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The story of Washington

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Title:
The story of Washington
Series Title:
Delights of history
Creator:
Seelye, Elizabeth Eggleston, 1858-
Eggleston, Edward, 1837-1902 ( Editor, Author of introduction )
D. Appleton and Company ( Publisher )
Appleton Press
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
D. Appleton and Company
Manufacturer:
Electrotyped and printed at the Appleton Press
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xvii, 382 p., [6] leaves of plates : ill., ports., maps, facsims. ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Presidents -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Generals -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Soldiers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Battles -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Statesmen -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1893
Genre:
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Title page printed in red and black.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Elizabeth Eggleston Seelye ; with over one hundred illustrations by Allegra Eggleston ; edited with an introduction by Edward Eggleston.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
020968315 ( ALEPH )
ALH7773 ( NOTIS )
01348325 ( OCLC )
04017067 ( LCCN )

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DELIGHTS OF HISTORY SERIES.
Eoitep By EDWARD EGGLESTON.

The Story of Columbus. 12mo. With 100
Illustrations. Cloth, $1.75.

“A brief, popular, interesting, and yet critical volume,
just such as we should wish to place in the hands of a young
reader, The authors of this volume have done their best to
keep it on a high plane of accuracy and conscientious work
without losing sight of their readers.”"—V. 1, /udependent.

This is no ordinary work. Tt is pre-eminently a work
D ”
of the present time and of the future as well.”—JZoston
Traveller.

“A very just account is given of Columbus, his failings
being neither concealed nor magnified, but his real greatness
being made plain.” —New Vork Examiner.

“The illustrations are particularly well chosen and neatly
executed, and they add to the general excellence of the
saolume.”—NMew Vork Tintes.

The Story of Washington. sI2mo, With
roo Illustrations, Cloth, $1.75.

The Story of Franklin. (JZ preparation.)

New York: D, Appteton & Co., 1, 3, & 5 Bond Street.









iN.

PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTO!

called the “ Vaughan portrait.”

95,

ade in 17

m

rt,

a

[From a painting by Gilbert Stu



THE

STORY OF WASHINGTON

BY
ELIZABETH EGGLESTON SEELYE

WITH OVER ONE HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS
By ALLEGRA EGGLESTON

EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION, BY
EDWARD EGGLESTON



NEW YORK
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

1893



CopyRicHT, 1893,
By D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.

ELECTROTYPED AND PRINTED
AT THE APPLETON Pruss, U.S. A.



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
J._-WASHINGTON’S BIRTH
IL—Srorres oF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD.
TIL—WASHINGTON AS A BOY.
TV.—TuEe YOUNG SURVEYOR .
V,—LEARNING TO BE A SOLDIER .

VI—SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS .«

VIL—ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS .
VIIL—WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR

LX.—Tur BaTTLE at Fort NEczssity. ;

X,—BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP

XI.—DEFEAT . : : : : 5 x

XJ].— DEFENDING THE FRONTIER
XIIL—WaASHINGTON’S COURTSHIP
XIV.—To THE OHIO ONCE MORE

XV.—WASHINGTON’S MARRIAGE
XVI.—THE PLANTER. : : ; : 7
XVIL—THE BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION .

XVIII.—CuosEN COMMANDER IN CHIEF

XIX.—Berrore Boston .

XX.—LITTLE POWDER AND FEW MEN
XXI.—DRIVING THE ENEMY OUT
XXIL—Wasuineron at New York

XXIIL.—A QUESTION OF DIGNITY

XXIV.—Tue BATTLE or Loxe IsLAND
XXV.—A NIGHT RETREAT.

XXVL—AVOIDING A TRAP . 2 : : is

PAGE

. 101
. 107
. 114
. 121
. 127
. 185
. 148
. 146
. 154
. 158



vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE
XXVII—A SMALL BATTLE. t ; e : : . 164
XXVIII.—TuHeE BATTLE oF WHITE PLAINS AND THE LOSS OF
Fort WASHINGTON. ; : 3 . 1
XXIX.—CuAsED THROUGH NEW JERSEY. : : SA:
XXX.—TuE BATTLE OF TRENTON ‘ ; ; ; . 188
XXXI.—Tue BatrLe oF PRINCETON . z : . 188
XXXIIL—Scurrlineé FOR LIBERTY . : 5 5 : . 196
XXXIIL.—Tue Barrie or THE BRANDYWINE . A ; . 204
XXXIV.—Tue BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN " ; ; . 210
XXXV.—DEFENDING THE DELAWARE. : . . 217
XXXVI.—ALMOST A BATTLE . ; : A ; . . 224
XXXVII.—VauLiey Force : , , i : ; . 229
XXXVII.—Howe Lays A TRAP FOR LAFAYETTE . : . 237
XXXIX.—TsE BATTLE oF MonmouTH . 3 5 : . 240
XL.—DEFENSIVE WAR : é ; : : : . 200
XLI.—Tue storminc or Stony Point. : . 255
XLII. WINTER QUARTERS . sj ; ‘ , : . 260
XLIIL.—Tue TREASON oF ARNOLD AND THE FATE OF
ANDRE, THE USE OF SPIES 2 i - . 270
XLIV.—A CHANGE OF PLANS & : : 5 ‘ . 287
XLV.—YorKTOWN : ‘ : 3 : ‘i : . 297
XLVI.—THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER.
XLVII.—WaAsHINGTON AS PRESIDENT . z 4 ; . 327
XLVIIL—THE EARLY EVENTS OF WASHINGTON’S ADMINISTRA-
TION. : . ¢ : z : 3 . 338
XLIX.—WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM . é 5 j . 845
L.—AT HOME . 5 . s : ‘ % . 306

LI.—WaSHINGTON’S LAST DAYS : , ; : . 873



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE

Portrait of Washington. (From a painting by Gilbert Stuart,
made in 1795, called the “ Vaughan Portrait”) Frontispiece

View of Fredericksburg from the Washington plantation on
the Rappahannock :

Washington reproved for want of senstoeity

Hall in the part of Mount Vernon built by Lawrence Washing:
ton. é E A

Facsimile of some of ne rules of oohed ior :

Washington’s tents, as set up by the National Maced in one
grounds . :

Old building at Greenway Gouee:

Case, with pencil, foot rule, and dividers, used by Washingtoud in
surveying

Washington’s compass . : :

Map showing the water ways ccmea by the Hietelh.

Map of Washington’s course from Williamsburg to the French
fort

Pack saddles of Washington! s fie : 3 $ ;

Portrait of Washington in his colonel’s uniform. (Painted in
1772, by Wilson Peale) . : ; ; : . Facing

Site of Fort Necessity, (From a painting by Paul Weber, owned
by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania) .

Braddock’s headquarters at Alexandria : : 3

A Pennsylvania wagon of the time, ; 4 . facing

Parlor in the house occupied by Braddock as headquarters in
Alexandria. : :



vili LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
Map of the “ Braddock Road”. 5 5 3 5 : » 63
Map of location of Braddock’s defeat . : : . Facing 65
The field of Braddock’s defeat. (From a painting by Paul Weber
owned by the Pennsylvania Historical Society) . Facing 68
Braddock’s grave. (From a painting by Paul Weber, owned by
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania) 5 70
Portrait of Martha Custis. (By permission of Gerievall G. W.
C. Lee. Painted by Woolaston in 1757). . Lacing 78
Portrait of Mrs. Custis’s two children. (By permission of Gen-
eral G. W. C, Lee. Painted about 1757, probably by Wool-
aston) . : . : : : : : . Facing 80
St. Peter’s Church : 5 : : : . 88
The White House—Mrs. Custis? $s Esiite (From a photograph
taken just before its destruction in 1862) . . acing 90
Parlor at Mount Vernon. 5 ; : ; i : 91
John Parke Custis. (From a portrait on copper, owned ey
General G. W. C. Lee) . : : é : - 5 BO.
Miss Martha Custis. (From a portrait on copper, owned by
General G. W. C. Lee) . ; : : ; 5 08.
The Raleigh Tavern. (From an old Sa : ; : . 106
The burning of Charlestown. (From a sketch made at the time
by a British officer, viewing it from Beacon Hill) 5 . 115
View of Boston. (From a sketch made at the time, also show-
ing Nooks Hill on the right) . ; ‘ 5 : . 124
View of the British limes on Boston Neck. (From a sketch
made at the time) . : ‘i . 127
Map of Boston, showing the for tifications of tite Americans . 1380
A soldier of Congress. (From a sketch made during the war
by’a German officer). . i : . Facing 188
Washington’s headquarters in New York on hist arriving . 142
Map of the battle of Long Island 3 ; 4 : : . 149
View of Kingsbridge. (rom an old print) : ‘ . . 159
Map of American retreat from New York city . 2 : » 162
Map of the battle of Harlem Heights . ; : : , . 166

Map of the battle of White Plains. é : . Faeing 178



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, —

PAGE
Remains of Fort Washington as they appeared in 1850. (From
an old print) . : : : : ; E . 176
Map of the retreat through New Tendey : . 3 : . 179
The blue room in the Beckman house. (Howe’s headquarters
in New York) : ; : : : : : 3 . 183
Map of the battle of Trenton ! : : : ; : . 185
Map of the battle of Princeton . : ; . 190
Nassau Hall, Princeton College, where the British took netiee
after the battle of Princeton. : ; : : ; . 193
Washington’s camp utensils 5 : : . 198
Washington’s camp chest used during the Revolution : . 201
Map showing where the English landed. . : F . 204
Map of the battle of the Brandywine . : : : . » 207
Map of the battle of Germantown : 2 : : : . 212
Map of the vicinity of Philadelphia . 3 g . 218
View of Valley Forge headquarters, with the camp srownd in
the distance . : : ; : Z : » 230
Washington’s office at Valley Foie : : . 282
Washington at Valley Forge. (From a painting fade auras
the winter there, by C. W. Peale). : ; . Pacing 235
Map of Barren Hill. : : 3 5 : . . 238
Map of the battle of Moniotithe. 5 . , : : » 248
Washington’s pistol holsters, of heavy patent eather " . 251
Washington’s portfolio on which he wrote his dispatches dur-
ing the Revolution : ; : : : ; » 254
Map of the storming of Stony Point : : 3 : é » 257
Ruins of slaves’ quarters, Mount Vernon . ; : : » 264
Map of the location of André’s capture : : : : » 275
Washington’s uniform . : 2 f : . 289
Washington’s sword, carried during ne) Revolition (Pre-
served in the State Department) . : f ; ; . 292
Map of the siege of Yorktown . : ; : : : » 801
The main street of Yorktown . ‘ ; : : 5 . 805

George Washington Parke Custis. (from a painting owned by
General G. W. C. Lee) . : . : : : 2 . 311



x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
Eleanor Parke Custis. (From a pastel owned by General G. W.

C. Lee) . : : : : : i ; . 812
Mrs. Washington’s residence at Renae : ; . 818
Washington’s headquarters at Newburg in 1782-88 . : . 314
Mount Vernon, looking toward the river . : : . 317

Banquet hall, added to Mount Vernon by Washington : . 819
Pohick church, near Mount Vernon, planned by Washing-

ton. : 3 ; 5 : . 820
Interior of Pohick chanel as it dppenved in Washington’s

time é : : ; 7 » 822
Mary Washington's Rate = Hiedentleunre ,as it is at pres-

ent . : : ; j . Pacing 325
Federal Hall. G@ioms a water- sotok aeae ing made in 1798 by

Robinson. New York Historical Society) . 3 : . 828
The President's house in Cherry Street —. : . 330
Cup and saucer. (From a set presented to Mrs. Washington by

Van Braam or Lafayette). : ; : . 882

Case of silver-handled knives and forks palowsing to Ww ashington 334
Water-mark from paper used by Washington during his presi-
dency. . : : ; ; . 836
The President’s Hotes in Philadelphia ; 3 . 839
Portrait of Mrs. Washington. (From a painting be Gilbert
Stuart, made in 1796, called the “ Atheneum portrait”) . 347
Sword presented to Washington . : . 851
Drawing from a miniature of George Washington Par ke Custis 854
Candlestick used by Washington when he wrote his farewell

address . : : e - : 5 : » 355
Doorway to Mount Vernon on the side fattest fi the river. 3856
Mount Vernon as it appears at present 3 : . Pacing 357
Portrait of Washington Custis. (From a miniature owned by

General G. W. C. Lee) . 5 : . 858
Nelly Custis’s harpischord and stool, and General Washington! 8

flute. (Drawn at Mount Vernon) ; : ‘ . 859

Portrait of Nelly Custis. (from a portrait owned by Generel
G, W. C. Lee) ; : : : ; . 3 : . 861



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ca

PAGE
Portrait of Washington. (From a pastel by Sharpless, made in
1798. Owned by General G.W.C. Lee). : : . 864
Portrait ‘of Mrs. Washington. (From a pastel by Sharpless,
made in 1798. Owned by General G. W. C. Lee) : » 365
Washington’s powder bag and puff : ; . 368
Chair from Lafayette’s chateau in France. (Presented to
Mount Vernon by Edmund de Lafayette) . ‘ : . B71.
Washington’s room. (Drawn at Mount Vernon) . Lacing 877.
The vault in which Washington was buried ; : : . 380







INTRODUCTION,

By Epwarp Eee.esron,

TuH1s work, like its predecessor, the Story of Colum-
bus, by the same author, is intended to introduce the gen-
eral reader, and especially the young reader, to what is most
interesting and delightful in the history of its subject.
While seeking to give pleasure by the selection of inter-
esting material and by the manner of telling the story, the
greatest pains have been taken to keep the narrative in
strict conformity to the facts as established by the best
contemporaneous authority and the careful researches of
our critical age. No subject of biography has suffered
more from overlaudation than Washington. His well-
poised character, the never-failing public spirit evinced in
his career, and the rare fitness of his great qualities to their
fortunate opportunity, captivated the imaginations not
only of his countrymen but of the world. Even during
his lifetime he underwent an apotheosis. Those who
wrote about him after his death treated him not as a his-
torical figure to be described accurately and judged im-
partially, but rather as a demigod to be worshiped. An
anecdote of that time represents a patriotic countryman
as declaring that Washington was the greatest man in
the world’s history. When asked for the next greatest



xiv INTRODUCTION.

he named the Founder of Christianity. The story but
slightly burlesques the attitude of the American public
toward Washington in the first half of the nineteenth
century. The writer well remembers an editor who ata
somewhat later period got himself and his paper into the
greatest trouble by venturing, in his issue of the 22d of
February, to make some playful remarks regarding proba-
ble childish mishaps in the boyhood of Washington.

Not only was the Father of his Country an object of
worship to the generations following him, but he had to
suffer the still further misfortune of becoming a model.
Preacher and schoolmaster and schoolbook moralist
sought to enforce every duty by his example, and to ex-
emplify every virtue by stories of the great and good man.
These stories were probably not invented deliberately ;
they rather grew by a process of unconscious myth mak-
ing. Washington, by his cherry tree, taught the noble-
ness of truth-telling. Washington making peace with a
man who had knocked him down the day before taught
the wisdom of avoiding duels, and so on round the circle
of moral and religious virtues. The effect of all this was
exactly opposite to what had been designed. Under such
treatment Washington as a man disappeared from view,
and there was left instead a mere plaster cast. One so
far removed from other men could not serve the purpose
of an example.

The effect on historical knowledge of all this pious
misrepresentation was disastrous. The events of Wash-
ington’s life were distorted by a preconceived notion of
his character. The editors of his writings went so far as
to garble his correspondence lest one might catch his



INTRODUCTION. XV

mind in an attitude not perfectly statuesque. Biographers
could present him only as exalted in a mirage. The
very Indians incorporated the prevailing notion of him
into their myths; and in the later mythology of the Six
Nations he appears as a personage dwelling apart, fast by
the gate of paradise, and passively gazing on all who enter
there without ever breaking silence.

This present account of Washington, while giving
careful attention to his military and administrative acts,
has spared no pains to record as far as possible those
details of his life and those personal anecdotes that pre-
serve to us the living man. Fortunately, so much of
Washington’s intimate life has been recorded that there is
no need to resort to mythical tales. I feel sure that the
reader of this book will have no shadowy conception of
him when he has enjoyed his boyish letters, has come to
know the round of his daily duties as a planter, has seen
him haul his seine, has watched him standing reflectively
by a camp fire with hands behind him, and with a nose
reddened from cold just before he made his famous cross-
ing of the Delaware, has read his letter of advice to Nelly
Custis on the matter of falling in love, and such anec-
dotes as Bernard’s account of the help he rendered to the
man who had upset his chaise and tumbled his wife into
the ditch. It has seemed worth while to the writer of
this life to describe the clothes he wore, the food he ate,
and the process of powdering and tying his hair. What
passes for the dignity of history is often only a stupid
neglect of interesting particulars. The very infirmities of
so great a man as Washington are needed to give relief
to the picture. That he was austere and exacting in



XVI INTRODUCTION.

money affairs, while remarkably generous in some cases, is
a fact needed to complete the view of the man; and no
sincere lover of historic truth would wish suppressed the
fact that he flew into a rage and swore “till the leaves
trembled on the trees” when he found one of his com-
manders playing traitor on the field of Monmouth.

But how admirably does the character of this illustri-
ous man bear the closest scrutiny! ‘The more one grows
familiar with it the more does Washington seem to deserve
his unique place in history. There were other men as good
as he, there were generals more brilliant than he. Frank-
lin was a greater philosopher, Chatham a greater states-
man, Jefferson was greater as a political theorist; but
history has no other character, perhaps, in which so many
admirable traits were so equally balanced. Hardly any
other man has ever arisen who combined a capacity for
mancuvres so brilliant as the capture of Trenton, the
night march on Princeton, and the sudden blow at long
reach which destroyed Cornwallis, with the patience to
wear out years in the weary waiting which was indispensa-
ble to the success of a small and scattered population
contending with a great power. Rarely has the world
seen a victor who sought no profit for himself, a man who
had made himself the adored leader of his people, who
put away from him with repulsion every suggestion that
he should seek personal aggrandizement. Without lauda-
tion or rhetorical flourish, the writer of this work has
told the story, and the reader leaves the contemplation of
Washington more than ever filled with admiration for
one who was not the most brilliant leader or the greatest
thinker of his age, but who, by the sum of his qualities,



INTRODUCTION. xvii

must remain the most illustrious figure in the history of
the eighteenth century.

A grateful acknowledgment is due for the friendly
assistance rendered by many persons to the illustrator in
the arduous work of gathering material for the pictures.
It is proper to mention in particular the courteous kind-
ness of General G. W. Custis Lee, who put his valuable
family portraits at the disposal of the artist. Dr. J. M.
Toner, Mr. Allen, the librarian of the State Department,
the Ladies Mount Vernon Association, Mr. F. D. Stone,
of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and the librarians
of the New York Historical Society were very obliging
and helpful.

JosHua’s Rock, on Lake GEORGE.



THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER I.

WASHINGTON’S BIRTH.

L732.

WHEN a man has become famous, dignified ancestors
are sure to be provided for him. Efforts have been made
to connect George Washington with more than one family
of consequence in England bearing his name. It has re-
cently been discovered, however, that the two Washington
brothers who came to America in Cromwell’s day were the
sons of a certain Lawrence Washington, who was a college
graduate and a poor parson, rector over a little church at
Purleigh, in England, and who died in 1652, leaving his
children still young and no doubt very needy. A few
years after their father’s death—that is, about 1657—the
two eldest sons, John and Lawrence Washington, emi-
grated to America.

The wild lands of Virginia were to be had at a very
low rate in those days, and an enterprising man might
there become the owner of a tract as large as the estate of
a great nobleman in England. For this reason many poor
gentlemen, like the Washington brothers, came to Vir-
ginia to become planters and seek their fortunes in rais-

2



9 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

ing tobacco, the staple of the country. The elder of the
two emigrant brothers, John Washington, who was about
twenty-three when he landed in the New World, was the
great-grandfather of George. Tle became in time a mem-
ber of the Legislature, or House of Burgesses as it was
called, and a county magistrate. Nearly twenty years after
he had come to Virginia to live, there appeared some very
bad omens, “a comet streaming like a horse-tail westward,”
a flight of pigeons which was so dense that the birds broke
down the trees where they roosted, and swarms of flies
which came out of “spigot-holes” in the earth. Old
planters shook their heads, and remembered that there
was such a flight of pigeons before the last Indian mas-
sacre. In course of time two men were killed by the
Savages, as every one had expected, and the people found
their bodies on the way to church. Some Virginians rode
after the murderers and fell upon the first Indians they
found, without stopping to ask whether they were the real
offenders. Indian troubles followed, and John Washing-
ton marched as colonel at the head of a number of Vir-
ginians against an Indian fort in Maryland. While the
white men were holding a parley with some Indian chiefs
at this fort, the bodies of more massacred men were
brought in, and the colonists were so enraged that they
bound five of the chiefs and “knocked them on the head.”
After six weeks of siege the Indians marched out of their
fort in the night, killing the sleeping guards and yelling
defiance at their besiegers. This was the beginning of
the Indian troubles which led to Bacon’s rebellion 5 SO
that John Washington was probably something of a rebel
as well as an unsuccessful Indian-fighter.



WASHINGTON’S BIRTH. 3

Augustine Washington, the grandson of John Wash-
ington and the father of George, was born in 1694. He
was married twice. His first wife, whose maiden name
was Jane Butler, was the mother of four of his children.
Two of these died when they were very young. The
mother herself died in 1728, leaving two boys, Lawrence
and Augustine. Washington’s father was married again in
1730 to Mary Ball, who was then twenty-six years old. On
the 11th of February, 1732, old style, the young wife had
a boy born to her, who was named George. The date of
his birth would be the 22d of February, new style, and
this is the date that is celebrated as Washington’s birth-
day. The little George had afterward brothers and _ sisters
named Betty, Samuel, John Augustine, Charles, and Mil-
dred. Mildred died in babyhood.

Washington was born in a low-pitched, single-story
frame house containing four rooms, and having an im-
mense outside chimney at either end. This house stood
in Westmoreland County, between Bridge’s and Pope’s
Creeks, and from it could be seen the Potomac River and
the shore of Maryland. One breezy morning in April,
when George was about three years old, dead leaves and
brush were burning in the garden near this house. Some
sparks settled among the shingles and set the house afire.
Augustine Washington was away from home, but while
slaves were trying to put out the fire, Mrs. Washington,
with the cook and a maid, moved the furniture from the
house, which soon burned down.

As Washington’s father was agent for some iron works
at Fredericksburg, and wished to live near them, he did
not rebuild his burned house, but went to live on an-



4 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

other plantation, on the banks of the Rappahannock, op-
posite to the town of Fredericksburg. This was a four-
roomed house, with outside chimneys, much like the
other.

Washington’s ancestors seem to have been good busi-
ness men. True Virginia planters of that time, they
led a robust, out-of-door life, riding about to oversee their
plantations, hunting in the immense stretches of sur-
rounding woods, and eating the plain food raised on
their own lands. These men were ever ready for a
wrangle with their Governors in the house of Burgesses,



VIEW OF FREDERICKSBURG FROM TILE WASHINGTON PLANTATION
ON THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

or for a brnsh with the Indians. But in spite of his
homely life, the Virginia planter remembered that he was
a gentleman, and took pains to preserve the somewhat
antiquated manners brought by his ancestors from the
Old World. Ships came to his own door direct from
England, for what is called Tidewater Virginia is a land
of peninsulas watered by rivers and estuaries. These



WASILINGTON’S BIRTH. 5

tobacco craft, which carried away the planter’s valuable
crop, brought back in exchange furniture, plate, linen,
and fine dress, to lend a touch of fashion to the other-
wise rude life of the Virginia gentleman. Sometimes
the planter took his family visiting over the rough roads
in a great yellow coach, brought over also on the tobacco
ship, and sometimes he drove with his wife and daugh-
ters to Williamsburg to attend the balls given at this
little capital. The Washingtons were of the plainer
class of planters. They had fewer luxuries and endured
more hardships than the members of the great families
about them.

George Washington was a true child of this generous,
active, out-of-door life—a life which called forth all the
endurance and hardihood of the frontiersman, at the same
time that it fostered dignity and courtesy, together witha
high sense of honor and independence.



6 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER IT.

STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD.

1785-1748,

SEVERAL of the most famous tales of Washington’s
boyhood are told by an odd character known as Parson
Weems, who preached in Pohick church for a while after
the war. Washington attended this church, and he and
his wife often entertained Weems in their hospitable
house. As the odd parson no doubt gossiped with all the
old people about the neighborhood, he had a good chance
to pick up any anecdotes about the great man’s childhood.
Unfortunately, Parson Weems was more fond of a good
story than of the strict truth. Having a large family to
support, he left off preaching and became a book peddler.
He rode about in an old-fashioned gig, selling his own
writings and those of others. He told go many amusing
stories and played the fiddle so well, that he was a very
successful peddler. He would enter a bar room with a
temperance tract he had written, and mimic a drunken
man so perfectly that he had no trouble in selling his
tracts to the laughing crowd. It is told of Weems that
he once fiddled for a dance from behind a screen, lest
people should be shocked to see a parson fiddling in such
a place. The screen fell over, however, and revealed the
fiddling preacher, to the great amusement of the crowd.



STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD. A

The odd old parson wrote a life of Washington, in which
he told some stories of the great man’s boyhood which he
said he had learned from an old lady who was a cousin of
the family and had visited, when she was a girl, in the



WASHINGTON REPROVED FOR WANT OF GENEROSITY.

house of Mr, Augustine Washington. he stories are not
improbable in themselves, and are doubted only because
they are told by the queer parson, who loved a good story
too well.

Washington’s father, when the boy was five years old—
so runs one of these tales—once invited the young lady
cousin who was then visiting the family to go with him



8 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

and little George to the orchard. When they got there
they found the ground covered with fallen apples, while
the trees were so loaded that they were breaking with the
weight of the fruit.

“ Now, George,” said his father, “look here, my son:
don’t you remember when this good cousin of yours
brought you that fine, large apple last spring, how hardly
I could prevail on you to divide with your brothers and
sisters, though I promised you that, if you would but
do it, God Almighty would give you plenty of apples
this fall?”

The little George hung his head, and presently said,
“Well, pa, only forgive me this time, and seeif I ever be
so stingy any more.”

The next story told by Weems is the famous little
hatchet tale. He says that Washington’s father took a
great deal of pains to teach the child to tell the truth,
and charged him, should he ever happen to do anything
wrong, to come and tell of it, when, instead of a beating,
he should have honor and love as a reward. George, who
was about six years old, was given a little hatchet for his
own. One day, when he was amusing himself hacking
pea sticks in the garden, he presently fell upon a young
English cherry tree, which his father valued a great deal,
and barked it very badly. When Mr. Augustine Washing-
ton discovered the mischief he was very angry, and de-
clared that he would not have taken five guineas for his
cherry tree.

“George,” said he, “do you know who killed that
beautiful cherry tree, yonder in the garden?”

The boy hesitated a moment. “T can’t tell a lie, pa,



STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDITOOD. 9

e

you know I can’t tell a lie,” said he, presently ; “I did cut
it with my little hatchet.”

The boy’s father, so says Weems, remembered his
promise and praised George, declaring that he was glad
that he had lost his tree, since it had been the occasion of
the child’s daring to tell the truth.

Another of Weems’s stories is that Washington’s father
once planted the letters of the boy’s name in a cabbage
bed in the garden. Some time after, the child came into
the house all excitement, crying:

“O pa! come here! come here!”

“ What’s the matter, my son; what’s the matter ?”

“Oh, come here, I tell you, pa, come here, and Pl
show you such a sight as you never saw in your lifetime!”

George took his father’s hand and pulled him into the
garden. “There, pa!” he exclaimed, “did you ever see
such a sight in your life?”

“Why, it does seem like a curious affair, sure enough,
seorge.”

“But, pa, who did make it there?” asked the child.

“Tt grew by chance, I suppose, my son.”

“ By chance, pa! Oh, no, it never did grow there by
chance, pa. Indeed, that it never did!”

“Hey! Why not, my son?”

“ Why, pa, did you ever see anybody’s name in a plant
bed before?”

“ Well—but, George, such a thing might happen,
though you never saw it before.”

“Yes, pa, but I did never see the little plants grow up
so as to make one single letter of my name, and then
standing one after another to spell my name so exactly,



10 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

and all so even at the top and bottom. O pa, you must
not say that chance did all this. Indeed, somebody did
it, and I dare say now, pa, you did it, just to scare me, be-
cause Lam your little boy.”

Whereupon, according to Weems, Washington’s father
drew a little lesson from the plant bed, by which he made
him understand something about the heavenly Father,
who made things grow for his benefit.

Besides Weems’s doubtful stories, there are two letters
which are said to have passed between George, when he
was nine years old, and Richard Henry Lee, a little boy,
‘ who afterward became a great Revolutionary character,
and to whom Washington wrote many letters in after-life.
George’s letter seems too correct for a little boy, though
he may have had help from the friend who is supposed to
have composed the rhyme at the end of the little note.
Richard wrote:

“ Pa brought me two pretty books full of pictures he
got them in Alexandria they have pictures of dogs and
cats and tigers and elefants and ever so many pretty things
cousin bids me send you one of them it has a picture of
an elefant and a little Indian boy on his back like uncle
jo’s sam pa says if I learn my tasks good he will let uncle
jo bring me to see you will you ask your ma to let you
come to see me. Ricoarp Henry LEe.”

George answered :

“Dear Dickey: I thank you very much for the pretty
picture book you gave me. Sam asked me to show him
the pictures and I showed him all the pictures in it; and



STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD. 11

Tread to him how the tame elephant took care of the
master’s little boy, and put him on his back and would
not let anybody touch his master’s little son. I can read
three or four pages sometimes without missing a word.
Ma says I may go to see you and stay all day with you
next week if if be not rainy. She says I may ride my
pony, Hero if Uncle Ben will go with me and lead Hero.
I have a little piece of poetry about the picture book
you gave me but I mustn’t tell you who wrote the poetry.
“G, W.’s compliments to R. H. L.,
And likes his book full well
Henceforth will count him his friend,
And hopes many happy days he may spend.
Your good friend,
GEORGE WASHINGTON.

“Tam going to get a whip top soon, and you may see
it and whip it.”

The Sam in the letter was George’s brother, and the
“unele jo” and “Uncle Ben” were no doubt old negro
slaves.

To turn from doubtful stories and letters to what
we certainly know of his childhood, George Washington
attended a little school kept by a man named Hobby. It
was very hard, in those rnde days in Virginia, for planters
to get any education for their children, and George’s
father bought Hobby as a bond-servant,* that he might

* The lot of poor men in that day was a hard one, and many such
came to this country to escape misery in England. The captain of
the ship that brought such a man was allowed to sell him for four



12 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

have a schoolmaster for his children. The schoolhouse
is said to have stood in an old field—that is, a field ex-
hausted by the growing of tobacco and allowed to grow
up to pines. Here the little George learned to read, write,
and cipher, and that by no very short cuts, for Hobby
was probably only the poorest kind of a teacher. Weems
tells, however, that the old man was very proud in after-
life of having taught the great general. Ile drank a
good deal, especially on Washington's birthday, and he
would boast-on such occasions that “’twag he who, be-
tween his knees, had laid the foundation of Washington’s
greatness.”

years to repay his passage. Many men, convicted of small crimes in
England, were transported and sold for seven years. Those con-
victs who could read and write were often purchased for school-
masters,



WASHINGTON AS A BOY. 13

CHAPTER III...

WASHINGTON AS A BOY. ‘

1748-1746.

WueENn George Washington was eleven years old, his
father was taken suddenly ill and died, at the age of forty-
nine. To his eldest son, Lawrence, he left a place on the
Potomac, which was afterward named Mount Vernon,
with other lands, and shares in the iron works which he
superintended. ‘To his second son, Augustine, he willed
the plantation in Westmoreland County where George had
been born. George himself was to have the lands on
which the family lived on the Rappahannock, but only
after his mother’s death. ‘The other sous had six or seven
hundred acres each, and the daughter Betty was also pro-
vided for. Mrs. Washington was left in charge of the
lands of all her children until they should come of age.

In after-life, Washington said that he remembered his
father’s fondness for him, but that he believed he owed
his fortune and fame to his mother. Mrs. Washington
was a person of much sternness and force. She was prob-
ably a woman of the old Virginia type, in the time when
planters were also frontiersmen and their children had
few opportunities for education. Though she belonged
to a good family, her accomplishments were of the plain-
est sort, such only as were needed by a housckeeper in



14 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

rude times. She was left a young widow in charge of
tracts of land and negroes, a kind of property which
yielded only a very poor living without the greatest watch-





































































































HALL IN THE PART OF MOUNT VERNON BUILT BY LAWRENCE WASHINGTON.

fulness. She was in the habit of riding around her plan-
tation in an open gig and oversecing all that went on, and
she was feared by all about her.

“Pray,” said she to an overseer who wished to do



WASHINGTON AS A BOY. 15

otherwise ‘than she had ordered, “who gave you any
judgment in the matter? I command you, sir; there is
nothing left for you but to obey.”

Mrs. Washington’s sons stood in awe of her when they
were grown to be tall fellows. One of George’s comrades
said in after-years that he feared her much more than he
did his own parents. ‘ We were as mute as mice in her
presence,” said he.

