As Americans we honor the memory of the Father of our country, George Washington. He is considered to be the one person who is indispensable in American history. At a very young age, George had a strong desire to be considered a person of integrity and honor. He had a strong sense of duty and worked hard to set an example of fairness, prudence and integrity. He loved fencing, dancing and horsemanship. And at a young age considered himself to be a loyal British subject.
The only time he left the country was when he travelled to the Caribbean with his half-brother Lawrence. While there he became ill with small pox. He recovered, but his face was permanently marred with small pox scars. At the age of twenty he inherited his family’s estate, Mount Vernon.
He was a commanding figure and it is said when he entered a room, he carried himself with poise and dignity which brought great respect and a sense of command. He stood six feet 3 ½ inches tall and weighed about 190 pounds. He was very strong and athletic. He loved his beautiful white horse, Nelson. Sometimes he would ride in a carriage, but when he got close to town, he would mount Nelson and ride into town. The sight of this perfectly groomed gentleman on his beautiful white horse was awesome.
As time passed and the British began over-taxing the colonies, Washington reluctantly realized that the colonies could not flourish under the demands of the British crown. He became a general during the American Revolutionary War. He molded a rag-tag group of farmers into a disciplined fighting machine. He gave his men direction and motivation. During the frigid desperate days of Valley Forge, he remained with his men. The situation was bleak. There was a lack of food and clothing with some of the men actually fighting without shoes. Many were ill and at least 2,000 of the 12,000 soldiers under his command died of disease. His men knew he cared about them and he earned their love. Valley Forge was the turning point of the American Revolution
After the war ended, Washington immediately and voluntarily turned in his commission. He felt he had done his duty and wished to go home to Mount Vernon and his wife, Martha. He was anxious to again work him farm. But his fellow countrymen wanted him to lead the new nation, the United States of America. Because he had such a strong sense of duty and he believed the cause of liberty was larger than any single individual he was elected as the first president. He was very aware that he was being watched and he knew he was setting precedents. He believed he must look the part of the President and made sure he dressed impeccably. He was known for his forthright character and his unfailing integrity.
Most of the colonists were imagrants from Europe where Kings and Queens ruled. When Washington was elected president the citizens were unsure how to address him. Phrases of’ Your Highness’, ‘Mighty Ruler’, and ‘Most Honorable ‘were bantered about. But when asked how to address him, Washington said; “Call me Mr. President.” He considered himself to be a loyal patriotic citizen called by divine providence to lead his beloved country. He had no desire to emulate a European royal court. Washington was sworn in as President at Federal Hall on April 30, 1789. When he took the oath of Office, he placed his hand on a Holy Bible, and added the words, “So help me God”.
Washington’s prayer for America follows:
“Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
After serving two terms, Washington ended his presidency. He wanted to show that he was dispensable and asserted that the cause of liberty was larger than any single individual. He felt leadership was a duty not an occupation. He was first in the hearts of his countrymen and for many years every home in America had at least one picture of Washington, our national hero.
Washington died just three short years after leaving office, at the age of 67. In his final instructions he ordered the 300 slaves at Mount Vernon to be freed after Martha’s death.
For now, Earlynn’s just sayin’ “God bless America…..One nation, under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”
To order your copy of Earlynn’s book, Transformed, please click on the ‘Earlynn’s Book’ tab above. Thank you. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo!