Life Of Washington

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The effect of this "single, immortal, and dubious anecdote," and others like it, has made this book one of the most influential in the history of American folklore. Originally published as an eighty-page pamphlet entitled The Life and Memorable Actions of George Washington, it quickly attained immense popularity. In 1806 a so-called fifth edition was published which contained for the first time the tale of George Washington and the cherry tree; the book has survived to this day, although largely on the basis of that episode. This volume follows the text of the ninth (1809) printing, which included all the famous anecdotes. The first republication of the book since 1927, it is unique in its detailed commentary on Weems and other biographers of Washington.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Herald Tribune
Marcus Cunliffe "has provided the first scholarly editing of Parson Weem's work. He introduces the high-spirited old scamp with more sympathy than he has received in many a year, gives a short account of Weems' own life drawn from the attenuated facts available, an evaluation of the reliability of the biography, and delivers a kindly judgment: 'Weems supplied distinct needs for the American imagination.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674532519
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/1962
  • Series: John Harvard Library Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 0.62 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction by Marcus Cunliffe

Note on the Text

1. Introductory

2. Birth and Education

3. George's Father Dies—His Education Continued by his Mother—His Behaviour under School-master Williams

4. George Leaves School—Is Appointed a Private Surveyor to Lord Fairfax, of the Northern Neck—Wishes to Enter on Board of a British Man of War—Providentially Prevented by His Mother—The First Lightnings of His Soul to War

5. French Encroachments on the Ohio-Washington Volunteers His Services to Governor Dinwiddie—His Hazardous Embassy to the French and Indians—Miraculous Escapes—Account of His Journals—Anecdote of His Modesty

6. The French and Indian War Begins—Washington Goes Forth to Meet the Dangers of His Country—Aims a Blow at Fort Du Quesne—Fails—Gallant Defence of Fort Necessity—Retires from the Service in Disgust—Pressed into it Again by General Braddock—Defeat and Death of Braddoch, and Dreadful Slaughter of His Army

7. Fateful Effects of Braddoch's Defeat—Washington Wishes to Carry the War into Indian Country—Government Refuses-Defensive War Preferred—The Frontiers Deso-lated

8. Washington's Mother Has a Very Curious Dream—It Points to Great Corning Troubles—A Cloud Rising in England—The Causes of the Revolutionary War

9. Battle of Bunker's-hilt—Of Sullivan's Island-Declaration of Independence—Defeat of the Americans on Long Island-Howe Looks Big-Times Squally

10. Lord North Coming to His Senses, Sends Commissioners to America—Clinton Evacuates Philadelphia—Washington Pursues Him—Battle of Monmouth—Arnold's Apostacy—André Apprehended—Executed—His Character

11. Washington Again on His Farm—Sketch of His Conduct There—Suggests the Importance of Inland Navigation—Companies Forming—Urges a Reform of the Old Constitution—Appointed President of the United States—Great Difficulties to Encounter—Gloriously Surmounts Them

12. The Death of Washington

13. Character of Washington

14. Washington's Character Continued—His Benevolence

15. Washington's Character Continued—His Industry

16. Washington's Character Continued—His Patriotism—Conclusion—Washington's Will

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