Schools were few and poor in Washington’s boyhood,
and his mother sent him, soon after his father’s death,
back to his birthplace to live with his brother Augustine,
who was now a grown man, to attend the school of a cer-
tain Mr. Williams. Wedo not know just how much he
learned at this new school, but his four or five years under
Mr. Williams did not teach him correct spelling or the
commonest rules of English grammar, as some of his
early writings show. Heseems to have learned a good
deal from a book which has recently been discovered with.
his name in it and the date of 1742, when the boy was ten
years old. This book is called The Young Man’s Com-
panion, or Arithmetek Made Easy, and it claims to teach
a boy without a tutor how to “read and write true Ing-
lish,” how to write letters and make out various papers
such as bills, bonds, releases, and wills, how to measure
timber, and how to survey land, with various other useful
things. Blank books are still preserved in which the boy
Washington copied out various legal forms, some poor
poetry, and one hundred and ten rules of behavior which
are very quaint, and old, no doubt, in their origin. These
rules are very curious. Some of them exhibit the rude
habits of the time when it was thought necessary to teach



16 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

a young man not to kill vermin “in the sight of others.”
Another rule, which forbids a man to put his feet “ upon
the fire, especially if there be meat before it,” shows how
common it was in early days to live in the kitchen. The
boy was taught, among many other things, “Shake not the
Head, Feet, or Legs, rowl not the Eys, lift not one eye-
brow higher than the other, wry not the mouth.” He
was to keep the nails, hands, and teeth clean, yet he was
to show “no great concern for them.” Te was not to
read in conipany; he was not to play the doctor when he
visited the sick; he was not to laugh himself when he
said anything witty; he was to see that his clothes were
brushed every day, and was not to “play the peacock, look-
ing everywhere about” him to see if he were “well
decked”; he was to select good company, for he was told
that it was “better to be alone than in bad company”; he
was not to speak “of doleful things in a time of mirth,”
nor mention “death and wounds” at table; he was not to
look at the blemishes of others; finally, he was taught
great deference in the presence of his superiors and proper
behavior toward his inferiors. This remarkable set of
rules, which Washington copied so carefully when he was
a boy, closes with the words, “ Labor to keep aliye in your
breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
These old blank books show that the boy Washington was
already practicing those painstaking habits with his pen
which led him in later life to keep careful accounts of all
his expenses, diaries of his doings, and copies of his let-
ters.

Although Washington seems to have been something
of a model boy, he was still very much given to manly,



toy: SFE hare Zu Sas Cele Loe LAELE wlth
c Cer

Woo - ae L, Abbuta Chet Le he Pereoesf' b
eas pe pret ee Lhe thy b TEL
ce cb pe L Gran f 8 not Tor fell

O-

oir Lo Ce eure hetktthe barked be
tel; May 2reD Cc, Ch Leben f a





18 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

out-of-door sports. At school, so tradition says, he loved
to play soldier, dividing the boys into armies, and George
was pretty sure to be commander on one side or the
other. There are many tales about Washington’s great
strength in running, and his skill in throwing to a
great distance. Perhaps the distance has grown with the
years, for, when people make a hero of a man, they like to
think that he showed signs of his wonderful qualities in
boyhood; though what throwing has to do with good
generalship, or how foot-races lead to the presidency it
would be hard to tell. They go to show, however, what
was no doubt true, that Washington was a hardy, manly
boy. To this day the very spot where George threw a
piece of slate across the Rappahannock is pointed out.
The slate, of course, cleared the river and landed some
thirty yards on the opposite side. The people of Vir-
ginia firmly believe also that Washington threw a stone
up some two hundred feet to the arch of the natural
bridge from below, while some have it a silver dollar.
Even in the North there is a legend of Washington’s
throwing a stone from the top of the Palisades into the
Hudson, when he was a general.

Parson Weems also comes in with his homely tale of
Washington’s feats of running while he was at Mr. Wil-
liams’s school. According to Weems, John Fitzhugh,
Esq., made the following speech to him with regard to
the superior qualities of Washington’s legs:

‘“Kgad, he ran wonderfully. We had nobody here-
abouts that could come near him. There was a young
Langhorn Dade, of Westmoreland, a confounded clean-
made, tight young fellow, and a mighty swift runner too;



WASHINGTON AS A BOY. 19

but then he was no match for George. Langy, indeed,
did not like to give it wp, and would brag that he had
sometimes brought George to a tie. But I believe that
he was mistaken, for I have seen them run together
many a time, and George always beat him easy enough.”

Another story of Washington’s boyhood tells how he
once sat reading a book under an oak tree near the school-
house, when the other boys had persuaded the champion
wrestler of the county to try their strength. He downed
all the boys except the studious George, who refused to
join the ring. The champion presently dared Washing-
ton to come on, or own that he was afraid. George was
probably no more able to take a dare than to tell a lie,
and he accordingly came on. There was a struggle of a
few minutes, when, as the champion afterward said, “I
felt myself grasped and hurled upon the ground with a
jar that shook the marrow of my bones.”

Washington, like all Virginia boys, was at home on a
horse’s back. During the Revolutionary War he pre-
sented the famous French officer, the Marquis de Chastel-
lux, with a beautiful animal, which he assured his guest
he had broken himself, to the wonder of the Frenchman.
Perhaps Washington’s first attempt at breaking a horse
was on his mother’s plantation, and this was an unlucky
adventure.

Fine horses were the pride of the Virginia gentleman,
and Mrs. Washington kept up the stock that had been
owned by her husband. There was one spirited sorrel
colt which no one had succeeded in breaking. George
and some boy friends were looking at the horses early
one morning, when Washington announced that he was



20 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

going to ride the sorrel. is companions, boylike, dared
him to do it. They all went to work to catch the rest-
less animal, and together they foreed a bit into his mouth.
No sooner was this done, than Washington sprang on his
hack. The horse backed, reared, and plunged, while
George’s comrades began to be frightened about the re-



WASHING TON’S TENTS, AS SET UP BY THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
IN THEIR GROUNDS.

sult of their sport. But Washington kept his seat, and
the animal finally made one great bound into the air and
fell dead, havig burst a blood-vessel.

Immediately after this the boys were called to break-
fast, feeling very serious over the outcome of . their
sport. Mrs. Washington began to ask them if they had
seen her colts, and especially her favorite, the sorrel.



WASHINGTON AS A BOY. O11

The boys were silent, but Mays. Washington demanded
an answer.

“The sorrel is dead, madam,” said George. “TI killed
him.” The boy then told how it all happened. Mrs.
Washington’s face was red with anger, but she presently
said that, while she regretted the loss of her horse, she
rejoiced in her son, who always told the truth. This
story is told by Washington’s step-grandson, who was
brought up in his family. The point resembles that of
the hackneyed little hatchet tale, and perhaps they both
grew out of one incident.

There is no doubt a foundation of fact in the tales of
Washington’s great strength, for we know that wheu he
grew to be a man he was tall and muscular, had very
large joints, and enormous hands and feet. Me wore num-
ber thirteen boots, it is said, and was obliged to have his
gloves made to order. A man who knew him during the
war told that though it took two men to lift his large
tent, wrapped up with its poles, Washington could pick it
up with one hand and throw it into a wagon, as though
it were a pair of saddle-bags.



29 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER IV.
THE YOUNG SURVEYOR.
1746-1751,

WHEN George Washington was eight years old his
eldest half-brother, Lawrence, then only twenty, was
captain in a Virginia regiment which joined an expe-
dition under Admiral Vernon to attack Cartagena in
South America. The attack did not succeed. ‘The
ships did not get near enough to throw shells into the
town, and the scaling ladders were too short. But the
part of the forces which Lawrence commanded fought
bravely, standing a very destructive fire for some hours
and losing a number of men. No doubt the tales George
heard from his brother of his adventures in this expedi-
tion made him love to play soldier as a boy, and dream of
going to war himself,

Lawrence Washington was a noble and liberal-minded
man, and be seems to have been one of the most de-
voted of elder brothers. He married a daughter of Wil-
liam Fairfax, and went to live on his estate on the Po-
tomac, which he named Mount Vernon, in honor of the
admiral under whom he had fought. His father-in-law
lived across the river from him at a place called Belvoir.
He was a gentleman of wealth, and the agent of his cousin,
Lord Fairfax. Lord Fairfax was an English nobleman



THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 93

who had fallen heir to a tract of land in Virginia so large
that it is now divided into twenty-one counties. He had
also estates in England, and was a man of fine education,
and possessed some literary gifts, for he wrote papers for
The Spectator. But a disappointment in love is said to
have sent him to the
wilds of Virginia.
He turned over his
English property to
his brother, and be-
came a Virginian for
life. At the time
when George first



knew him he was liv-

OLD BUILDING AT GREENWAY COURT.

ing with his cousin

William Fairfax at Belvoir. He afterward made his
home ina house which he built beyond the Blue Ridge,
and called Greenway Court. Here he kept bachelor’s
hall, and spent much of his time hunting in the forests
which stood in that day about his house.

When Washington was about fourteen it was proposed
to send him to sea. Whether this grew out of his own
boyish wishes, or the plans of his elders, is not certainly
known; but a brother of Mrs. Washington, who lived in
England, wrote her a very sensible letter, in which he told
her that, rather than go to sea, her son “had better be
put ’prentice toa tinker ;” that at sea he would be treated
like a dog; that there was no chance for him in the navy ;
and that he would be better off as a planter than as mas-
ter of a Virginia ship. “Ie must not be too hasty to
be rich,” said he, “ but go on gently and with patience as



24. THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

things will naturally go. This method, without aiming at
being a fine gentleman before his time, will carry a man
more comfortably and surely through the world than go-
ing to sea, unless it be a good chance indeed.”

Mrs. Washington’s heart soon failed her. A friend of
hers wrote to Lawrence Washington that one word against
George’s going to sea “had more weight than ten for it.”
So the plan was given up, and the boy was sent back to
school to study surveying. For practice he plotted off
the fields around the schoolhouse, and put the result of
his work down very carefully in his blank books. He
left school the fall before he was sixteen, and spent the
winter with his brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon. He
practiced surveying about his brother’s plantation during
this winter. Tiere he often met the Fairfaxes and other
choice company, and had a chance to practice his rules of
behavior.

It is said that while George was living with his brother
Lawrence, he was one day in Alexandria where a dealer
was showing some blooded horses which he had brought
there to sell. ‘The boy admired them, and perhaps boasted
a little about what he could do with a horse. The dealer
offered to give him a very unmanageable young horse if
he would ride it to Mount Vernon and back without los-
ing his seat. George immediately mounted the animal
and rode off. The next day he entered the town again
firmly seated on the wild creature. The dealer is said to
have been willing to stand by his promise, and offered the
horse to George; but Washington frankly declared that
he had not earned him, for he had been thrown once and
dragged, though he did not lose his hold of the reins.



THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 25

George Washington was the kind of boy to be a favor-
ite with older men. Lord Fairfax selected him when he
was barely sixteen to be a surveyor for him. Lord Fair-
fax’s land stretched across the Blue Ridge, and he owned
many fine valleys there which had never been surveyed.
Emigrants were already pushing their way across the
mountains, selecting the finest pieces of
land and settling on them. Lord Fair-
fax wished to survey these lands, so that
the settlers might have a clear title and
pay their quit rents to the lord of the
Sorlaeie

George Washington and George Fair-
fax, the eldest son of William Fairfax,
set out on horseback, in March, 1748, for
the Shenandoah Valley, where they were
joined by another surveyor. Washing-
ton kept a journal of this first surveying



trip of his, which is very quaint with

its odd spelling and its antique abbrevia- — casm, wren penctr,
FOOT-RULE, AND
DIVIDERS, USED

4 : e =: z 7 BY WASHINGTON
rough miles in a day, getting now and SAN TO

then a shot at a wild turkey; how they eee teat
slept in a tent, every one being his own

cook, with forked sticks for spits, and large chips for
plates. Once the straw on which he slept caught fire,
and one of the men saved him from burning up by
waking him in time. At another time the tent blew
away in the night. Once they ate dinner at a frontiers-
man’s, where there was neither tablecloth nor knives,
and they counted themselves fortunate in having some

tions. He tells how they rode many







26 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

knives of their own. He relates very naively how at one
frontier house, he “not being so good a woodsman as the
rest of the company,” stripped himself very orderly and
went into the bed, as they called it. The bed proved
to be a little straw, matted together, no sheets, and an
abundance of vermin. He says that he made haste to get
up so soon as the light had been carried away, put on his
clothes, and stretched himself on the floor with the other
members of the party. “Tad we not been very tired,”
he writes, “I am sure we should not have slep’d much
that night.” He resolved to choose the open air and the
tire hereafter on a surveying tour. The next day they
rode to Frederickstown, where they found their baggage
and made haste to change their clothes, “to get rid of ye
Game we had catched ye night before,” says the journal.
At one place the boy surveyors were stopped several
days at a ford by high rains and rising water. They were
delighted, after two days of dull waiting, with the sight of
a party of Indians returning from the warpath, “with
only one scalp,” as the journal remarks. Washington and
Fairfax gave the Indians some liquor, which, “ elevating
their spirits, put them in ye humor of dauncing.” Wash-
ington describes the war dance that took place in the fol-
lowing quaint words: “'There manner of dauncing is as
follows, viz., they clear a Large Circle and make a great
Fire in ye middle. Men seats themselves around it. Ye
speaker makes a grand speech, telling them in what man-
ner they are to daunce. After he has finished, ye best
Dauncer jumps up, as one awaked out of a sleep, & Runs
and Jumps about ye Ring ina most comicle manner. He
is followed by ye Rest. Then begins there musicians to



THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 27

Play. Ye musick is a Pot half full of water, with a Deer-
skin stretched over it as tight as it can, & a goard with
shott in it to rattle & a Piece of an horses tail tied to it to
make it look fine. Ye one keeps rattling and ye others
drumming all ye while ye others is Dauncing.”

For three years George Washington led the life of a
backwoods surveyor, followed about by emigrants seeking
lands. “Since you re-
ceived my letter in Octo-
ber last,’ he writes to a
boy friend, “I have not
sleep’d above three nights
or four in a bed, but,
after walking a good deal
all the day, I lay down
before the fire upon a
little hay, straw, fodder, or bearskin, which ever is to be
had with man, wife and children, like a parcel of dogs
and cats; and happy is he who gets the berth nearest
the fire. There is nothing would make it pass off toler-
ably but a good reward. A doubloon a day is my con-
stant gain every day that the weather will permit my





WASHINGTON’

going out, and sometimes six pistoles.” A doubloon was
equal to seven dollars and twenty cents, while six pistoles
amounted to twenty-one dollars and sixty cents.

In this way the foundation was laid for Washington’s
future greatness; hardihood, endurance, and independ-
ence were the lessons he learned. He spent his winters
with his brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon, and here he
gained ease and polish of manner. He is said also to have
been a great favorite with Lord Fairfax in his home at



98 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

Greenway Court, in the Shenandoah Valley, where the
bachelor nobleman and the young surveyor had many a
good hunt together.

Meantime Washington had young lady friends, and
some youthful emotions with regard to them. In the
same book which contains his journals is a copy of a letter
in which he speaks of having been ill with a pleurisy, and
says, “ But purpose, as soon as I recover my strength, to
wait on Miss Betsy, in hopes of a revocation of the former
cruel sentence, and see if I can meet with any alteration
in my favor.” This pretty speech savors more of old-
fashioned Southern gallantry than of the real sentiment
which some writers see in it. Another letter, however to
be found in the same book, contains a rather amusing
passage in a more serious strain.

“ My place of residence,” says young George Washing-
ton, “is at present at his Lordship’s, where I might, was
my heart disengaged, pass my time yery pleasantly as
there’s a very agreeable young lady lives in the same house.
But as that’s only adding fuel to fire, it makes me the
more uneasy, for by often and unavoidably being in com-
pany with her revives my former passion for your Low-
land beauty; whereas was I to live more retired from
young women, I might in some measure eliviate my sor-
rows, by burying that chaste and troublesome passion in
the grave of oblivion or etarnall forgetfulness, for as T am
well assured, that’s the only antidote or remedy, that I
ever shall be relieved by or only recess that can administer
any cure or help to me, as I am well convinced, was I ever,
to attempt anything, I should only get a denial, which
would be only adding grief to uneasiness.”



THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 29

There is no doubt that Washington, being only about
sixteen when he wrote this doleful letter, recovered in due
time of his hopeless passion for the “Lowland beanty,”
and lived to enjoy the society of other young women,
without so much as being reminded of his first love,
“ etarnall forgetfulness” having done its work. We may
smile at Washington’s boyish effusions, as well as his mis-
takes in grammar and in spelling, but he soon conquered
most of these faults, and gained a clear style in writ-
ing as well as a thoughtful and sensible bearing. As he
never went to school again, all these improvements must
have been due to his own painstaking habits.



30 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER V.

LEARNING TO BE A SOLDIER.
L785 1-1782,

ONE of the most remarkable facts about the boy George
Washington was that he was trusted with difficult tasks
at so early an age. Being the eldest son of a widow,
and having his own way to make in the world, he seems
to have become a man before his time. When Washing-
ton was a boy, the French in Canada, having already
claimed the Mississippi, were pushing for the great inte-
rior country about the Ohio. The English colonies, too,
began to see that their growth must soon force them in
the same direction. George’s half-brothers, Lawrence and
Augustine Washington, belonged to a body of men called
“The Ohio Company,” which was formed to push emigra-
tion into this great new country. They sent out a famous
pioneer named Christopher Gist to explore the Ohio Val-
ley, and they made a treaty with the Indians, by which
they were allowed to make settlements on one side of the
great river. It was more difficult to find settlers, and
Lawrence Washington, although he was beginning to fail
in health, tried unsuccessfully to get a promise that Ger-
man emigrants to the Ohio would be allowed to have
their own religion, and not be obliged to support a clergy-
man of the Church of England. In the houses of his two



LEARNING TO BE A SOLDIER. 31

brothers Washington thus early learned to take a great
interest in the struggle for the Ohio.

Wise men foresaw that there was likely to be. trouble
between the French and English colonies over the posses-
sion of the beautiful Ohio country; and the militia.of
Virginia were trained, and preparations began to be made
for war. The colony was divided into provinces, with an
officer over the militia of each province. Lawrence
Washington got his “ brother George,” at nineteen years
of age, appointed to the command of one of these dis-
tricts, with the title of adjutant-general and the rank of
major. It was the young man’s duty to exercise the
militiamen and inspect their arms.

Washington had not forgotten his early ambition to
be a soldier, and he was probably as eager for war as any
very young man would be under the circumstances. He
studied tactics, and took fencing lessons of a Dutchman
named Van Braam. He had hardly begun his new mili-
tary duties, however, when he was called away by his
brother’s illness. Iawrence Washington was now suffer-
ing from consumption. He wished to try a voyage to the
West Indies, and asked George to go with him. The
two brothers sailed in September, 1751, and were five
weeks reaching Barbadoes.

This was the only time that George Washington was
outside of his native land. Soon after he reached the
island he and his brother were invited to dine at a cer-
tain house. George went reluctantly, for there was small-
pox in the house, and he had not yet had this disease,
which was very common in those days. ‘Two weeks later
he was taken with the smallpox, and recovered after three



82 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

or four weeks of severe illness. Lawrence Washington
seemed to be very much better when he first reached
Barbadoes, but his health failed again, and he thought
of trying a trip to Bermuda in the spring. He decided
to-send George home, in order that he might bring Mrs.
Lawrence Washington out to meet him at Bermnda.
The young man had a stormy passage. He kept a care-
ful journal, however, and even copied the ship’s log-book,
setting down the direction of the wind and the number
of miles made by the vessel daily, which shows his early
habit of taking pains with the smallest details.

Washington reached home in February. His brother
Lawrence, finding that he was getting no better, returned
to Virginia in the following summer. He did not live
long after he came home. His will shows his affection for
George, and his trust in the young man’s character. He
left his estates to his little daughter, an only child, who
did not live long. In case of her death, his wife was to
have a dower interest in them, and they were to belong
to George Washington. Meantime George was made one
of the executors, and he began immediately to manage
his brother’s affairs. At nineteen he was managing a
large plantation, and riding about several counties re-
viewing the militia on parade, training the officers, and
inspecting arms.



SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS, 33

CHAPTER VI.

SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS.
L753,

Berore railroads were invented natural water ways
were of vast importance. When the country was still
wild there was no other way of penetrating it than that
afforded by rivers and lakes. For this reason the French
in Canada had secured Lake Champlain, which was con-
nected by water, except for a few miles of land carriage,
both with the St. Lawrence and the Hudson. They had
grasped also the Great Lakes and the Mississippi which
led through the heart of the continent. By a small carry
from Lake Erie they were planning now to reach a new
region by following French Creek to the Alleghany
River, and this stream until it joined the Monongahela
and became the Ohio. ‘Their forts had already been
extended to the junction of Irench Creek and the Alle-
ghany, and the English colonists saw that they must soon
be cut off from a valuable fur trade, and be shut in for-
ever behind the Alleghany Mountains.

Dinwiddie, the Governor of Virginia, wrote a letter in
1753 to the commander of the French fort at Venango,
demanding that the French should leave off building forts
in the Ohio Valley. Ie chose Major George Washington,
then twenty-one years old, to carry this letter through

4

e



84 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

hundreds of miles of wilderness to the French fort. The
young man set out in November, 1753, with his fencing-
master Van Braam as an interpreter, and the trader and
frontiersman Christopher Gist as a guide and
companion, together with several other men to
make up the party and drive the pack
horses which carried the necessary baggage
and provisions. It was already very cold in




nissisd¥?

MAP SHOWING THE WATERWAYS CLAIMED BY THE FRENCH,

the Alleghanies, and the snow was ankle-deep in some
places. Washington struck the Monongahela at Turtle
Creek, and pushed on down the river till he reached
the forks of the Ohio—that is, the place where this stream
joins the Alleghany and becomes the Ohio. He selected
a place on the tongue of land between these two rivers
for a fort, which he thought would control all the

2



SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS. 35

country around by commanding so many streams. This
afterward became the point for which the French and
English struggled.

Nothing could be done without the aid and good will
of the Indians, so Washington and Gist held a council at
Logstown, an Indian village not far from the forks of
the Ohio. Washington visited an Oneida chief who lived
here, named Monacatootha, and giving him a string of
wampum and a twist of tobacco, asked him to send for
the Half-king, a Seneca chief, who was out at his hunting
cabin, and several other chiefs who were absent. When
the Half-king came, Washington visited him in his cabin
and talked with him about what the French were going
to do. The Half-king said that when he had been-at the
French fort last he had told them that the Indians had
built a council fire for them at Montreal, and told them
to stay there, and that if they came any farther the In-
dians would have to use a stick on them. The French
commander had answered, “I tell you down the river I
will go.” Washington held a council at the long house
of the Indians, and, after a good deal of Indian ceremony
and days of tedious waiting, it was decided that the Half-
king, Jeskakee, White Thunder, and a young hunter
were to go with Major Washington to the French fort
and return a certain speech belt, which would mean in
their eyes the breaking of friendship with the French.
After all had been settled according to Indian notions,
regardless of Washington’s impatience, the party set
out, and encamped at a place called Murthering Town,
where they got some dried meat and corn for provis-
ions. The Indians also shot two fine bucks by the



36 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

way, and the party finally reached
the Indian village of Venango.










The French colors were hoist-
ed over a house in this town,
from which an English
trader had been driven.

Here Washington found

te three French officers
and Jonecaire, a half-

si breed, the son of a
French _ officer

and a Sencca
squaw, who
was a@ man

; of a good
Ss deal of
MAP OF WASILENGTON’S COURSE

FROM WILLIAMSBURG TO THE
FRENCH FORT,

inflnence with the Indians. \2,
Washington ate supper with these ee ee,
officers, and the latter drank so much = ae NG
that they talked pretty freely to the
young Virginia major, swearing that they
would have the Ohio. They said they




â„¢ CH

: & TAN ey

knew that the English could raise two men woilnMewars
: ; : He

to their one, but that English motions were too “en

slow to prevent their doing as they chose.

Washington had a deal of trouble to get his Indians
away from the influence of Captain Joncaire and French
liquor. At last, however, the party started up French



SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS. 37

Greek, subsisting on bear meat, and crossing streams on
fallen tree trunks, with their baggage strapped upon their
backs, while they swam their horses over. ‘The young
major was courteously received at the French fort. While
the officers of the post were consulting over Governor Din-
widdie’s letter, Washington made a eareful observation of
the fort, and charged his interpreter to find out how many
canoes there were upon the shores of the creek, that he
might get some idea of the size of the French force that
would be sent down the river to the Ohio in the spring.
There proved to be fifty birch-bark canoes and one hun-
dred and seventy pine dug-outs, while many more were
being built.

Tt was now the middle of December, the snows were
increasing, and Washington’s horses were getting very
weak, as the grass in the natural meadows along the streams
was covered, and they had nothing to cat but corn. For
this reason he sent the animals ahead unloaded, intend-
ing to go back to Venango by water.



38 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER VII.
ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS.
L758.

THE commandant of the French fort furnished Wash-
ington with a canoe, which he loaded with provisions and
liquor. But while he seemed to be very polite to the
young Virginia major, he was secretly trying to keep the
Indians from going back with him, that he might gain
them over to the French side. When they were about
to start, he offered the Indians each a present of a gun if
they would stay till the next day. When Washington
heard from the Half-king of this tempting offer, he re-
solved to stay also, for there was no such thing as get-
ting the Indians to forego the guns. The next day they
got their guns, but the French now began to ply them
with liquor. Washington said that he had never suffered
so much anxiety in his life, but he finally got his Indians
off on the 16th of December. The white men were in
one canoe and the Indians in another. They made six-
teen miles the first day and camped for the night, the
Indians having run ahead of them. ‘The next day brought
them up with their Indians, who had camped and were
hunting. The party spent the day at this spot, the
Indians having killed three bears. One of the hunters
had not returned by the following morning, so the



ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS. 39

white men pushed on and left the Indians waiting for
him.

The waters of the creek were falling very fast, and
after traveling for two more days Washington’s party was
stopped by ice. The men worked for some time trying to
break a way through the ice, and then gave it up and
hauled their canoe a quarter of a mile across a neck of
land to where the water was clear again. Here they were
overtaken by the Indians, three French canoes, and the
crew of another French boat which had been lost with her
lading of lead and powder. They all camped for the night
about twenty miles above Venango. By the next day the
creek had become so low that all hands were obliged to
get out of the canoes to keep them from upsetting and
haul them over shoals, the icy water freezing to their
clothes as they stood in it. The Virginians could not
help being pleased, however, to see one of the French
canoes upset and her lading of brandy and wine floating
in the water, while they ran by “and let them shift for
themselves.”

At Venango Washington was obliged to leave the In-
dians, for White Thunder pretended to be ill, and the
young major dared not wait any longer, as winter was set-
ting in. The horses were very weak by this time, and their
packs were heavy, it being necessary to carry provisions
for man and beast. The men of the party gave up their
horses to be used as pack animals. Washington put on
an Indian walking dress and tramped on with his party
through the snow for three days. This was very slow
work, because of the weakness of the horses, and Wash-
ington proposed to Gist that they should push ahead,



40 : THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

making the rest of the journey alone and on foot. Gist
objected that the major was not used to walking, but
Washington insisted. §o he left his Dutch fencing-mas-
ter, Van Braam, in charge of the pack horses, and putting
his necessary papers into his bosom, he tied himself up



PACK SADDLES OF WASIINGTON’S TIME.

in a matchcoat, or Indian blanket. He and Gist then
strapped packs on their backs loaded with provisions,
and taking their guns in their hands sct off on their lonely
and dangerous journey. They walked cighteen miles the
first day, and passed the night in a deserted Indian cabin,



ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS. A

Washington being very much exhausted. It was now
very cold, and the small streams were so frozen that it
was hard to find water to drink.

Washington and Gist made the distance the next day
to the Indian village which bore the ominous name of
Murthering Town. Here they met an Indian whom Gist
had seen, he thought, at Venango, on the way up. The
fellow called Gist by his Indian name, and asked a number
of questions as to why the white men were traveling alone,
and where they had left their horses. W ashington wished
to cut across the country instead of following the longer
Indian path, so he asked this fellow if he would guide
them, which the Indian was only too willing to do. They
set out once more, the Indian guide carrying Washington’s
pack. ‘They had walked only eight or ten miles when
Washington’s feet became so sore that he wished to en-
camp for the night. He and Gist were beginning to sus-
pect that their guide was taking them too much toward
the northwest. The Indian offered to carry the major’s
gun for him, but Washington refused. The fellow now
became surly, declaring that there were Ottawa Indians
in these woods, who would kill and scalp them if they lay
out, and that it would be best to go to his cabin, where
they would be safe. Gist began to be very suspicious
of their guide, though he did not like to let the major
see it. Washington, however, was uneasy himself. The
Indian insisted that he could hear the report of a gun at
his cabin, and steered north. When the white men became
suspicious at being led in this direction, he declared that
he could hear two whoops at his cabin. Night was falling.
When the party had traveled two miles farther, Wash-



49 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ington insisted that they should camp at the next water.
Before finding water, however, they entered a natural
meadow where there were no trees, and it was very light
from the reflection on the snow. Instantly the Indian
stopped, wheeled about, and fired upon the two white men.

“ Are you shot?” asked Washington of Gist.

“ No,” answered the trader.

Immediately the Indian ran behind a great white oak
tree and began loading his gun. The two white men
were upon.him in a moment, however. Gist would have
killed him, but Washington would not permit this. They
disarmed him, and ordered him to build a fire for them
beside a little stream, as though they meant to encamp
here for the night. Meantime Washington and Gist
guarded the three guns of the party carefully while they
held a little consultation.

“As you will not have him killed,” said Gist, “we
must get him away, and then we must travel all night.”

Washington agreed to this plan, and Gist then went
to the Indian and said, in order that he should not guess
how suspicious they were of him:

“T suppose you were lost, and fired your gun.”

The fellow assented, and insisted that he knew the way
to his cabin, and that it was not far.

“Well,” said Gist, “do you go home, and as we are
much tired we will follow your tracks in the morning.”

The Indian was glad to get off. Gist followed him
and listened until he was sure that he was fairly gone.
He and Washington then hurried away in an opposite di-
rection for half a mile, when they made a fire, looked at
their compass, set their course, and walked all night as



ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS. 43

fast as they could. This was a pretty hard experience for
a young man with sore feet. They found themselves at
the head of Piney Creek the next morning, but they dared
not stop, as they feared they might be tracked by their
treacherous guide. They traveled all the next day down
the creek. At night they found some tracks where a
party of Indians had been hunting. They confused their
tracks with these, and then separated for a distance, so
that two trails could not be seen leaving this place to-
gether. Only after they had done this did they dare to
stop and take some sleep.

Another day brought the two travelers to the Alle-
ghany. They had expected to find the river frozen, but
the solid ice extended out only about fifty yards from
each shore, while the channel was full of floating ice.
The two men worked all one day building a raft, with one
small hatchet, which was the only tool they had with them.
Just before sunset Washington and Gist got upon their
raft. Before they were half way over the river the raft
got jammed in the ice and was in danger of upsetting.
Washington put out his setting pole to try to stop their
rude craft, in order that the ice might get by. The force
of the stream and the jamming of the ice against the pole,
however, jerked Washington off of the raft and into ten
feet of water. He succeeded in catching hold of one of
the logs of the raft, and so got on again. In spite of all
they could do, he and Gist were unable to reach the other
shore. They had floated near an island, and here they
left their raft and camped for the night. ‘The sun was
down, and it was very cold. Washington was wet to the
skin, while Gist had all his fingers and some of his toes



44 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

frozen. They made a fire and slept on the island all
night. In the morning they were delighted to find that
the river was frozen over, so that they might easily cross it.
. One more day’s tramp brought Washington and Gist
to the house of an Indian trader named Fraser. Here
they expected to get horses. As it would take some time
to find the animals, Washington walked about three miles
to the mouth of the Youghiogheny, to visit a certain
Queen Aliquippa, who had shown some jealousy because
the major had not called on her when he had passed be-
fore. ‘To placate this Indian queen, Washington made
her a present of a matchcoat—the one he had worn on his
and a bottle of rum, the last present
being the more acceptable of the two, he said.

A few more days brought Washington and Gist to the
outlying settlements. They each kept a journal of their
experiences. Washington’s journal, to his surprise, was



tramp, no doubt

afterward published both in Virginia and in England,
for men were much interested then in the question
whether France or England was to have the Ohio
country.



WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR. 45

CHAPTER VIII.

WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR.

L754.

THERE was a race between the English in Virginia
and the French in Canada, each wishing to be the first to
occupy the important point of land between the rivers
forming the Ohio. A few Virginia pioneers were the
earliest to reach the spot, where they began to build a
little fort. Governor Dinwiddie was anxious to raise men
to defend this position, and if all had depended on him
it would soon have been done. Dinwiddie was a rough
old Scotchman, stubborn, forceful, and unpopular sim-
ply because he was Governor. There was always a petty
struggle going on in the colonies between the Govern-
ors and the representatives elected by the people, be-
cause the Governors stood for an encroaching royal au-
thority, and the people had the English love for what
they deemed their rights. This time the struggle stood
‘in the way of defending the Ohio, for the Virginians
refused to grant money for this purpose so long as
the Governor continued to charge a pistole, or three
dollars and sixty cents, for every land title that he
signed, and everything lagged because of a divided gov-
ernment.

