Milicija Vašingtona i Virdžinije

Milicija Vašingtona i Virdžinije

Nakon istaknute službe kod Braddocka, George Washington je 1756. imenovan pukovnikom i zapovjednikom milicijskih snaga Virginije. Ovo područje je bilo izvan glavnih ratnih pozornica, a glavne odluke donijeli su britanski oficiri i dužnosnici. Ipak, budući zapovjednik Kontinentalna vojska suočila se s izazovnim iskustvom. Takođe se morao nositi s neovisnošću skupštine Virdžinije, koja je sporo dobavljala zalihe i plaćala vojnike; čak i kad je novac stigao, kolonija je redovno plaćala u nižim razinama od svojih susjeda - činjenica koja je mnogo učinila da se naruši moral. Kasno 1757. godine Washington se nevoljko vratio u svoju kuću u Mount Vernon, jer nije uspio prevladati dugu borbu s dizenterijom . Kasnije te godine pridružio se Johnu Forbesu u maršu na Fort Duquesne. Vratio se kući i izabran je za službu u Domu Burgesses, gdje je ostao aktivan do 1774. godine. Vojne aktivnosti Washington -a na granici pokazale su se kao odlično vježbalište. Također treba napomenuti da je Washington neuspješno lobirao za napredovanje.


Pogledajte francusku i indijsku ratnu hronologiju.
Vidi i Tabelu vremena za indijske ratove.


Virdžinijska milicija

Osim što je primio imanje Washington i svoj dom u Mount Vernonu, George Washington je ušao i u vojsku nakon smrti starijeg polubrata Lawrence Washington. Nakon što je dobio političko zvanje ađutanta, George je postao i major milicije u Virdžiniji. Ovo vojno imenovanje Georgeu Washingtonu dao je guverner Virdžinije Robert Dinwiddie. Njegovo vrijeme u miliciji omogućilo je Washingtonu njegovo prvo vojno iskustvo, a kasnije će mu otvoriti put da postane vrhovni komandant Kontinentalne vojske tokom Američkog rata za nezavisnost. Prva važna misija Georgea Washingtona kao majora milicije u Virdžiniji bila je francuskim snagama u Fort LeBoeufu (u današnjoj Pensilvaniji) 1753. Početkom 1750-ih, dva velika kolonizatora Sjeverne Amerike bili su Francuska i Velika Britanija. Kako su obje svjetske sile širile svoja zemljišna prava prema zapadu, došlo je do neizbježnih sporova oko toga koja je zemlja s pravom potražila zemljište. Svrha misije Washingtona u Fort LeBoeufu bila je obavijestiti tamošnje francuske snage da je Velika Britanija polagala pravo na okolno zemljište. Nakon što su o tome obavijestili Francuze i zatražili njihovo preseljenje, francuske snage su to prijateljski odbile. Washington se vratio kući u Virdžiniju da se javi guverneru Dinwiddieu i primi daljnja naređenja. Ubrzo nakon toga, Dinwiddie je naredio Washingtonu da se vrati u zapadne zemlje i izgradi utvrdu na Great Meadowsu. Usput da izvrši svoju drugu misiju, Washington je naredio napad male francuske jedinice na Fort Duquesne. Ovaj napad je bio izvan naloga guvernera Dinwiddieja da ne traži agresivne akcije i da se bori samo u samoodbrani. Napad Washingtona na Fort Duquesne ubio je francuskog zapovjednika Coulona de Jumonvillea i izazvao početak Francuskog i Indijskog rata. Kao što se i očekivalo, Francuzi su uskoro okupili kontranapad na snage Washingtona. Nakon što su cijeli dan opsjedali Washington -ovu vojsku i ubili mnoge njegove ljude, Francuzi su doživjeli odlučujući poraz na mjestu milicije Virdžinije na Great Meadowsu (zvanom Fort Necessity). I sam George Washington zarobljen je nakon poraza u Fort Necessityju, ali je kasnije pušten da se vrati kući u Virdžiniju sa ostatkom svojih ljudi pod uvjetom da se više nikada neće vratiti u regiju kako bi izgradio još jedno utvrđenje. Iako je pretrpio neugodan i tragičan vojni gubitak, Washington je i dalje bio priznat od strane Virginia House of Burgesses, kao i nekoliko engleskih novina, kao neka vrsta ratnog heroja. Ovo priznanje bio je početak uspona Washingtona da bude poznat na ikoničnom nivou kao vojni genij (iako je Washington ponekad bio daleko od genija u svojim vojnim strategijama). Osim toga, njegovo iskustvo u vođenju milicije u Virdžiniji omogućilo mu je da uđe u britansku kraljevsku vojsku na početku Francuskog i Indijskog rata.


Ranim godinama

Kada je Washington imao šest godina, njegova se porodica preselila na Ferry Farm, preko rijeke Rappahannock iz Fredericksburga. Njegova starija polubraća, Lawrence i Austin, studirali su u Engleskoj, ali je smrt Augustine Washington kada je George imao jedanaest godina eliminirala njegovu priliku za školovanje u inostranstvu. Imao je nepravilno obrazovanje kod različitih učitelja i tutora, te je naučio osnove mjerenja. Mnogo godina kasnije, John Adams uputio je velikodušnu primjedbu u Washington, omalovažavajući prvog predsjednika kao "nepismenog, nepročitanog, nenaučenog za svoju poziciju."

Washington je došao pod patronat bogate i moćne porodice Fairfax nakon što se Lawrence Washington oženio Ann Fairfax, kćerkom Williama Fairfaxa, koja je živjela u sjajnoj vili Belvoir nedaleko od Mount Vernona. Porodica je kontrolirala Fairfax Grant od pet miliona hektara koji se proteže od vrha sjevernog vrata do zaleđa doline Shenandoah. 1748. godine, sa šesnaest godina, Washington je pratio mjeritelje Fairfaxa na 8-mjesečnom putovanju kroz Shenandoah. Sa sedamnaest godina imenovan je službenim mjeriteljem za okrug Culpeper. U sljedećih nekoliko godina stekao je približno 9.000 jutara zemlje.

1751. godine Washington je krenuo na svoje jedino putovanje izvan kontinenta, otputujući na Barbados s Lawrenceom Washingtonom, koji je tražio olakšanje od tuberkuloze. Washington je tamo preživio slučaj malih boginja, stekavši imunitet na bolest koja je postala epidemija tokom Revolucije. Često se kaže da ga je ova doza malih boginja učinila sterilnom, ali jedino moderno medicinsko istraživanje malih boginja i muške neplodnosti nije našlo korelaciju između njih dvije.


