The Life of George Washington

Overview


America’s first president has captivated our interest for more than two centuries, but no biographer of George Washington knew him with the authenticity, intimacy, and depth of understanding as John Marshall exhibited in his book The Life of George Washington.

This biography was begun in 1799 following Washington’s death, when chief justice Marshall was granted by Washington’s surviving family full access to all of his records, papers, and personal archives. The result is a ...

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The Life of George Washington

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Overview


America’s first president has captivated our interest for more than two centuries, but no biographer of George Washington knew him with the authenticity, intimacy, and depth of understanding as John Marshall exhibited in his book The Life of George Washington.

This biography was begun in 1799 following Washington’s death, when chief justice Marshall was granted by Washington’s surviving family full access to all of his records, papers, and personal archives. The result is a story not only of George Washington, but also of America’s founding.

Marshall covers every major event in Washington’s personal life and in his public role as a founding father, including his childhood, his early career, his resignation as colonel, his marriage to Martha, the invasion of Canada, early negotiations with the British, the crossing of the Delaware, the state of Washington’s army during the Revolution, the treason of Benedict Arnold, the official announcement of the election of Washington as president, meetings of Congress, a threatened war with France toward the end of his life, his death, and his character.

Marshall’s biography of George Washington was first published in Philadelphia in five volumes, between 1804 and 1807, and today, copies of this first edition are among the rarest and most expensive of antiquarian books. This edition is an exact facsimile of the one-volume edition published in 1857, also a very rare book, which was specially edited and abridged for a general audience by John Marshall himself.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"After the able, accurate, and comprehensive work of Chief Justice Marshall, it would be presumptuous to attempt an historical biography of Washington." —Jared Sparks, historian and president of Harvard College (1789–1866)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781230327365
  • Publisher: General Books LLC
  • Publication date: 9/12/2013
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.27 (d)

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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