In March, 1754, Washington asked for a colonel’s



46 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

commission. He got it, with the following note from a
member of the Governor’s Gouncil :

“Dear Grorce: I inclose you your commission.
God prosper you with it!”

Thus the young man got his promotion, with the
honor of being second in command over a little band of
tattered poor whites, for a rough and dangerous expedi-
tion, with no means of clothing his men, and a probabil-
ity of starvation for want of supplies. But Washington
was young and enthusiastic. He accepted all difficulties
with a good heart.

The whole of the Virginia forces amounted to some
three hundred men, an English gentleman, Colonel Fry,
being first in command. Washington started on the
Qd of April, 1754, with a part of the troops, Colonel
Fry remaining behind to get the other half of the regi-
ment ready to march. The young man had orders to
make his way to the forks. of the Ohio, to aid Captain
Trent, who was already there with a handful of pioneers
building a fort. But while Washington was making his
toilsome march through the woods and over mountain
ranges, his men felling trees and building roads as they
went, the French were moving rapidly down the Alle-
ghany in their fleet of canoes, and appeared suddenly be-
fore the unfinished English fort. Captain Trent was
absent, and there were only forty workmen at the spot,
in command of an ensign. The French placed the
mouths of their cannon against the unfinished palisades
of the fort and summoned the men to surrender, which
they did without more ado, being allowed to march out



WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR. 47

with their tools and go back to join Washington. The
French destroyed the works, and began a larger fort which
they called Du Quesne.

Meanwhile Washington pushed painfully forward,
gaining only two or three miles a day. He reached the
Great Crossing of the Youghiogheny on the 18th of May.
Here he thought of trying to see if he could not avoid the
difficult road-making by moving down the Youghiogheny
in boats. To find out whether this were possible, he
first explored the stream himself with four men and an
Indian ina canoe. He had not gone far before the In-
dian guide refused to proceed unless he was paid for his
services. As Washington had not been provided with the
trinkets and coarse cloth used for Indian presents, he
was forced to promise the fellow one of his own ruffled
shirts and a matchcoat. In some places they found the
water of the Youghiogheny deep, in others it was so
shallow that all hands must wade. Washington made his
way thirty miles down this stream, when he was stopped
by rapids and a waterfall. He must give up the idea of a
water passage, and take up once more his laborious march
through the woods. By the 24th of May the Virginians
had reached a place on the Youghiogheny called the Great
Meadows. The men were encamping in these natural
fields at the base of a somber range of mountains, when
they were joined by a trader who had come that morning
from a settlement recently started on the other side of the
neighboring mountain. This settlement had been found-
ded by Christopher Gist, Washington’s companion in his
previous journey. The trader brought the news that he
had seen two Frenchmen, and that there was a large party





PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTON IN HIS COLONEL’S UNIFORAL

[Owned by General G. W. C. Lee, This portrait was painted in 1772 by
Wilson Peale. Itis the earliest portrait known of Washinton. |



WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR. 49

Washington made arrangements for an attack. The
party continued their march, silently and in Indian file.
They had but just surrounded the French encampment
when the enemy discovered them. Washington gave the
order to fire. The Frenchmen snatched up their guns
and pointed them toward the very spot where Washington
stood, so that the bullets flew fast about the young com-
mander. There was sharp fighting for about fifteen min-
utes; then the French surrendered. Their commander,
an ensign named Jumonville, was killed, and nine other
men had fallen. Of these the Indians dispatched those
who were not dead with a blow on the head, and secured
their scalps. Twenty-two were taken prisoners. On the
English side but one man was killed and two or three
were wounded. Washington was very polite to the two
officers among his prisoners, and shared with them his
own few changes of clothing.

Such was the young soldier’s first engagement. “JT
have heard the bullets whistle,” he wrote to his brother,
“and believe me, there is something charming in the
sound.” This youthful speech of Washington’s was re-
peated from mouth to mouth until it reached the ears of
the King of England. “He would not say so if he had
been used to hear many,” remarked his Majesty. Many
years after, when Washington was a general, some one
asked him if he had said such words. “Tf I did, it must
haye been when I was very young,” the general answered.

After the Frenchmen had been captured they showed
a summons from the commander at Fort Du Quesne, and
asserted that they were on the way to deliver this paper to
the English. If this were their purpose, they went about





50 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

it in a strange way, lurking for some days in hiding near
Washington’s camp, and sending messengers back to their
fort to tell how the Virginians were placed. The French,
however, persisted in regarding this affair as a massacre,
and called the Virginia colonel “the cruel VVash-
ington.”

In this skirmish the young commander of twenty-two
fired the first shots ina great war which was to involve
both Europe and America. When Washington was
stumbling along through the darkness of a rainy night
in search of some skulking Frenchmen, he never once
thought of his actions having consequences so important,
for he supposed that the planting of cannon against the
palisades of the English fort at the forks of the Ohio
would be regarded as opening the war.



THE BATTLE AT FORT NECESSITY. 51

CIIAPTER IX.

THE BATTLE AT FORT NECESSITY.

1754.

WASHINGTON returned to the Great Meadows with
his prisoners. He expected soon to be attacked; so he
threw up some small earthworks, which he called Fort
Necessity. The Ialf-king had sent the French scalps he
had taken to neighboring tribes, as an invitation to engage
in the war. He now joined the Virginians at Fort Neces-
sity, with Queen Aliquippa and about a hundred men,
women, and children. Washington held a council with
these people. ‘To please Queen Aliquippa, he presented
her son with a medal, and gave him the English name
of Colonel Fairfax, telling him that this meant “the
first of the council.” As he had heard that the [Half-king
would be flattered to have an English name also, he
dubbed him Dinwiddie, which he translated into “ head
of all,” for an Indian could not conceive of a name with-
outa meaning. Washington had also, like all men who
had to deal with these people, an Indian name, his being
Conotocaurius, or “ town-destroyer.”

Colonel Fry, who was first in command of the Vir-
ginia forces, had died on his way out at Will’s Creek.
This left young Colonel Washington at the head of the
expedition. He was soon joined by the recruits who



52 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

were with Colonel Fry, and a company of the South Car-
olina Independent Regiment. The South Carolina men
were called independent because, though they were colo-
nists, like Washington’s recruits, they were in the king’s
pay, and better fed, clothed, and drilled than soldiers
hastily raised by the colonies. They refused to work at
cutting a road, as Washington’s men had done; while
their commander, Captain Mackey, because he was a
king’s officer, and also no doubt because he did not like
being commanded by a stripling, refused to take the
countersign from the Virginia colonel. But Washington
bore these vexations with patience. As it would not do,
as he said, to make his “poor fellows” do all the work,
while Mackey’s men marched “at their ease,” he con-
cluded to leave the too independent company at the
Great Meadows, while he and his Virginians advanced to
Gist’s settlement, felling the trees before them as they
marched.

While the few Virginians pushed laboriously forward,
French re-enforcements were hurrying down the water
courses from Canada to Fort Du Quesne, under the com-
mand of Coulon de Villiers, the brother of Jumonville,
who had been shot by Washington’s little party. Vil-
liers came bent on revenging the death of his brother.
So soon as he reached the French fort, the commandant,
Contrecoeur, called a council and made a speech to the
Indians, in which he said: “The English have murdered
my children; my heart is sick. ‘To-morrow I shall send
my French soldiers to take revenge.’ He then invited
them to join in the attack, making them a present of
a hatchet and two barrels of wine for a feast. The



THE BATTLE AT FORT NECKESSITY. 53

French were much more expert in managing the Indians
than were the English. They were more lavish with
presents, and this time they had much the greater num-
ber of men, which was enough to decide most of the
Indians to take their side in the dispute.

Washington had made his twelve miles forward to
Gist’s settlement, where Indian runners came in daily
with reports that the French were preparing for an
attack with a large force. He sent for Captain Mackey’s





SITE OF FORT NECESSITY, FROM A PAINTING BY PAUL WEBER, OWNED BY
THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA,



company, which, when it had come, allowing for sick and
deserters, made his forces amount to less than four hun-
dred men. The officers held a council of war at Gist’s
house, where it was decided to fall back to a better place
for a battle. The toilsome march was made back to the
Great Meadows, the men carrying baggage on their backs
and dragging cannon over the roughest of roads, because
they had not horses enough for this service, while the
soldiers of the independent company coolly marched be-
side them without putting a finger to the hard work.



54 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

Arrived at the Great Meadows, Washington put all
hands to strengthening the intrenchments of Fort Neces-
sity with logs. The French and Indians were but one
day behind him, however. On the morning of July 3d
they appeared, in a pouring rain. Washington drew up
his men outside his feeble little fort, ordering them to
reserve their fire till the enemy was within close range.
The French fired at first from so great a distance that
their balls were spent. They then made an irregular
advance to within sixty yards and fired once more.
Washington withdrew his men into the intrenchments,
still reserving his fire, for he thought that, as there were
so many of the enemy, they would try to force his
works. This they did not do, however, but fought in true
Indian style, from behind bushes and trees. Washing-
ton now gave the word, and his men fired very briskly.
Their position was wretched enough. They stood in
trenches knee-deep with water and mud, in a drenching
rain, sustaining all day a cross-fire from enemies who
were mostly invisible. They had no bread, and were
living mainly upon raw beef. Their horses and their
cattle, on which they depended entirely for food, were
soon picked off by the enemy. Meantime the Half-king
chose to retire with his warriors, squaws, and children.
He refused to take any part in a fight where he found
himself on the losing side. He coolly remarked after-
ward that Washington would not take his advice, and
that, in fact, the French were cowards and the English
fools.

In spite of their hopeless situation, Washington and
his men withstood the galling fire of the enemy from



THE BATTLE AT FORT NECESSITY, 55

eleven o’clock in the morning until eight at night, deter-
mined to die rather than be taken. The French called
for a parley, but Washington thought that, as they were
so much stronger and had so many advantages, they could
not be sincere, and refused them. At length, however,
the French asked him to send an officer to them who
could speak their language. The situation of the men in
Fort Necessity was very bad. They were without provi-
sions, their powder was almost gone, their guns were very
foul, and they had only two serew rods for cleaning them.
Washington accordingly sent the useful Van Braam to the
enemy’s lines, as the only other man in his regiment who
could speak French had been wounded. After a long
time Van Braam returned with a paper containing the
terms which the French officer Villiers offered to the
troops in Fort Necessity. By them it was proposed that
the English should march out with the honors of war,
beating their drums and taking one small cannon with
them, while the enemy promised to protect them from the
Indians. The prisoners recently taken by Washington
were to be released, and two English officers were to re-
main with the French as hostages until these prisoners,
who had been sent to Virginia, should bereturned. There
was but one point to which the English, in their desper-
ate situation, could have objected, and this was that the
death of Jumonville was twice called an assassination.
Van Braam, whose French was none of the best, read the
paper to the English officers by the light of one tallow
candle, which was nearly put out more than once by
the pouring rain. He translated the objectionable word
“death” instead of murder, and the English officers



56 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

signed the articles. Villiers afterward boasted that he
had made the English admit that they had murdered his
brother.

On the morning of the 4th of July, W ashington
and his men marched out of muddy Fort Necessity with
drums beating and colors flying. But their condition was
very miserable. Their cattle and horses were all killed, so
that they were forced to leave behind most of their bag-
gage, while they carried the wounded on their backs. The
Indians, ever to be dreaded in a case like this, hung
around the defeated men, plundered them of their little
baggage, broke open the medicine-chest, and killed and
scalped two of the wounded. These people never could
be brought to understand the white man’s way of carry-
ing on warfare, and it was very difficult to prevent a gen-
eral massacre. The wounded were finally left at an en-
campment with a guard, while the remainder of the little
army hurried back over the fifty or sixty miles to Will’s
Creek, for they were in danger of starving.

No doubt it was a very bitter day for Washington when
he left Fort Necessity defeated. He had set out with all
the hopes of a young and ardent soldier, had rejoiced to
hear the bullets whistle, had laid out a charming field for
an encounter, and all had ended in failure. It proved,
however, to be the making of George Washington that he
was schooled in hardship and defeat.



BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP,

oO
=t

CHAPTER X.
BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP.

L756,

For the reason that there had been so much trouble
about rank, Governor Dinwiddie reduced the Virginia
regiments to independent companies, with no officers
higher than captains. To become a captain of a company
after having been a colonel in command of an expedition
was not to the taste of a proud young Virginian, and
Washington accordingly left the service, and began to
settle himself for living at Mount Vernon and carrying
on the business of a planter.

Meanwhile both France and England were preparing to
send armies out to enforce their claims to the Ohio Valley.
General Braddock was sent by England to Virginia with
one thousand regular soldiers in the spring of 1755. Brad-
dock’s chief virtues were honesty and courage. He was
brutal, coarse, obstinate, and prejudiced. It is told of him
that when his sister, who was a young lady of beauty and
wealth, having squandered much of her fortune in buying
a bankrupt lover out of prison, and wasted the rest at the
fashionable gaming-tables of Bath, hanged herself with
her silk girdle, Braddock calmly remarked : “ Poor Fanny !
I always thought she would play till she would be forced to
tuck herself up.” The general was as much of a spend-



58 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

thrift as “poor Fanny” herself. It is said that once,
when he was about to fight a duel, his antagonist threw
him his purse, saying: “ Braddock, you are a poor dog!
Here, take my purse; if you kill me you will be forced to
run away, and then you will not havea shilling to sup-
port you.” ‘These are some of the least disreputable tales



BRADDOCK’S HEADQUARTERS AT ALEXANDRIA.

wbout the general who was sent to America to reduce Fort
Du Quesne.

Soon after he came to Virginia, Braddock invited
young Colonel Washington to become his aid-de-camp.
Perhaps he wished to have the advantage of the young
man’s experience. Washington’s mother rode over to
Mount Vernon to try to persuade him to refuse this offer,















































































A PENNSYLVANIA WAGON OF THE TIME,



BRADDOCK’S ALD-DE-CAMP. 59

but she did not succeed; for her son was very ambitious
to learn more about military matters, and as he thought
he would have the best of chances in a regular army,
under an experienced general, he accepted the position.
He was to have time to settle his affairs, and then he was
to join the English army on its march.

The general was so slow in starting to the Indian
country, that people remarked in England that Braddock
was in no haste to get scalped. The truth was, that the
crusty general was having a hard time with the colonial
Assemblies, which were too much absorbed in opposing
the encroachments of their Governors to furnish readily
the aid for the war which these Governors demanded of
them. There was trouble about getting provisions for
the men, forage, and, above all, wagons to carry stores in.
Braddock had no notion of half-starving, as the colonial
soldiers had patiently done. Benjamin Franklin once
visited the English general in his camp at Fredericks-
town, where he was waiting for some men who had been
sent into the back settlements of Maryland and Virginia
to get the necessary wagons. here proved to be only
about twenty-five of these, some of which were useless.
Braddock stormed, declared that everything was at an
end, and that he was sent into a country where there was
no means for carrying baggage or stores. Franklin said
that it was a pity that the general had not landed in
Pennsylvania, where every farmer had his wagon.

“Then you, sir,” cried Braddock, “who are a man of
interest there, can probably procure them for us, and I
beg you will undertake it.”

Franklin agreed to do so, and in a short time sent for-



60 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ward one hundred and fifty wagons with four horses each,
whereupon Braddock declared that Franklin was almost
the only able and honest man to be found in the colonies.

By May the army had reached Will’s Creek, where the
wilderness march was to begin. Washington had now
settled his business, and he set out to join General Brad-























Ss

SHY

y
y
a

ALANS











































































PARLOR IN THE HOUSE OCCUPIED BY BRADDOCK AS HEADQUARTERS
IN ALEXANDRIA,

dock. There were many delays at this place, and Wash-
ington meantime was sent to Williamsburg to bring on a
sum of four thousand pounds belonging to the army. On
his way back he ordered out an escort of eight militiamen
at the town of Winchester to protect him from Indians,



BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP. 61

for it was not safe for a man to travel alone in the edge
of the settlements. The eight men were as hard to raise
“as the dead,” Washington said. It took them two days
to assemble, and he thought that “they would not have
been more than as many seconds dispersing,” had he been
attacked. He arrived safely, however, at Will’s Creck
with the money.

Washington found that his position. in the general’s
military family was not altogether a difficult one. He
said that he hoped to please him without “ ceremonious
attentions,” for he declared that it could not be done with
them. He and the testy Englishman, however, had many
a dispute together, for Braddock cursed everything Ameri-
can, and the young colonel defended his country warmly.
Washington was a little surprised at some things he saw
in the general’s household. Braddock was a high liver.
He took two cooks with him, who were supposed to be
skilled enough to make a good dish out of a pair of boots,
“had they but the materials to toss them up with.” The
general had no idea, however, of living upon boots. He
complained loudly because there were no fresh provisions.
Franklin, hearing of this grievance, sent the British offi-
cers each a package containing sugar, tea, coffee, chocolate,
biscuit, pepper, vinegar, cheese, butter, wine, spirits, ham,
mustard, tongues, rice, and raisins. Meantime Washing-
ton was amused to find that the general’s admiration for
a certain Virginia lady was all due to a present of “ deli-
cious cake and potted woodcocks.”

General Braddock knew nothing of frontier warfare,
and was the last man to learn. He was disgusted with
the Virginia troops which had joined his army. He

6



62 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

caused them to be drilled, but he was angry at their
“languid, spiritless, and unsoldierlike appearance.” He
knew that he ought to get the aid of the Indians, who had
already been much neglected by the colonies. About fifty
savages joined the army at Will’s Creek. The English
soldiers gazed at these strange people, with their painted
bodies, shaved heads, scalp-locks dressed with feathers, and
slit ears. They observed how dexterous the Indians were
with a rifle, and how they could throw a tomahawk to a
great distance and strike a post with it. Braddock im-
vited them to his tent, fired salutes for them, and gave
them a bullock and some rum with which to hold a war
dance. But the Indians had a strong suspicion that the
English general regarded them “as dogs,” and presently
fell off, excepting eight men, who were used as scouts.
These people had no patience with the slow and cumber-
some ways of European warfare. By imitating their
methods and treating them more as equals, the French, on
the other hand, had gained great influence with them.

It was well into June before Braddock’s army was
fairly started on its forest march. Three hundred men
with axes came first, then the long line of wagons, can-
nons, and packhorses toiled after over stumps and stones,
mountains and marshes, while the troops were thrown out
into the woods on each side, in flanking parties, making
their way as best they could in close columns through
the trees on either side of the roadway. At night the
horses must be let out into the woods to make the best of
a diet of leaves and young shoots. Many of them strayed
away, or were stolen and run off by rascally drivers.
Washington lost one of his spare horses in this way. At



BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP. 68

one place the road was so bad that the wagons had to be

let down the side of a hill with tackle. The English
€ soldiers grumbléd because they must bake their corn-
bread, when they camped, in holes in the
ground.









Everything was difficult and progress
was slow. There was news that the
French at Fort Du Quesne were weak,
but that they expected re-enforcements.
It was necessary to move more
quickly. When the general asked

MAP OF THE
“pRADDOCK ROAD.”

his advice, Washington thought that he should push
forward with a chosen band and only the most neces-
sary stores, leaving the rest of the army to come on
more slowly. It was decided to do this. Washington
was going down with a fever, but he was greatly delighted
at the prospect. He was disappointed, however, when
he found that the advanced part of the army did not
move so rapidly as he had hoped. He complained that
they halted “to level every mole-hill.” News came that



64. THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

nine hundred men were on their way to re-enforce the
French fort. “We shall have more to do than to go up
the hills and down again,” said Washington. He was
trying to keep up with the march, though he was now
suffering severely with fever and pains in the head. He
presently became so ill that he was forced to leave the
saddle and take to a covered wagon; but the jolting
was intolerable. He feared to stop, lest there should
be a battle before he caught up with the army once
more. The doctor declared that he would not live to go
into battle if he insisted on going on. Braddock ordered
fever powders, and promised the young man that he
should be brought to the front before Fort Du Quesne
was reached. Washington was left on the road with a
doctor and a guard. ‘The advanced portion of the army
pushed on, the hostile Indians discouraging bad discipline
meanwhile by picking off stragglers.



Ley
he ey (

moa

ca Represent Feench
em Represents English:



MAP OF LOCATION OF BRADDOCK’S DEFEAT,



DEFEAT. 65

CHAPTER XI.

DEFEAT.
1756.

Brappock’s army had reached the mouth of Turtle
Creek, which ran into the Monongahela eight miles fr om
Fort Du Quesne. ‘The Indian road to the fort led
through a dangerous defile, and Braddock resolved to
cross and recross the river rather than risk passing
through a place where the Indians might so easily le
in ambush. The fords were shallow. The men crossed
to the music of the Grenadiers’ March in fine order,
the English soldiers bright in their scarlet uniforms,
the colonial men in blue, while the line of wagons
and cannon kept the center. Braddock thought that
the Indians might attack him while he was crossing
the river, but the last ford was safely passed. Wash-
ington had joined the army that very morning, though
he was scarcely able to sit his horse. The wilderness
journey was almost over, and it seemed certain that the
French fort could not be defended against so fine an
army.
During all Braddock’s march the Indians who clus-
tered around Fort Du Quesne had watched the progress
of the English army by means of their scouts. They
observed how they marched in close order, and remarked



66 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

that they could “shoot um down all one pigeon.” Never-
theless, the French had a great deal of difficulty in per-
suading the Indians to make the attempt. When a
French captain named Beaujeu offered them the hatchet,
they exclaimed : “ What, my father! are you so bent upon
death that you would sacrifice us.”

“JT am determined,” said Beaujeu, in a speech, “ to
go out against the enemy. What! will you let your
father go alone?” Whereupon the Indians put on their
war-paint. “Beaujeu also dressed himself in full Indian
costume. Barrels of powder, bullets, and flints were un-
headed and set before the gate of the fort. Each man
helped himself. There were some six hundred Indians,
a number of French officers, a few Canadians, and still
fewer French regulars, amounting in all to nine hundred
men, who set out through the forest to waylay the ad-
vancing enemy.

Braddock’s army had crossed the last ford about one
o'clock on the 8th of July, 1755. ‘The train was pushing
along through the forest, the trees crashing before them
as the axemen cut the road. An engineer, who was in
front of the choppers marking the way for them, saw
Indians coming on the run toward the army, led by a
man in Indian dress but wearing an officer’s goreet.
This man, who was Beaujeu, waved his hat as a signal to
the Indians to disperse to right and left, forming a half-
moon about the advanced guard of the English army.
The guides and choppers in the front fell back. The
French and Indians gave the war-whoop and opened
fire. The advanced guard of Braddock’s army formed
and fired. The Canadian soldiers fled at the first vol-











DEFEAT. 67

ley, but the few French and the swarms of Indians
held their ground. At the third volley Beanjeu and a
dozen others among the French fell dead. The Hng-
lish now brought two cannon into action. The Indians
gave way. The English shouted and moved forward,
but the French succeeded in rallying their men and
the savages.

Braddock had heard the firing in front. He sent
re-enforcements to the advanced guard, ordered an aid
forward to find out what was going on, and then, with-
out waiting for him to return, hurried forward himself.
At this point the advanced guard gave way and fell back
upon the re-enforcements which were advancing, so that
they all soon fell into a hopeless tangle in the narrow
roadway. The colors were advanced in different direc-
tions to separate the men of the two regiments, and Brad-
dock ordered the officers to form their men in small com-
panies, but the English soldiers would listen to neither
threats nor entreaties. Meantime the Indians were
drawing around the army, fighting from behind trees,
skulking under the fallen trunks and brush left by the
choppers, and shooting from the edges of ravines which
lay on either side of the road. The scarlet-coated regu-
lars were huddled together in an open roadway, terror-
stricken at the yells of the savages and the death which
was dealt around them. They held their ground stub-
bornly, but only to be butchered. Not more than five
Indians could be seen at a time, and the English vol-
leys fell harmless in the woods. The cannon were fired,
but they did little damage to anything but the surround-
ing trees.



68 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

The English regulars were all unused to such warfare ;
but the Virginians, whose listless air had so disgusted
Braddock, did not lose their presence of mind. They
took to the trees, to fight the Indians after their own
fashion, but Braddock furiously ordered them back,
though Washington is said to have begged him to let
them fight in this way. ‘This was not according to the
stubborn Englishman’s notion of discipline, however,
and when some of his own men made the experiment he
beat them back with his sword, ordering them into their
ranks. ‘The stupefied men fired into the air, into each
other’s ranks, everywhere, for they could see no enemy.
Braddock rode furiously from place to place, trying to
form the men and get them to charge the Indians, but
it was useless. His brave officers dismounted, formed in
platoons and advanced themselves, hoping to encourage
the soldiery, but many fell, and it was of no avail. For
three long hours Braddock held the field, determined to
save the day if stubbornness would do so. He had four
horses shot under him. There was terrible loss among
the officers, who did their duty toa man. Out of eighty,
sixty were killed or wounded. Washington had two
horses shot under him, and four bullets went through
his clothing. He showed great courage during the day.
Once, when his horse was shot, Braddock’s servant
had trouble in extricating Washington from the fallen
animal.

The Indians had spread themselves along the whole
line of the English march. At last, when every aid but
Washington had fallen, when about half of the men were
slain, and the afternoon was far gone, Braddock caused











THE FIELD OF BRADDOCK’S DEFEAT.
[From a painting by Paul Weber in the Pennsylvania Historical Society.)



DEFEAT. 69

the drums to beat a retreat. As he gave the order, stand-
ing beneath a large tree, a ball went through his right
arm and into his lungs. He fell from his horse. His
men, who had stood to their places with a kind of stupid
courage, broke and ran as soon as the retreat sounded.
Orme, a wounded aid of Braddock’s, offered a purse of
sixty guineas to any man who would carry off the general,
but they rushed on without heeding. Braddock told
his friends to leave him and save themselves. ‘Two
American officers, however, bore him off.

About fifty Indians followed the scampering army to
the water’s edge, where the men were plunging across
the Monongahela, the horrid war-whoop ringing in their
ears. One of the British officers said, three weeks after
the battle, that he could still hear the yells of the In-
dians, and that the sound would haunt him to the day
of his death. Braddock called a halt and tried to stop the
men, while he sent Washington ahead to order supplies to
be sent on by Colonel Dunbar, who commanded the rear
portion of the army. The general succeeded in gathering
about one hundred men around him, but they slipped off
one at a time, and there was nothing for Braddock to do
but to follow.

In spite of the terror of the men, the Indians had no”
thought of pursuing them. They fell upon the battle-
field, where almost every man secured a scalp as well as
uniforms, grenadiers’ caps, canteens, bayonets, and arms.
After burning twelve English prisoners to death that
night, outside the fort, they all betook themselves to
their far-away homes, leaving the French fort quite un-
protected.



val) THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

General Braddock’s wound was mortal. Besides issu-
ing commands, he said nothing the first day but “ Who
would have thought it?” ‘The next day he said, “ We
shall better know how to deal with them another time,”
and died soon after. Washington was with the general
when he died, and he gaye the young man his favorite
body servant, a mu-
latto named Bishop.
Braddock was buried
in the middle of the
road, Washington
reading the burial
service over him. The
retreating army then
marched across their
general’s grave, that
the enemy might not
find it. The rear
portion of the army,
which had not been
in battle, also rushed
on for the settlements
with those who had
UPY OF PENNSYLVANLA, heard the war-whoop,

leaving the frontiers
of the colonies entirely unprotected, to the great disgust
of Governor Dinwiddie, who said that, though he was not
a soldier, common sense told him that this should not be
done.



PAUL WEBER, OWNED BY THE IfISTOR-

ICAL SOC



The story was circulated in Virginia of Washington's
death, and his dying speech. The young man wrote to
> u 5



DEFEAT. m4

his brother that he could contradict the former, and that
he had not “as yet composed the latter.” He took his
way home, feeling discouraged with his military career.
He had twice lost his expensive officer’s equipments and
a number of horses; had been reduced in rank, and
“soundly whipped,” as he frankly said.



q2 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XII.

DEFENDING THE FRONTIER.
L755-1757.

InpIAN massacres followed close upon Braddock’s
defeat. There were three hundred and fifty miles of
frontier which must be protected, or Virginia would lose
all her hold upon the Alleghanies. New forces were
raised for this purpose, and George Washington was
appointed commander of them. He was still ambitious
to become a great soldier, but he did not like the pros-
pect of defending with a few men so wide a stretch of
country against Indians. He was sure that he would
never gain any honor in this way. But the young colo-
nel of twenty-three presently went to his post. He
worked hard to get his small army of a thousand men,
sometimes much less, into good order. ‘There was a
chain of forts to be built along the whole frontier, and
the men must be divided into small bodies to do this,
and to try to cover the country and protect the people.

In spite of all that could be done, there were times
when massacres followed one on another. Parties of
Indians would descend on the settlements suddenly from
woods and mountains, murder a few families, burn their
houses, slaughter their cattle for a feast, and be gone
before the alarm could be given and soldiers sent in pur-



DEFENDING THE FRONTIER. "3

suit. ‘They haunted the roads and picked off stragglers.
In one place two men were killed only two hours after
Washington had ridden by the spot. The woods were
so infested that frontiersmen were forced to hunt by
night for fear of being discovered by the Indians. Some-
times people were killed within a few miles of the town
of Winchester, and the inhabitants of the borders fled,
one family behind another, each one afraid “to stand
in the gap of danger,” until Washington feared that the
Blue Ridge would presently become the frontier, while
the Indians would live off the spoils that the flying peo-
ple left behind them.

Often there were false alarms. Once -a messenger
came express into Winchester, breathless with hurry and
fear, saying that the Indians had been seen about twelve
miles off at the plantation of a man named Julian, and
that the people were flying for their lives. Washington
immediately prepared the town foran attack, and sent out
scouts to discover what were the movements of the
enemy. Presently came another express, “ten times
more terrified than the former,” with the news that the
savages were within four miles of the town, and were
“killmg and destroying all before them.” The messen-
ger declared that he had heard “constant firing and the
shrieks of the unhappy murdered.” Washington hur-
riedly got together all the men he could find, twenty-two
rangers and nineteen militia, and marched against the
enemy, which proved to be three drunken soldiers, who
were “carousing, firing pistols,” and swearing at the top
of their voices. Washington made them prisoners and
carried them back to Winchester, where he found that

7



74 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

his scouts had returned with the news that the Indians
seen on Julian’s plantation had proved to be a mulatto
and a negro who were hunting cattle, and had been seen
by Julian’s child, “ who alarmed the father, and the fa-
ther the neighborhood.”

Washington divided his men into small bodies and
kept them scouring the woods, carrying their provisions
on their backs, lying out in bad weather with no shelter
but the trees and rocks, searching always for the stealthy
Indians, who were harder to catch than wild animals.
At one time, when a number of the enemy had attacked a
settlement, a certain Captain Lewis, with about twenty
soldiers, went in pursuit, he and his men having first
stripped themselves of their clothes so that they might
run as fast as the savages. They caught up with the
enemy, opened fire upon them, and, finding that they
were likely to be surrounded, retreated to a stockade,
where the Indians besieged their naked pursuers for
two hours, giving the people of the neighborhood a good
chance to take to their heels. The soldiers came off with
one scalp, but they lost their clothes, and Washington was
obliged to petition the Government for a new supply for
them.

At times the Indians would leave the borders of Vir-
ginia, as Washington knew when his scouts brought him
word that the road to Fort Du Quesne looked as though
it had been tramped by as many feet as when Braddock’s
army had marched over it. But though the country was
pretty quiet for months at a time, it was necessary to be
always on the watch for the enemy. For over two years
Washington remained in this hard and thankless position.



DEFENDING THE FRONTIER. 45

In spite of all he could do, he felt that he was blamed for
the “murder of poor innocent babes and helpless fami-
lies.’ He said that the tears of the women and the peti-
tions of the men caused him such “ deadly sorrow ” that
he felt as though he would give himself up to the “ butch-
ering enemy” if it would only do the people any good.
Meantime men could not be persuaded to leave their fam-
ilies to march against the enemy, and they were at the
same time very selfish, each one expecting a force at his
own door, and angry if it was placed at his neighbor’s.
Governor Dinwiddie, who would have liked to put an-
other man in Washington’s place, vexed him. with con-
trary orders. There was also in Virginia a party of men
who were jealous of the young commander, and reported
evils things of him and his officers. Washington was
disgusted with a service which he thought would
never bring him honor, and wished to resign, but his
friends sent him words of encouragement. “ Your good
health and fortune are the toast of every table,’ wrote
Colonel Fairfax. “Our hopes, dear George,” said the
Speaker of the House of Burgesses, “are all fixed on
you.”

While he was defending the Virginia frontier, Wash-
ington had trouble with a certain Captain Dagworthy,
who had been commissioned by the Governor of Mary-
land and had once held a king’s commission, which made
him think that he had a right to refuse to obey the young
Virginian. To settle this difficulty, Washington made, in
the winter of 1756, the journey of five hundred miles to
Boston, accompanied by his valet Bishop. At Boston he
laid the dispute before Governor Shirley, who commanded



46 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

all the forces in America at this time. Shirley gave or-
ders that the troublesome Dagworthy should be subject
to Washington’s commands. The young colonel also
stopped at Philadelphia and New York for a short
time.