Adresa milicije Virdžinije

Na punom sastanku oficira 10. i 91. puka Virdžinijske milicije, sazvanom u Bedford Court-u 6. dana 17. oktobra 1798. u svrhu obuke & ampc. jednoglasno je dogovoreno da Kolo. Thomas Leftwich, Colo. John Trigg, major David Saunders, major Thomas Hubbard, major Samuel Handcock, major William Burton, kapetan Joel Leftwich i kapetan Isaac Okey budu imenovani za Odbor za pripremu obraćanja našem voljeni sugrađanin George Washington na prihvaćanju kasnog imenovanja general -potpukovnika i vrhovnog zapovjednika američkih snaga, i izražavajući njihov visoki smisao koji posjeduju, njegove sposobnosti da obavlja dužnosti te važne dužnosti.

Nakon sazivanja Odbora dogovoreno je da Thomas Leftwich bude imenovan za predsjedavajućeg i William Leftwich Junr sekretar, & nakon što je pripremio sljedeće obraćanje na koje je jednoglasno dogovoreno, Naloženo je da se njegova kopija odmah pošalje njegovoj ekselenciji George Washington.

George Washington -u general -potpukovnik i vrhovni komandant američkih snaga

Oficiri 10. i 91. puka milicije Virdžinije, sa srdačnim zadovoljstvom prihvaćaju da prihvaćate Komisiju general -potpukovnika i vrhovnog zapovjednika američkih snaga i dok osuđujemo uzrok koji je poremetio vaš mirni mir, gledamo s čuđenjem, primjer bez premca, osobe koja se povukla sa vlasti kada je bila u potpunom i zakonitom posjedu! (koji odmah pokazuje potvrđen pogled na superiornost vaših vrlina) Na taj način napredujući & pojačavajući dodatni dokaz i pojačavajući energiju te čvrste i pojačane revnosti za javnu slobodu i sreću, te uzorne vrline i pojačane talente koji su dali bez premca luster & amp pomoćni program za čitav period vašeg života! Mnogi od nas bili su očevici tog herojstva koje je tako upadljivo obilježilo vaše ponašanje u vođenju američke vojske na krvavom nadmetanju u kasnom revolucionarnom ratu! trebali bismo biti nevjerni dužnostima naše stanice kao oficiri, i bez obzira na uvjerenje naših umova, ako nismo izjavili tople osjećaje poštovanja i zahvalnosti, čije su usluge dragocjene kao što su bile vaše, uzbuđuju svaku dojku u koju vjerujemo , da će vaše prihvaćanje gore navedene Komisije djelovati na jačanju osjećaja koji su povoljni za sindikat i sigurnost ovih država, za uklanjanje lokalnih predrasuda i sumnji, njegovanje ljubavi i saglasnosti, provjeravanje destruktivnog nadmetanja stranačkog duha i konačno ujedinjenje u Jedan zajednički uzrok svih njenih građana u očuvanju njene slobode i nezavisnosti, čiji su temelji tako povoljno postavljeni pod vašu kontrolu! & u odbrani toga, budite uvjereni gospodine da naši najbolji napori nikada neće biti posvjedočeni.

Ovo nam dopušta da dodamo naše usrdne molbe na Nebo, da biste dugo poživjeli uživajući u tim blagodatima koje ste toliko pomogli u nabavljanju svoje zemlje i u tom pokoju koje ste uvijek žrtvovali u skladu s voljom nacije . Potpisano, po nalogu Odbora1

William Leftwich Jr Secry

1. Leftviči su bili ugledna porodica okruga Bedford. Pukovnik Thomas Leftwich (1740–1816) služio je kao kapetan milicije u ratu za nezavisnost, a kasnije je postao pukovnik milicije 10. puka Virdžinije. Njegov brat Joel (1760–1846), zastavnik tokom Revolucije, služio je u zakonodavnom tijelu Virdžinije od 1792. do 1793. godine i popeo se do čina brigadnog generala u državnoj miliciji tokom rata 1812. Velečasni William Leftwich, Jr. (1768–1848), bio je baptistički ministar i nećak Thomasa i Joela.

GW je odgovorio 24. oktobra: „Gospodo, iako vam zahvaljujem na ljubaznom i vrlo laskavom obraćanju i zadovoljstvu koje sam dobio od vaše odobrenja prihvaćanja Komisije, što bi me moglo još jednom uvesti u javni život, siguran sam Učinit ćete pravdu motivima koji su me izvukli iz tog mirnog odlaska u penziju, za koji sam se rado nadao da nikada više ne bi bio prekinut.

„Kad su nas gomilale povrede i uvrede, i kada su suverenitet i nezavisnost naše zemlje ugroženi, po mom mišljenju, više nije u mogućnosti dobar građanin da odbije svoje usluge od javnosti. Neka je njegova situacija takva kakva je, on gubi sva potraživanja prava jednog, ako u tako kritičnom trenutku ne bi trebao upotrijebiti sva sredstva u svojoj moći da pomogne u odbijanju ničim izazvane i ogorčene agresije.

„Na osnovu toga prihvatio sam svoju Komisiju i vjerujem da će svaki pravi Amerikanac biti spreman braniti svoju zemlju od stranih zadiranja i ovjekovječiti blagodati koje uživa pod svojom vladom.

"Da ne bi bilo prilike opasati se Mačem, nitko se gorljivije ne moli od mene i nitko, s više istine, ne bi mogao dodati, da ćemo, ako nažalost, u obrani svojih prava, biti primorani da ga otkrijemo" nadamo se da će ga, nakon što je objekt postignut, vratiti u korice sa više zadovoljstva. Ali da bismo spriječili zlo ili ga sreli poput ljudi, potrebno je prema sadašnjem aspektu naših poslova držati ga u svojim rukama i biti ujedinjeni u jednu grupu. Vaše molitve i ljubazne želje u moje ime, uzvraćam vam velikom srdačnošću. Idi: Washington ”(štampana kopija, DLC: GW).


