The Life of George Washington

Overview

Within eight years of the death of George Washington in 1799, the first major biography of “the father of his country” was written by John Marshall and published in five volumes. Marshall, who later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was induced to the task by the first President’s nephew, Bushrod Washington. Marshall’s own principal biographer, Albert J. Beveridge, has described The Life of George Washington as “to this day the fullest and most trustworthy treatment of that period from the ...

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Overview

Within eight years of the death of George Washington in 1799, the first major biography of “the father of his country” was written by John Marshall and published in five volumes. Marshall, who later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, was induced to the task by the first President’s nephew, Bushrod Washington. Marshall’s own principal biographer, Albert J. Beveridge, has described The Life of George Washington as “to this day the fullest and most trustworthy treatment of that period from the conservative point of view.” In fact, so significant is the biography that Marshall later executed a one-volume abridgment, first published in 1838 and used widely for generations in American schools and colleges. The twentieth and final version of the abridgement, published in 1849, is the text reproduced in the new Liberty Fund edition of what Charles A. Beard has praised as a “great” and “masterly” biography. The editors’ foreword and notes, together with maps of major battle campaigns not included in the original edition, make this edition especially attractive for classroom use. The Appendices include Washington’s Speech to the Officers of the Army (15 March 1783), Address to Congress on Resigning Commission (23 December 1783), Letter to Congress Transmitting Proposed Constitution (17 September 1787), First Inaugural Address (30 April 1789), and Farewell Address (19 September 1796).

Robert Faulkner is a Professor of Political Science at Boston College.

Paul Carrese is a Professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865972766
  • Publisher: Liberty Fund, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/1/2000
  • Edition description: Special Edition
  • Pages: 542

Meet the Author

John Marshall, born near Germantown, Virginia, on September 24, 1755, was the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is remembered today as the longest-serving chief justice of the United States (1801–1835) and as the founder of constitutional law. He was a lieutenant during the American Revolution and was a comrade in arms with Washington at the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Stony Point, and Valley Forge. Marshall announced Washington’s death and said his eulogy. Marshall died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 6, 1835.

Wayne LaPierre is the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association of America.

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Table of Contents


Foreword xi Table of Maps xxiii Principal Events of Washington’s Life xxv Note on this Edition xxvii The Life of George Washington Part One: Commander in Chief of the Revolution
I. “The Favorite Soldier of Virginia”: Early Years; the French and Indian War (1732 to 1759) 3
2. “The Soldier of America”; Victory at Boston (September 1774 to April 1776) 22
3. War in Canada and the North (June 1775 to November 1776) 31
4. War in the South; the Declaration of Independence (November 1775 to July 1776) 41
5. Defeat and the Restoration of “Native Courage”: Command in New York (June to September 1776) 51
6. “Unyielding Firmness”: Retreat and Attack in New York and New Jersey (October 1776 to January 1777) 67
7. The Army and Independence Maintained (January to July 1777) 83
8. Battle and a Wise Determination to Avoid Battle: The Struggle for Philadelphia (July to September 1777) 92
9. A Stubborn Contest in the Middle Colonies (September to December 1777) 100
10. Defeat, then Victory, in the North: Ticonderoga, Bennington, Saratoga (November 1775 to November 1777) 115
11. “The Character of Washington”: Preserving Army and Command at Valley Forge (December 1777 to May 1778) 131
12. “On His Own Responsibility”: A New Army at Monmouth (March to June 1778) 148
13. “Temperate Measures”: Disappointment with the French, Stalemate with the British (July to December 1778) 157
14. Diplomacy; Frontier Attacks; Congress’s Grand Plan (June 1778 to February 1779) 165
15. The British Shift the Front: War in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia (November 1778 to June 1779) 173
16. Near-Mutinies and Calming Influence; Skirmishes; the Allies Fail at Savannah (May to December 1779) 180
17. Disasters and Misjudgments in South Carolina (January to August 1780) 194
18. Governing Without Teeth: Mutiny; Failures of Supply; a French Force Stalls (January to September 1780) 207
19. Arnold’s Treason; Faction and Army Policy in Congress (August to December 1780) 219
20. “Abilities, Fortitude, and Integrity”: Greene and His Lieutenants in the South (August 1780 to April 1781) 228
21. Mutiny Parried and Quelled; the “Miserably Defective” Structure of Congress; Lafayette Checks Cornwallis (November 1780 to July 1781)
244
22. “The Total Incompetency of the Political System”; Victory at Yorktown (May to December 1781) 257
23. The Deep South Regained; the Prudence of Greene (April 1781 to January 1782) 271
24. Peace; Pacifying the Army; the “Virtuous Moderation” to Bid Farewell (December 1781 to December 1783) 285 Part Two: Father and President of the New Republic
25. Private Statesmanship: Agriculture, Improvements, Union (1783 to 1785) 301
26. Political Imbecility; Constituting a Government (1784 to 1789) 313
27. Conciliating the Public: Election, Inauguration, and First Appointments (1789) 327
28. Defense, Finance, Foreign Affairs—and the First “Systematic Opposition” (1790 to 1791) 343
29. Democratic Rebellion; Indian War; the French Model (March 1791 to March 1793) 357
30. Reelection; Furor over Neutrality; the Extraordinary Citizen Genêt (November 1792 to December 1793) 378
31. “The Path of Duty”: Averting War, Maintaining Independence (December 1793 to June 1794) 397
32. Executive Vigor Confronts War, Rebellion, and Treaty-making (January 1794 to June 1796) 410 Part Three: The First of Americans
33. Last Farewell; Final Duty; Legacy and Character (1796 to 1799) 443 Appendix A: Note on Further Reading and Editorial Sources 471 Appendix B: Important Writings of Washington 475 Index 501
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