The story is told that while Washington was in New
York it was boasted at the governor’s table that a Brit-
ish regiment which had just landed contained some of
the finest-looking fellows among its officers to be found
anywhere. Mrs. Morris turned to the governor, and said:
“T wager your Excellency a pair of gloves that I will show
your Excellency a finer man in the procession to-morrow
than your Excellency can select from your famous regi-
ment.”

“Done, madam,” answered the governor.

The next day there was a procession in honor of the
king’s birthday. In the rear came some colonial officers
not on duty.

“T see that your Excellency’s eyes are turned to the
right object,” said Mrs. Morris. ‘“ What say you to your
wager now, sir?”

“ Tost, madam,”

answered the governor. “ When I
laid my wager I was not aware that Colonel Washington
was in New York.”

Washington was indeed a very fine-looking man. It
was while he was in New York that he met Miss Mary
Phillipse, a young lady who was heiress to a large fortune.
He admired Miss Phillipse very much. Some months
after Washington’s visit to New York a friend wrote to
him that Captain Morris, who had, like Washington, been
an officer under Braddock, was paying his attentions to



DEFENDING THE FRONTIER. Hl
the young lady. The friend advised Washington to go to
New York again, but the young Virginia colonel was too
busy with the trying duties of his frontier command to
get even so far as Mount Vernon, and he never saw Mary
Phillipse again until long after she had become Mrs.
Morris.



Full Text





ee

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EDITED BY rns FOCHE SIC)












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iN.

PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTO!

called the “ Vaughan portrait.”

95,

ade in 17

m

rt,

a

[From a painting by Gilbert Stu
THE

STORY OF WASHINGTON

BY
ELIZABETH EGGLESTON SEELYE

WITH OVER ONE HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS
By ALLEGRA EGGLESTON

EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUCTION, BY
EDWARD EGGLESTON



NEW YORK
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY

1893
CopyRicHT, 1893,
By D. APPLETON AND COMPANY.

ELECTROTYPED AND PRINTED
AT THE APPLETON Pruss, U.S. A.
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
J._-WASHINGTON’S BIRTH
IL—Srorres oF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD.
TIL—WASHINGTON AS A BOY.
TV.—TuEe YOUNG SURVEYOR .
V,—LEARNING TO BE A SOLDIER .

VI—SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS .«

VIL—ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS .
VIIL—WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR

LX.—Tur BaTTLE at Fort NEczssity. ;

X,—BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP

XI.—DEFEAT . : : : : 5 x

XJ].— DEFENDING THE FRONTIER
XIIL—WaASHINGTON’S COURTSHIP
XIV.—To THE OHIO ONCE MORE

XV.—WASHINGTON’S MARRIAGE
XVI.—THE PLANTER. : : ; : 7
XVIL—THE BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION .

XVIII.—CuosEN COMMANDER IN CHIEF

XIX.—Berrore Boston .

XX.—LITTLE POWDER AND FEW MEN
XXI.—DRIVING THE ENEMY OUT
XXIL—Wasuineron at New York

XXIIL.—A QUESTION OF DIGNITY

XXIV.—Tue BATTLE or Loxe IsLAND
XXV.—A NIGHT RETREAT.

XXVL—AVOIDING A TRAP . 2 : : is

PAGE

. 101
. 107
. 114
. 121
. 127
. 185
. 148
. 146
. 154
. 158
vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER PAGE
XXVII—A SMALL BATTLE. t ; e : : . 164
XXVIII.—TuHeE BATTLE oF WHITE PLAINS AND THE LOSS OF
Fort WASHINGTON. ; : 3 . 1
XXIX.—CuAsED THROUGH NEW JERSEY. : : SA:
XXX.—TuE BATTLE OF TRENTON ‘ ; ; ; . 188
XXXI.—Tue BatrLe oF PRINCETON . z : . 188
XXXIIL—Scurrlineé FOR LIBERTY . : 5 5 : . 196
XXXIIL.—Tue Barrie or THE BRANDYWINE . A ; . 204
XXXIV.—Tue BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN " ; ; . 210
XXXV.—DEFENDING THE DELAWARE. : . . 217
XXXVI.—ALMOST A BATTLE . ; : A ; . . 224
XXXVII.—VauLiey Force : , , i : ; . 229
XXXVII.—Howe Lays A TRAP FOR LAFAYETTE . : . 237
XXXIX.—TsE BATTLE oF MonmouTH . 3 5 : . 240
XL.—DEFENSIVE WAR : é ; : : : . 200
XLI.—Tue storminc or Stony Point. : . 255
XLII. WINTER QUARTERS . sj ; ‘ , : . 260
XLIIL.—Tue TREASON oF ARNOLD AND THE FATE OF
ANDRE, THE USE OF SPIES 2 i - . 270
XLIV.—A CHANGE OF PLANS & : : 5 ‘ . 287
XLV.—YorKTOWN : ‘ : 3 : ‘i : . 297
XLVI.—THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER.
XLVII.—WaAsHINGTON AS PRESIDENT . z 4 ; . 327
XLVIIL—THE EARLY EVENTS OF WASHINGTON’S ADMINISTRA-
TION. : . ¢ : z : 3 . 338
XLIX.—WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM . é 5 j . 845
L.—AT HOME . 5 . s : ‘ % . 306

LI.—WaSHINGTON’S LAST DAYS : , ; : . 873
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE

Portrait of Washington. (From a painting by Gilbert Stuart,
made in 1795, called the “ Vaughan Portrait”) Frontispiece

View of Fredericksburg from the Washington plantation on
the Rappahannock :

Washington reproved for want of senstoeity

Hall in the part of Mount Vernon built by Lawrence Washing:
ton. é E A

Facsimile of some of ne rules of oohed ior :

Washington’s tents, as set up by the National Maced in one
grounds . :

Old building at Greenway Gouee:

Case, with pencil, foot rule, and dividers, used by Washingtoud in
surveying

Washington’s compass . : :

Map showing the water ways ccmea by the Hietelh.

Map of Washington’s course from Williamsburg to the French
fort

Pack saddles of Washington! s fie : 3 $ ;

Portrait of Washington in his colonel’s uniform. (Painted in
1772, by Wilson Peale) . : ; ; : . Facing

Site of Fort Necessity, (From a painting by Paul Weber, owned
by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania) .

Braddock’s headquarters at Alexandria : : 3

A Pennsylvania wagon of the time, ; 4 . facing

Parlor in the house occupied by Braddock as headquarters in
Alexandria. : :
vili LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
Map of the “ Braddock Road”. 5 5 3 5 : » 63
Map of location of Braddock’s defeat . : : . Facing 65
The field of Braddock’s defeat. (From a painting by Paul Weber
owned by the Pennsylvania Historical Society) . Facing 68
Braddock’s grave. (From a painting by Paul Weber, owned by
the Historical Society of Pennsylvania) 5 70
Portrait of Martha Custis. (By permission of Gerievall G. W.
C. Lee. Painted by Woolaston in 1757). . Lacing 78
Portrait of Mrs. Custis’s two children. (By permission of Gen-
eral G. W. C, Lee. Painted about 1757, probably by Wool-
aston) . : . : : : : : . Facing 80
St. Peter’s Church : 5 : : : . 88
The White House—Mrs. Custis? $s Esiite (From a photograph
taken just before its destruction in 1862) . . acing 90
Parlor at Mount Vernon. 5 ; : ; i : 91
John Parke Custis. (From a portrait on copper, owned ey
General G. W. C. Lee) . : : é : - 5 BO.
Miss Martha Custis. (From a portrait on copper, owned by
General G. W. C. Lee) . ; : : ; 5 08.
The Raleigh Tavern. (From an old Sa : ; : . 106
The burning of Charlestown. (From a sketch made at the time
by a British officer, viewing it from Beacon Hill) 5 . 115
View of Boston. (From a sketch made at the time, also show-
ing Nooks Hill on the right) . ; ‘ 5 : . 124
View of the British limes on Boston Neck. (From a sketch
made at the time) . : ‘i . 127
Map of Boston, showing the for tifications of tite Americans . 1380
A soldier of Congress. (From a sketch made during the war
by’a German officer). . i : . Facing 188
Washington’s headquarters in New York on hist arriving . 142
Map of the battle of Long Island 3 ; 4 : : . 149
View of Kingsbridge. (rom an old print) : ‘ . . 159
Map of American retreat from New York city . 2 : » 162
Map of the battle of Harlem Heights . ; : : , . 166

Map of the battle of White Plains. é : . Faeing 178
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS, —

PAGE
Remains of Fort Washington as they appeared in 1850. (From
an old print) . : : : : ; E . 176
Map of the retreat through New Tendey : . 3 : . 179
The blue room in the Beckman house. (Howe’s headquarters
in New York) : ; : : : : : 3 . 183
Map of the battle of Trenton ! : : : ; : . 185
Map of the battle of Princeton . : ; . 190
Nassau Hall, Princeton College, where the British took netiee
after the battle of Princeton. : ; : : ; . 193
Washington’s camp utensils 5 : : . 198
Washington’s camp chest used during the Revolution : . 201
Map showing where the English landed. . : F . 204
Map of the battle of the Brandywine . : : : . » 207
Map of the battle of Germantown : 2 : : : . 212
Map of the vicinity of Philadelphia . 3 g . 218
View of Valley Forge headquarters, with the camp srownd in
the distance . : : ; : Z : » 230
Washington’s office at Valley Foie : : . 282
Washington at Valley Forge. (From a painting fade auras
the winter there, by C. W. Peale). : ; . Pacing 235
Map of Barren Hill. : : 3 5 : . . 238
Map of the battle of Moniotithe. 5 . , : : » 248
Washington’s pistol holsters, of heavy patent eather " . 251
Washington’s portfolio on which he wrote his dispatches dur-
ing the Revolution : ; : : : ; » 254
Map of the storming of Stony Point : : 3 : é » 257
Ruins of slaves’ quarters, Mount Vernon . ; : : » 264
Map of the location of André’s capture : : : : » 275
Washington’s uniform . : 2 f : . 289
Washington’s sword, carried during ne) Revolition (Pre-
served in the State Department) . : f ; ; . 292
Map of the siege of Yorktown . : ; : : : » 801
The main street of Yorktown . ‘ ; : : 5 . 805

George Washington Parke Custis. (from a painting owned by
General G. W. C. Lee) . : . : : : 2 . 311
x LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE
Eleanor Parke Custis. (From a pastel owned by General G. W.

C. Lee) . : : : : : i ; . 812
Mrs. Washington’s residence at Renae : ; . 818
Washington’s headquarters at Newburg in 1782-88 . : . 314
Mount Vernon, looking toward the river . : : . 317

Banquet hall, added to Mount Vernon by Washington : . 819
Pohick church, near Mount Vernon, planned by Washing-

ton. : 3 ; 5 : . 820
Interior of Pohick chanel as it dppenved in Washington’s

time é : : ; 7 » 822
Mary Washington's Rate = Hiedentleunre ,as it is at pres-

ent . : : ; j . Pacing 325
Federal Hall. G@ioms a water- sotok aeae ing made in 1798 by

Robinson. New York Historical Society) . 3 : . 828
The President's house in Cherry Street —. : . 330
Cup and saucer. (From a set presented to Mrs. Washington by

Van Braam or Lafayette). : ; : . 882

Case of silver-handled knives and forks palowsing to Ww ashington 334
Water-mark from paper used by Washington during his presi-
dency. . : : ; ; . 836
The President’s Hotes in Philadelphia ; 3 . 839
Portrait of Mrs. Washington. (From a painting be Gilbert
Stuart, made in 1796, called the “ Atheneum portrait”) . 347
Sword presented to Washington . : . 851
Drawing from a miniature of George Washington Par ke Custis 854
Candlestick used by Washington when he wrote his farewell

address . : : e - : 5 : » 355
Doorway to Mount Vernon on the side fattest fi the river. 3856
Mount Vernon as it appears at present 3 : . Pacing 357
Portrait of Washington Custis. (From a miniature owned by

General G. W. C. Lee) . 5 : . 858
Nelly Custis’s harpischord and stool, and General Washington! 8

flute. (Drawn at Mount Vernon) ; : ‘ . 859

Portrait of Nelly Custis. (from a portrait owned by Generel
G, W. C. Lee) ; : : : ; . 3 : . 861
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. ca

PAGE
Portrait of Washington. (From a pastel by Sharpless, made in
1798. Owned by General G.W.C. Lee). : : . 864
Portrait ‘of Mrs. Washington. (From a pastel by Sharpless,
made in 1798. Owned by General G. W. C. Lee) : » 365
Washington’s powder bag and puff : ; . 368
Chair from Lafayette’s chateau in France. (Presented to
Mount Vernon by Edmund de Lafayette) . ‘ : . B71.
Washington’s room. (Drawn at Mount Vernon) . Lacing 877.
The vault in which Washington was buried ; : : . 380

INTRODUCTION,

By Epwarp Eee.esron,

TuH1s work, like its predecessor, the Story of Colum-
bus, by the same author, is intended to introduce the gen-
eral reader, and especially the young reader, to what is most
interesting and delightful in the history of its subject.
While seeking to give pleasure by the selection of inter-
esting material and by the manner of telling the story, the
greatest pains have been taken to keep the narrative in
strict conformity to the facts as established by the best
contemporaneous authority and the careful researches of
our critical age. No subject of biography has suffered
more from overlaudation than Washington. His well-
poised character, the never-failing public spirit evinced in
his career, and the rare fitness of his great qualities to their
fortunate opportunity, captivated the imaginations not
only of his countrymen but of the world. Even during
his lifetime he underwent an apotheosis. Those who
wrote about him after his death treated him not as a his-
torical figure to be described accurately and judged im-
partially, but rather as a demigod to be worshiped. An
anecdote of that time represents a patriotic countryman
as declaring that Washington was the greatest man in
the world’s history. When asked for the next greatest
xiv INTRODUCTION.

he named the Founder of Christianity. The story but
slightly burlesques the attitude of the American public
toward Washington in the first half of the nineteenth
century. The writer well remembers an editor who ata
somewhat later period got himself and his paper into the
greatest trouble by venturing, in his issue of the 22d of
February, to make some playful remarks regarding proba-
ble childish mishaps in the boyhood of Washington.

Not only was the Father of his Country an object of
worship to the generations following him, but he had to
suffer the still further misfortune of becoming a model.
Preacher and schoolmaster and schoolbook moralist
sought to enforce every duty by his example, and to ex-
emplify every virtue by stories of the great and good man.
These stories were probably not invented deliberately ;
they rather grew by a process of unconscious myth mak-
ing. Washington, by his cherry tree, taught the noble-
ness of truth-telling. Washington making peace with a
man who had knocked him down the day before taught
the wisdom of avoiding duels, and so on round the circle
of moral and religious virtues. The effect of all this was
exactly opposite to what had been designed. Under such
treatment Washington as a man disappeared from view,
and there was left instead a mere plaster cast. One so
far removed from other men could not serve the purpose
of an example.

The effect on historical knowledge of all this pious
misrepresentation was disastrous. The events of Wash-
ington’s life were distorted by a preconceived notion of
his character. The editors of his writings went so far as
to garble his correspondence lest one might catch his
INTRODUCTION. XV

mind in an attitude not perfectly statuesque. Biographers
could present him only as exalted in a mirage. The
very Indians incorporated the prevailing notion of him
into their myths; and in the later mythology of the Six
Nations he appears as a personage dwelling apart, fast by
the gate of paradise, and passively gazing on all who enter
there without ever breaking silence.

This present account of Washington, while giving
careful attention to his military and administrative acts,
has spared no pains to record as far as possible those
details of his life and those personal anecdotes that pre-
serve to us the living man. Fortunately, so much of
Washington’s intimate life has been recorded that there is
no need to resort to mythical tales. I feel sure that the
reader of this book will have no shadowy conception of
him when he has enjoyed his boyish letters, has come to
know the round of his daily duties as a planter, has seen
him haul his seine, has watched him standing reflectively
by a camp fire with hands behind him, and with a nose
reddened from cold just before he made his famous cross-
ing of the Delaware, has read his letter of advice to Nelly
Custis on the matter of falling in love, and such anec-
dotes as Bernard’s account of the help he rendered to the
man who had upset his chaise and tumbled his wife into
the ditch. It has seemed worth while to the writer of
this life to describe the clothes he wore, the food he ate,
and the process of powdering and tying his hair. What
passes for the dignity of history is often only a stupid
neglect of interesting particulars. The very infirmities of
so great a man as Washington are needed to give relief
to the picture. That he was austere and exacting in
XVI INTRODUCTION.

money affairs, while remarkably generous in some cases, is
a fact needed to complete the view of the man; and no
sincere lover of historic truth would wish suppressed the
fact that he flew into a rage and swore “till the leaves
trembled on the trees” when he found one of his com-
manders playing traitor on the field of Monmouth.

But how admirably does the character of this illustri-
ous man bear the closest scrutiny! ‘The more one grows
familiar with it the more does Washington seem to deserve
his unique place in history. There were other men as good
as he, there were generals more brilliant than he. Frank-
lin was a greater philosopher, Chatham a greater states-
man, Jefferson was greater as a political theorist; but
history has no other character, perhaps, in which so many
admirable traits were so equally balanced. Hardly any
other man has ever arisen who combined a capacity for
mancuvres so brilliant as the capture of Trenton, the
night march on Princeton, and the sudden blow at long
reach which destroyed Cornwallis, with the patience to
wear out years in the weary waiting which was indispensa-
ble to the success of a small and scattered population
contending with a great power. Rarely has the world
seen a victor who sought no profit for himself, a man who
had made himself the adored leader of his people, who
put away from him with repulsion every suggestion that
he should seek personal aggrandizement. Without lauda-
tion or rhetorical flourish, the writer of this work has
told the story, and the reader leaves the contemplation of
Washington more than ever filled with admiration for
one who was not the most brilliant leader or the greatest
thinker of his age, but who, by the sum of his qualities,
INTRODUCTION. xvii

must remain the most illustrious figure in the history of
the eighteenth century.

A grateful acknowledgment is due for the friendly
assistance rendered by many persons to the illustrator in
the arduous work of gathering material for the pictures.
It is proper to mention in particular the courteous kind-
ness of General G. W. Custis Lee, who put his valuable
family portraits at the disposal of the artist. Dr. J. M.
Toner, Mr. Allen, the librarian of the State Department,
the Ladies Mount Vernon Association, Mr. F. D. Stone,
of the Pennsylvania Historical Society, and the librarians
of the New York Historical Society were very obliging
and helpful.

JosHua’s Rock, on Lake GEORGE.
THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER I.

WASHINGTON’S BIRTH.

L732.

WHEN a man has become famous, dignified ancestors
are sure to be provided for him. Efforts have been made
to connect George Washington with more than one family
of consequence in England bearing his name. It has re-
cently been discovered, however, that the two Washington
brothers who came to America in Cromwell’s day were the
sons of a certain Lawrence Washington, who was a college
graduate and a poor parson, rector over a little church at
Purleigh, in England, and who died in 1652, leaving his
children still young and no doubt very needy. A few
years after their father’s death—that is, about 1657—the
two eldest sons, John and Lawrence Washington, emi-
grated to America.

The wild lands of Virginia were to be had at a very
low rate in those days, and an enterprising man might
there become the owner of a tract as large as the estate of
a great nobleman in England. For this reason many poor
gentlemen, like the Washington brothers, came to Vir-
ginia to become planters and seek their fortunes in rais-

2
9 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

ing tobacco, the staple of the country. The elder of the
two emigrant brothers, John Washington, who was about
twenty-three when he landed in the New World, was the
great-grandfather of George. Tle became in time a mem-
ber of the Legislature, or House of Burgesses as it was
called, and a county magistrate. Nearly twenty years after
he had come to Virginia to live, there appeared some very
bad omens, “a comet streaming like a horse-tail westward,”
a flight of pigeons which was so dense that the birds broke
down the trees where they roosted, and swarms of flies
which came out of “spigot-holes” in the earth. Old
planters shook their heads, and remembered that there
was such a flight of pigeons before the last Indian mas-
sacre. In course of time two men were killed by the
Savages, as every one had expected, and the people found
their bodies on the way to church. Some Virginians rode
after the murderers and fell upon the first Indians they
found, without stopping to ask whether they were the real
offenders. Indian troubles followed, and John Washing-
ton marched as colonel at the head of a number of Vir-
ginians against an Indian fort in Maryland. While the
white men were holding a parley with some Indian chiefs
at this fort, the bodies of more massacred men were
brought in, and the colonists were so enraged that they
bound five of the chiefs and “knocked them on the head.”
After six weeks of siege the Indians marched out of their
fort in the night, killing the sleeping guards and yelling
defiance at their besiegers. This was the beginning of
the Indian troubles which led to Bacon’s rebellion 5 SO
that John Washington was probably something of a rebel
as well as an unsuccessful Indian-fighter.
WASHINGTON’S BIRTH. 3

Augustine Washington, the grandson of John Wash-
ington and the father of George, was born in 1694. He
was married twice. His first wife, whose maiden name
was Jane Butler, was the mother of four of his children.
Two of these died when they were very young. The
mother herself died in 1728, leaving two boys, Lawrence
and Augustine. Washington’s father was married again in
1730 to Mary Ball, who was then twenty-six years old. On
the 11th of February, 1732, old style, the young wife had
a boy born to her, who was named George. The date of
his birth would be the 22d of February, new style, and
this is the date that is celebrated as Washington’s birth-
day. The little George had afterward brothers and _ sisters
named Betty, Samuel, John Augustine, Charles, and Mil-
dred. Mildred died in babyhood.

Washington was born in a low-pitched, single-story
frame house containing four rooms, and having an im-
mense outside chimney at either end. This house stood
in Westmoreland County, between Bridge’s and Pope’s
Creeks, and from it could be seen the Potomac River and
the shore of Maryland. One breezy morning in April,
when George was about three years old, dead leaves and
brush were burning in the garden near this house. Some
sparks settled among the shingles and set the house afire.
Augustine Washington was away from home, but while
slaves were trying to put out the fire, Mrs. Washington,
with the cook and a maid, moved the furniture from the
house, which soon burned down.

As Washington’s father was agent for some iron works
at Fredericksburg, and wished to live near them, he did
not rebuild his burned house, but went to live on an-
4 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

other plantation, on the banks of the Rappahannock, op-
posite to the town of Fredericksburg. This was a four-
roomed house, with outside chimneys, much like the
other.

Washington’s ancestors seem to have been good busi-
ness men. True Virginia planters of that time, they
led a robust, out-of-door life, riding about to oversee their
plantations, hunting in the immense stretches of sur-
rounding woods, and eating the plain food raised on
their own lands. These men were ever ready for a
wrangle with their Governors in the house of Burgesses,



VIEW OF FREDERICKSBURG FROM TILE WASHINGTON PLANTATION
ON THE RAPPAHANNOCK,

or for a brnsh with the Indians. But in spite of his
homely life, the Virginia planter remembered that he was
a gentleman, and took pains to preserve the somewhat
antiquated manners brought by his ancestors from the
Old World. Ships came to his own door direct from
England, for what is called Tidewater Virginia is a land
of peninsulas watered by rivers and estuaries. These
WASILINGTON’S BIRTH. 5

tobacco craft, which carried away the planter’s valuable
crop, brought back in exchange furniture, plate, linen,
and fine dress, to lend a touch of fashion to the other-
wise rude life of the Virginia gentleman. Sometimes
the planter took his family visiting over the rough roads
in a great yellow coach, brought over also on the tobacco
ship, and sometimes he drove with his wife and daugh-
ters to Williamsburg to attend the balls given at this
little capital. The Washingtons were of the plainer
class of planters. They had fewer luxuries and endured
more hardships than the members of the great families
about them.

George Washington was a true child of this generous,
active, out-of-door life—a life which called forth all the
endurance and hardihood of the frontiersman, at the same
time that it fostered dignity and courtesy, together witha
high sense of honor and independence.
6 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER IT.

STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD.

1785-1748,

SEVERAL of the most famous tales of Washington’s
boyhood are told by an odd character known as Parson
Weems, who preached in Pohick church for a while after
the war. Washington attended this church, and he and
his wife often entertained Weems in their hospitable
house. As the odd parson no doubt gossiped with all the
old people about the neighborhood, he had a good chance
to pick up any anecdotes about the great man’s childhood.
Unfortunately, Parson Weems was more fond of a good
story than of the strict truth. Having a large family to
support, he left off preaching and became a book peddler.
He rode about in an old-fashioned gig, selling his own
writings and those of others. He told go many amusing
stories and played the fiddle so well, that he was a very
successful peddler. He would enter a bar room with a
temperance tract he had written, and mimic a drunken
man so perfectly that he had no trouble in selling his
tracts to the laughing crowd. It is told of Weems that
he once fiddled for a dance from behind a screen, lest
people should be shocked to see a parson fiddling in such
a place. The screen fell over, however, and revealed the
fiddling preacher, to the great amusement of the crowd.
STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD. A

The odd old parson wrote a life of Washington, in which
he told some stories of the great man’s boyhood which he
said he had learned from an old lady who was a cousin of
the family and had visited, when she was a girl, in the



WASHINGTON REPROVED FOR WANT OF GENEROSITY.

house of Mr, Augustine Washington. he stories are not
improbable in themselves, and are doubted only because
they are told by the queer parson, who loved a good story
too well.

Washington’s father, when the boy was five years old—
so runs one of these tales—once invited the young lady
cousin who was then visiting the family to go with him
8 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

and little George to the orchard. When they got there
they found the ground covered with fallen apples, while
the trees were so loaded that they were breaking with the
weight of the fruit.

“ Now, George,” said his father, “look here, my son:
don’t you remember when this good cousin of yours
brought you that fine, large apple last spring, how hardly
I could prevail on you to divide with your brothers and
sisters, though I promised you that, if you would but
do it, God Almighty would give you plenty of apples
this fall?”

The little George hung his head, and presently said,
“Well, pa, only forgive me this time, and seeif I ever be
so stingy any more.”

The next story told by Weems is the famous little
hatchet tale. He says that Washington’s father took a
great deal of pains to teach the child to tell the truth,
and charged him, should he ever happen to do anything
wrong, to come and tell of it, when, instead of a beating,
he should have honor and love as a reward. George, who
was about six years old, was given a little hatchet for his
own. One day, when he was amusing himself hacking
pea sticks in the garden, he presently fell upon a young
English cherry tree, which his father valued a great deal,
and barked it very badly. When Mr. Augustine Washing-
ton discovered the mischief he was very angry, and de-
clared that he would not have taken five guineas for his
cherry tree.

“George,” said he, “do you know who killed that
beautiful cherry tree, yonder in the garden?”

The boy hesitated a moment. “T can’t tell a lie, pa,
STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDITOOD. 9

e

you know I can’t tell a lie,” said he, presently ; “I did cut
it with my little hatchet.”

The boy’s father, so says Weems, remembered his
promise and praised George, declaring that he was glad
that he had lost his tree, since it had been the occasion of
the child’s daring to tell the truth.

Another of Weems’s stories is that Washington’s father
once planted the letters of the boy’s name in a cabbage
bed in the garden. Some time after, the child came into
the house all excitement, crying:

“O pa! come here! come here!”

“ What’s the matter, my son; what’s the matter ?”

“Oh, come here, I tell you, pa, come here, and Pl
show you such a sight as you never saw in your lifetime!”

George took his father’s hand and pulled him into the
garden. “There, pa!” he exclaimed, “did you ever see
such a sight in your life?”

“Why, it does seem like a curious affair, sure enough,
seorge.”

“But, pa, who did make it there?” asked the child.

“Tt grew by chance, I suppose, my son.”

“ By chance, pa! Oh, no, it never did grow there by
chance, pa. Indeed, that it never did!”

“Hey! Why not, my son?”

“ Why, pa, did you ever see anybody’s name in a plant
bed before?”

“ Well—but, George, such a thing might happen,
though you never saw it before.”

“Yes, pa, but I did never see the little plants grow up
so as to make one single letter of my name, and then
standing one after another to spell my name so exactly,
10 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

and all so even at the top and bottom. O pa, you must
not say that chance did all this. Indeed, somebody did
it, and I dare say now, pa, you did it, just to scare me, be-
cause Lam your little boy.”

Whereupon, according to Weems, Washington’s father
drew a little lesson from the plant bed, by which he made
him understand something about the heavenly Father,
who made things grow for his benefit.

Besides Weems’s doubtful stories, there are two letters
which are said to have passed between George, when he
was nine years old, and Richard Henry Lee, a little boy,
‘ who afterward became a great Revolutionary character,
and to whom Washington wrote many letters in after-life.
George’s letter seems too correct for a little boy, though
he may have had help from the friend who is supposed to
have composed the rhyme at the end of the little note.
Richard wrote:

“ Pa brought me two pretty books full of pictures he
got them in Alexandria they have pictures of dogs and
cats and tigers and elefants and ever so many pretty things
cousin bids me send you one of them it has a picture of
an elefant and a little Indian boy on his back like uncle
jo’s sam pa says if I learn my tasks good he will let uncle
jo bring me to see you will you ask your ma to let you
come to see me. Ricoarp Henry LEe.”

George answered :

“Dear Dickey: I thank you very much for the pretty
picture book you gave me. Sam asked me to show him
the pictures and I showed him all the pictures in it; and
STORIES OF WASHINGTON’S CHILDHOOD. 11

Tread to him how the tame elephant took care of the
master’s little boy, and put him on his back and would
not let anybody touch his master’s little son. I can read
three or four pages sometimes without missing a word.
Ma says I may go to see you and stay all day with you
next week if if be not rainy. She says I may ride my
pony, Hero if Uncle Ben will go with me and lead Hero.
I have a little piece of poetry about the picture book
you gave me but I mustn’t tell you who wrote the poetry.
“G, W.’s compliments to R. H. L.,
And likes his book full well
Henceforth will count him his friend,
And hopes many happy days he may spend.
Your good friend,
GEORGE WASHINGTON.

“Tam going to get a whip top soon, and you may see
it and whip it.”

The Sam in the letter was George’s brother, and the
“unele jo” and “Uncle Ben” were no doubt old negro
slaves.

To turn from doubtful stories and letters to what
we certainly know of his childhood, George Washington
attended a little school kept by a man named Hobby. It
was very hard, in those rnde days in Virginia, for planters
to get any education for their children, and George’s
father bought Hobby as a bond-servant,* that he might

* The lot of poor men in that day was a hard one, and many such
came to this country to escape misery in England. The captain of
the ship that brought such a man was allowed to sell him for four
12 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

have a schoolmaster for his children. The schoolhouse
is said to have stood in an old field—that is, a field ex-
hausted by the growing of tobacco and allowed to grow
up to pines. Here the little George learned to read, write,
and cipher, and that by no very short cuts, for Hobby
was probably only the poorest kind of a teacher. Weems
tells, however, that the old man was very proud in after-
life of having taught the great general. Ile drank a
good deal, especially on Washington's birthday, and he
would boast-on such occasions that “’twag he who, be-
tween his knees, had laid the foundation of Washington’s
greatness.”

years to repay his passage. Many men, convicted of small crimes in
England, were transported and sold for seven years. Those con-
victs who could read and write were often purchased for school-
masters,
WASHINGTON AS A BOY. 13

CHAPTER III...

WASHINGTON AS A BOY. ‘

1748-1746.

WueENn George Washington was eleven years old, his
father was taken suddenly ill and died, at the age of forty-
nine. To his eldest son, Lawrence, he left a place on the
Potomac, which was afterward named Mount Vernon,
with other lands, and shares in the iron works which he
superintended. ‘To his second son, Augustine, he willed
the plantation in Westmoreland County where George had
been born. George himself was to have the lands on
which the family lived on the Rappahannock, but only
after his mother’s death. ‘The other sous had six or seven
hundred acres each, and the daughter Betty was also pro-
vided for. Mrs. Washington was left in charge of the
lands of all her children until they should come of age.

In after-life, Washington said that he remembered his
father’s fondness for him, but that he believed he owed
his fortune and fame to his mother. Mrs. Washington
was a person of much sternness and force. She was prob-
ably a woman of the old Virginia type, in the time when
planters were also frontiersmen and their children had
few opportunities for education. Though she belonged
to a good family, her accomplishments were of the plain-
est sort, such only as were needed by a housckeeper in
14 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

rude times. She was left a young widow in charge of
tracts of land and negroes, a kind of property which
yielded only a very poor living without the greatest watch-





































































































HALL IN THE PART OF MOUNT VERNON BUILT BY LAWRENCE WASHINGTON.

fulness. She was in the habit of riding around her plan-
tation in an open gig and oversecing all that went on, and
she was feared by all about her.

“Pray,” said she to an overseer who wished to do
WASHINGTON AS A BOY. 15

otherwise ‘than she had ordered, “who gave you any
judgment in the matter? I command you, sir; there is
nothing left for you but to obey.”

Mrs. Washington’s sons stood in awe of her when they
were grown to be tall fellows. One of George’s comrades
said in after-years that he feared her much more than he
did his own parents. ‘ We were as mute as mice in her
presence,” said he.