Sedmogodišnji rat

Sedmogodišnji rat bio je sukob između Francuske i Velike Britanije koji je započeo 1754. godine kao spor oko sjevernoameričkih zahtjeva za zemljištem u regiji oko Pittsburga u Pensilvaniji. Ovaj sukob se na kraju proširio na druge dijelove svijeta, uključujući Evropu, Afriku i Aziju. Kada je Pariškim ugovorom okončan rat 1763, Francuska je ustupila Kanadu Engleskoj, a Indija je postala engleska kolonija.1

Od 1748. do 1754. godine Engleska i Francuska su postigle primirje.2 Francuska je održavala trgovačke odnose sa irokezom i tražila Kanadu i Velika jezera kao francusku teritoriju. Za to vrijeme su počeli pritiskati jug od Velikih jezera kako bi spriječili Engleze da se kreću na zapad. Engleski doseljenici su se kretali prema zapadu, čak i dok je Engleska obećavala prvim nacijama u Sjevernoj Americi da se engleski subjekti neće kretati pored planina Allegheny i Blue Ridge. Guverner Virginije & rsquos Dinwiddie poslao je predstavnika, mladog i željnog potpukovnika Georgea Washingtona, Francuzima koji ih je pozvao da odbiju svoje zahtjeve za regiju oko ušća rijeka Ohio i Monongahela, u blizini današnjeg Pittsburga, Pennsylvania. Događaji u zaleđu Pensilvanije privukli bi Englesku i Francusku u otvoreni sukob

Washington je, s malom grupom milicije Virdžinije, otputovao u Fort Duquesne kako bi prenio poruku. Francuzi nisu bili impresionirani i odbacili su Washington nakon što su ga tri dana čekali na odgovor. Na povratku u Williamsburg, u gornjoj dolini rijeke Ohio, njegova četa otkrila je logor francuskih vojnika. Neko je opalio hitac i kratki okršaj rezultirao je smrću francuskog oficira Josepha Coulona de Villiersa de Jumonvillea. Kad se njegova četa vratila u njihov bazni kamp, ​​Washington je znao da će se Francuzi odazvati i žurno je izgradio odbrambena utvrđenja na niskoj vodenoj livadi. Stranici je dao ime Fort Necessity i čekao je da se pojave Francuzi. Nakon tri dana borbi, Washingtonu su ponuđeni uslovi za predaju. Njemu i njegovim ljudima bilo bi dozvoljeno da se marširaju natrag u Williamsburg kako bi podnijeli izvještaj guverneru koji ga je poslao. To su bili jedini uslovi predaje koje je Washington ikada potpisao

Reagujući na ovaj incident, britanski zvaničnici odlučili su da lokalne milicije nisu dovoljne da izazovu Francuze. Poslali su generala Edwarda Braddocka da povrati dolinu rijeke Ohio i da Francuze gurne nazad u Kanadu.5 George Washington se dobrovoljno javio da služi u njegovoj četi. Braddock je naredio izgradnju ceste za nošenje teške artiljerije u to područje. Vojnici su polako nekoliko mjeseci isklesavali iz sjeverne Virdžinije u jugozapadnu Pensilvaniju. Bili su blizu tvrđave Necessity kada je grupa francuskih i indijskih ratnika udarila u kolonu Braddock & rsquos. Tako je sjevernoameričko kazalište Sedmogodišnjeg rata postalo Francuski i Indijski rat.6

Braddock je smrtno ranjen, a Washington je organizirao povlačenje, spašavajući živote u tom procesu i stekavši priznanje kao vođa ljudi.7 Kad je Braddock umro, Washington mu je naredio da ga na brzinu sahrane. U strahu od skrnavljenja ostataka General & rsquos, naredio je vagonima i konjima da pređu preko njega kako bi prikrili lokaciju. Lokacija groba otkrivena je početkom devetnaestog stoljeća tokom projekta izgradnje ceste, pa je ponovo sahranjen u blizini.8

Veliki dio francuskih i indijskih ratnih sukoba dogodio se u divljini oko Velikih jezera i Kanade. Poslano u Winchester, Virginia, Washington je smatrao da je proces impresioniranja trupa i izgradnja utvrda prilično frustrirajući.9 Ratnici nacije Shawnee, iskorištavajući britanski fokus sjeverno od Virginije, iskoristili su odsutnost milicije za pretres imanja i slabo zaštićene utvrde u zapadne planine, uzrokujući poplavu izbjeglica na istoku preko planina u sjevernu Virdžiniju.10

Engleska kruna preuzela je ogromne iznose duga kako bi pokrila troškove povezane s raspoređivanjem svoje vojske i mornarice po cijelom svijetu. Parlamentu su bili potrebni novi izvori prihoda. Pogledali su sjevernoameričke kolonije King & rsquos i zaključili da će, budući da su imali koristi od trošenja britanske krvi i blaga, kolonije biti oporezovane kako bi povratile dio blaga. Ova vrsta oporezivanja bila je nova pojava u kolonijama, jer je svako upravno vijeće kolonije prethodno odredilo poreske stope. Kolonije su se oštro opirale tim porezima, a Parlament ih je na kraju ukinuo. Porezi su postavili političke uslove pod kojima će, nešto više od jedne decenije kasnije, kolonije proglasiti svoju nezavisnost.11

1. Howard H. Peckham, Kolonijalni ratovi 1689-1762 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964.), 208.

2. Alan Taylor, Američke revolucije: Kontinentalna povijest, 1750-1804 (New York: Norton, 2016), 41-43.

3. Frederick Fausz, "" Angažovani u preduzećima koja su trudna od terora ": Formativne godine Džordža Vašingtona među Indijancima," Washington i Virginia Backcountry, ed. Warren Hofstra (Madison, WI: Madison House, 1998), 115-155.

4. Michael N. McConnell, Zemlja između: Gornje doline Ohaja i njezinih naroda, 1724-1774 (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1992), 109-112.

6. Fausz, 131 Taylor, 44 Matthew Ward, Razbijanje zaleđa: Sedmogodišnji rat u Virdžiniji i Pensilvaniji, 1754-1765 (Pittsburgh, Pensilvanija: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003), 40-45.

7. John E. Ferling, & ldquoSkola za komandovanje: Mladi George Washington i puk Virginia, & rdquo George Washington i Virginia Backcountry, 200-201.

8. Fred Anderson, Ratni lonac: Sedmogodišnji rat i sudbina carstva u britanskoj Sjevernoj Americi 1754-1766 (New York: Vintage Books, 2001), 104-105 David Preston, Braddock & rsquos poraz, bitka kod Monongahele i put do revolucije (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015), 253-260, 270-273.

