What a great correlation!

I'm astonished to hear he only finished the 5th grade. Then again, I'm pretty sure their education was far better than what's being taught today!
Here's a link to something I shared a few years back - an 1895 final exam for 8th graders. Yikes!

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my goodness - you should write the history books - I love the way you present things - love ole George too!


fascinating about the teeth. Loved the "Mary Did You Know?"