Schools were few and poor in Washington’s boyhood,
and his mother sent him, soon after his father’s death,
back to his birthplace to live with his brother Augustine,
who was now a grown man, to attend the school of a cer-
tain Mr. Williams. Wedo not know just how much he
learned at this new school, but his four or five years under
Mr. Williams did not teach him correct spelling or the
commonest rules of English grammar, as some of his
early writings show. Heseems to have learned a good
deal from a book which has recently been discovered with.
his name in it and the date of 1742, when the boy was ten
years old. This book is called The Young Man’s Com-
panion, or Arithmetek Made Easy, and it claims to teach
a boy without a tutor how to “read and write true Ing-
lish,” how to write letters and make out various papers
such as bills, bonds, releases, and wills, how to measure
timber, and how to survey land, with various other useful
things. Blank books are still preserved in which the boy
Washington copied out various legal forms, some poor
poetry, and one hundred and ten rules of behavior which
are very quaint, and old, no doubt, in their origin. These
rules are very curious. Some of them exhibit the rude
habits of the time when it was thought necessary to teach
16 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

a young man not to kill vermin “in the sight of others.”
Another rule, which forbids a man to put his feet “ upon
the fire, especially if there be meat before it,” shows how
common it was in early days to live in the kitchen. The
boy was taught, among many other things, “Shake not the
Head, Feet, or Legs, rowl not the Eys, lift not one eye-
brow higher than the other, wry not the mouth.” He
was to keep the nails, hands, and teeth clean, yet he was
to show “no great concern for them.” Te was not to
read in conipany; he was not to play the doctor when he
visited the sick; he was not to laugh himself when he
said anything witty; he was to see that his clothes were
brushed every day, and was not to “play the peacock, look-
ing everywhere about” him to see if he were “well
decked”; he was to select good company, for he was told
that it was “better to be alone than in bad company”; he
was not to speak “of doleful things in a time of mirth,”
nor mention “death and wounds” at table; he was not to
look at the blemishes of others; finally, he was taught
great deference in the presence of his superiors and proper
behavior toward his inferiors. This remarkable set of
rules, which Washington copied so carefully when he was
a boy, closes with the words, “ Labor to keep aliye in your
breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”
These old blank books show that the boy Washington was
already practicing those painstaking habits with his pen
which led him in later life to keep careful accounts of all
his expenses, diaries of his doings, and copies of his let-
ters.

Although Washington seems to have been something
of a model boy, he was still very much given to manly,
toy: SFE hare Zu Sas Cele Loe LAELE wlth
c Cer

Woo - ae L, Abbuta Chet Le he Pereoesf' b
eas pe pret ee Lhe thy b TEL
ce cb pe L Gran f 8 not Tor fell

O-

oir Lo Ce eure hetktthe barked be
tel; May 2reD Cc, Ch Leben f a


18 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

out-of-door sports. At school, so tradition says, he loved
to play soldier, dividing the boys into armies, and George
was pretty sure to be commander on one side or the
other. There are many tales about Washington’s great
strength in running, and his skill in throwing to a
great distance. Perhaps the distance has grown with the
years, for, when people make a hero of a man, they like to
think that he showed signs of his wonderful qualities in
boyhood; though what throwing has to do with good
generalship, or how foot-races lead to the presidency it
would be hard to tell. They go to show, however, what
was no doubt true, that Washington was a hardy, manly
boy. To this day the very spot where George threw a
piece of slate across the Rappahannock is pointed out.
The slate, of course, cleared the river and landed some
thirty yards on the opposite side. The people of Vir-
ginia firmly believe also that Washington threw a stone
up some two hundred feet to the arch of the natural
bridge from below, while some have it a silver dollar.
Even in the North there is a legend of Washington’s
throwing a stone from the top of the Palisades into the
Hudson, when he was a general.

Parson Weems also comes in with his homely tale of
Washington’s feats of running while he was at Mr. Wil-
liams’s school. According to Weems, John Fitzhugh,
Esq., made the following speech to him with regard to
the superior qualities of Washington’s legs:

‘“Kgad, he ran wonderfully. We had nobody here-
abouts that could come near him. There was a young
Langhorn Dade, of Westmoreland, a confounded clean-
made, tight young fellow, and a mighty swift runner too;
WASHINGTON AS A BOY. 19

but then he was no match for George. Langy, indeed,
did not like to give it wp, and would brag that he had
sometimes brought George to a tie. But I believe that
he was mistaken, for I have seen them run together
many a time, and George always beat him easy enough.”

Another story of Washington’s boyhood tells how he
once sat reading a book under an oak tree near the school-
house, when the other boys had persuaded the champion
wrestler of the county to try their strength. He downed
all the boys except the studious George, who refused to
join the ring. The champion presently dared Washing-
ton to come on, or own that he was afraid. George was
probably no more able to take a dare than to tell a lie,
and he accordingly came on. There was a struggle of a
few minutes, when, as the champion afterward said, “I
felt myself grasped and hurled upon the ground with a
jar that shook the marrow of my bones.”

Washington, like all Virginia boys, was at home on a
horse’s back. During the Revolutionary War he pre-
sented the famous French officer, the Marquis de Chastel-
lux, with a beautiful animal, which he assured his guest
he had broken himself, to the wonder of the Frenchman.
Perhaps Washington’s first attempt at breaking a horse
was on his mother’s plantation, and this was an unlucky
adventure.

Fine horses were the pride of the Virginia gentleman,
and Mrs. Washington kept up the stock that had been
owned by her husband. There was one spirited sorrel
colt which no one had succeeded in breaking. George
and some boy friends were looking at the horses early
one morning, when Washington announced that he was
20 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

going to ride the sorrel. is companions, boylike, dared
him to do it. They all went to work to catch the rest-
less animal, and together they foreed a bit into his mouth.
No sooner was this done, than Washington sprang on his
hack. The horse backed, reared, and plunged, while
George’s comrades began to be frightened about the re-



WASHING TON’S TENTS, AS SET UP BY THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
IN THEIR GROUNDS.

sult of their sport. But Washington kept his seat, and
the animal finally made one great bound into the air and
fell dead, havig burst a blood-vessel.

Immediately after this the boys were called to break-
fast, feeling very serious over the outcome of . their
sport. Mrs. Washington began to ask them if they had
seen her colts, and especially her favorite, the sorrel.
WASHINGTON AS A BOY. O11

The boys were silent, but Mays. Washington demanded
an answer.

“The sorrel is dead, madam,” said George. “TI killed
him.” The boy then told how it all happened. Mrs.
Washington’s face was red with anger, but she presently
said that, while she regretted the loss of her horse, she
rejoiced in her son, who always told the truth. This
story is told by Washington’s step-grandson, who was
brought up in his family. The point resembles that of
the hackneyed little hatchet tale, and perhaps they both
grew out of one incident.

There is no doubt a foundation of fact in the tales of
Washington’s great strength, for we know that wheu he
grew to be a man he was tall and muscular, had very
large joints, and enormous hands and feet. Me wore num-
ber thirteen boots, it is said, and was obliged to have his
gloves made to order. A man who knew him during the
war told that though it took two men to lift his large
tent, wrapped up with its poles, Washington could pick it
up with one hand and throw it into a wagon, as though
it were a pair of saddle-bags.
29 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER IV.
THE YOUNG SURVEYOR.
1746-1751,

WHEN George Washington was eight years old his
eldest half-brother, Lawrence, then only twenty, was
captain in a Virginia regiment which joined an expe-
dition under Admiral Vernon to attack Cartagena in
South America. The attack did not succeed. ‘The
ships did not get near enough to throw shells into the
town, and the scaling ladders were too short. But the
part of the forces which Lawrence commanded fought
bravely, standing a very destructive fire for some hours
and losing a number of men. No doubt the tales George
heard from his brother of his adventures in this expedi-
tion made him love to play soldier as a boy, and dream of
going to war himself,

Lawrence Washington was a noble and liberal-minded
man, and be seems to have been one of the most de-
voted of elder brothers. He married a daughter of Wil-
liam Fairfax, and went to live on his estate on the Po-
tomac, which he named Mount Vernon, in honor of the
admiral under whom he had fought. His father-in-law
lived across the river from him at a place called Belvoir.
He was a gentleman of wealth, and the agent of his cousin,
Lord Fairfax. Lord Fairfax was an English nobleman
THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 93

who had fallen heir to a tract of land in Virginia so large
that it is now divided into twenty-one counties. He had
also estates in England, and was a man of fine education,
and possessed some literary gifts, for he wrote papers for
The Spectator. But a disappointment in love is said to
have sent him to the
wilds of Virginia.
He turned over his
English property to
his brother, and be-
came a Virginian for
life. At the time
when George first



knew him he was liv-

OLD BUILDING AT GREENWAY COURT.

ing with his cousin

William Fairfax at Belvoir. He afterward made his
home ina house which he built beyond the Blue Ridge,
and called Greenway Court. Here he kept bachelor’s
hall, and spent much of his time hunting in the forests
which stood in that day about his house.

When Washington was about fourteen it was proposed
to send him to sea. Whether this grew out of his own
boyish wishes, or the plans of his elders, is not certainly
known; but a brother of Mrs. Washington, who lived in
England, wrote her a very sensible letter, in which he told
her that, rather than go to sea, her son “had better be
put ’prentice toa tinker ;” that at sea he would be treated
like a dog; that there was no chance for him in the navy ;
and that he would be better off as a planter than as mas-
ter of a Virginia ship. “Ie must not be too hasty to
be rich,” said he, “ but go on gently and with patience as
24. THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

things will naturally go. This method, without aiming at
being a fine gentleman before his time, will carry a man
more comfortably and surely through the world than go-
ing to sea, unless it be a good chance indeed.”

Mrs. Washington’s heart soon failed her. A friend of
hers wrote to Lawrence Washington that one word against
George’s going to sea “had more weight than ten for it.”
So the plan was given up, and the boy was sent back to
school to study surveying. For practice he plotted off
the fields around the schoolhouse, and put the result of
his work down very carefully in his blank books. He
left school the fall before he was sixteen, and spent the
winter with his brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon. He
practiced surveying about his brother’s plantation during
this winter. Tiere he often met the Fairfaxes and other
choice company, and had a chance to practice his rules of
behavior.

It is said that while George was living with his brother
Lawrence, he was one day in Alexandria where a dealer
was showing some blooded horses which he had brought
there to sell. ‘The boy admired them, and perhaps boasted
a little about what he could do with a horse. The dealer
offered to give him a very unmanageable young horse if
he would ride it to Mount Vernon and back without los-
ing his seat. George immediately mounted the animal
and rode off. The next day he entered the town again
firmly seated on the wild creature. The dealer is said to
have been willing to stand by his promise, and offered the
horse to George; but Washington frankly declared that
he had not earned him, for he had been thrown once and
dragged, though he did not lose his hold of the reins.
THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 25

George Washington was the kind of boy to be a favor-
ite with older men. Lord Fairfax selected him when he
was barely sixteen to be a surveyor for him. Lord Fair-
fax’s land stretched across the Blue Ridge, and he owned
many fine valleys there which had never been surveyed.
Emigrants were already pushing their way across the
mountains, selecting the finest pieces of
land and settling on them. Lord Fair-
fax wished to survey these lands, so that
the settlers might have a clear title and
pay their quit rents to the lord of the
Sorlaeie

George Washington and George Fair-
fax, the eldest son of William Fairfax,
set out on horseback, in March, 1748, for
the Shenandoah Valley, where they were
joined by another surveyor. Washing-
ton kept a journal of this first surveying



trip of his, which is very quaint with

its odd spelling and its antique abbrevia- — casm, wren penctr,
FOOT-RULE, AND
DIVIDERS, USED

4 : e =: z 7 BY WASHINGTON
rough miles in a day, getting now and SAN TO

then a shot at a wild turkey; how they eee teat
slept in a tent, every one being his own

cook, with forked sticks for spits, and large chips for
plates. Once the straw on which he slept caught fire,
and one of the men saved him from burning up by
waking him in time. At another time the tent blew
away in the night. Once they ate dinner at a frontiers-
man’s, where there was neither tablecloth nor knives,
and they counted themselves fortunate in having some

tions. He tells how they rode many




26 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

knives of their own. He relates very naively how at one
frontier house, he “not being so good a woodsman as the
rest of the company,” stripped himself very orderly and
went into the bed, as they called it. The bed proved
to be a little straw, matted together, no sheets, and an
abundance of vermin. He says that he made haste to get
up so soon as the light had been carried away, put on his
clothes, and stretched himself on the floor with the other
members of the party. “Tad we not been very tired,”
he writes, “I am sure we should not have slep’d much
that night.” He resolved to choose the open air and the
tire hereafter on a surveying tour. The next day they
rode to Frederickstown, where they found their baggage
and made haste to change their clothes, “to get rid of ye
Game we had catched ye night before,” says the journal.
At one place the boy surveyors were stopped several
days at a ford by high rains and rising water. They were
delighted, after two days of dull waiting, with the sight of
a party of Indians returning from the warpath, “with
only one scalp,” as the journal remarks. Washington and
Fairfax gave the Indians some liquor, which, “ elevating
their spirits, put them in ye humor of dauncing.” Wash-
ington describes the war dance that took place in the fol-
lowing quaint words: “'There manner of dauncing is as
follows, viz., they clear a Large Circle and make a great
Fire in ye middle. Men seats themselves around it. Ye
speaker makes a grand speech, telling them in what man-
ner they are to daunce. After he has finished, ye best
Dauncer jumps up, as one awaked out of a sleep, & Runs
and Jumps about ye Ring ina most comicle manner. He
is followed by ye Rest. Then begins there musicians to
THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 27

Play. Ye musick is a Pot half full of water, with a Deer-
skin stretched over it as tight as it can, & a goard with
shott in it to rattle & a Piece of an horses tail tied to it to
make it look fine. Ye one keeps rattling and ye others
drumming all ye while ye others is Dauncing.”

For three years George Washington led the life of a
backwoods surveyor, followed about by emigrants seeking
lands. “Since you re-
ceived my letter in Octo-
ber last,’ he writes to a
boy friend, “I have not
sleep’d above three nights
or four in a bed, but,
after walking a good deal
all the day, I lay down
before the fire upon a
little hay, straw, fodder, or bearskin, which ever is to be
had with man, wife and children, like a parcel of dogs
and cats; and happy is he who gets the berth nearest
the fire. There is nothing would make it pass off toler-
ably but a good reward. A doubloon a day is my con-
stant gain every day that the weather will permit my





WASHINGTON’

going out, and sometimes six pistoles.” A doubloon was
equal to seven dollars and twenty cents, while six pistoles
amounted to twenty-one dollars and sixty cents.

In this way the foundation was laid for Washington’s
future greatness; hardihood, endurance, and independ-
ence were the lessons he learned. He spent his winters
with his brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon, and here he
gained ease and polish of manner. He is said also to have
been a great favorite with Lord Fairfax in his home at
98 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

Greenway Court, in the Shenandoah Valley, where the
bachelor nobleman and the young surveyor had many a
good hunt together.

Meantime Washington had young lady friends, and
some youthful emotions with regard to them. In the
same book which contains his journals is a copy of a letter
in which he speaks of having been ill with a pleurisy, and
says, “ But purpose, as soon as I recover my strength, to
wait on Miss Betsy, in hopes of a revocation of the former
cruel sentence, and see if I can meet with any alteration
in my favor.” This pretty speech savors more of old-
fashioned Southern gallantry than of the real sentiment
which some writers see in it. Another letter, however to
be found in the same book, contains a rather amusing
passage in a more serious strain.

“ My place of residence,” says young George Washing-
ton, “is at present at his Lordship’s, where I might, was
my heart disengaged, pass my time yery pleasantly as
there’s a very agreeable young lady lives in the same house.
But as that’s only adding fuel to fire, it makes me the
more uneasy, for by often and unavoidably being in com-
pany with her revives my former passion for your Low-
land beauty; whereas was I to live more retired from
young women, I might in some measure eliviate my sor-
rows, by burying that chaste and troublesome passion in
the grave of oblivion or etarnall forgetfulness, for as T am
well assured, that’s the only antidote or remedy, that I
ever shall be relieved by or only recess that can administer
any cure or help to me, as I am well convinced, was I ever,
to attempt anything, I should only get a denial, which
would be only adding grief to uneasiness.”
THE YOUNG SURVEYOR. 29

There is no doubt that Washington, being only about
sixteen when he wrote this doleful letter, recovered in due
time of his hopeless passion for the “Lowland beanty,”
and lived to enjoy the society of other young women,
without so much as being reminded of his first love,
“ etarnall forgetfulness” having done its work. We may
smile at Washington’s boyish effusions, as well as his mis-
takes in grammar and in spelling, but he soon conquered
most of these faults, and gained a clear style in writ-
ing as well as a thoughtful and sensible bearing. As he
never went to school again, all these improvements must
have been due to his own painstaking habits.
30 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER V.

LEARNING TO BE A SOLDIER.
L785 1-1782,

ONE of the most remarkable facts about the boy George
Washington was that he was trusted with difficult tasks
at so early an age. Being the eldest son of a widow,
and having his own way to make in the world, he seems
to have become a man before his time. When Washing-
ton was a boy, the French in Canada, having already
claimed the Mississippi, were pushing for the great inte-
rior country about the Ohio. The English colonies, too,
began to see that their growth must soon force them in
the same direction. George’s half-brothers, Lawrence and
Augustine Washington, belonged to a body of men called
“The Ohio Company,” which was formed to push emigra-
tion into this great new country. They sent out a famous
pioneer named Christopher Gist to explore the Ohio Val-
ley, and they made a treaty with the Indians, by which
they were allowed to make settlements on one side of the
great river. It was more difficult to find settlers, and
Lawrence Washington, although he was beginning to fail
in health, tried unsuccessfully to get a promise that Ger-
man emigrants to the Ohio would be allowed to have
their own religion, and not be obliged to support a clergy-
man of the Church of England. In the houses of his two
LEARNING TO BE A SOLDIER. 31

brothers Washington thus early learned to take a great
interest in the struggle for the Ohio.

Wise men foresaw that there was likely to be. trouble
between the French and English colonies over the posses-
sion of the beautiful Ohio country; and the militia.of
Virginia were trained, and preparations began to be made
for war. The colony was divided into provinces, with an
officer over the militia of each province. Lawrence
Washington got his “ brother George,” at nineteen years
of age, appointed to the command of one of these dis-
tricts, with the title of adjutant-general and the rank of
major. It was the young man’s duty to exercise the
militiamen and inspect their arms.

Washington had not forgotten his early ambition to
be a soldier, and he was probably as eager for war as any
very young man would be under the circumstances. He
studied tactics, and took fencing lessons of a Dutchman
named Van Braam. He had hardly begun his new mili-
tary duties, however, when he was called away by his
brother’s illness. Iawrence Washington was now suffer-
ing from consumption. He wished to try a voyage to the
West Indies, and asked George to go with him. The
two brothers sailed in September, 1751, and were five
weeks reaching Barbadoes.

This was the only time that George Washington was
outside of his native land. Soon after he reached the
island he and his brother were invited to dine at a cer-
tain house. George went reluctantly, for there was small-
pox in the house, and he had not yet had this disease,
which was very common in those days. ‘Two weeks later
he was taken with the smallpox, and recovered after three
82 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

or four weeks of severe illness. Lawrence Washington
seemed to be very much better when he first reached
Barbadoes, but his health failed again, and he thought
of trying a trip to Bermuda in the spring. He decided
to-send George home, in order that he might bring Mrs.
Lawrence Washington out to meet him at Bermnda.
The young man had a stormy passage. He kept a care-
ful journal, however, and even copied the ship’s log-book,
setting down the direction of the wind and the number
of miles made by the vessel daily, which shows his early
habit of taking pains with the smallest details.

Washington reached home in February. His brother
Lawrence, finding that he was getting no better, returned
to Virginia in the following summer. He did not live
long after he came home. His will shows his affection for
George, and his trust in the young man’s character. He
left his estates to his little daughter, an only child, who
did not live long. In case of her death, his wife was to
have a dower interest in them, and they were to belong
to George Washington. Meantime George was made one
of the executors, and he began immediately to manage
his brother’s affairs. At nineteen he was managing a
large plantation, and riding about several counties re-
viewing the militia on parade, training the officers, and
inspecting arms.
SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS, 33

CHAPTER VI.

SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS.
L753,

Berore railroads were invented natural water ways
were of vast importance. When the country was still
wild there was no other way of penetrating it than that
afforded by rivers and lakes. For this reason the French
in Canada had secured Lake Champlain, which was con-
nected by water, except for a few miles of land carriage,
both with the St. Lawrence and the Hudson. They had
grasped also the Great Lakes and the Mississippi which
led through the heart of the continent. By a small carry
from Lake Erie they were planning now to reach a new
region by following French Creek to the Alleghany
River, and this stream until it joined the Monongahela
and became the Ohio. ‘Their forts had already been
extended to the junction of Irench Creek and the Alle-
ghany, and the English colonists saw that they must soon
be cut off from a valuable fur trade, and be shut in for-
ever behind the Alleghany Mountains.

Dinwiddie, the Governor of Virginia, wrote a letter in
1753 to the commander of the French fort at Venango,
demanding that the French should leave off building forts
in the Ohio Valley. Ie chose Major George Washington,
then twenty-one years old, to carry this letter through

4

e
84 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

hundreds of miles of wilderness to the French fort. The
young man set out in November, 1753, with his fencing-
master Van Braam as an interpreter, and the trader and
frontiersman Christopher Gist as a guide and
companion, together with several other men to
make up the party and drive the pack
horses which carried the necessary baggage
and provisions. It was already very cold in




nissisd¥?

MAP SHOWING THE WATERWAYS CLAIMED BY THE FRENCH,

the Alleghanies, and the snow was ankle-deep in some
places. Washington struck the Monongahela at Turtle
Creek, and pushed on down the river till he reached
the forks of the Ohio—that is, the place where this stream
joins the Alleghany and becomes the Ohio. He selected
a place on the tongue of land between these two rivers
for a fort, which he thought would control all the

2
SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS. 35

country around by commanding so many streams. This
afterward became the point for which the French and
English struggled.

Nothing could be done without the aid and good will
of the Indians, so Washington and Gist held a council at
Logstown, an Indian village not far from the forks of
the Ohio. Washington visited an Oneida chief who lived
here, named Monacatootha, and giving him a string of
wampum and a twist of tobacco, asked him to send for
the Half-king, a Seneca chief, who was out at his hunting
cabin, and several other chiefs who were absent. When
the Half-king came, Washington visited him in his cabin
and talked with him about what the French were going
to do. The Half-king said that when he had been-at the
French fort last he had told them that the Indians had
built a council fire for them at Montreal, and told them
to stay there, and that if they came any farther the In-
dians would have to use a stick on them. The French
commander had answered, “I tell you down the river I
will go.” Washington held a council at the long house
of the Indians, and, after a good deal of Indian ceremony
and days of tedious waiting, it was decided that the Half-
king, Jeskakee, White Thunder, and a young hunter
were to go with Major Washington to the French fort
and return a certain speech belt, which would mean in
their eyes the breaking of friendship with the French.
After all had been settled according to Indian notions,
regardless of Washington’s impatience, the party set
out, and encamped at a place called Murthering Town,
where they got some dried meat and corn for provis-
ions. The Indians also shot two fine bucks by the
36 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

way, and the party finally reached
the Indian village of Venango.










The French colors were hoist-
ed over a house in this town,
from which an English
trader had been driven.

Here Washington found

te three French officers
and Jonecaire, a half-

si breed, the son of a
French _ officer

and a Sencca
squaw, who
was a@ man

; of a good
Ss deal of
MAP OF WASILENGTON’S COURSE

FROM WILLIAMSBURG TO THE
FRENCH FORT,

inflnence with the Indians. \2,
Washington ate supper with these ee ee,
officers, and the latter drank so much = ae NG
that they talked pretty freely to the
young Virginia major, swearing that they
would have the Ohio. They said they




â„¢ CH

: & TAN ey

knew that the English could raise two men woilnMewars
: ; : He

to their one, but that English motions were too “en

slow to prevent their doing as they chose.

Washington had a deal of trouble to get his Indians
away from the influence of Captain Joncaire and French
liquor. At last, however, the party started up French
SENT INTO THE WILDERNESS. 37

Greek, subsisting on bear meat, and crossing streams on
fallen tree trunks, with their baggage strapped upon their
backs, while they swam their horses over. ‘The young
major was courteously received at the French fort. While
the officers of the post were consulting over Governor Din-
widdie’s letter, Washington made a eareful observation of
the fort, and charged his interpreter to find out how many
canoes there were upon the shores of the creek, that he
might get some idea of the size of the French force that
would be sent down the river to the Ohio in the spring.
There proved to be fifty birch-bark canoes and one hun-
dred and seventy pine dug-outs, while many more were
being built.

Tt was now the middle of December, the snows were
increasing, and Washington’s horses were getting very
weak, as the grass in the natural meadows along the streams
was covered, and they had nothing to cat but corn. For
this reason he sent the animals ahead unloaded, intend-
ing to go back to Venango by water.
38 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER VII.
ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS.
L758.

THE commandant of the French fort furnished Wash-
ington with a canoe, which he loaded with provisions and
liquor. But while he seemed to be very polite to the
young Virginia major, he was secretly trying to keep the
Indians from going back with him, that he might gain
them over to the French side. When they were about
to start, he offered the Indians each a present of a gun if
they would stay till the next day. When Washington
heard from the Half-king of this tempting offer, he re-
solved to stay also, for there was no such thing as get-
ting the Indians to forego the guns. The next day they
got their guns, but the French now began to ply them
with liquor. Washington said that he had never suffered
so much anxiety in his life, but he finally got his Indians
off on the 16th of December. The white men were in
one canoe and the Indians in another. They made six-
teen miles the first day and camped for the night, the
Indians having run ahead of them. ‘The next day brought
them up with their Indians, who had camped and were
hunting. The party spent the day at this spot, the
Indians having killed three bears. One of the hunters
had not returned by the following morning, so the
ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS. 39

white men pushed on and left the Indians waiting for
him.

The waters of the creek were falling very fast, and
after traveling for two more days Washington’s party was
stopped by ice. The men worked for some time trying to
break a way through the ice, and then gave it up and
hauled their canoe a quarter of a mile across a neck of
land to where the water was clear again. Here they were
overtaken by the Indians, three French canoes, and the
crew of another French boat which had been lost with her
lading of lead and powder. They all camped for the night
about twenty miles above Venango. By the next day the
creek had become so low that all hands were obliged to
get out of the canoes to keep them from upsetting and
haul them over shoals, the icy water freezing to their
clothes as they stood in it. The Virginians could not
help being pleased, however, to see one of the French
canoes upset and her lading of brandy and wine floating
in the water, while they ran by “and let them shift for
themselves.”

At Venango Washington was obliged to leave the In-
dians, for White Thunder pretended to be ill, and the
young major dared not wait any longer, as winter was set-
ting in. The horses were very weak by this time, and their
packs were heavy, it being necessary to carry provisions
for man and beast. The men of the party gave up their
horses to be used as pack animals. Washington put on
an Indian walking dress and tramped on with his party
through the snow for three days. This was very slow
work, because of the weakness of the horses, and Wash-
ington proposed to Gist that they should push ahead,
40 : THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

making the rest of the journey alone and on foot. Gist
objected that the major was not used to walking, but
Washington insisted. §o he left his Dutch fencing-mas-
ter, Van Braam, in charge of the pack horses, and putting
his necessary papers into his bosom, he tied himself up



PACK SADDLES OF WASIINGTON’S TIME.

in a matchcoat, or Indian blanket. He and Gist then
strapped packs on their backs loaded with provisions,
and taking their guns in their hands sct off on their lonely
and dangerous journey. They walked cighteen miles the
first day, and passed the night in a deserted Indian cabin,
ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS. A

Washington being very much exhausted. It was now
very cold, and the small streams were so frozen that it
was hard to find water to drink.

Washington and Gist made the distance the next day
to the Indian village which bore the ominous name of
Murthering Town. Here they met an Indian whom Gist
had seen, he thought, at Venango, on the way up. The
fellow called Gist by his Indian name, and asked a number
of questions as to why the white men were traveling alone,
and where they had left their horses. W ashington wished
to cut across the country instead of following the longer
Indian path, so he asked this fellow if he would guide
them, which the Indian was only too willing to do. They
set out once more, the Indian guide carrying Washington’s
pack. ‘They had walked only eight or ten miles when
Washington’s feet became so sore that he wished to en-
camp for the night. He and Gist were beginning to sus-
pect that their guide was taking them too much toward
the northwest. The Indian offered to carry the major’s
gun for him, but Washington refused. The fellow now
became surly, declaring that there were Ottawa Indians
in these woods, who would kill and scalp them if they lay
out, and that it would be best to go to his cabin, where
they would be safe. Gist began to be very suspicious
of their guide, though he did not like to let the major
see it. Washington, however, was uneasy himself. The
Indian insisted that he could hear the report of a gun at
his cabin, and steered north. When the white men became
suspicious at being led in this direction, he declared that
he could hear two whoops at his cabin. Night was falling.
When the party had traveled two miles farther, Wash-
49 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ington insisted that they should camp at the next water.
Before finding water, however, they entered a natural
meadow where there were no trees, and it was very light
from the reflection on the snow. Instantly the Indian
stopped, wheeled about, and fired upon the two white men.

“ Are you shot?” asked Washington of Gist.

“ No,” answered the trader.

Immediately the Indian ran behind a great white oak
tree and began loading his gun. The two white men
were upon.him in a moment, however. Gist would have
killed him, but Washington would not permit this. They
disarmed him, and ordered him to build a fire for them
beside a little stream, as though they meant to encamp
here for the night. Meantime Washington and Gist
guarded the three guns of the party carefully while they
held a little consultation.

“As you will not have him killed,” said Gist, “we
must get him away, and then we must travel all night.”

Washington agreed to this plan, and Gist then went
to the Indian and said, in order that he should not guess
how suspicious they were of him:

“T suppose you were lost, and fired your gun.”

The fellow assented, and insisted that he knew the way
to his cabin, and that it was not far.

“Well,” said Gist, “do you go home, and as we are
much tired we will follow your tracks in the morning.”

The Indian was glad to get off. Gist followed him
and listened until he was sure that he was fairly gone.
He and Washington then hurried away in an opposite di-
rection for half a mile, when they made a fire, looked at
their compass, set their course, and walked all night as
ADVENTURES IN THE WOODS. 43

fast as they could. This was a pretty hard experience for
a young man with sore feet. They found themselves at
the head of Piney Creek the next morning, but they dared
not stop, as they feared they might be tracked by their
treacherous guide. They traveled all the next day down
the creek. At night they found some tracks where a
party of Indians had been hunting. They confused their
tracks with these, and then separated for a distance, so
that two trails could not be seen leaving this place to-
gether. Only after they had done this did they dare to
stop and take some sleep.

Another day brought the two travelers to the Alle-
ghany. They had expected to find the river frozen, but
the solid ice extended out only about fifty yards from
each shore, while the channel was full of floating ice.
The two men worked all one day building a raft, with one
small hatchet, which was the only tool they had with them.
Just before sunset Washington and Gist got upon their
raft. Before they were half way over the river the raft
got jammed in the ice and was in danger of upsetting.
Washington put out his setting pole to try to stop their
rude craft, in order that the ice might get by. The force
of the stream and the jamming of the ice against the pole,
however, jerked Washington off of the raft and into ten
feet of water. He succeeded in catching hold of one of
the logs of the raft, and so got on again. In spite of all
they could do, he and Gist were unable to reach the other
shore. They had floated near an island, and here they
left their raft and camped for the night. ‘The sun was
down, and it was very cold. Washington was wet to the
skin, while Gist had all his fingers and some of his toes
44 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

frozen. They made a fire and slept on the island all
night. In the morning they were delighted to find that
the river was frozen over, so that they might easily cross it.
. One more day’s tramp brought Washington and Gist
to the house of an Indian trader named Fraser. Here
they expected to get horses. As it would take some time
to find the animals, Washington walked about three miles
to the mouth of the Youghiogheny, to visit a certain
Queen Aliquippa, who had shown some jealousy because
the major had not called on her when he had passed be-
fore. ‘To placate this Indian queen, Washington made
her a present of a matchcoat—the one he had worn on his
and a bottle of rum, the last present
being the more acceptable of the two, he said.

A few more days brought Washington and Gist to the
outlying settlements. They each kept a journal of their
experiences. Washington’s journal, to his surprise, was



tramp, no doubt

afterward published both in Virginia and in England,
for men were much interested then in the question
whether France or England was to have the Ohio
country.
WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR. 45

CHAPTER VIII.

WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR.

L754.

THERE was a race between the English in Virginia
and the French in Canada, each wishing to be the first to
occupy the important point of land between the rivers
forming the Ohio. A few Virginia pioneers were the
earliest to reach the spot, where they began to build a
little fort. Governor Dinwiddie was anxious to raise men
to defend this position, and if all had depended on him
it would soon have been done. Dinwiddie was a rough
old Scotchman, stubborn, forceful, and unpopular sim-
ply because he was Governor. There was always a petty
struggle going on in the colonies between the Govern-
ors and the representatives elected by the people, be-
cause the Governors stood for an encroaching royal au-
thority, and the people had the English love for what
they deemed their rights. This time the struggle stood
‘in the way of defending the Ohio, for the Virginians
refused to grant money for this purpose so long as
the Governor continued to charge a pistole, or three
dollars and sixty cents, for every land title that he
signed, and everything lagged because of a divided gov-
ernment.