9. Warren R. Hofstra, & ldquo & rsquoParcela varvara i rsquosa i neotesani skup ljudi & rsquo: Naseljenici i naselja u dolini Shenandoah, & rdquo George Washington i Virginia Backcountry, 103-108.

10. Anderson 109 Chester Young, & ldquoUčinci francuskog i indijskog rata na civilni život u pograničnim okruzima Virginia, 1754-1763 & rdquo (doktor znanosti, Vanderbilt University, 1970), 155-161.

11. Nick Bunker, Imperija na rubu: Kako se Britanija borila protiv Amerike (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), Kindle location 330 Taylor 120ff.


General Armija Sjedinjenih Država George Washington

George Washington rođen je u Westmoreland Countryu u Virdžiniji 22. februara 1732. Od oca i starijeg brata školovali su ga kod kuće. Kada je imao 17 godina, imenovan je za županijskog mjeritelja za Culpepera, a sa 20 godina bio je okružni general -ađutant u miliciji Virdžinije. Godine 1754. imenovan je za potpukovnika i vodio je neuspješnu kampanju protiv Francuza u Fort Duquesneu. Zatim je bio pomoćnik generala Edwarda Braddocka u zloslutnoj kampanji Monongahela. Kasnije 1755. postao je zapovjednik cijele milicije Virdžinije.

Godine 1758. izabran je u Virdžinijsku kuću Burgesses sljedeće godine, oženio se Marthom Dandridge Custis. Virdžinija ga je poslala kao delegata na Prvi i Drugi kontinentalni kongres 1774. odnosno 1775. godine. 15. juna 1775. Kongres ga je izabrao za generala i vrhovnog zapovjednika Kontinentalne vojske, što je funkcija koju je obnašao do 23. decembra 1783.

Washington je predvodio kontinentalnu vojsku u Bostonu (mart 1776), Trentonu (decembar 1776), Princetonu (januar 1777), Brandywineu (septembar 1777), Germantownu (oktobar 1777), Monmouthu (juni 1778) i Yorktownu (oktobar 1781). On je dao ostavku na mesto vrhovnog komandanta u decembru 1783. godine i vratio se na svoju plantažu u Mount Vernonu.

Do 1787. članovi Konfederacije postali su neodgovarajući za upravljanje nezavisnom nacijom. Washington je bio predsjednik Ustavne konvencije 1787. godine, a zatim i prvi predsjednik Sjedinjenih Država od 1789. do 1797. Ukratko, pozvan je u aktivnu službu kao viši oficir vojske, od 13. jula 1798. do svoje smrti 14. decembra 1799, ali nikada nije izašao na teren. Washington je Kongres 19. januara 1976. posthumno imenovao generala armija Sjedinjenih Država sa šest zvjezdica.

O Istorijskoj fondaciji vojske

Historical Foundation of Army imenovana je službena organizacija za prikupljanje sredstava za Nacionalni muzej vojske Sjedinjenih Država. Osnovani smo 1983. godine kao dobrotvorna neprofitna organizacija zasnovana na članovima 501 (c) (3). Nastojimo obrazovati buduće Amerikance da u potpunosti cijene žrtve koje su generacije američkih vojnika podnijele kako bi zaštitile slobode ove nacije. Naše financiranje pomaže u stjecanju i očuvanju povijesne umjetnosti i artefakata vojske, podržava obrazovne programe o historiji vojske, istraživanje i objavljivanje historijskog materijala o američkom vojniku, te pruža podršku i savjete privatnim i vladinim organizacijama koje su posvećene istim ciljevima.


Deset činjenica o Georgeu Washingtonu i francuskom i indijskom ratu

George Washington bio je sirov i ambiciozan 21-godišnjak kada je prvi put poslan u dolinu Ohio da se suoči sa sve većim francuskim prisustvom u regiji. Njegove akcije izazvale su rat u Francuskoj i Indiji.

1. Guverner Virdžinije poslao je 21-godišnjeg majora Georgea Washingtona da postavi ultimatum Francuzima

Kontrola prostrane regije doline Ohio, posebno blizu spajanja rijeka Monongahela i Allegheny (današnji Pittsburgh), bila je od velikog interesa i za Britance i njihove francuske rivale. Rijeke poput Ohaja, koje su se povezivale s Mississippijem, bile su bitni tranzitni koridori za robu proizvedenu u ovoj plodnoj regiji.

Zabrinut zbog izvještaja o ekspanziji Francuske u dolinu Ohio, guverner potporučnika Virginije Robert Dinwiddie poslao je 21-godišnjeg majora Georgea Washingtona iz puka Virginia u misiju da se suprotstavi francuskim snagama. Washington je trebao poslati poruku od guvernera tražeći da Francuzi napuste regiju i zaustave njihovo uznemiravanje engleskih trgovaca. Washington je napustio Williamsburg u Virdžiniji u listopadu 1753. godine i s Jacobom Van Braamom, porodičnim prijateljem i francuskim govornikom, i Christopherom Gistom, trgovcem i vodičem iz Ohaja, ušao u krševitu trans-Apalačku regiju. 11. decembra 1753, usred bijesne snježne oluje, Washington je stigao i ljubazno ga primio kapetan Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre u Fort LeBoeufu. Nakon što je pregledao Dinwiddievo pismo, Legardeur de Saint-Pierre je mirno napisao odgovor u kojem se navodi da je zahtjev francuskog kralja za dolinu Ohio "neosporan".

Vašingtonov povratak u Virdžiniju tokom zime 1753. bio je opasan, ali se grupa bezbjedno vratila u Williamsburg nakon što je prevalila skoro 900 milja u dva i po zimska mjeseca.

2. Porodica Washingtona, zajedno sa mnogim njegovim političkim saveznicima, imala je jake ekonomske interese u dolini Ohio

Kraljevski guverner Robert Dinwiddie, George William Fairfax, George Mason i Georgeova polubraća Lawrence i Augustine Washington bili su dioničari kompanije Ohio Company. Osnovana 1749. godine, kompanija Ohio je stvorena kako bi pomogla poticanju naseljavanja i razvoja prostrane doline Ohio. Dodijeljenih 200.000 jutara (s potencijalom za dodatnih 300.000 jutara) između rijeka Kanawha i Monongahela, dioničari kompanije iz Ohaja bili su ekonomski ugroženi francuskim upadom na ova odobrena zemljišta. Osim velikih geopolitičkih pitanja u pitanju, glavni dioničari kompanije Ohio, uključujući i George Washington, također su bili lično motivirani da potisnu Francuze iz regije.

