George Washington: My Favorite Public Figure and President
George Washington is my favorite historical figure because he is larger than life and almost mythical in many ways. He is well-known for many different stories about his character, strength, and perseverance. These stories speak about how he was viewed during his lifetime and even after his death. He is regarded as the “father
of our country” because of his statesmanship and leadership ability. Our country is not a monarchy because of his beliefs and stands. He addressed the issue of slavery in his own home, Mount Vernon, in a unique and caring way. At the time of his death, abolition was not highly regarded by many politicians and although Washington did not profess to be an abolitionist, his actions and statements about slavery show his desire to end the practice of slavery.
George Washington was famous for many different feats in his lifetime. One story is told that as a boy, he chopped down a cherry tree with his hatchet (Weems 1965). The author used this story to talk about the character of Washington. Washington was a very honest man. Another story that he is renowned for is throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac River (Weems 1965). The author used this story to show how strong Washington was. The Potomac River is more than three miles across so this story is probably a myth. The third story that he is famous for is his wooden teeth (Weems 1965). Although it is possible to make wooden teeth, the medical community actually used different things to make teeth. Teeth were made of animal teeth or other materials such as ivory.
Another reason that Washington is my favorite historical figure is that he is considered “the father of our country”. He was the commander in chief of the Continental Army. Washington was the person responsible for many battles that resulted in our country being formed. He helped fight the Revolutionary War that resulted in the United States becoming a nation. He was the first president of the United States. People in the United States wanted a president who was well known. As a result, he was unanimously elected twice.
In history, presidents are judged by what they accomplish in the first hundred days of their presidency. He was a great statesman based on what he accomplished during the first hundred days of his presidency. Washington consulted Congress about different issues and gave legitimacy to the office of the president. Washington wrote many letters to different branches of the government and also to the Cherokee people (Mount Vernon, 2017).
George Washington saw slavery as something that needed to be ended and did his part to free the slaves. He inherited the slaves that were housed in Mount Vernon. His father left him ten slaves in his will when Washington was only eleven years old. He purchased at least eight more slaves during his lifetime. He changed his mind about slavery and wanted to end the slave trade and free the people who were enslaved. Some sources cited that he used harsh punishment against his slaves (Mount Vernon, 2017). Other sources cited that he was more humane than the common slaveholder in Virginia. He freed all the slaves that he owned in his will ( Mount Vernon, 2017). He could only free the slaves that he owned outright, 118 individuals. He was unable to free the slaves that Martha Washington owned from her previous marriage because he did not own them outright; however, in his will, he stipulated that elderly enslaved people and children without parents were to be supported by his estate for the rest of their lives.
George Washington is truly an amazing man. There are many stories that relegate his status to heroic and mythical. These stories were told to show how outstanding his character was. He was “the father of our country”. He served our country as the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, as the first president of The United States, and as a statesman. This wonderful man found a way to help the slaves that he inherited and used the abilities that he had to bring about the slave trade. Inmany ways, George Washington was a great statesman, a man of integrity, and a man of compassion. He is by far my favorite historical figure.
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George Washington is my favorite historical figure because he is larger than life and almost mythical in many ways. He is well-known for many different stories about his character, strength, […]