In March, 1754, Washington asked for a colonel’s
46 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

commission. He got it, with the following note from a
member of the Governor’s Gouncil :

“Dear Grorce: I inclose you your commission.
God prosper you with it!”

Thus the young man got his promotion, with the
honor of being second in command over a little band of
tattered poor whites, for a rough and dangerous expedi-
tion, with no means of clothing his men, and a probabil-
ity of starvation for want of supplies. But Washington
was young and enthusiastic. He accepted all difficulties
with a good heart.

The whole of the Virginia forces amounted to some
three hundred men, an English gentleman, Colonel Fry,
being first in command. Washington started on the
Qd of April, 1754, with a part of the troops, Colonel
Fry remaining behind to get the other half of the regi-
ment ready to march. The young man had orders to
make his way to the forks. of the Ohio, to aid Captain
Trent, who was already there with a handful of pioneers
building a fort. But while Washington was making his
toilsome march through the woods and over mountain
ranges, his men felling trees and building roads as they
went, the French were moving rapidly down the Alle-
ghany in their fleet of canoes, and appeared suddenly be-
fore the unfinished English fort. Captain Trent was
absent, and there were only forty workmen at the spot,
in command of an ensign. The French placed the
mouths of their cannon against the unfinished palisades
of the fort and summoned the men to surrender, which
they did without more ado, being allowed to march out
WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR. 47

with their tools and go back to join Washington. The
French destroyed the works, and began a larger fort which
they called Du Quesne.

Meanwhile Washington pushed painfully forward,
gaining only two or three miles a day. He reached the
Great Crossing of the Youghiogheny on the 18th of May.
Here he thought of trying to see if he could not avoid the
difficult road-making by moving down the Youghiogheny
in boats. To find out whether this were possible, he
first explored the stream himself with four men and an
Indian ina canoe. He had not gone far before the In-
dian guide refused to proceed unless he was paid for his
services. As Washington had not been provided with the
trinkets and coarse cloth used for Indian presents, he
was forced to promise the fellow one of his own ruffled
shirts and a matchcoat. In some places they found the
water of the Youghiogheny deep, in others it was so
shallow that all hands must wade. Washington made his
way thirty miles down this stream, when he was stopped
by rapids and a waterfall. He must give up the idea of a
water passage, and take up once more his laborious march
through the woods. By the 24th of May the Virginians
had reached a place on the Youghiogheny called the Great
Meadows. The men were encamping in these natural
fields at the base of a somber range of mountains, when
they were joined by a trader who had come that morning
from a settlement recently started on the other side of the
neighboring mountain. This settlement had been found-
ded by Christopher Gist, Washington’s companion in his
previous journey. The trader brought the news that he
had seen two Frenchmen, and that there was a large party


PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTON IN HIS COLONEL’S UNIFORAL

[Owned by General G. W. C. Lee, This portrait was painted in 1772 by
Wilson Peale. Itis the earliest portrait known of Washinton. |
WASHINGTON BEGINS A GREAT WAR. 49

Washington made arrangements for an attack. The
party continued their march, silently and in Indian file.
They had but just surrounded the French encampment
when the enemy discovered them. Washington gave the
order to fire. The Frenchmen snatched up their guns
and pointed them toward the very spot where Washington
stood, so that the bullets flew fast about the young com-
mander. There was sharp fighting for about fifteen min-
utes; then the French surrendered. Their commander,
an ensign named Jumonville, was killed, and nine other
men had fallen. Of these the Indians dispatched those
who were not dead with a blow on the head, and secured
their scalps. Twenty-two were taken prisoners. On the
English side but one man was killed and two or three
were wounded. Washington was very polite to the two
officers among his prisoners, and shared with them his
own few changes of clothing.

Such was the young soldier’s first engagement. “JT
have heard the bullets whistle,” he wrote to his brother,
“and believe me, there is something charming in the
sound.” This youthful speech of Washington’s was re-
peated from mouth to mouth until it reached the ears of
the King of England. “He would not say so if he had
been used to hear many,” remarked his Majesty. Many
years after, when Washington was a general, some one
asked him if he had said such words. “Tf I did, it must
haye been when I was very young,” the general answered.

After the Frenchmen had been captured they showed
a summons from the commander at Fort Du Quesne, and
asserted that they were on the way to deliver this paper to
the English. If this were their purpose, they went about


50 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

it in a strange way, lurking for some days in hiding near
Washington’s camp, and sending messengers back to their
fort to tell how the Virginians were placed. The French,
however, persisted in regarding this affair as a massacre,
and called the Virginia colonel “the cruel VVash-
ington.”

In this skirmish the young commander of twenty-two
fired the first shots ina great war which was to involve
both Europe and America. When Washington was
stumbling along through the darkness of a rainy night
in search of some skulking Frenchmen, he never once
thought of his actions having consequences so important,
for he supposed that the planting of cannon against the
palisades of the English fort at the forks of the Ohio
would be regarded as opening the war.
THE BATTLE AT FORT NECESSITY. 51

CIIAPTER IX.

THE BATTLE AT FORT NECESSITY.

1754.

WASHINGTON returned to the Great Meadows with
his prisoners. He expected soon to be attacked; so he
threw up some small earthworks, which he called Fort
Necessity. The Ialf-king had sent the French scalps he
had taken to neighboring tribes, as an invitation to engage
in the war. He now joined the Virginians at Fort Neces-
sity, with Queen Aliquippa and about a hundred men,
women, and children. Washington held a council with
these people. ‘To please Queen Aliquippa, he presented
her son with a medal, and gave him the English name
of Colonel Fairfax, telling him that this meant “the
first of the council.” As he had heard that the [Half-king
would be flattered to have an English name also, he
dubbed him Dinwiddie, which he translated into “ head
of all,” for an Indian could not conceive of a name with-
outa meaning. Washington had also, like all men who
had to deal with these people, an Indian name, his being
Conotocaurius, or “ town-destroyer.”

Colonel Fry, who was first in command of the Vir-
ginia forces, had died on his way out at Will’s Creek.
This left young Colonel Washington at the head of the
expedition. He was soon joined by the recruits who
52 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

were with Colonel Fry, and a company of the South Car-
olina Independent Regiment. The South Carolina men
were called independent because, though they were colo-
nists, like Washington’s recruits, they were in the king’s
pay, and better fed, clothed, and drilled than soldiers
hastily raised by the colonies. They refused to work at
cutting a road, as Washington’s men had done; while
their commander, Captain Mackey, because he was a
king’s officer, and also no doubt because he did not like
being commanded by a stripling, refused to take the
countersign from the Virginia colonel. But Washington
bore these vexations with patience. As it would not do,
as he said, to make his “poor fellows” do all the work,
while Mackey’s men marched “at their ease,” he con-
cluded to leave the too independent company at the
Great Meadows, while he and his Virginians advanced to
Gist’s settlement, felling the trees before them as they
marched.

While the few Virginians pushed laboriously forward,
French re-enforcements were hurrying down the water
courses from Canada to Fort Du Quesne, under the com-
mand of Coulon de Villiers, the brother of Jumonville,
who had been shot by Washington’s little party. Vil-
liers came bent on revenging the death of his brother.
So soon as he reached the French fort, the commandant,
Contrecoeur, called a council and made a speech to the
Indians, in which he said: “The English have murdered
my children; my heart is sick. ‘To-morrow I shall send
my French soldiers to take revenge.’ He then invited
them to join in the attack, making them a present of
a hatchet and two barrels of wine for a feast. The
THE BATTLE AT FORT NECKESSITY. 53

French were much more expert in managing the Indians
than were the English. They were more lavish with
presents, and this time they had much the greater num-
ber of men, which was enough to decide most of the
Indians to take their side in the dispute.

Washington had made his twelve miles forward to
Gist’s settlement, where Indian runners came in daily
with reports that the French were preparing for an
attack with a large force. He sent for Captain Mackey’s





SITE OF FORT NECESSITY, FROM A PAINTING BY PAUL WEBER, OWNED BY
THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANIA,



company, which, when it had come, allowing for sick and
deserters, made his forces amount to less than four hun-
dred men. The officers held a council of war at Gist’s
house, where it was decided to fall back to a better place
for a battle. The toilsome march was made back to the
Great Meadows, the men carrying baggage on their backs
and dragging cannon over the roughest of roads, because
they had not horses enough for this service, while the
soldiers of the independent company coolly marched be-
side them without putting a finger to the hard work.
54 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

Arrived at the Great Meadows, Washington put all
hands to strengthening the intrenchments of Fort Neces-
sity with logs. The French and Indians were but one
day behind him, however. On the morning of July 3d
they appeared, in a pouring rain. Washington drew up
his men outside his feeble little fort, ordering them to
reserve their fire till the enemy was within close range.
The French fired at first from so great a distance that
their balls were spent. They then made an irregular
advance to within sixty yards and fired once more.
Washington withdrew his men into the intrenchments,
still reserving his fire, for he thought that, as there were
so many of the enemy, they would try to force his
works. This they did not do, however, but fought in true
Indian style, from behind bushes and trees. Washing-
ton now gave the word, and his men fired very briskly.
Their position was wretched enough. They stood in
trenches knee-deep with water and mud, in a drenching
rain, sustaining all day a cross-fire from enemies who
were mostly invisible. They had no bread, and were
living mainly upon raw beef. Their horses and their
cattle, on which they depended entirely for food, were
soon picked off by the enemy. Meantime the Half-king
chose to retire with his warriors, squaws, and children.
He refused to take any part in a fight where he found
himself on the losing side. He coolly remarked after-
ward that Washington would not take his advice, and
that, in fact, the French were cowards and the English
fools.

In spite of their hopeless situation, Washington and
his men withstood the galling fire of the enemy from
THE BATTLE AT FORT NECESSITY, 55

eleven o’clock in the morning until eight at night, deter-
mined to die rather than be taken. The French called
for a parley, but Washington thought that, as they were
so much stronger and had so many advantages, they could
not be sincere, and refused them. At length, however,
the French asked him to send an officer to them who
could speak their language. The situation of the men in
Fort Necessity was very bad. They were without provi-
sions, their powder was almost gone, their guns were very
foul, and they had only two serew rods for cleaning them.
Washington accordingly sent the useful Van Braam to the
enemy’s lines, as the only other man in his regiment who
could speak French had been wounded. After a long
time Van Braam returned with a paper containing the
terms which the French officer Villiers offered to the
troops in Fort Necessity. By them it was proposed that
the English should march out with the honors of war,
beating their drums and taking one small cannon with
them, while the enemy promised to protect them from the
Indians. The prisoners recently taken by Washington
were to be released, and two English officers were to re-
main with the French as hostages until these prisoners,
who had been sent to Virginia, should bereturned. There
was but one point to which the English, in their desper-
ate situation, could have objected, and this was that the
death of Jumonville was twice called an assassination.
Van Braam, whose French was none of the best, read the
paper to the English officers by the light of one tallow
candle, which was nearly put out more than once by
the pouring rain. He translated the objectionable word
“death” instead of murder, and the English officers
56 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

signed the articles. Villiers afterward boasted that he
had made the English admit that they had murdered his
brother.

On the morning of the 4th of July, W ashington
and his men marched out of muddy Fort Necessity with
drums beating and colors flying. But their condition was
very miserable. Their cattle and horses were all killed, so
that they were forced to leave behind most of their bag-
gage, while they carried the wounded on their backs. The
Indians, ever to be dreaded in a case like this, hung
around the defeated men, plundered them of their little
baggage, broke open the medicine-chest, and killed and
scalped two of the wounded. These people never could
be brought to understand the white man’s way of carry-
ing on warfare, and it was very difficult to prevent a gen-
eral massacre. The wounded were finally left at an en-
campment with a guard, while the remainder of the little
army hurried back over the fifty or sixty miles to Will’s
Creek, for they were in danger of starving.

No doubt it was a very bitter day for Washington when
he left Fort Necessity defeated. He had set out with all
the hopes of a young and ardent soldier, had rejoiced to
hear the bullets whistle, had laid out a charming field for
an encounter, and all had ended in failure. It proved,
however, to be the making of George Washington that he
was schooled in hardship and defeat.
BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP,

oO
=t

CHAPTER X.
BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP.

L756,

For the reason that there had been so much trouble
about rank, Governor Dinwiddie reduced the Virginia
regiments to independent companies, with no officers
higher than captains. To become a captain of a company
after having been a colonel in command of an expedition
was not to the taste of a proud young Virginian, and
Washington accordingly left the service, and began to
settle himself for living at Mount Vernon and carrying
on the business of a planter.

Meanwhile both France and England were preparing to
send armies out to enforce their claims to the Ohio Valley.
General Braddock was sent by England to Virginia with
one thousand regular soldiers in the spring of 1755. Brad-
dock’s chief virtues were honesty and courage. He was
brutal, coarse, obstinate, and prejudiced. It is told of him
that when his sister, who was a young lady of beauty and
wealth, having squandered much of her fortune in buying
a bankrupt lover out of prison, and wasted the rest at the
fashionable gaming-tables of Bath, hanged herself with
her silk girdle, Braddock calmly remarked : “ Poor Fanny !
I always thought she would play till she would be forced to
tuck herself up.” The general was as much of a spend-
58 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

thrift as “poor Fanny” herself. It is said that once,
when he was about to fight a duel, his antagonist threw
him his purse, saying: “ Braddock, you are a poor dog!
Here, take my purse; if you kill me you will be forced to
run away, and then you will not havea shilling to sup-
port you.” ‘These are some of the least disreputable tales



BRADDOCK’S HEADQUARTERS AT ALEXANDRIA.

wbout the general who was sent to America to reduce Fort
Du Quesne.

Soon after he came to Virginia, Braddock invited
young Colonel Washington to become his aid-de-camp.
Perhaps he wished to have the advantage of the young
man’s experience. Washington’s mother rode over to
Mount Vernon to try to persuade him to refuse this offer,












































































A PENNSYLVANIA WAGON OF THE TIME,
BRADDOCK’S ALD-DE-CAMP. 59

but she did not succeed; for her son was very ambitious
to learn more about military matters, and as he thought
he would have the best of chances in a regular army,
under an experienced general, he accepted the position.
He was to have time to settle his affairs, and then he was
to join the English army on its march.

The general was so slow in starting to the Indian
country, that people remarked in England that Braddock
was in no haste to get scalped. The truth was, that the
crusty general was having a hard time with the colonial
Assemblies, which were too much absorbed in opposing
the encroachments of their Governors to furnish readily
the aid for the war which these Governors demanded of
them. There was trouble about getting provisions for
the men, forage, and, above all, wagons to carry stores in.
Braddock had no notion of half-starving, as the colonial
soldiers had patiently done. Benjamin Franklin once
visited the English general in his camp at Fredericks-
town, where he was waiting for some men who had been
sent into the back settlements of Maryland and Virginia
to get the necessary wagons. here proved to be only
about twenty-five of these, some of which were useless.
Braddock stormed, declared that everything was at an
end, and that he was sent into a country where there was
no means for carrying baggage or stores. Franklin said
that it was a pity that the general had not landed in
Pennsylvania, where every farmer had his wagon.

“Then you, sir,” cried Braddock, “who are a man of
interest there, can probably procure them for us, and I
beg you will undertake it.”

Franklin agreed to do so, and in a short time sent for-
60 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ward one hundred and fifty wagons with four horses each,
whereupon Braddock declared that Franklin was almost
the only able and honest man to be found in the colonies.

By May the army had reached Will’s Creek, where the
wilderness march was to begin. Washington had now
settled his business, and he set out to join General Brad-























Ss

SHY

y
y
a

ALANS











































































PARLOR IN THE HOUSE OCCUPIED BY BRADDOCK AS HEADQUARTERS
IN ALEXANDRIA,

dock. There were many delays at this place, and Wash-
ington meantime was sent to Williamsburg to bring on a
sum of four thousand pounds belonging to the army. On
his way back he ordered out an escort of eight militiamen
at the town of Winchester to protect him from Indians,
BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP. 61

for it was not safe for a man to travel alone in the edge
of the settlements. The eight men were as hard to raise
“as the dead,” Washington said. It took them two days
to assemble, and he thought that “they would not have
been more than as many seconds dispersing,” had he been
attacked. He arrived safely, however, at Will’s Creck
with the money.

Washington found that his position. in the general’s
military family was not altogether a difficult one. He
said that he hoped to please him without “ ceremonious
attentions,” for he declared that it could not be done with
them. He and the testy Englishman, however, had many
a dispute together, for Braddock cursed everything Ameri-
can, and the young colonel defended his country warmly.
Washington was a little surprised at some things he saw
in the general’s household. Braddock was a high liver.
He took two cooks with him, who were supposed to be
skilled enough to make a good dish out of a pair of boots,
“had they but the materials to toss them up with.” The
general had no idea, however, of living upon boots. He
complained loudly because there were no fresh provisions.
Franklin, hearing of this grievance, sent the British offi-
cers each a package containing sugar, tea, coffee, chocolate,
biscuit, pepper, vinegar, cheese, butter, wine, spirits, ham,
mustard, tongues, rice, and raisins. Meantime Washing-
ton was amused to find that the general’s admiration for
a certain Virginia lady was all due to a present of “ deli-
cious cake and potted woodcocks.”

General Braddock knew nothing of frontier warfare,
and was the last man to learn. He was disgusted with
the Virginia troops which had joined his army. He

6
62 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

caused them to be drilled, but he was angry at their
“languid, spiritless, and unsoldierlike appearance.” He
knew that he ought to get the aid of the Indians, who had
already been much neglected by the colonies. About fifty
savages joined the army at Will’s Creek. The English
soldiers gazed at these strange people, with their painted
bodies, shaved heads, scalp-locks dressed with feathers, and
slit ears. They observed how dexterous the Indians were
with a rifle, and how they could throw a tomahawk to a
great distance and strike a post with it. Braddock im-
vited them to his tent, fired salutes for them, and gave
them a bullock and some rum with which to hold a war
dance. But the Indians had a strong suspicion that the
English general regarded them “as dogs,” and presently
fell off, excepting eight men, who were used as scouts.
These people had no patience with the slow and cumber-
some ways of European warfare. By imitating their
methods and treating them more as equals, the French, on
the other hand, had gained great influence with them.

It was well into June before Braddock’s army was
fairly started on its forest march. Three hundred men
with axes came first, then the long line of wagons, can-
nons, and packhorses toiled after over stumps and stones,
mountains and marshes, while the troops were thrown out
into the woods on each side, in flanking parties, making
their way as best they could in close columns through
the trees on either side of the roadway. At night the
horses must be let out into the woods to make the best of
a diet of leaves and young shoots. Many of them strayed
away, or were stolen and run off by rascally drivers.
Washington lost one of his spare horses in this way. At
BRADDOCK’S AID-DE-CAMP. 68

one place the road was so bad that the wagons had to be

let down the side of a hill with tackle. The English
€ soldiers grumbléd because they must bake their corn-
bread, when they camped, in holes in the
ground.









Everything was difficult and progress
was slow. There was news that the
French at Fort Du Quesne were weak,
but that they expected re-enforcements.
It was necessary to move more
quickly. When the general asked

MAP OF THE
“pRADDOCK ROAD.”

his advice, Washington thought that he should push
forward with a chosen band and only the most neces-
sary stores, leaving the rest of the army to come on
more slowly. It was decided to do this. Washington
was going down with a fever, but he was greatly delighted
at the prospect. He was disappointed, however, when
he found that the advanced part of the army did not
move so rapidly as he had hoped. He complained that
they halted “to level every mole-hill.” News came that
64. THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

nine hundred men were on their way to re-enforce the
French fort. “We shall have more to do than to go up
the hills and down again,” said Washington. He was
trying to keep up with the march, though he was now
suffering severely with fever and pains in the head. He
presently became so ill that he was forced to leave the
saddle and take to a covered wagon; but the jolting
was intolerable. He feared to stop, lest there should
be a battle before he caught up with the army once
more. The doctor declared that he would not live to go
into battle if he insisted on going on. Braddock ordered
fever powders, and promised the young man that he
should be brought to the front before Fort Du Quesne
was reached. Washington was left on the road with a
doctor and a guard. ‘The advanced portion of the army
pushed on, the hostile Indians discouraging bad discipline
meanwhile by picking off stragglers.
Ley
he ey (

moa

ca Represent Feench
em Represents English:



MAP OF LOCATION OF BRADDOCK’S DEFEAT,
DEFEAT. 65

CHAPTER XI.

DEFEAT.
1756.

Brappock’s army had reached the mouth of Turtle
Creek, which ran into the Monongahela eight miles fr om
Fort Du Quesne. ‘The Indian road to the fort led
through a dangerous defile, and Braddock resolved to
cross and recross the river rather than risk passing
through a place where the Indians might so easily le
in ambush. The fords were shallow. The men crossed
to the music of the Grenadiers’ March in fine order,
the English soldiers bright in their scarlet uniforms,
the colonial men in blue, while the line of wagons
and cannon kept the center. Braddock thought that
the Indians might attack him while he was crossing
the river, but the last ford was safely passed. Wash-
ington had joined the army that very morning, though
he was scarcely able to sit his horse. The wilderness
journey was almost over, and it seemed certain that the
French fort could not be defended against so fine an
army.
During all Braddock’s march the Indians who clus-
tered around Fort Du Quesne had watched the progress
of the English army by means of their scouts. They
observed how they marched in close order, and remarked
66 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

that they could “shoot um down all one pigeon.” Never-
theless, the French had a great deal of difficulty in per-
suading the Indians to make the attempt. When a
French captain named Beaujeu offered them the hatchet,
they exclaimed : “ What, my father! are you so bent upon
death that you would sacrifice us.”

“JT am determined,” said Beaujeu, in a speech, “ to
go out against the enemy. What! will you let your
father go alone?” Whereupon the Indians put on their
war-paint. “Beaujeu also dressed himself in full Indian
costume. Barrels of powder, bullets, and flints were un-
headed and set before the gate of the fort. Each man
helped himself. There were some six hundred Indians,
a number of French officers, a few Canadians, and still
fewer French regulars, amounting in all to nine hundred
men, who set out through the forest to waylay the ad-
vancing enemy.

Braddock’s army had crossed the last ford about one
o'clock on the 8th of July, 1755. ‘The train was pushing
along through the forest, the trees crashing before them
as the axemen cut the road. An engineer, who was in
front of the choppers marking the way for them, saw
Indians coming on the run toward the army, led by a
man in Indian dress but wearing an officer’s goreet.
This man, who was Beaujeu, waved his hat as a signal to
the Indians to disperse to right and left, forming a half-
moon about the advanced guard of the English army.
The guides and choppers in the front fell back. The
French and Indians gave the war-whoop and opened
fire. The advanced guard of Braddock’s army formed
and fired. The Canadian soldiers fled at the first vol-








DEFEAT. 67

ley, but the few French and the swarms of Indians
held their ground. At the third volley Beanjeu and a
dozen others among the French fell dead. The Hng-
lish now brought two cannon into action. The Indians
gave way. The English shouted and moved forward,
but the French succeeded in rallying their men and
the savages.

Braddock had heard the firing in front. He sent
re-enforcements to the advanced guard, ordered an aid
forward to find out what was going on, and then, with-
out waiting for him to return, hurried forward himself.
At this point the advanced guard gave way and fell back
upon the re-enforcements which were advancing, so that
they all soon fell into a hopeless tangle in the narrow
roadway. The colors were advanced in different direc-
tions to separate the men of the two regiments, and Brad-
dock ordered the officers to form their men in small com-
panies, but the English soldiers would listen to neither
threats nor entreaties. Meantime the Indians were
drawing around the army, fighting from behind trees,
skulking under the fallen trunks and brush left by the
choppers, and shooting from the edges of ravines which
lay on either side of the road. The scarlet-coated regu-
lars were huddled together in an open roadway, terror-
stricken at the yells of the savages and the death which
was dealt around them. They held their ground stub-
bornly, but only to be butchered. Not more than five
Indians could be seen at a time, and the English vol-
leys fell harmless in the woods. The cannon were fired,
but they did little damage to anything but the surround-
ing trees.
68 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

The English regulars were all unused to such warfare ;
but the Virginians, whose listless air had so disgusted
Braddock, did not lose their presence of mind. They
took to the trees, to fight the Indians after their own
fashion, but Braddock furiously ordered them back,
though Washington is said to have begged him to let
them fight in this way. ‘This was not according to the
stubborn Englishman’s notion of discipline, however,
and when some of his own men made the experiment he
beat them back with his sword, ordering them into their
ranks. ‘The stupefied men fired into the air, into each
other’s ranks, everywhere, for they could see no enemy.
Braddock rode furiously from place to place, trying to
form the men and get them to charge the Indians, but
it was useless. His brave officers dismounted, formed in
platoons and advanced themselves, hoping to encourage
the soldiery, but many fell, and it was of no avail. For
three long hours Braddock held the field, determined to
save the day if stubbornness would do so. He had four
horses shot under him. There was terrible loss among
the officers, who did their duty toa man. Out of eighty,
sixty were killed or wounded. Washington had two
horses shot under him, and four bullets went through
his clothing. He showed great courage during the day.
Once, when his horse was shot, Braddock’s servant
had trouble in extricating Washington from the fallen
animal.

The Indians had spread themselves along the whole
line of the English march. At last, when every aid but
Washington had fallen, when about half of the men were
slain, and the afternoon was far gone, Braddock caused








THE FIELD OF BRADDOCK’S DEFEAT.
[From a painting by Paul Weber in the Pennsylvania Historical Society.)
DEFEAT. 69

the drums to beat a retreat. As he gave the order, stand-
ing beneath a large tree, a ball went through his right
arm and into his lungs. He fell from his horse. His
men, who had stood to their places with a kind of stupid
courage, broke and ran as soon as the retreat sounded.
Orme, a wounded aid of Braddock’s, offered a purse of
sixty guineas to any man who would carry off the general,
but they rushed on without heeding. Braddock told
his friends to leave him and save themselves. ‘Two
American officers, however, bore him off.

About fifty Indians followed the scampering army to
the water’s edge, where the men were plunging across
the Monongahela, the horrid war-whoop ringing in their
ears. One of the British officers said, three weeks after
the battle, that he could still hear the yells of the In-
dians, and that the sound would haunt him to the day
of his death. Braddock called a halt and tried to stop the
men, while he sent Washington ahead to order supplies to
be sent on by Colonel Dunbar, who commanded the rear
portion of the army. The general succeeded in gathering
about one hundred men around him, but they slipped off
one at a time, and there was nothing for Braddock to do
but to follow.

In spite of the terror of the men, the Indians had no”
thought of pursuing them. They fell upon the battle-
field, where almost every man secured a scalp as well as
uniforms, grenadiers’ caps, canteens, bayonets, and arms.
After burning twelve English prisoners to death that
night, outside the fort, they all betook themselves to
their far-away homes, leaving the French fort quite un-
protected.
val) THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

General Braddock’s wound was mortal. Besides issu-
ing commands, he said nothing the first day but “ Who
would have thought it?” ‘The next day he said, “ We
shall better know how to deal with them another time,”
and died soon after. Washington was with the general
when he died, and he gaye the young man his favorite
body servant, a mu-
latto named Bishop.
Braddock was buried
in the middle of the
road, Washington
reading the burial
service over him. The
retreating army then
marched across their
general’s grave, that
the enemy might not
find it. The rear
portion of the army,
which had not been
in battle, also rushed
on for the settlements
with those who had
UPY OF PENNSYLVANLA, heard the war-whoop,

leaving the frontiers
of the colonies entirely unprotected, to the great disgust
of Governor Dinwiddie, who said that, though he was not
a soldier, common sense told him that this should not be
done.



PAUL WEBER, OWNED BY THE IfISTOR-

ICAL SOC



The story was circulated in Virginia of Washington's
death, and his dying speech. The young man wrote to
> u 5
DEFEAT. m4

his brother that he could contradict the former, and that
he had not “as yet composed the latter.” He took his
way home, feeling discouraged with his military career.
He had twice lost his expensive officer’s equipments and
a number of horses; had been reduced in rank, and
“soundly whipped,” as he frankly said.
q2 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XII.

DEFENDING THE FRONTIER.
L755-1757.

InpIAN massacres followed close upon Braddock’s
defeat. There were three hundred and fifty miles of
frontier which must be protected, or Virginia would lose
all her hold upon the Alleghanies. New forces were
raised for this purpose, and George Washington was
appointed commander of them. He was still ambitious
to become a great soldier, but he did not like the pros-
pect of defending with a few men so wide a stretch of
country against Indians. He was sure that he would
never gain any honor in this way. But the young colo-
nel of twenty-three presently went to his post. He
worked hard to get his small army of a thousand men,
sometimes much less, into good order. ‘There was a
chain of forts to be built along the whole frontier, and
the men must be divided into small bodies to do this,
and to try to cover the country and protect the people.

In spite of all that could be done, there were times
when massacres followed one on another. Parties of
Indians would descend on the settlements suddenly from
woods and mountains, murder a few families, burn their
houses, slaughter their cattle for a feast, and be gone
before the alarm could be given and soldiers sent in pur-
DEFENDING THE FRONTIER. "3

suit. ‘They haunted the roads and picked off stragglers.
In one place two men were killed only two hours after
Washington had ridden by the spot. The woods were
so infested that frontiersmen were forced to hunt by
night for fear of being discovered by the Indians. Some-
times people were killed within a few miles of the town
of Winchester, and the inhabitants of the borders fled,
one family behind another, each one afraid “to stand
in the gap of danger,” until Washington feared that the
Blue Ridge would presently become the frontier, while
the Indians would live off the spoils that the flying peo-
ple left behind them.

Often there were false alarms. Once -a messenger
came express into Winchester, breathless with hurry and
fear, saying that the Indians had been seen about twelve
miles off at the plantation of a man named Julian, and
that the people were flying for their lives. Washington
immediately prepared the town foran attack, and sent out
scouts to discover what were the movements of the
enemy. Presently came another express, “ten times
more terrified than the former,” with the news that the
savages were within four miles of the town, and were
“killmg and destroying all before them.” The messen-
ger declared that he had heard “constant firing and the
shrieks of the unhappy murdered.” Washington hur-
riedly got together all the men he could find, twenty-two
rangers and nineteen militia, and marched against the
enemy, which proved to be three drunken soldiers, who
were “carousing, firing pistols,” and swearing at the top
of their voices. Washington made them prisoners and
carried them back to Winchester, where he found that

7
74 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

his scouts had returned with the news that the Indians
seen on Julian’s plantation had proved to be a mulatto
and a negro who were hunting cattle, and had been seen
by Julian’s child, “ who alarmed the father, and the fa-
ther the neighborhood.”

Washington divided his men into small bodies and
kept them scouring the woods, carrying their provisions
on their backs, lying out in bad weather with no shelter
but the trees and rocks, searching always for the stealthy
Indians, who were harder to catch than wild animals.
At one time, when a number of the enemy had attacked a
settlement, a certain Captain Lewis, with about twenty
soldiers, went in pursuit, he and his men having first
stripped themselves of their clothes so that they might
run as fast as the savages. They caught up with the
enemy, opened fire upon them, and, finding that they
were likely to be surrounded, retreated to a stockade,
where the Indians besieged their naked pursuers for
two hours, giving the people of the neighborhood a good
chance to take to their heels. The soldiers came off with
one scalp, but they lost their clothes, and Washington was
obliged to petition the Government for a new supply for
them.

At times the Indians would leave the borders of Vir-
ginia, as Washington knew when his scouts brought him
word that the road to Fort Du Quesne looked as though
it had been tramped by as many feet as when Braddock’s
army had marched over it. But though the country was
pretty quiet for months at a time, it was necessary to be
always on the watch for the enemy. For over two years
Washington remained in this hard and thankless position.
DEFENDING THE FRONTIER. 45

In spite of all he could do, he felt that he was blamed for
the “murder of poor innocent babes and helpless fami-
lies.’ He said that the tears of the women and the peti-
tions of the men caused him such “ deadly sorrow ” that
he felt as though he would give himself up to the “ butch-
ering enemy” if it would only do the people any good.
Meantime men could not be persuaded to leave their fam-
ilies to march against the enemy, and they were at the
same time very selfish, each one expecting a force at his
own door, and angry if it was placed at his neighbor’s.
Governor Dinwiddie, who would have liked to put an-
other man in Washington’s place, vexed him. with con-
trary orders. There was also in Virginia a party of men
who were jealous of the young commander, and reported
evils things of him and his officers. Washington was
disgusted with a service which he thought would
never bring him honor, and wished to resign, but his
friends sent him words of encouragement. “ Your good
health and fortune are the toast of every table,’ wrote
Colonel Fairfax. “Our hopes, dear George,” said the
Speaker of the House of Burgesses, “are all fixed on
you.”

While he was defending the Virginia frontier, Wash-
ington had trouble with a certain Captain Dagworthy,
who had been commissioned by the Governor of Mary-
land and had once held a king’s commission, which made
him think that he had a right to refuse to obey the young
Virginian. To settle this difficulty, Washington made, in
the winter of 1756, the journey of five hundred miles to
Boston, accompanied by his valet Bishop. At Boston he
laid the dispute before Governor Shirley, who commanded
46 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

all the forces in America at this time. Shirley gave or-
ders that the troublesome Dagworthy should be subject
to Washington’s commands. The young colonel also
stopped at Philadelphia and New York for a short
time.

