The Truths of Washington

By | Feb 22, 2012

George Washington, the leader of the Continental Army and later the first President of the United States, thought of February 22nd as his birthday. He was born on February 11, 1731 under the Julian Calendar. The Julian Calendar was used in England, in which Virginia was a colony in 1731, but the Gregorian Calendar was used in most parts of the world. England would adopt the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 adding 11 days to the calendar. Washington accepted and added those 11 days.

Washington was a member of the Second Continental Congress, but he didn’t participate nor sign the Declaration on Independence. On June 14, 1775, a year before the debate and adoption, he was named Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. He was however one of the prime movers to change the Articles of Confederation, which turned out to be the writing and the adoption of the new Constitution.

While Washington had false teeth, they were not made of wood. He did have ones made by Dr. John Greenwoodby of gold and hippopotamus ivory. Dr. John Greenwood is known as the “Father of Modern Dentistry”.

Mason Locke Weems also known as Parson Weems wrote “A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits of General George Washington.” Weems felt that Washington was the “greatest man that ever lived”. Some of the things he wrote about Washington was more about his character than actual truths. One of these is about a Young Washington cutting down his father’s cherry tree and not lying to his father about his actions. Did he do it, probably not, but Weems felt it fit Washington’s Character of being truthful.

The District of Columbia, or Washington DC, the capital of the United States was begun when he was President and he was involved in the design of the city and the White House, the President’s home. Washington never lived in the White House and probably never in the city itself. The Capitals of the United States while he was President were New York City (March 4, 1789 to December 5, 1790) and Philadelphia (December 6, 1790 to May 14, 1800).

Washington may have spent many years away from his home of Mount Vernon, Virginia, but other than a trip to Barbados in the West Indies when he was 19 he never left the soil of what would become the United States. He went to Barbados with ith his older half-brother, Lawrence, in hopes to improve Lawrence’s health. Lawrence would die within the year. He did travel to foreign soil as a soldier during the French-Indian War, but most, if not all of that area has become the United States. Even though there were battles fought in Canada during the American Revolution, Washington was not at any of those battles.


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