3. Vašingtonov izvještaj o njegovim postupcima u dolini Ohio učinio ga je slavnom ličnošću u Sjevernoj Americi i Britaniji

Ubrzo nakon povratka u Williamsburg u januaru 1754., George Washington je sjeo i napisao detaljan prikaz svog putovanja u dolinu Ohio i opis svega što je vidio. Guverner Roberta Dinwiddieja tako je dobro prihvatio ovaj izvještaj da je objavio časopis majora Washingtona objavljen u Williamsburgu i Londonu. Dnevnik majora Georgea Washingtona nije sadržavao samo pažljiv prikaz Washingtona o njegovim iskustvima u zemlji u Ohaju, već i Dinwiddijevo pismo Francuzima i Francuzima.

Časopis majora Georgea Washingtona izlazio je u monografskom obliku i objavljivan je u raznim novinama u Britaniji i Americi. Ovaj izvještaj nije samo pomogao u informiranju američkog i britanskog stanovništva o percipiranoj rastućoj francuskoj prijetnji u dolini rijeke Ohio, već je i učinio mladog Georgea Washingtona slavnom osobom s obje strane Atlantika.

4. Prva bitka u Washingtonu zapalila je svjetski rat

Odgovarajući prkosnim Francuzima, potpukovnik Dinwiddie naredio je novopromaknutom potpukovniku Georgeu Washingtonu i približno 160 milicija Virdžinije da se vrate u državu Ohio u ožujku 1754. Dinwiddie je želio da Washington "djeluje defanzivno", ali i jasno osnažio Washington da "natjera zatvorenike da ubiju ili pojačaju & hellip" sve one koji su se opirali britanskoj kontroli regije.

U želji da pošalju vlastitu diplomatsku direktivu kojom se traži povlačenje Engleza iz regiona, francuske snage od 35 vojnika kojima je komandovao zastavnik Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville ulogorile su se u stjenovitoj klisuri nedaleko od logora Washingtona na Great Meadowsu (sada u okrugu Fayette, Pennsylvania). U pratnji Tanacharisona, šefa Seneke (poznatog i kao Polu-kralj) i 12 domorodačkih ratnika, Washington je predvodio grupu od 40 milicija u cjelonoćnom maršu prema francuskim položajima. 28. maja 1754. godine, Washington -ova partija krišom se približila francuskom logoru u zoru. Konačno su ih Francuzi uočili iz neposredne blizine, odjeknuli su pucnji i u šumovitoj divljini izbila je žestoka vatra. Snage Washingtona brzo su nadjačale iznenađene francuske snage i ubile 13 vojnika, a zarobile još 21. Washington je kasnije pisao o svom prvom vojnom angažmanu s određenom dozom borbenog entuzijazma.

"Srećom, pobjegao sam bez ikakvih rana, jer je desno krilo, gdje sam stajao, bilo izloženo i primilo svu neprijateljsku vatru, a to je bio dio u kojem je čovjek ubijen, a ostali ranjeni. Čuo sam zviždanje metaka i , vjerujte ima nečeg šarmantnog u zvuku. "

Obje strane su tvrdile da je druga prva zapucala, ali ono što nijedna strana nije osporila je da je ovaj događaj duboko u američkoj divljini pomogao da se pokrene rat koji će se na kraju proširiti na mjesta udaljena poput Evrope, Afrike i Indije.

5. Washington se predao Francuzima u Fort Necessityju

Nakon što je saznao za napad na Jumonville Glen, Claude-Pierre Pecaudy de Contrecoeur, francuski zapovjednik u Fort Duquesneu, naredio je kapetanu Louis Coulon de Villiers, bratu zastavnika Jumonvillea, da napadne Washington i njegove snage u blizini Great Meadows. De Villiers je napustio Fort Duquesne sa skoro 600 francuskih vojnika i kanadskih milicajaca, u pratnji 100 domaćih saveznika.

Svjestan početka moćne francuske kolone, Washington je užurbano učvrstio svoj položaj na Great Meadowsu. Uprkos tome što je dobio dodatno pojačanje, Washington -ova omamljena snaga od oko 400 ljudi ostala je brojčano brojnija zbog približavanja Francuza. Što je još zabrinjavajuće, mala kružna drvena utvrda s imenom Fort Necessity - izgrađena u središtu livade, bila je loše smještena i podložna požaru s obližnjih šumovitih brda koja su kružila oko položaja.

1. jula 1754. godine velike združene francuske i domaće snage stigle su do Velikih livada. Washington je okupio svoje trupe i povukao se u utvrđenje Necessity gdje su kišnog 3. jula Francuzi počeli pucati na opkoljene Engleze. Osjetivši beznadežnost svoje situacije, Washington je pristao predati se Francuzima. Uslovi predaje, napisani na francuskom, loše prevedeni i natopljeni vlagom omogućili su Washingtonu i njegovim trupama da se u miru vrate u Virdžiniju, ali jedna klauzula u dokumentu je Washington priznala da je "ubio" zastavnika Jumonvillea i nešto žestoko osporio Washington njegov potpis na dokumentu.

Bitka na Great Meadowsu pokazala se kao jedini put da se Washington predao neprijatelju u bitci.

6. Washington se borio zbog toga što nije mogao osigurati kraljevsku komisiju u britanskoj vojsci

Mladi, ambiciozni George Washington bio je svjestan činjenice da su pripadnici britanske vojske gledali na njegov milicijski čin. Britanski redovni oficiri, sa svojim kraljevskim komisijama, redovno su otpuštali provincijske policajce i tražili da se čak i njihovi najmlađi oficiri postave iznad viših oficira milicije. Tokom Braddockove ekspedicije 1755. godine Washington je postao neplaćeni, dobrovoljački ađutant Braddocka, umjesto da preuzme njegov milicijski čin i bude podvrgnut neugodnosti što je podređen nižim oficirima. Interes Washingtona za dobijanje kraljevske komisije postao je toliko snažan da je otputovao u Boston kako bi se sastao s guvernerom Williamom Shirleyjem, koji je bio vd vrhovnog zapovjednika nakon smrti generala Braddocka. Washington nije uspio dobiti kraljevsku komisiju, ali Shirley je ipak izdala dekret da će oficiri milicije u Virginiji nadmašiti britanske oficire nižeg ranga.