The story is told that while Washington was in New
York it was boasted at the governor’s table that a Brit-
ish regiment which had just landed contained some of
the finest-looking fellows among its officers to be found
anywhere. Mrs. Morris turned to the governor, and said:
“T wager your Excellency a pair of gloves that I will show
your Excellency a finer man in the procession to-morrow
than your Excellency can select from your famous regi-
ment.”

“Done, madam,” answered the governor.

The next day there was a procession in honor of the
king’s birthday. In the rear came some colonial officers
not on duty.

“T see that your Excellency’s eyes are turned to the
right object,” said Mrs. Morris. ‘“ What say you to your
wager now, sir?”

“ Tost, madam,”

answered the governor. “ When I
laid my wager I was not aware that Colonel Washington
was in New York.”

Washington was indeed a very fine-looking man. It
was while he was in New York that he met Miss Mary
Phillipse, a young lady who was heiress to a large fortune.
He admired Miss Phillipse very much. Some months
after Washington’s visit to New York a friend wrote to
him that Captain Morris, who had, like Washington, been
an officer under Braddock, was paying his attentions to
DEFENDING THE FRONTIER. Hl
the young lady. The friend advised Washington to go to
New York again, but the young Virginia colonel was too
busy with the trying duties of his frontier command to
get even so far as Mount Vernon, and he never saw Mary
Phillipse again until long after she had become Mrs.
Morris.
7s THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XIII.

WASHINGTON’S COURTSHIP.
L758.

GEORGE WASHINGTON was taken very ill in the fall
of 1757, and was at length obliged to leave the service and
return to Mount Vernon, where he was ill all winter. In
the spring he was much better, and was happy to hear
that there was to be a new expedition against Fort Du
Quesne during the coming summer. The first William
Pitt, afterward Lord Chatham, was now Prime Minister
in England, and the war in America was to be carried on
more vigorously.

During this spring of 1758 Washington was crossing
a ferry on the Pamunkey River. He was now a young
man of twenty-six, six feet two inches tall, with a fine,
muscular body, blue-gray eyes, and dark brown hair. He
rode a noble chestnut horse, and was followed by his
military-looking servant Bishop, who was also mounted.
Major Chamberlayne, a gentleman who lived near the
ferry on the Pamunkey, hurried to the water’s edge and
invited the young man to visit him. Washington de-
clared that he had business with the governor and coun-
cil at Williamsburg, and could not wait. Major Chamber-
layne urged with Southern hospitality. He said that he
had a charming young widow visiting him to whom he








STIS,

MARTHA CU

L

F

PORTRAIYL 0.

Painted by Woolaston in 1757.)

eneral G. W. C. Lee.

G

sion of

[By permiss
WASHINGTON’S COURTSHIP. 79

would introduce the young colonel. Washington at last
consented to dine with his friend.

The young widow was Mrs. Martha Custis. She had
been Martha Dandridge, the daughter of Colonel John
Dandridge, who lived on the Pamunkey River. Martha
had been a pretty girl, a little below the usual height,
with dark eyes, fair complexion, and brown hair. She
played on the spinet, was sprightly and winning in her
manners, and dressed very fashionably. She attended the
balls, or assemblies as they were called, in Williamsburg,
and was the belle of the little capital. One of her lovers
was Daniel Parke Custis, a man of over thirty and the
gon and heir of a very rich man, Colonel John Custis, of
_ Williamsburg. Colonel Custis wished the young man to
marry his cousin, Evelyn Bird, who was four years older
than he, and a lovely woman, the descendant of a high-
bred family. But Daniel Parke Custis had refused, and
the father in his anger had willed all his property to a lit-
tle pet negro named Jack. His friends persuaded him to
destroy this will, and in course of time the old gentleman
heard so many good things of little Patsy Dandridge that
he consented to his son’s marriage with her. They were
married in less than three weeks, being in haste to have
it done before the old man should change his mind.
The young couple lived very happily together for seven
years. They had four children. Two of them died,
however, and Daniel Parke Custis also died soon after-
ward, leaving his wife a young widow, with a small son
and daughter, and a large fortune divided equally among
the three.

It was about a year after her husband’s death that
80 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Mrs. Custis went to make a visit at the house of her
friend Major Chamberlayne, and happened to meet there
Colonel George Washington, who was a young man very
much admired and respected in Virginia in those days.
Mrs. Custis was about three months younger than Wash-
ington. The young people are said to have fallen in love
at first sight. However this may be, Bishop, who had
been ordered to have the horses ready immediately after
dinner, waited and waited, but his master did not appear.

Washington rose to go only when it was late, and then
Major Chamberlayne declared that no guest should leave
his house after sunset. It was not difficulé now to per-
suade Washington to stay. He and Mrs. Custis talked
long in the drawing-room after the others had gone to bed.

The next day Washington rode on to Williamsburg.
He finished his business there, and stopped on his way
back at the home of Mrs. Custis, which was called the
White House. He stayed at Mrs. Custis’s home until the
following day. The time was short, Washington was off
on a dangerous campaign, and he courted the lady and
won her in these two days.

Before she died, Martha Washington burned all the
letters which had passed between herself and the general,
probably because she did not wish her love-letters to be-
come public; one little note only of their days of courtship
escaped the fire in some way. It was written after Wash-
ington had started on his march for Fort Du Quesne
once more, and runs:

“« July 20, 1758.

“We have begun our march for the Ohio. A courier
is starting for Williamsburg, and I embrace the opportu-








































































































































































































PORTRAIT OF MRS. CUSTIV’S TWO CIILDREN.

[By permission of General G. W.C. Lee. Painted about 1757, probably by
Woolaston.]
WASHINGTON’S COURTSHIP. 81

nity to send a few words to one whose life is now insepa-
rable from mine. Since that happy hour when we made
our pledges to each other my thoughts have been contin-
ually going to you as to another self. ‘That an all-power-
ful Providence may keep us both in safety is the prayer
of your ever faithful &
« Ever affectionate friend,
“G, WASHINGTON.”
THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

co
bo

CHAPTER XIV.
TO THE OHIO ONCE MORE.
1758.

Tur new commander under whom Washington was to
serve was a Scotchman named John Forbes, a good sol-
dier and a frank and simple gentleman. ‘There were to
be about six thousand men—Highlanders, Virginians un-
der Washington, and a Royal American regiment made
up mostly of Germans from Pennsylvania. There was a
question as to whether the army should cut a new way
across the mountains, or march the thirty-four miles from
Pennsylvania, where Forbes’s headquarters were, to Fort
Cumberland, and from there follow Braddock’s road.
There was much jealousy between Pennsylvania and Vir-
ginia on this question, as each colony would have liked
to possess the only road to the Ohio, and thus monopolize
the fur trade. Washington, who was then an ardent Vir-
ginian in feeling, urged so eagerly that Braddock’s road
should be used that General Forbes declared his behavior
to be “noways like a soldier.” Washington, however,
seems to have been mainly anxious that the expedition
should be hurried on lest the French should have time to
re-enforce Fort Du Quesne. ‘“ Backwardness,” he wrote,
“appears in all things but the approach of winter; that
jogs on apace.”
TO THE OHIO ONCE MORE, 83

But the Virginia colonel did not know the plats of
his general, who was directing the campaign from his
sick-bed in Pennsylvania, while Washington was waiting
impatiently at Fort Cumberland. Forbes had taken
warning by the fate of Braddock, and resolved to push
forward very slowly, making small forts as he went in
which to store provisions, so that when he marched he
need not be encumbered by a long line of wagons. He
wished to be slow for another reason. He planned to
delay until the Indians, whom the French had gathered
from the north to defend them, should get tired of wait-
ing, and desert their friends as Indians are prone to do.
Then, too, he had a number of men working on the Indi-
ans in every way to get them to renew their old friend-
ship with the colonies and break with France. One man,
a Moravian named Christian Frederic Post, who had
married a converted squaw, penetrated even to the Indian
camp about Fort Du Quesne, where he was very near be-
ing tomahawked, his friends charging him to.keep close
by the camp fire for fear of such an event, as the French
had offered a reward for his scalp. Poor Post, as he said,
stuck to the camp fire as though he “had been chained
there.” But the Indians liked his pluck, and when he
was sent a second time to the camp around Fort Du
Quesne the older men received his message of peace
favorably, while they kicked about the war- -belt which
the French sent them, and picked it wp with a stick
and flung it across the room. They then mocked and
laughed at the French officers, who turned pale with fear
and disgust. The young Indians, however, were still
full of “a murdering spirit,’ and with ‘bloody ven-
84 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

geance were thirsty wand drunk,” as the good Moravian
said.

Early in the campaign the savages had begun their
usual practice of cutting off small parties and stragglers.
Some of the southern Indians who came im as allies were
sent out in return upon scalping parties by Washington.
They proved, however, the most pestiferous of friends as
well as enemies, for they were constantly teasing for pres-
ents, and were so impatient that it was impossible to get
them to wait for the slow movements of an army.

When General Forbes was told that sixty Indians
were willing to join the army if he would go by Brad-
dock’s road, he declared that this was “a new system of
military discipline,’ and that he was not to be directed
about his measures by “sixty scoundrels.” Colonel Bou-
quet, however, adopted one Indian as his son, and every-
thing was done to conciliate these necessary pests.

Meantime Washington busied himself putting his
Virginians into Indian dress. In their hunting shirts,
leggings, and blankets they were lightly clad for frontier
warfare and better able to cope with Indians. By the
first of September he was still waiting at Fort Cumber-
land. The new road was cutting with infinite labor
avross the Alleghanies from Pennsylvania, and the can-
non were being slowly hauled down and up the rough
mountain sides. “Nothing but a miracle,” thought
Washington, could bring the summer’s work to a happy
ending. The advance of the army had reached a place
called Loyalhanna. Major Grant with a body of
Highlanders and some American troops, among whom
were a number of Washington’s Virginians, was sent ont

>
TO THE OHIO ONCE MORE, 85

to reconnoiter Fort Du Quesne. The major succeeded in
rousing the Indians. The Highlanders did not long
stand the terrors of tree-fighting, but a company of Vir-
ginians under Captain Bullet bore the whole force of the
attack for some time. They would take no quarter,
knowing too well the fate of Indian prisoners, and were
killed or driven into the Alleghany, where some were
drowned and others escaped by swimming. General
Forbes, who had before had a poor opinion of the pro-
vincial troops, now complimented Washington on the way
in which his men had borne themselves.

During the latter part of October it rained and
snowed, so that the new road became such a mass of mud
that the army could neither move backward nor forward.
General Forbes, who was suffering from a serious com-
plaint, reached Loyalhanna early in November, borne
ona litter. A council of war was held, at which it was
decided to go into winter quarters, and move no farther
for that year. At this gloomy moment a scouting party
came in with three prisoners, from whom it was learned
that the garrison at Fort Du Quesne was weak, and that
the Indians had deserted it. It was decided to march
immediately for the fort without tents or baggage.
Washington begged to be allowed to take the lead, as he
and his men knew these woods so well. This was grant-
ed, and he was sent on, with one thousand men, who were
to cut the road and keep out scouting parties. They
threw up intrenchments at camping places for the rest of
the army, and built a chimney at each camp for the com-
fort of the sick general. Washington’s men were in high
spirits, and he kept a sharp lookout against surprises.

8
86 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

At midnight on the 24th of November a rumbling
sound was heard. The next day the whole army moved
against the fort, the Highlanders in the center, with
Forbes on his litter, and the American soldiers on the
right and left. Toward night they neared Fort Du
Quesne. Here they found a well-beaten track to the fort,
where the Indians had been used to make their prisoners
run the gantlet. On either side of this path stood
stakes on which were set the heads of Highlanders killed
in Grant’s affair, with a kilt hanging beneath each head.
The Scotch soldiers no sooner saw this ghastly sight than
they rushed for the fort with a roar like that of wild ani-
mals. But they found only ashes where the fort had stood.
As Washington said, the French had burned “the fort
and run away by the light of it.” The rumbling sound
which had been heard in the English army the night be-
fore was caused by the explosion of their powder magazine.

General Forbes named the place where Fort Du



Quesne had stood Fort Pitt, after the great English
minister. JLlere a rude work was built to protect the few
American soldiers who were to spend the winter on the
spot and hold the much-coveted forks of the Ohio. Before
he left Fort Pitt, Forbes caused the bones which still lay
scattered on the field of Braddock’s defeat to be gathered
up and buried. Major Halket, whose father and brother
had been killed in this battle, had come out with General
Forbes, hoping, it is said, to find that they were perhaps



still living as captives among the savages. One of the



Indians present, however, asserted that he knew the very
tree where Sir Peter Hualket had fallen, and where his son
was shot while lifting up his father’s head. He led a
TO THE OHIO ONCH MORE. 87

party to the spot. The leaves were brushed away from
under this tree and the bones of two men were found, one
lying across the other. Major Halket looked among the
bones for an artificial tooth which his father had worn,
and found it. He is said to have fainted in the arms of
his friends. ‘The bones were wrapped in a Highland
plaid and buried with the honors of war.

The army hurried back across the mountains in De-
cember, for the men were threatened with starvation.
General Forbes was carried on his litter to Philadelphia,
where the Head of Iron, as the Indians called him, died
in the following spring.
THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

(o5)
w

CHAPTER XV.

WASHINGTON’S MARRIAGE.
1759.

During the summer of 1758, while Washington had
been waiting on the frontier for orders to march, he had
offered himself as a
candidate for a seat
in the House of Bur-
gesses. His supe-
rior officer gave him
permission to attend
the election, but he
did not choose to
leave his post, and a
friend of his, Colonel
James Wood, rep-
resented him at the
polls and was car-



ST. PETER’S CHURCH.

ried around on men’s

shoulders amid a lively hurrahing for Colonel Washing-

ton. This election cost Washington about ninety dollars

for wine, beer, cider, a dinner for his friends, and punch

by the barrel. Such was the manner of electioneering in
that day.

As soon as he had come home from the Ohio, Wash-
WASHINGTON’S MARRIAGE, 89

ington resigned his command in the army and took his
seat in the Assembly. On his way to Williamsburg he
visited Mrs. Custis, and while he was there the wedding
day was fixed. One of this lady’s old negro servants said,
many years afterward, that Washington visited Mrs. Cus-
tis only four times before they were married.

When the young colonel took his seat in the Virginia
Legislature it was resolved to thank him ih public for the
way in which he had discharged his duties as an officer.
The Speaker made a speech in which he praised him so
highly that Washington was very much abashed. He rose
to reply, but he was never a ready speaker and he was now
so confused that he stammered, blushed, and trembled.

“ Sit down, Mr. Washington,” said the speaker; “ your
modesty is equal to your valor, and that surpasses the
power of any language that I possess.”

Washington was married to Mrs. Martha Custis on the
6th of January, 1759, in the Church of St. Peter, which
stood near the White House. There was a very fashion-
able party assembled at the little church, the governor in
scarlet cloth embroidered with gold, bag-wig and dress
sword, some English army and navy officers, and a num-_
ber of members of the Assembly. Washington wore a
suit of blue cloth, the coat lined with red silk and
trimmed with silver, an embroidered white satin waist-
coat, shoe and knee buckles of gold, and a sword. His
hair was powdered. The bride wore a petticoat of white
quilted satin, with an overdress of white corded silk inter-
woven with silver threads, high-heeled white satin shoes,
diamond buckles, point-lace ruffles, pearl earrings, brace-
lets, necklaces, and pearls in her hair.
90 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

One of the most striking-looking persons at the wed-
ding is said to have been Bishop, Washington’s body serv-
ant, who stood on the porch of the church holding the
bridegroom’s handsome horse. He was dressed in the
searlet uniform of a British soldier.

After the wedding the bride and her lady frends
rode back to the White House in a coach drawn by six
horses, with negro postilions dressed in livery. Washing-
ton and the other gentlemen rode on horseback beside the
coach. The day closed with a feast at the White House.
Here Washington lived for three months, while he at-
tended the Assembly and settled his wife’s estate so that
they might move to Mount Vernon. He was now the
stepfather of two little children, John Parke Custis and
Martha Parke Custis, or Jacky and Patsy, as they were
called. Jacky was six years old, and Patsy was four.
Washington became their guardian and took charge of
their property for them. He was a man who was very
much trusted, and often had the care of other people’s
concerns.

“Tam now,” wrote Washington, after he had moved
to Mount Vernon with Mrs. Washington, Jacky, and
Patsy, “fixed at this seat with an agreeable consort for
life, and hope to find more happiness in retirement than
I ever experienced amid a wide and bustling world.”
Mount Vernon, which had for some time been a bachelor’s
hall, was renovated a little for its new mistress. In the
spring after his marriage Washington ordered his Lon-
don agent, who sold his tobacco and made purchases
of goods for him, to send him “a tester bedstead with
fashionable blue and white curtains,” to match the paper


THE WHITE THOUSE—MRS. CUSTIS’S PLACE.

[From a photograph taken just before its destruction in 1862.)
WASHINGTON’S MARRIAGE, 91

on the walls of a room at Mount Vernon. He also
ordered window curtains, a fine coverlid, and coverings
for the seats of four chairs, “to make the furniture of
this room uniformly handsome and genteel.”
Washington’s orders to his London agent the next
fall show that there was a lady in the house. Among



PARLOR AT MOUNT VERNON.

(The doorway leads into the banquet-hall which was added later by
Washington. ]

other things, there was to be “a salmon-colored tabby,
with satin flowers,” to be made into a sack and coat, a
cap, fine handkerchiefs, tuckers, and ruffles of Brussels or
point lace, “ flowered ” lawn aprons, silk and fine cotton
stockings, black and white satin shoes, a black mask, a
fashionable hat or bonnet, six pairs of kid gloves, scissors,
pins, sewing silk, tape, and “minikin pins.” Then
99 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

there are lists of things ordered for little Jacky and Pat-
sey, to come out of their own estates. For Master Custis
there were to be, among other things, linen and cambric,
small fine handkerchiefs, gloves and laced hats, four
pairs of strong shoes and four pairs of pumps, hand-
some silver shoe and knee buckles, ten shillings’ worth
of toys, and six little books for children learning to
read.

Little Miss Custis was to have some Holland and fine
printed linen, eight pairs of kid mits, four pairs of
gloves, silk stockings, pumps, flowered dimity, caps,
ruffies, tuckers, bibs, and aprons if fashionable, fans,
masks, bonnets, and “a stiffened coat of fashionable silk,
made to pack-thread stays.” There were to be alse for
this small lady, ribbon, necklaces, silver sleeve buttons
with stones, and a doll fashionably dressed, with other
toys.

In this way the wealthy Virginia planter, such as
Washington now was, got the luxuries with which he
adorned a somewhat rude and simple life in an “ infant,
woody country.” Tle and his wife were at the mercy of
their agent for the choice of all that they bought. Some-
times Washington complained that the things sent to him
were coarse or unfashionable, and said that he had heard
that dealers liked to put off their unsalable goods on
Virginia customers. When he ordered a spinet for Pat-
sey, who was then six years old, he begged as a favor that
his agent would not let it be known that the instrument
was going to America, lest a poor one should be sent him.
When his coach, or chariot as he called it, became dilapi-
dated, he ordered a new one to be sent to him of hand-
WASHINGTON’S MARRIAGE. 93

some and durable make, with his arms painted on it. He
complained a year or two later that the panels had
shrunk, split, and slipped out of the moldings, and that
he feared it would not last much longer. Once he or-
dered, for a building which he was putting up, window
glass to measure nine by eleven inches. They were sent
all the way from England, and measured eight by ten
inches. Washington wished his own clothes to be sim-
ple, without lace or embroidery. “ Plain clothes,” said
he in his orders, “with a gold or silver button, if worn in
genteel dress, are all I desire.”

When Washington rode away from his plantation he
was followed by his body servant. While Mrs. Washing-
ton was still a young woman she sometimes rode beside
him, dressed in a scarlet riding habit. But his carriage
horses were his great pride. ‘They were what were called
muslin horses. At early dawn the stable boys began
their grooming. At sunrise, Bishop, who was master of
the stables, appeared with a muslin pocket handkerchief
in his hand. He wiped the horses with the handkerchief,
and if it proved to be soiled the boys were had up for pun-
ishment. Sometimes it happened, however, that the
muslin horses had to be taken for plowing, when for
some reason the other horses were disabled.

When the tobacco crop was poor, while the expenses
of the plantation were great, Washington, who was
-always a strict and careful business man, ordered no
finery from London and sent only a short list of necessa-
vies. Te added to the fortune which had come to him.
He bought a great deal of land, and especially Western
land, which he had a good chance to know a great deal
94. THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

about. One of his purchases was the Great Meadows,
where he had fought his first battle. He was a careful
and faithful guardian and a kind and tender husband.
For forty years, from the time of his marriage to his
death, he wore his wife’s miniature about his neck next
his breast.
THE PLANTER. 95

CHAPTER XVI.

THE PLANTER.
1769-1774.

AtraoucH Washington, his wife, and his little step-
children drove to visit their neighbors in a “chariot,”
dressed in fashionable English clothes, the children look-
ing like small copies of their elders, and though Colonel
and Mrs. Washington sometimes drove to town to attend
a ball in the costumes of an elegant gentleman and lady,
most of their time was spent in the duties of a plain
planter’s family. Washington rode out in all sorts of
weather, superintending the work on his different planta-
tions. One day he was at a hog killing, another he was try-
ing with his smith to make a plow of his “ own contriving,”
again he was surveying some fields and laying the beginning
of a worm fence for his men to work from, or he was busy
oiling his dogs with “hog’s lard and brimstone, for the
mange.” One of his negroes was very ill, and he brought
him to the house to nurse him; again he rode to one of
his places where the slaves had the smallpox, and saw
that they were rightly cared for. Once he heard that his
mill was likely to wash away. “I immediately hurried
off all hands with shovels, etc.,” says he, “to her assist-
ance, and got there myself just time enough to give her a
reprieve for this time by wheeling dirt into the place
96 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

which the water had washed.” Another time it was
necessary for him to see to the hauling of his seine in the
Potomac River, which flowed in front of his place ; and he
must be present when the herring were salted down in bar-
rels for future use, or all would go wrong. Again he
rode to where his carpenters were at work hewing tim-
bers. He found that four of them had hewed only one
hundred and twenty feet ina day. “Sat down, therefore,
and observed,” said he. While he watched the work
went on rapidly, and he calculated that, at this rate, in
one day they ought each to hew as many feet as they had
all hewed in that time.

He was, in fact, an excellent farmer. He bought the
best books of his day on farming, and took a great deal of
interest in his plowing, planting, and harvesting. At one
time he arranged a number of little boxes in his garden
containing soil from different fields on his plantation
mixed with manure. In each of these boxes he planted
several grains of wheat, and watered and watched them
to see which soil would produce the best plants.

Mrs. Washington, on her part, was an old-fashioned
housewife, busy from morning till night, overseeing her
house, training her servants, teaching slaves to spin,
weave, and make clothes for the negroes, knitting, sew-
ing, and teaching her children.

During these years of plantation life Washington’s
sport was hunting foxes, in the company of his neighbors
and friends. Sometimes it was the Fairfaxes who went
with him, and often Jacky Custis joined the sport.
Sometimes it happened that the hounds left the track
and went in chase of deer. Washington took great pride
THE PLANTER, 97

in his dogs, and gave the pups as soon as they were born
such names as “ Jupiter,” “ Trueman,” “ Tipler,” ‘ ‘True-
love,” “Juno,” “ Dutchess,” and “ Lady,” or “ Vulcan,”
“ Searcher,” and “ Sweetlips.” He was also very fond of
duck shooting. Once when he heard a man, who had
been often warned off, shooting ducks in one of his creeks,
he rode in chase of him. The fellow jumped into his
canoe, pushed it off from shore, and leveled his gun at
his pursuer. But Washington rode into the water, grasped
the bow of the canoe, 2
drew it ashore, disarmed

CA \

the man, and gave him
a sound thrashing.

In 1761 Washington
had a very serious ill-
ness, and was thought to
be near his “last gasp.”
He was believed either
at this time or during
an earlier illness to be
doomed to die with con-
sumption, like his broth-
er Lawrence, and he had



a hollow in the chest JOHN PARKE CUSTIS.

and a weak voice in {From a portrait on copper, owned by
; General G. W. C. Lee.]

after life, thought to
have been left by this disease. This time he went to the
Warm Springs in the mountains, over roads made almost
impassable by fallen trees. Here he found a number of
people “full of all manner of diseases,” with no build-
ings to shelter them. Washington was lucky to have a
98 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

tent. Though he said that he once thought the “grim
king” would master him, he finally recovered his health.

When she was about thirteen or fourteen, Patsy Cus-
tis was afflicted with convulsions. An iron ring was once
put on her, because of some old superstition which made
this a cure for fits; but
she grew no better, and
Mr. and Mrs. Washing-
ton took her to the
Warm Springs. Jacky
Custis had a tutor at
home for several years,
and then Washington
sent him to Annapolis,
to the home of the Rev.
Jonathan Boucher, who
took pupils into his
house. Washington was
very anxious about his
stepson, and offered to
pay Boucher fifty or



~ AR RARE
MISS MARTHA CUSTIS,

{From a portrait painted on copper, : ,
owned by General G. W. C. Lee.] sixty dollars extra in a

year if he would take
particular care of him, for, said he, “he is a promising
_ boy, the last of his family, and will possess a very large

fortune.”

He wished, he said, to make him fit for “ some-
thing more useful than horse racing.”

When he was nineteen, Jack Custis fell in love with
Eleanor, daughter of Benedict Calvert, of Mount Airy,
Maryland, who was of a family descended from Lord

Baltimore, and was a man of wealth. When Washington
THE PLANTER. 99

heard of the engagement of the young people he did not
oppose it, but wished Jack to finish his education before
he married. In the spring of 1773 Washington went to
New York with him and placed him in Kings (now
Columbia) College. A few days after his return home
Patsy Custis died suddenly, in one of her attacks, at the
age of sixteen. Washington is said to have prayed ear-
nestly at her bedside for her recovery. He felt very
strongly for his wife’s sorrow, and regretted that he had
taken her son away from her. Jack, too, soon longed to
be back again, and, as Mrs. Washington wished for his
presence, he returned after three months of college life.
In February, 1774, he was married to Nelly Calvert.
Washington went to the wedding, but Mrs. Washington,
who was still very sad over the loss of her daughter, did
not go. She sent a little note to the bride, which was to
be given to her immediately after her marriage. It ran:

“My Dear Netty: God took from Me a Daughter
when June Roses were blooming. He has now given me
another daughter, about her Age when Winter Winds
are blowing to warm my Heart again. I am as Happy as
One so Afflicted and so Blest can be. Pray receive my
Benediction and a Wish that You may long live the Lov-
ing Wife of my happy Son, and a Loving Daughter of

“ Your Affectionate Mother,
“M. WASHINGTON.”

Washington made an adventurous trip to the Ohio
country in 1773 to select lands to which he and other
Virginia soldiers were entitled as a reward for their

9
100 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

services in the French war. He and his party rode on
horseback to Fort Pitt, and then took a boat down the
Ohio. They camped on shore every night, and sometimes
Washington got out and walked, looking for fine bottom
land. They saw many wild turkeys and deer browsing
along the shore or drinking at the water’s edge. Some
of them they shot, and they also killed five buffaloes.
They were alarmed at one place by the tale that two
traders had been killed below by Indians. They found,
however, that the men had been drowned in crossing the
river. They met a company of Indians, and one chief



among them told how many times he had aimed at Wash-
ington on the day of Braddock’s defeat and failed to hit
him. He declared that the Great Spirit protected the
colonel, and that he could never be killed. Lands were
selected on the Great Kanawha. Washington’s share
was fifteen thousand acres. On the eve of the Revolution
he was busy sending out a party of bond servants and
slaves to improve these lands, forwarding among other
things two thousand peach stones to be planted on them.
He also explored the Great Dismal Swamp at one time to
see whether these waste lands could not be improved by
drainage, and slept one night on some high ground in the
center of this great waste.
THE BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION. LOL

CHAPTER XVIL

THE BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION.
1765-1774.

THE people who first settled America brought from
England a strong love for liberty and self-government.
Each colony was allowed, under more or less restriction, to
make its own laws, and the people elected assemblies for
this purpose. But they had to keep up a continual strug-
gle to preserve their liberties against the encroachments
of the king and the English Parliament. ‘They particu-
larly disliked many of the governors appointed from
England to rule them. Parliament, which claimed the
right to regulate their trade, would not allow foreign
ships to visit the colonies, and compelled the colonists to
sell most of their principal commodities in England, and
buy only English goods. The American customhouse
officers were appointed from England to enforce these
laws, and the Americans could only evade them by smug-
gling.

There were many other grounds of dispute between
the Government in England and the people in America.
The Americans objected to the sending of English con-
viets to the colonies. They also tried to make laws to
keep the English slave-trading company from sending
any more slaves to America, but all such laws were re-
102 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

pealed in England, because men in high office, members
of the royal family, and at least two kings of England—
Charles II and James I]—owned shares in the Royal
African Company, which had the exclusive right to fur-
nish negroes to the colonies.

Probably the people of America would have done noth-
ing for many years to come but grumble and quarrel
with their governors, had not the British ministry gone a
step further and determined to tax the colonies to pay
part of the expense of the recent war with France. This
was to be done by requiring the Americans to use stamped
paper for all their bills, notes, leases, and other business
papers, as well as for the printing of their newspapers.
The colonists were to pay a high rate for the stamped
paper, and every business document was to be illegal if
not written on such paper. When the Stamp Act was
passed, in 1765, Franklin is said to have written from
England toa friend in America: “The sun of liberty is
set; you must light up the candles of industry and econo-

”

my.” His friend answered that he feared that “ other
lights would be the consequence.” The Stamp Act caused
a great deal of disgust among Americans. They thought
that since they were not allowed to send members to rep-
resent them in Parliament, that body had not the right
to tax them. The English people had long preserved
their liberties by holding the purse strings. The colo-
nists saw that if by buying stamped paper they once ad-
mitted that the English Government had the right to tax
them without their consent, there might be no end to the
burdens put upon them.

Washington agreed with the more thoughtful and
THE BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION. 103

patriotic men of his country in opposing the Stamp Act.
He was present in the Virginia Assembly when Patrick
Henry made his famous speech against this act, in which
he said: “ Caesar had hig Brutus, Charles the First his
Cromwell, and George the Third—”

“ Treason! treason!” cried some of the other party.

“ May profit by their example,” continued Henry. “If
that be treason, make the most of it!”

The officers who were appointed in America to sell
the stamped paper had their houses mobbed and their
windows broken, while their effigies were carried about
and torn to pieces by enraged crowds. In New Hamp-
shire the people attended the funeral of Liberty, who
was carried through the streets in a neat coffin and finally
came to life on the brink of the grave amid rejoicing and
ringing of bells) When a ship carrying stamped paper
reached Philadelphia, flags were hoisted at half-mast and
the bells of the city were rung muffled as for a death.
There was never a bit of the stamped paper sold in all
America. Men from nine of the colonies met in a con-
gress in New York in 1765. This mecting is spoken of
as “'The Stamp Act Congress.” The colonies had always
been jealous of one another, and they were now for the
first time drawn together by a common danger. Al-
though there were almost no manufactures in America,
merchants agreed not to import any English goods until
the Stamp Act should be repealed. People resolved to
eat no more lamb, in order that sheep might increase
and furnish wool enough to make homespun garments.
The English merchants were so much injured by this
resolution of the Americans to buy no more of their
104 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

goods that they added their petitions to those of the colo-
nists, and the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766.

There were great rejoicings in America when the
Stamp Act was repealed, but Parliament still claimed the
right to tax the colonies. ‘Soldiers were quartered on the
Americans asa means of awing the people, and the colo-
nies were required to pay the expense of keeping them,
which they refused to do. In 1767 small duties were
put upon all glass, paper, paints, and tea brought to
America. Though this was not a great tax, the people of
the colonies, now thoroughly aroused, said that it was
meant for an entering wedge. They again made an
agreement not to import English goods. Washington
ordered his agent in London to send him nothing which
his countrymen had agreed not to import. About the
same time he wrote toa friend that “no man should
scruple or hesitate a moment to use a—ms (arms) in de-
fense”” of freedom—which shows that he foresaw that
there was likely to be a war.

Again there was distress in England because the peo-
ple of America ceased to buy English goods. The Gov-
ernment, unwilling to give up the point entirely, now
took off the tax on everything except tea, and arranged it
so that the Americans after paying the tax on this article
should still have their tea cheaper than usual. But the
American people saw that what the English Government
wished was to establish the right to tax them, and they re-
solved to drink no tea, although they had been great tea
drinkers. They used instead drinks made of sassafras, sage,
and various other herbs. Americans were so earnest in this
matter that some refused to use the forbidden tea, even
THE. BEGINNING OF THE REVOLUTION, 105

when it had been, as they said, “honestly smuggled.”
The English Government sent ships loaded with tea to
some of the larger ports, for it was thought that once the
tea had reached America it would be used. But the tea
ships which came to New York and Philadelphia were
sent back ; in Charleston the tea was stored away in damp
cellars and allowed to spoil ; at Annapolis—though this was
a year later—a tea ship was burned. The resistance which
made the most excitement was that of the people at Bos-
ton, where fifty men disguised themselves as Indians, board-
ed the ships, and emptied the contents of the chests into
the water. Those who tried to fill their pockets with the
tea which had been spilled on deck were ducked, and men
went around in small boats and beat the tea which was
floating about the harbor with their oars, so that all of it
should be wasted.

