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The Life of George Washington, Vol. 1 Commander in Chief of the American Forces During the War which Established the Independence of his Country and First President of the United States   By: (1755-1835)

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First Page:

THE

LIFE

OF

GEORGE WASHINGTON,

COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE

AMERICAN FORCES,

DURING THE WAR WHICH ESTABLISHED THE INDEPENDENCE OF HIS COUNTRY,

AND

FIRST PRESIDENT

OF THE

UNITED STATES.

COMPILED UNDER THE INSPECTION OF

THE HONOURABLE BUSHROD WASHINGTON,

FROM

ORIGINAL PAPERS

BEQUEATHED TO HIM BY HIS DECEASED RELATIVE, AND NOW IN POSSESSION OF THE AUTHOR.

TO WHICH IS PREFIXED,

AN INTRODUCTION,

CONTAINING A COMPENDIOUS VIEW OF THE COLONIES PLANTED BY THE ENGLISH ON THE

CONTINENT OF NORTH AMERICA,

FROM THEIR SETTLEMENT TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THAT WAR WHICH TERMINATED IN THEIR

INDEPENDENCE.

BY JOHN MARSHALL.

VOL. I.

THE CITIZENS' GUILD OF WASHINGTON'S BOYHOOD HOME FREDERICKSBURG, VA.

1926

[Illustration: General Washington

From the full length portrait by John Trumbull at Yale University

This portrait is one of 54 canvasses the artist presented to Yale University in return for an annuity of $1,000. Washington was in his forty third year and it is considered the best likeness of him at the outbreak of the Revolution. The canvas depicts him, "six feet two inches in height, with brown hair, blue eyes, large head and hands, and strong arms." ]

PUBLISHER'S PREFACE

In his will George Washington bequeathed to his favorite nephew, Bushrod Washington, his personal letters, private papers and secret documents accumulated during a lifetime of service to his country. When the bequest became known, many of the literary men of the country were proposed for the commission to write the authorized life of our First President.

Bushrod Washington's choice fell upon John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. To him he handed over all the precious papers left him by his distinguished relative. George Washington and Marshall's father, Thomas Marshall, were boyhood companions, so John Marshall knew "the Father of His Country" as a neighbor and friend from his earliest youth, and served under him in the Revolution.

If it be true that it takes a great man to interpret the life of a great man then Bushrod Washington made no mistake in the selection of a biographer. For Marshall, under the influence of Washington, came to be nearly as great a man as the character whose life and achievements held his deepest thought for nearly a quarter of a century. Certainly his services to his country rank close to Washington's. Marshall's sympathetic understanding of his subject, his first hand knowledge of events with his remarkable powers of expression qualified him to produce the masterpiece that has come down to us.

Seven years were spent in preparing the first edition, published in 1804 07. The work was based chiefly on Washington's own diaries and letters and secret archives and it told not simply the epic story of this great life but the truth about the birth of our nation. Marshall later spent fifteen years revising the first edition, verifying to the last detail every chapter, page and paragraph of his monumental work.

The first edition, published by C.P. Wayne of Philadelphia, was an achievement in beautiful printing and bookmaking and still stands out today as such. The present publishers have followed the format of the original edition but have used the revised text which Marshall spent so many years in perfecting.

Washington's personality lives on in John Marshall's great biography. He still has the power to raise up men to greatness as he did during his lifetime. The precepts, the principles and the shining example of this foremost of self educated, self made Americans have the power to uplift and start toward new heights of achievement, all who come in contact with him. The work is now reissued in the hope that it may give his countrymen of the present day the benefit of the counsel, the guidance and the inspiration that has proven so valuable in the past.

February 22nd, 1926.

PREFACE

BY THE AUTHOR

A desire to know intimately those illustrious personages, who have performed a conspicuous part on the great theatre of the world, is, perhaps, implanted in every human bosom... Continue reading book >>


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