7. Vodstvo Washingtona u bitci kod Monongahele pomoglo je u spašavanju ostataka Braddockove vojske

U proljeće 1755. kolona od 2.100 britanskih regularnika i 500 kolonijalnih milicija pod komandom general -majora Edwarda Braddocka krenula je iz Virdžinije kako bi napredovala i zauzela francusko uporište u Fort Duquesneu. Braddockova kolona suočila se sa zastrašujućim izazovom premještanja svojih ljudi i materijala preko surovih, gusto pošumljenih planina Allegheny.

George Washington je pratio Braddockovu kolonu kao ađutant generala. Washington, koji je dobro poznavao teren, oporavljao se od strašnog slučaja dizenterije dok je Braddockova snaga stigla do rijeke Monongahela deset milja od Fort Duquesnea. U šumovitom klancu na drugoj strani rijeke, vodeću Braddockovu silu od 1.300 ljudi iznenada su napale i porazile manje francuske i domaće snage 9. jula 1755. u bitci kod Monongahele. Tokom napada, većina visokih britanskih oficira, uključujući generala Edwarda Braddocka, ubijena je ili teško ranjena. S panikom u zraku, George Washington je brzo uletio u sukob i pomogao da se ponovo uspostavi određeni red. Tokom divljačke borbe, Washington je imao istjecana dva konja ispod njega, a kaput su mu probušila četiri mušketa. Sjajno vodstvo Washingtona pomoglo je mnogim preživjelim vojnicima da učinkovito pobjegnu od napada. Despite the British loss of 977 killed or wounded, Washington was lauded as the "hero of Monongahela" by Virginia Governor Robert Dinwiddie and was given the rank of colonel in command of the 1,200 man Virginia Regiment.

8. Gen. Edward Braddock's red commander sash is in the Mount Vernon collection

In the aftermath of the British defeat at the Battle of Monongahela, George Washington helped to lead the defeated remnants of Braddock's army back towards Colonel Thomas Dunbar's camp and the army's reserve. Braddock who had been severely wounded in the battle, succumbed to his wounds on July 13, 1755 and was buried in an unmarked grave in the middle of the narrow road that his troops were using. According to Washington family legend, Edward Braddock presented his red commander's sash to Washington, as the only uninjured aide on Braddock's staff and the leader who helped to save the army from further catastrophe. This sash &ndash Braddock's Sash &ndash was a symbol of command and the gift represented a powerful gesture to the young Virginian. In 1846, this same sash was presented to another war hero, Zachary Taylor, and later returned to Mount Vernon in 1918.

9. Washington led the Virginia Regiment in Forbes' successful advance that captured Fort Duquesne

George Washington, who had been a part of two failed efforts to take Fort Duquesne, commanded the Virginia militia forces attached to Brig. Gen. John Forbes's expedition against the French stronghold at the Forks of the Ohio River from 1757-1758. Commanding a strong force of almost 2,000 British Regulars and 5,000 colonial militia, Forbes chose to drive westwards along the southern border of Pennsylvania instead of along the more southerly Braddock road &ndash the path that Washington has strongly recommended.

Operating from the recently established Fort Ligonier, Colonel Washington's Virginians participated in a number of operations in the area east of the French position. On November 24, 1758, Washington led his troops on an advance that occupied the smoking ruins of the abandoned Fort Duquesne. After almost five years of hard marching, combat, and countless setbacks, Washington was finally able to stand at the British controlled forks of the Ohio.

10. Washington learned many important lessons from his French and Indian War experiences

The French and Indian War provided George Washington with many important experiences and examples that helped to shape this future Founding Father. As a young, ambitious 21-year old, Washington had been exposed to the realities of life at the edges of British North America, and been asked to lead and negotiate with experienced native and French commanders. As part of Braddock's command, Washington took the opportunity to read military manuals, treatises, and military histories. He practiced the art of creating clear and effective orders by transcribing orders issued by more experienced British officers around him. In more practical military terms, Washington's French and Indian War experience taught the young officer much about how to organize supply, how to dispense military justice, how to command, how to build forts, and how to manage subordinates. Even though he was denied a royal commission, Washington did all he could to emulate the habits, manners, and actions of the regular officers around him. As historian Fred Anderson states, "Washington at age twenty-seven, was not yet the man he would be at age forty or fifty, but he had come an immense distance in five years' time. And the hard road he had traveled from Jumonville's Glen, in ways he would not comprehend for years to come, had done much to prepare him for the harder road that lay ahead."


Washington and the Virginia Militia - History

114th Regiment Virginia Militia (Hampshire)
Called out July 13, 1861, to rendezvous at Winchester, served to some time in April
1862, when broken up. Some members are reported to have volunteered for 18th
Regiment Virginia Cavalry and 33rd Regiment Virginia Infantry. This regiment was
one of the larger militia regiments from West Virginia to serve from 1861-1862.
Col. Alexander Monroe
Lt. Col. Isaiah Lupton
Maj. George Deaver
Co. A Capt. Josiah W. Hardy's Co. served July 14, 1861 to April 8, 1862. Some
members served in Mounted Co. of this regiment many members of this
company volunteered April 3, 1862
Co. B Capt. John H. Piles's Co. (Grass Lick Militia) served July 14, 1861 to
April 8, 1862
Co. D, Capt. Alfred A. Brill's Co. served July 14, 1861 to April 7, 1862
Co. E Capt. Davis K. Higby's Co. served July 14, 1862 to April 10, 1862
Co. F Capt. F Capt. William Wolford's Co. served July 14, 1861 to April 7, 1862
Co. G Capt. Simon W. Swisher's Co. served July 14, 1861 to April 10, 1862
Co. K Capt. Thomas H. McMakin's Co. served July 14, 1861 to April 8, 1862
Mounted Co. of Scouts (formed from other Cos.) Commanded by
non-commissioned officer served Oct. 1, 1861 to Feb. 24, 1862
detailed to serve as scouts.

119th Regiment Virginia Militia (Taylor County)
This regiment originated in a heavily Unionist county, however two companies
responded to Governor Letcher's call.
Col. William F. Kemble
Capt. George W. Hansbrough's Co. This company broke up, with most of the
men joining either the Letcher Guards or the Marion Guards (Co. A, 31st
Regiment Virginia Infantry) Capt. Hansbrough was appointed Lt. Col. of
the 9th Battalion Virginia Infantry.
Capt. John A. Robinson's Co. (Letcher Guards) Became Co. A, 9th Battalion
Virginia Infantry.

