What was George Washington's biggest regret?
"The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret"
|Author||Mary V. Thompson|
"The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret": George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon. George Washington's life has been scrutinized by historians over the past three centuries, but the day-to-day lives of Mount Vernon's enslaved workers have been largely left out of the story.
He was said to dislike the institution of slavery, but accepted the fact that it was legal. Washington, in his will, made his displeasure with slavery known, as he ordered that all his enslaved people be granted their freedom upon the death of his wife Martha.
General George Washington wept as he said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York in December 1783. He wept even more profusely when he resigned his commission in Annapolis a few weeks later. Those tears were not merely sentimental.
In 1796, as his second term in office drew to a close, President George Washington chose not to seek re-election. Mindful of the precedent his conduct set for future presidents, Washington feared that if he were to die while in office, Americans would view the presidency as a lifetime appointment.
Washington also had his failures. He violated the law to keep slaves the fugitive slaves act. While he was president, he dealt with a lot of financial problems. Our debts needed to be repaid and some states had already done so while others did not.
Many Americans believe that at the end of the Revolutionary War, while headquartered in Newburgh, George Washington received an offer to become king of the United States. According to this legend, Washington rejected the overture and said that “I did not defeat King George III to become King George I.”
In this letter to “Friends and Citizens,” Washington warned that the forces of geographical sectionalism, political factionalism, and interference by foreign powers in the nation's domestic affairs threatened the stability of the republic.
Horatio Gates, the victor of Saratoga, had military designs that went unfulfilled, writes Max M. Mintz; both to invade Canada and displace Washington as Continental Commander.
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. If he were alive today, he would be 289 years old!
Did George Washington have a dream?
In his dream, Washington's desire to establish an independent nation is realized by the presence of three allegorical figures dressed in flowing garb. Triumphantly positioned on a globe labeled “America,” the figures symbolize (from left to right) prosperity, liberty and justice.
Although Washington married Martha Custis in 1759 and remained faithful to her throughout their long marriage until his death in 1799, there is evidence that he was really in love with another woman both before his marriage to Martha and perhaps afterwards as well. This woman was named Sally Fairfax.
Privately, Washington considered plans in the mid 1790s to free his enslaved population. Those plans failed because of his inability to raise the finances necessary, the refusal of his family to approve emancipation of the dower slaves, and his own aversion to separating enslaved families.
When told by the American artist Benjamin West that Washington was going to resign, King George III of England said "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."
Did anyone ever offer to make George Washington "king"? The answer is: No. There is no evidence that this ever happened. But the story, in various forms, has been around for a long time.
Having been surrounded by French and Indian forces, Lieutenant Colonel George Washington and his Virginia militia were forced to surrender on July 3, 1754.
Washington is the only slave-owning president who freed all of his slaves. George Washington inherited his first slaves when he was 11 years old. Washington's attitude toward slavery gradually changed as he grew older and especially as he fought for liberty in the American Revolution.
Washington became a great man and was acclaimed as a classical hero because of the way he conducted himself during times of temptation. It was his moral character that set him off from other men. Washington fit the 18th-century image of a great man, of a man of virtue. This virtue was not given to him by nature.
Green was George Washington's favorite color. Speaking of the General, the military has long used olive green as their standard working color, as that shade fades away the quickest in the dark.
"Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country."