126th Regiment Virginia Militia (Nicholas)
This regiment served in 1861 in Gen. Alfred Beckley's 27th Brigade of
Virdžinijska milicija.
Col. Edward Campbell

135th Regiment Virginia Militia (Greenbrier)
Rolls on file for Companies A, B, C, D, F, and I show they were called into service
for short periods from June 3, 1861 to October 31, 1861. Other companies and officers
of this regiment went into Union service. Col. John Snyder, Lt. Col. Robert W. Handley,
Major D.S. Haptenstall.
Co. A Capt. James R. Dean
Co. B Capt. Julius A. Burr
Co. C Capt. William B. Reid
Co. D Capt. Royal Fleshman
Co. F Capt. Charles B. Sammons
Co. I Capt. Alexander R. Humphrey

Pendleton Reserves
Formed in August 1864 and served until the end of the war.
Co. A Capt. Harmon Hiner (Pizarinktums)

REFERENCES: Wallace, Lee A., Jr., "A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations,
1861-1865", Virginia Civil War Commission, 1964.
Linger, James Carter, "Confederate Military Units of West Virginia"
Privately Published, 2002 ed.


Washington and the Virginia Militia - History

Colonel Washington during the French and Indian War

General Washington leads a charge during a battle during the Revolutionary War

The British army surrenders at Yorktown

General Washington resigns as Commander-in-Chief

Military Training

When George Washington was eight, he watched his older step-brother, Lawrence join the British Navy and become a commissioned captain. With excitement and admiration young George watched the drilling and preparations his brother and his comrades at arms made for war. Washington's enthusiasm for the military developed and strengthened. In 1742, when George was ten, Lawrence returned to Virginia and became adjutant of his district with the rank of major. In between surveying trips, Washington studied fencing and military science with his brother and guardian Lawrence. Washington's official career in the military began in 1752 when Governor Dinwiddie appointed him as a district adjutant of the militia with the rank of major. The governor recognized that even though Washington was young he had the ability to handle the job. Governor Dinwiddie observed that George Washington was efficient, dependable, and courageous.

Francuski i indijski rat

During this time, the French and the English were both determined to gain ownership of the Mississippi River Valley. It soon became obvious that there would be military conflict between the two countries. In an attempt to avoid military conflict, the governor sent Major Washington with a letter to the French commander. Because of his success on this mission, the governor promoted Major Washington to Lieutenant Colonel on March 15, 1754. The governor gave Lieutenant Colonel Washington command over several hundreds of soldiers and sent him back to keep the French out of their colony. Washington fought the French and the Indians for four years. During the four years, Washington distinguished himself as a soldier and an officer and was promoted once more to colonel in 1755. Eventually, Washington was made commander of all the Virginia militia. He also helped defeat the French and capture Fort Duquesne which the British would rename Fort Pitt in 1758.

During his years of service in the British militia, Washington grew to resent the attitudes of the British officers. He also observed that the British were ignorant of the conditions of colonial warfare. They were also arrogant towards the colonial leaders, like Braddock was towards Washington when he tried to advise Braddock on avoiding the French and Indians. When Washington asked to join the British regular military service, he was refused. At the end of the war, Washington resigned his commission in the militia and returned to Mount Vernon.

Revolucionarni rat

In June of 1775, the Second Continental Congress unanimously elected Washington as Commander-in-Chief. Although his appointment may have largely been to gain the support of the people of the Virginia colony, it was the best decision, the Second Continental Congress could have made. Washington took control of the continental forces that were surrounding the British army in Boston in July. Even though, Washington only had experience commanding a militia, he had excellent strategic awareness. His first tactical move was to occupy Dorchester Heights where he brought artillery from Fort Ticonderoga and forced the British to evacuate Boston. Throughout the war for Independence, Washington continued to make smart tactical decisions, such as the surprise attack on the Hessians in Trenton. Congress was unable to provide Washington&rsquos troops with enough food or supplies. At the beginning of the war, Washington's army was no match for the large, trained British army and Washington knew that if he tried to fight the British head on, he would fail. Instead he chose his battles carefully, attacking only where he thought his army could fight successfully. Washington also realized that he did not know a lot about the formal military operations and was willing to seek and accept professional advice perhaps because of his experience with the British officers during the French and Indian War. There were many attributes of George Washington that made him a good general and commander-in-chief. Washington was a good organizer, paid attention to details, and required hard work and discipline from his soldiers. Washington was also willing to lead his army from the front lines. During the entire war, he visited his home a total of only 10 days during the war and he stayed at Valley Forge during the whole hard winter. His wife, Martha, would even travel with the army when they were not fighting in order to stay with George. Once, when trying to feed his army, Washington wrote a letter to the residents of some of the colonies, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and asked them help the cause of liberty by giving cattle to feed his army.

The Treaty of Paris officially ending the American War for Independence was signed on September 3, 1783. By the end of the war, Washington was a celebrated hero. Because Congress had granted Washington powers that were equivalent to those of a dictator, he could have taken solitary control of the newly founded nation. Instead, on December 23, 1783, only a couple of months after the treaty of Paris was signed, Washington resigned. His resignation was a mark of a true leader. He did not want to have that kind of control because it was exactly what he had spend the last nine years fighting against. It also officially made the war of Independence into a Revolutionary War.

Quasi War

During Washington&rsquos time as president, England and France entered into a war with each other. Washington signed a neutrality agreement stating he would not get involved in the war between the two countries. Later that year, France sought the help of the Americans and sent an emissary to the United States which undermined the neutrality agreement. The emissary also tried to circumvent the American government by landing in South Carolina instead of the capital, Philadelphia at the time, and recruiting privateers instead of going straight to the President. When the emissary did reach Philadelphia, he was denounced by Washington, any support to France was refused, and a controversial treaty, the Jay Treaty, with England was signed. The Jay Treaty settled some of the residual issues from the Revolutionary War, declared friendly diplomatic and trade relations with England. The Jay Treaty angered the French. They began harassing the American vessels at sea. During this time, John Adams was elected as president and Washington retired to Mount Vernon. When the conflict began John Adams reinstated General George Washington as the Commander-in-chief. John Adams also sent some ambassadors to France. Although war was never declared, for two years the French Navy interfered with the Americans, harassing and capturing American ships and hindering trading between America and Britain. The Quasi-War was officially ended with the convention of 1800.


We can't tell a lie — lock of George Washington’s hair up for auction

Americans widely believe that George Washington had wooden teeth.

But his dentures were, in fact, constructed from “chunks of ivory from hippopotamuses, walruses, and elephants,” along with teeth from a more diabolical source — his own slaves.

“At the age of eleven, he inherited ten slaves from his father, and over the next 56 years, he would sometimes rely on them to supply replacement teeth,” writes Alexis Coe in her new biography, “You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington” (Viking), out now.

“He paid his slaves for their teeth, but not at fair market value, [paying] two-thirds less than . . . offered in newspaper advertisements,” writes Coe, a consulting producer for “Washington,” the three-part miniseries premiering tonight on The History Channel.

Coe’s book delves into how Washington mistreated his slaves, lied to incite a battle and generally disappointed the Founding Fathers, countering his long-held image as an honest man “who cannot tell a lie.”

A slave named Isaac once told of an incident where Washington ordered him to cut a log. But Isaac was unable to chop it to Washington’s exact specifications.

In response, Washington “gave me such a slap on the side of my head that I whirled round like a top & before I knew where I was Master was gone,” Isaac later told one of Washington’s nephews.

As president, George Washington shuttled his most prized slave back and forth from Philadelphia to his Virginia plantation (pictured) every six months to skirt a residency law that would have freed the man. Getty Images

When he was traveling, Washington made sure his slaves toiled from sunrise to sundown, six days a week, kept in line by “overseers” who wielded whips and hickory sticks, a system he found “very proper.”

During Washington’s first presidential term, when he lived in Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania passed a law that would have led to his slaves obtaining their freedom. He wrote to a relative that “the idea of freedom might be too great a temptation for them to resist . . . I do not think they would be benefitted by the change.”

For the most prized of his slaves, he took advantage of a loophole in the law: Slaves would only be freed if they remained in the state for six months, so he arranged for his most valued slave to travel to Mount Vernon, Va., every six months, officially keeping him as his property.

When that slave escaped with another in 1797, Washington was adamant they should be captured and returned to him. One was never found. The other, located in the free state of New Hampshire, agreed to return under certain conditions, including that she would never be sold. When Washington learned that she tried to set terms, he went “apoplectic.”

“Such a compromise is totally inadmissible,” he wrote to the man he’d hired to find her. “However well disposed I might be to a gradual abolition . . . it would neither be politic or just to reward unfaithfulness.”

Coe notes that Washington never freed a slave during his lifetime, nor did he do anything to free them as president. And while he claimed to be principled against selling people “as you would do cattle in the market,” he did so on at least three occasions — including once to a man in the West Indies, where slavery was known to be a special kind of hell.

Washington knew that the West Indies “would bring about a brutal change in their lives,” Coe writes, since “they would likely work on sugar plantations under overseers who were quick to use their whips their diets would be poor, their medical care worse, [and] they were virtually guaranteed a premature death.”

Coe also takes aim at Washington’s reputation as a brilliant military strategist, noting that he lost more battles than he won, and that as a young soldier, he committed a blunder so egregious that it ignited a global conflict.

‘Too illiterate, unlearned, unread for his station and reputation.’

- Fellow Founding Father John Adams, on George Washington’s eight years as the nation’s first commander in chief

At 22, Washington was a major in the Virginia militia, which then fought on behalf of the British crown.

Robert Dinwiddie, the British governor of Virginia, believed the French had set up camp on British territory, so in 1753 he assigned Washington to accompany local Seneca tribe allies to the French fort to assess the situation.

Dinwiddie was clear this was to be a diplomatic mission, and “urged discretion and caution.”

But Washington intentionally inflamed the situation. Knowing that the Seneca chief, Tanacharison, believed that the French had “captured, cooked, and eaten his father,” Washington told the chief and his soldiers that the French intended to kill them. He later wrote that this manipulation “had its desired effect.”

When their party arrived at the French camp, a battle erupted. Ten French soldiers, including the commander, Joseph Coulon de Jumonville, were killed, and 21 were captured.

But the French insisted in an official report that their mission had been a diplomatic one with no intent for battle, a claim confirmed by a letter found on de Jumonville’s corpse. France blamed Washington for the tragedy and used it to rouse public sentiment against the British.

The incident helped lead to a wider war between Britain and France known here as the French and Indian War and as the Seven Years War in Europe. The conflict eventually drew in Austria, Germany, Prussia, Russia, Spain and Sweden, and the fighting spread to colonial land on three continents.

“At the age of 22, Washington had committed a political misstep of global consequence,” writes Coe. “If the American Revolution had not taken place, Washington would probably be remembered today as the instigator of humanity’s first world war, one that lasted seven years.”

But Washington’s reputation didn’t suffer. He gave his diary of the incident to Dinwiddie, who turned it into a propaganda tool for the British, and continued his professional ascent.

By the time of the American Revolution, Washington had a vast knowledge of the Royal Army, a 6-foot-2 stature that lent him automatic gravitas and, after 13 successful years as a farmer, plenty of wealth. He was also fiercely dedicated to the American cause.

When the time came to choose a leader for the colonial army, no one else was considered, and he was seen as equally deserving to serve as the new country’s first president.

But by the time Washington left office in 1797, the country was bitterly divided over US relationships with warring Britain and France, and most of the Founding Fathers were done with him.

“The President is fortunate to get off just as the bubble is bursting, leaving others to hold the bag,” a resentful Thomas Jefferson complained in a letter sent that year to James Madison. “He will have his usual good fortune of reaping credit from the good arts of others, and leaving them that of his errors.”

James Monroe, who would later become the United States’ fifth president, infuriated Washington in 1797 with a 473-page critique of his administration, including a claim that he used Chief Justice John Jay in various unconstitutional executive-branch roles, such as acting Secretary of State.

Even John Adams, who had once called Washington “an exemplification of the American character,” later changed his tune, writing of his presidency in an 1812 letter that he was “too illiterate, unlearned, unread for his station and reputation.”

Certainly, Washington never earned a reputation as a man who fought for equality. While it is widely believed that he freed his slaves upon his death in 1799, in fact, only one slave, a favorite named William Lee, was let go. The rest, he decreed, would only be freed after the death of his wife, Martha.

But this caused a problem for Martha, as she spent the rest of her life “deathly afraid of his slaves,” who knew that her passing would lead to their freedom.

“She did not feel as tho her life was safe in their hands,” Abigail Adams wrote in a letter to her sister. After a lengthy spell of poor health, Martha Washington succumbed to a high fever and died at age 70 in 1802.


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