This first forcible resistance was called the Boston Tea
Party, and that city was punished by having her port
closed so that no ships might come or go. Business in
Boston was almost entirely stopped, and many poor peo-
ple were thrown out of work. In Virginia, the Assem-
bly in which Washington sat called this act of the Gov-
ernment “a hostile invasion,” and appointed the 24th of
May, 1774, as a fast day. The Governor of Virginia dis-
solved the Assembly as a punishment for this action, but
the members merely removed to the. Raleigh Tavern,
where the House made itself a committee to advise that
a general congress of the colonies should meet. Wash-
ington records in his diary that he went to church on
the 24th of May and fasted all day. He wrote to a friend
that he wished that the dispute might have been left to
106 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

posterity to settle, but that the colonists must either now
assert their rights or submit until “custom and use,” as
he said, “shall make us as tame and abject slaves as the
blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway.”



THE RALEIGH TAVERN.

{From an old print.]
CHOSEN COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 107

CHAPTER XVIII

CHOSEN COMMANDER IN CHIEF.
1774-1775.

Tur English Government chose to quarrel only
with New England in the first place, hoping to keep the
colonies divided, and so to conquer easily those which
were rebellious. The New Englanders remembered that
they owed nothing to the mother country, and that their
forefathers had been driven away from England by oppres-
sion. They were a rather democratic people, most of them
neither very rich nor very poor, but independent and in-
telligent. They had been made hardy by hard work on a
rocky soil, by a seafaring life, and by the struggle they
had kept up for many years with Canada. The more
patriotic men in the colonies sympathized with New Eng-
land in her sufferings, and felt that she was fighting the
cause of all Americans.

On the last of August, 1774, Edmund Pendleton and
Patrick Henry stopped at Mount Vernon and spent the
night. They had come to make the journey to Phila-
delphia with Washington. They were all going to join
the Continental Congress as delegates from Virginia.
The two guests admired the spirit which Mrs. Washing-
ton displayed. Pendleton said that “the dear little
woman was busy from morning till night,” and that she
108 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

“seemed ready to make any sacrifice, and was cheerful,”
though he knew that she “ felt very anxious.”

“YT hope you will all stand firm,” she said; “I know
George will.”

When the gentlemen set forth on their journey in the
morning, Mrs. Washington stood in the doorway at
Mount Vernon, and said, in a cheerful voice:

“God be with you, gentlemen.”

When a relative wrote to her, about this time, speak-
ing of her husband’s “folly” in joining the Congress,
Mrs. Washington answered that she foresaw the “ conse-
quences—dark days, and darker nights”; but she added:
“My mind is made up, my heart is in the cause. George
is right; he is always right.”

Late in October Congress adjourned, and Washington
returned home. About this time Patrick Henry was
asked who was the greatest man in Congress.

“Tf you speak of eloquence,” he answered, “ Mr. Rut-
ledge, of South Carolina, is by far the greatest orator ;
but if you speak of solid information and sound judg-
ment, Colonel Washington is unquestionably the greatest
man on that floor.”

Washington spent the winter and part of the spring at
home. A number of the Virginia militia companies
chose him as their field officer. THe probably did not ex-
pect anything more at this time than to command the
Virginia forces in case of a war. Je declared that he
meant to devote his life and fortune to the cause, if
necessary.

Thongh an English army was quartered in Boston,
under the command of General Gage, an officer who had
CHOSEN COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 109

been present, like Washington, at Braddock’s defeat, the
Americans still contented themselves with sending peti-
tions to the Government in England, while they were
training the militia and laying up ammunition and arms
against the time of need. One of the places where they
had some military stores was at Concord, about twenty
miles from Boston. At midnight, on the 19th of Apyil,
1775, General Gage sent a body of men out of Boston to
destroy these stores. The English soldiers were opposed
at Lexington common by a small body of “ minutemen,”
as the militia were called. The English officer shouted,
“ Disperse, you rebels!” but the rebels did not disperse
until they had been fired upon and eight of their number
killed. The English soldiers then marched on to Concord,
where they destroyed some empty gun carriages, spiked
the only two cannon the Concord men had not carried off,
threw a store of rifle balls into the mill pond, and knocked
to pieces a number of barrels of flour. Meantime the
death of the men at Lexington had enraged the people,
and the delay at Concord gave the minutemen time to
assemble. On their return march the English soldiers
were fired upon from every tree, rock, and stone wall
along the road. The Americans were skillful hunters
and took good aim. The English retreat soon became a
run. Re-enforcements were sent out from Boston, and
these fresh men formed a hollow square to keep the min-
utemen at bay. The retreating and exhausted soldiers
lay down in the midst of this square, “their tongues
hanging out of their mouths like dogs after a chase.”
But they had not long to rest. The Americans pressed
them hard, and they hurried back to Boston, pursued by
110 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

the minutemen, until they came under protection of the
guns of the English ships. That very night an irregular
American army sat down before Boston. The war had
begun.

Congress was called to meet again, and May found
Washington in Philadelphia once more. This time he
came dressed in his colonel’s uniform. There was a great
deal of military enthusiasm now. ‘“ Oh, that I were a sol-
dier!” exclaimed the lawyer John Adams, and he took
to reading military books. Some of the Philadelphia
Quakers even armed themselves and began to parade, to
the great amusement of onlookers.

The common danger forced the members of Congress
from the different colonies to learn some forbearance to-
ward each other. The industrious New Englander had
been used to think of the “barons of Virginia” as men
who had nothing in common with him, while the planter
had had his doubts whether the Northern people were not,
after all, violent men who wished to start an independent
country. But Washington was pleased to find that the
New Englanders were “plain, downright, practical men,
seeking safety from oppression”; while Joseph Reed, of
Pennsylvania, impressed with the resolution of the South-
ern men, wrote: “There are some very fine fellows come
from Virginia, but they are very high; the Bostonians
are mere milksops to them.”

It was necessary for Congress to prepare for war as
quickly as possible. The first step was to adopt the vol-
unteers, who lay before Boston, as a continental army.
Officers must then be appointed. As there was still a
good deal of jealousy in the colonies of the “ hanghty
CHOSEN COMMANDER IN CHIEF. 111

airs” of New England, and people were apt to think that
she wished to lead in everything, the men from these colo-
nies thought it wise to select their commander in chief
from some other region. For this reason, and because he
was almost the only native American of military experi-
ence, Colonel Washington was talked of for the difficult
position. There were, it is true, two English officers,
Gates and Lee, men who were living in Virginia and had
often visited Mount Vernon during the last years and
talked over the prospects of war, but the members of
Congress thought it wise to place an American at their
head. Most of the Southern delegates were in favor of
Washington, but some were cool, and Pendleton was op-
posed to him. There was a division also among the New
England men. Finally, John Adams rose and moved
that Congress should adopt the army before Boston and
appoint a general. He said that there was but one gen-
tleman in his mind “for that important command, and
that was a gentleman from Virginia,” who was among
them, “a gentleman whose skill and experience as an offi-
cer, whose independent fortune, great talents, and excel-
lent universal character would command the approbation
of all America, and unite the cordial exertions of all the
colonies better than any other person in the Union.”
When Washington saw that the allusion was to himself,
he, with his“ usual modesty, darted into the library room,”
the door of which stood near at hand.

There were some objections to Adams’s motion, but
the members were all finally persuaded to withdraw them,
and Washington was elected commander in chief of the
new continental army. “I can now inform you,” wrote
112 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

mh

Adams to his wife on the 17th of June, 1775, “that the
Congress have made choice of the modest and virtuous,
the amiable, generous, and brave George Washington,
Esquire, to be General of the American Army.’ When
Washington was informed of his appointment, he rose in
his place and said that he felt that a “high honor” had
been done him, but that he was under great distress lest
his “abilities and military experience” might not be
“equal to the trust,” and “ lest some unlucky event should
happen unfavorable to” his “ reputation.” He begged it
should “be remembered by every gentleman in the room
that” he did not think himself “equal to the command.”
He ended by saying that, as money could not have persuaded
him to leave his home, he did not wish to make any profit
from his services, and would accept nothing more than his
expenses. Washington was sincere in his fears about his
own fitness for the difficult command. “ This day,” said
he, “will be the commencement of the decline of my
reputation.”

He wrote immediately to his wife to tell her of his
appointment—news which he knew would give her uneasi-
ness. ‘You may believe me, my dear Patsy,” said he,
“when I assure you in the most solemn manner, that, so
far from seeking this appointment, I have used every en-
deavor in my power to avoid it, not only from my unwill-
ingness to part with you and the family, but from a con-
sciousness of its being a trust too great for my capacity,
and that I should enjoy more happiness in one month with
you at home than I have the most distant prospect of
finding abroad.”

Washington’s anxiety for his wife was great, and he
CHOSEN COMMANDER IN CHIEF, 113

was tormented with thoughts of her loneliness and wneasi-
ness. Ile wrote to his stepson, and desired that he and
Nelly would stay at Mount Vernon with their mother.
He wrote also to his wife’s relatives and friends, asking
them to visit her and keep up her spirits. “ My depart-
ure,” said he, “will, I know, be a cutting stroke upon
her; and on this account alone I have many very dis-
agreeable sensations.” He had good cause to be uneasy.
The leaders of the Revolution knew very well that they
were regarded only as rebels in England, and that they
must expect to be hanged should they fail. “I have
now,” said Washington, “embarked on a tempestuous
ocean, from whence, perhaps, no friendly harbor is to be
found.”
114 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XIX.

BEFORE BOSTON.
L775.

Axsott the time that Washington was made command-
er in chief at Philadelphia, the battle of Bunker’s Hill
took place before Boston. About fifteen hundred Ameri-
cans, under an officer named Prescott, undertook to oc-
cupy this hill, because it overlooked the city and threat-
ened the English army. ‘They marched to the spot with
spades and pickaxes on the night of June 1%, 1773, and
began throwing up intrenchments on Breed’s Hill, which
stood a little nearer Boston than Bunker’s Hill. The
Americans worked so hard that by daylight they had
thrown up aredoubt. When morning came the English
cannons began to play upon them, but Prescott coolly
walked the top of the earthworks to encourage his men,
and they began work once more, throwing up a rude outer
breastwork around the hill, made of the new-mown hay,
which lay on the ground, heaped between fence rails. As
General Gage could not have occupied Boston once the
Americans had succeeded in planting cannon on Breed’s
Hill, he sent about two thousand men, the pick of his army,
to dislodge them. The British troops came over in boats.
They burned Charlestown, a village of about five hundred
houses, so that the Americans might have no cover from
BEFORE BOSTON, 115

which to attack them. The blazes ran up to the top of
the church steeple, making a pyramid of fire. The Eng-
lish soldiers now moved slowly and steadily up the hill.
The Americans behind their hay breastworks reserved
their fire until the enemy was very near, when they took a
deadly aim. The British troops fell back, but their offi-
cers pushed them on with their swords. Again the
American farmers reserved their fire until the last mo-
ment, and again they mowed down the enemy and drove





as oe

=_

THE BURNING OF CHARLESTOWN.

[From a sketch made at the time by a British otficer, viewing it from
Beacon Hill.]

them back. Once more the English officers pushed their
men on. This time the Americans were almost out of
powder, and the English cannon raked their breastworks
of hay so that their fire was not so brisk, and they re-
treated before the enemy to their earthworks. When the
British soldiers poured over this redoubt, the Americans
clubbed them with the butt ends of their muskets,and did
not retreat until their works were half full of the enemy.
The English losses were more than twice as great as the
American in this battle. Though the Americans were
10
116 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

defeated, the way in which they had fought gave their
countrymen heart, and taught the English to respect
them. Washington said, after he reached the camp, that
afew more such victories would put an end to the Eng-
lish army and the war.

The new commander in chief heard of the battle of
Bunker’s Hill on his way to Boston. Honors were done
him on his journey, but at New York, where there was
still a great deal of indecision, he had to divide his hon-
ors with the royal governor, Tryon, who arrived shortly
after he did, and it was suspected that the same crowd
shouted for them both. ‘There was danger that the
American general would be kidnaped in this city by
royalists, and Washington was told to cross at the upper
ferry for fear of such an attempt. Before Boston, he
was received with all the honors that could be done him
without the use of powder, for powder was scarce, and
must be saved for the benefit of the enemy. With Wash-
ington arrived two Englishmen who had also been made
generals by Congress—Lee and Gates. Like Washington,
they had been young officers at Braddock’s disastrous
battle. Lee had just bought land in Virginia, so that the
Americans might be more likely to put him in a place of
trust. They both, doubtless, secretly thought them-
selves more fit for the chief command than the Virginia
planter who had been placed over them.

Washington found the American army posted on the
hills around Boston. There were about sixteen thousand
men, of whom fourteen thousand five hundred, were well,
and fit for service. They were all New Englanders,
thongh later in the summer they were joined by some
BEFORE BOSTON, 117

rifle companies from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Vir-
ginia, bodies of men which had been raised and marched,
some of them, over seven hundred miles in about two
months. As the men before Boston were posted in a large
semicircle, and might be attacked and routed at any point
before the rest of the army could come to the rescue,
Washington thought the force far too small. However, he
set about forming the undisciplined crowd into an army,
and a hard task it was. Sometimes he almost lost all
patience with New Englanders. Before he had come to
Boston he had admired, as others did from a distance, the
courage and spirit of these men; but when he came to try
to make them into a disciplined army, he found that the
officers were far too familiar with the men for good disci-
pline, while the men were too independent to make obe-
dient soldiers. The officers had been elected by their
men, belonged to the same town, and thought they must
“shake every man by the hand, and desire, beg, and pray,
‘Do, brother,’ ‘Do, my friend,’ do such a thing,” when, as
it was said, a good hearty oath from one who cared nothing
for their friendship would have been more to the purpose.
With his Virginia ideas, Washington was at first inclined
to be a little disgusted with Northern democracy, the
more so that it stood in his way in disciplining the army.
‘“‘ However,” he said more cheerfully after a time, “we
mend every day, and I flatter myself that in a little time
we shall make up these raw materials into a very good
manufacture.” He afterward came to think very highly
of the spirit and behavior of New England men, though
he said that it took some time to “bring people of their
temper and genius into such a subordinate way of think-
118 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ing as was necessary for a soldier.” He tried hard to
give his motley army a soldicrlike appearance. He en-
deavored to get the officers to wear uniforms, or at least a
colored ribbon, which should distinguish them from the
men. He attempted to get hunting shirts made of tow
for the common soldiers, as this was the cheapest way in
which to make the men look somewhat alike. Never was
a great general so cramped for money, for Congress could
not get any except by making paper money. It dared
not tax the people, an opposition to taxes being the cause
of the war.

One of Washington’s first cares was to have the in-
trenchments made stronger, so that his men might be
protected in case they were attacked. “ The Americans,”
said General Putnam, “are never afraid of their heads;
they only think of their legs; shelter them, and they’ll
fight forever.” Washington kept the men digging even
upon Sundays. He also caused a certain place to be
agreed upon for a rendezvous, in case the army should be
defeated. Tle was very cautious, and he felt that he
would be doing the wisest thing for the country if he
held the enemy hemmed up in the city of Boston, kept
them from getting provisions from the surrounding coun-
try, and prevented them from marching out “with fire
and sword.’ He caused some vessels to be fitted out,
which cruised along the coast and often captured the
food and stores sent from England at great expense for
the army in Boston. Sometimes these vessels were taken
at the very entrance to Boston harbor, when the wind was
such that the English ships of war could not sail out to
defend them. Some vessels of the English navy, however,
BEFORE BOSTON, 119

sailed to the town of Falmouth (now Portland), in Maine,
and, after giving the people only a few hours to get ont
of their houses, burned the town. This act, as well as the
burning of Charlestown, angered the Americans very
much, and served to make them more bitter in their re-
sistance to the mother country.

During the war Washington often had trouble in
overcoming the jealousy of men who came from different
colonies. His headquarters, when he lay before Boston.
were in Cambridge. One day some Virginia riflemen in
fringed hunting shirts were hooted at by a body of Mar-
blehead men who wore the round jackets and trousers of
fishermen and sailors. The Virginians retorted, and the
two parties fell to snowballing each other, and then to
fighting. There was great uproar in the streets of the
beautiful little town. The son of an American Heutenant,
a boy of ten, who saw the affray, told, many years after,
how Washington and his black servant suddenly appeared
on the scene. The general instantly threw his bridle to
Billy, dismounted, rushed into the midst of the fighting
men, seized a Virginian by the throat with one hand and
a New Englander with the other, shook them soundly,
and poured forth a torrent of angry words. In three
minutes the fighters slunk away, and no one was left in the
street but the commander in chief and the two men he
had collared.

Washington was borne down by heavy cares, and he
was naturally grave and anxious most of the time, so that
it has become a common belief that he never smiled dur-
ing the war. There are two stories, however, of his life
before Bostqn which show that he could laugh as heartily
120 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

asany man. A certain Dr. Church, who was supposed to
be a great patriot and was surgeon-general of the army,
was discovered to be holding a secret correspondence with
the enemy. It was thought necessary to capture a wom-
an who carried his letters. Rough and honest old Gen-
eral Putnam happened upon the messenger one day, and
secured her by mounting her on the horse behind him. He
brought the woman, who was very stout, into Cambridge
in this fashion. _ When he saw them approaching, Wash-
ington is said to have burst out langhing. It was with
difficulty that he could control himself enough to address
the woman seriously when she was brought before him,
in order to threaten her with hanging unless she told
all she knew.

Another story of this time tells how the alarm was
once given in Cambridge that the enemy was approach-
ing. There was a great bustle of preparation, and amid
all the confusion General Greene stood at the bottom of
the stairs “bawling to the barber for his wig.”

“Bring my wig, you rascal—bring my wig!” he
shouted.

“Your wig is behind the looking-glass, sir,” said Gen-
eral Lee.

Turning toward the looking-glass, Greene saw that
his wig was on his head. Washington meantime is said
to have thrown himself on a sofa and laughed heartily at
the expense of the excited general.
LITTLE POWDER AND FEW MEN. 121

CHAPTER XX.

LITTLE POWDER AND FEW MEN.
L778-17 76,

WASHINGTON was beginning to feel that he was in a
good state of defense, when it was suddenly discovered
that there had been a mistake about the amount of pow-
der belonging to the army. It was found that there
were in the storehouse only thirty-five half barrels of
powder, or nine rounds to a man. When the general
heard this bad news he did not say a word for half an
hour. Without powder no amount of courage could pre-
vent the army from being beaten in case of an attack.
Washington made every effort to get more powder. He
begged Congress and the different States to send him
what they could. “No quantity,” he wrote, “however
small, is beneath notice.”

“The word powder,” said his secretary, Reed, “ sets
us all a-tiptoe.” The Americans were, he said, like a
man with only a little money in his pocket who would
“do twenty mean things to prevent breaking in upon his
little stock.” They felt it very hard to be obliged to
“bear with the rascals on Bunker’s Hill,” who frequently
cannonaded their works, which lay opposite at Winter’s
Hill. They longed to give the enemy a few shots in re-
turn, but Washington said that every ounce of powder
129 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

must be saved, to be used only when “ the red-coat gentry
please to step out of their intrenchments.” Meantime it
was all-important to keep the scarcity of powder a secret,
lest it should come to be known by the enemy, and they
should take advantage of it to attack the Americans.

There was a young man of seventeen, named Elkanah
Watson, who was at this time apprenticed to a Boston mer-
chant whose name was Brown. He afterward told how Mr.
Brown’s ships brought in a ton and a half of powder, and
how he was sent to take this powder to Cambridge, where
the headquarters of the army were. Washington seemed
to Elkanah Watson a very awful person, especially as
he was reproving a militia colonel for some offense when
the young man first saw him. The general sent a young
officer with Watson to see that the powder was placed in
the powder house. While it was being unloaded, Watson
said to the officer:

“Sir, [ am happy to see so many barrels of powder
here.”

“These barrels are filled with sand,” whispered the
young officer in his ear.

Watson asked why that was.

“'T'o deceive the enemy,” answered the officer, “ should
any spy chance to look in.”

From this story it is evident that it was impossible
for Washington to keep his secret very well. Little by
little the stock of powder was increased. Congress suc-
ceeded in buying all the powder on the coast of Africa,
even that in British forts, and seized a magazine of it in
the island of Bermuda. John Adams urged his wife to
try to make saltpeter at home, as this article was used in
LITTLE POWDER AND FEW MEN. 1238

making powder, and Mrs. Adams promised to do so after
“soap-making.” Mills were presently built for manutfac-
turing saltpeter and powder, but, in spite of all that could
be done, for some time this very necessary article was
scarce. There was, in fact, a great deal of waste, since
the men were so poorly protected from rain that the
powder with which they were supplied often became
damp, and must be renewed.

No sooner was Washington out of one difficulty than
he was plunged into another. As winter approached the
men were sadly in need of tents, and had to make the
best of a lot of old sails from the seaport towns which
were useless now that New Hngland’s commerce was de-
stroyed. They were also, as Washington said, “almost
naked for want of shirts, breeches, stockings, shoes, and
other clothing.” The commissary, too, complained that,
with “twenty thousand gaping mouths opened full upon
him, and nothing to stop them with,” he must “ depend
upon being devoured himself.”

The summer and autumn of 1775 wore away, and
Washington looked in vain for the enemy to “come
boldly out” and give him battle. After he had got a tol-
erable supply of powder he wished for an attack. He
felt sure of his men behind intrenchments, for they were
good marksmen and could fight in this way with much
courage. But General Gage also felt sure of them, and
preferred to stay in Boston. Washington was surprised
to see that Gage was laying in coal, as though the Eng-
lish meant to spend the winter in Boston. Presently,
however, Gage was ordered home, and General Howe was
left in command of the British army. The Americans
194. THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

a

busied themselves with capturing the coal ships from
England, and long before the winter was out the English
army was so destitute of fuel as to be obliged to pull
down houses in Boston and burn the wood of which they
were built. Food also became so scarce that there was
barely enough even of salt meat for the army. English
people felt that the condition of their army shut up with-
in Boston was degrading. The officers meanwhile passed
their time as best they could. Once when they were







VIEW OF BOSTON FROM A SKETCH MADE AT THE TIME, ALSO SHOWING
NOOKS HILL ON THE RIGHT,

amusing themselves by a play, written by young Major
André, called The Blockade of Boston, at which Wash-
ington figured on the stage as a country lout with a big
wig and a long and rusty sword, a sergeant hurried into
the theater with the news that “the alarm guns were fir-
ing at Charlestown and the Yankees attacking Bunker’s
Full.” ‘The audience took this for part of the farce,
until General Howe gave the order:

“ Officers, to your alarm posts.”

The Blockade of Boston ended with a hurried scram-
ble for the door and the screaming and fainting of ladies.
LITTLE POWDER AND FEW MEN. 195

A body of Americans meantime had crossed over on a
milldam to the foot of Bunker’s Hill, set fire to an Eng-
lish guardhouse, made some prisoners, and returned in
safety, while the cannon roared behind them and spoiled
the English farce in the city. An English paper, dis-
custed with the inactivity of the British army in Boston,
reported that the officers were carrying on a theatrical
campaign, and that the Americans were preparing to play
Measure for Measure in the spring. The English, in-
deed, amused themselves by keeping up a pretty constant
cannonade on the nearest American works, but this only
served to inure the provincial soldiers to the sound of fire-
arms.

Washington had promised his wife, when he wrote to
her after his appointment, that he would see her in the
fall, but he found it impossible to leave the army, and he
sent for her. She made the long journey in her coach to
Boston, accompanied by her son and his wife. She was
received. with honor at Philadelphia and other places.
About this time the Americans captured an English ship,
from the West Indies, loaded with limes, lemons, oranges,
sweetmeats, and pickles. Washington bought some of
these good things meant for British officers, because he

was expecting “his lady.”

Mrs. Washington reached
Cambridge on the 11th of December.

With the winter came fresh trouble. Most of the men
had enlisted only till December, and Washington must
dissolve his army and form a new one in face of the
enemy. It was very hard to get recruits, for men could
make more money by staying at home, and already the
first eagerness and excitement was gone. The Connecti-
126 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

cut men were determined to go off in a body, and when
they finally went, after staying ten days over their time
at Washington’s request, the other regiments “hissed,
groaned, and pelted” them. Those of the old men who
re-enlisted must be given furloughs, and this left the army
very weak. Washington was sure that the English must
know of his small numbers, for he heard that it was com-
mon talk in Boston. The beginning of the new year
found him with an army of only a little over nine thou-
sand men, one thousand of whom were absent on fur-
loughs. Powder was scarce, and so were arms. Wash-
ington had bought from the retiring men all the guns
that were of any value, and still there were not enough
for his small army.

“T wish this month were well over our heads,” he
wrote in January. He was, in fact, so harassed and dis-
heartened that he said that if he had known what would
have happened nothing could have persuaded him to
take the command of the army. He would have been ten
times more comfortable as a coloncl, and he was sure that
he would have gained more honor. He did not believe
that it had ever happened before that a post was held
within musket shot of twenty British regiments for six
months without powder while one army was dismissed
and another raised. Washington declared that, if he
succeeded, it would be “the most fortunate event of his
life.”
DRIVING THE ENEMY OUT. 127

CHAPTER XXL
DRIVING THE ENEMY OUT.
1776.

Iw the months that he lay before Boston Washington
longed eagerly to attack the enemy. He felt that some-
thing was expected of him. Several times he had called
a council of war, but his officers had always agreed that it
would be unwise to attempt anything, either because of
the want of powder, arms, and men, or for other good
reasons. Washington had a plan for acting on the offen-
sive, “when we have powder to sport with,” as he said,





VIEW OF THE BRITISH LINES ON BOSTON NECK,
[From a sketch made at the time. ]

but that time did not come, and he was unable to de-
stroy “the nest in Boston,” as he wished so much to
do. While he was forced to keep his difficulties a secret
from his friends lest they should reach the ears of his
enemies, he felt that he would be lucky if he were able
128 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

“to keep above water, as it were, in the esteem of man-
kind.”

One of Washington’s many difficulties had been a
lack of heavy cannon, such as were necessary for carry-
ing on asiege. Early in the winter he sent Henry Knox,
who afterward became his chief artillery officer, to Ticon-
deroga, to procure heavy ordnance; lead, and flints. With
a great deal of difficulty Knox transported the cannon in
boats to the southern end of Lake George, loaded them
upon more than fifty sledges, drawn by eighty yoke of
oxen, and so carried them to the American camp before
Boston, where they arrived late in the winter.

Washington thought that when the waters around
Boston should be frozen the English would certainly
march out on the ice to attack him, if they did not do so
before. But the battles of Lexington and Bunker’s Hill
had made them very cautious, and they did not care to
face Yankees who had their legs protected. General
Gage declared that the rebels were not the rabble many
had supposed them to be. His successor, General Howe,
said that the American army, made up, as it was, of
young men of spirit, was not to be despised, and he pro-
ceeded to show how little he despised it by staying securely
in Boston. If the enemy would not make use of the
ice, Washington was determined to use it himself. It
would be more possible to enter Boston in this way than
to try to force the narrow neck of land which connected
the town with the mainland, and which was very strongly
fortified by the English. But the winter was warm, and
the water did not freeze over until the middle of Feb-
ruary. As soon as the ice was strong enough to hold
DRIVING THE ENEMY OUT. 129

men, Washington called a council of war to advise with
him about attacking the city; but his officers thought it
too dangerous an undertaking. In fact, the American
generals were very uncertain how their undisciplined men
would behave when they were the attacking force, and
their legs totally unprotected. One severe defeat would
have ruined the American cause, while the colonies
gained much by keeping their foe in a disgraceful con-
finement within the narrow limits of the little town of
Boston. But Washington was disappointed. He felt
that he was expected to act. He said that perhaps his
officers were right, but his situation had become so irk-
some that he would have made the attempt. He fell
back, however, wpon a more cautious course. The Ameri-
cans were to take possession of Dorchester Heights, which
overlooked the town much as Bunker’s and Breed’s Hills
did. As the English could not hold Boston with batter-
ies commanding the town, it was thought that they would
be forced to attack the men on Dorchester Heights, who
behind breastworks would fight manfully. When the
enemy should have divided their forces for this purpose,
Washington meant to take the opportunity to march
upon them in Boston with another division of his army.
He had his plans all carefully laid, and ordered in the
militia from the country around to man his lines while
his forces were drawn off.

Two nights before the time he had set for taking
Dorchester Heights Washington began to bombard Bos-
ton from other points, in order to confuse and deceive the
enemy about his plans. ‘The people who lived near the
city were terrified to hear the roar of cannon. Windows
130 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

rattled and houses shook, while no one knew what it all
meant. During the day it was perfectly quiet, except for
the marching of the militia going into camp with three
days’ provisions, but when night came the terrible uproar
began again, the American guns firing upon the city and







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the English cannon answering. On the third night, which
was the 4th of March, when the cannonade had once
more opened, over three hundred wagons began moving
toward Dorchester Heights, loaded with baled hay and
bundles of poles, called fascines. The bales of hay and
fascines were to be used in making a breastwork for the
DRIVING THE ENEMY OUT, 181

men to fight behind, for the ground was frozen too hard
to be dug up for earthworks. The moon shone brightly,
but the English army was too much occupied with the
cannonade, which now and then burned a house or killed
a few men, to observe this movement of the Americans.
Four thousand men worked all night on Dorchester
Heights, while most of the three hundred teams carried
three loads each. By morning, two forts, a long breast-
work, and some barracks had sprung up.

“My God!” exclaimed General Howe in Boston,
“these fellows have done more work in one night than I
could make my army do in three months!”

Some of the English officers afterward admitted that
the sudden way in which these redoubts had sprung up
in the night made them think of the works of enchant-
ment in an Eastern romance. But something must be
done immediately. The new works would soon command
the town and most of the harbor and the beach where
the men must embark in case of a retreat. The English
admiral sent word to General Howe that Dorchester
Heights must be taken or the fleet could not stay in
Boston harbor. So three thousand soldiers were hastily
ordered on board transports for this purpose. The men
said to each other that it would be another Bunker’s Hill.
I'he transport ships fell down to the Castle, which stood
on asmall island not far from Dorchester Heights. ‘The
Americans were expecting an attack. They had placed a
number of barrels filled with sand and stones in front of
their breastworks. They meant to roll these heavy bar-
rels down the hill when the enemy should advance, so
breaking the ranks and maiming the legs of the English

11
132 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

soldiers. Washington made a speech to the men, in which
he reminded them that it was the 5th of March, the anni-
versary of the Boston Massacre, as it was called, when,
before the war, the British soldiers quartered in Boston
had fired upon the townspeople who were pelting them
with snowballs in which were stones. The Americans
were in high spirits. Washington felt very sure that
they would defeat the enemy. Meanwhile General Put-
nam and four thousand men stood ready to enter Boston
by crossing the ice behind the town at the same time that
the attack was made on Dorchester Heights. But when
the English troops were about to cross over from the Cas-
tle to the asgault there came up a violent storm. By the
next day the Americans had made their works so strong,
that the English officers did not care to face the thou-
sands of good marksmen behind them.

Washington continued to push his fortifications out on
the Dorchester peninsula. The next important step was
to take possession of Nook’s Hill. He sent some men up
to mark out the ground on the crest of the hill, The
English ships immediately began to cannonade the hill-
top, which was exactly what the Americans wished. The
night that followed was dark and foggy, and they began
their works farther down the slope, while the cannon
balls went completely over their heads. The next morn-
ing the English abandoned Bunker’s Hill. The fleet was
loading wp as hastily as possible. The harbor was so cov-
ered with masts that it looked like a “forest.” General
Howe sent the selectmen of Boston to Washington with a
proposal to leave the town unharmed if he would not can-
nonade the English army while it wasembarking. Wash-
DRIVING THE ENEMY OUT. 133

ington made no promises, but he was willing to spare
Boston from destruction, and he always avoided unneces-
sary bloodshed.

The Englishmen were deeply mortified that they were
forced to abandon Boston by a body of American farm-
ers, whom they had always despised. It was the worst
season of the year to go to sea, but go they must, bur-
dened with some fifteen hundred loyalists and their house-
hold goods, for these people dared not stay behind and
face their angry neighbors. Hasty efforts were made to
spike the cannon on Bunker’s Hill and at Boston Neck,
while some mortars were thrown into the water, but the
Americans soon after recovered these and restored the
cannons to usefulness. The enemy finally left Boston on
the 17th of March. Washington immediately sent Gen-
eral Putnam to take possession of the city with two thou-
sand men, selected because they had had the smallpox,
for Boston was infected with this disease. He had
already hurried off some of his men to New York, for he
thought that the enemy would sail to that city next. The
English blew up the Castle, but they remained for some
time in Nantasket Roads. Washington declared that the
enemy had “the best knack at puzzling people” he had
“ever met with.” Old seamen told him, however, that
they were waiting to get ready for sea—which was true,
for they all presently sailed away and left Washington
free to hasten to New York with his army.

The evacuation of Boston caused deep disgust in
England, and gave much pleasure in America. Wash-
ington, who never prided himself much on a_ success,
expected that the people, who could not know his diffi-
134 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

culties, would blame him for not having driven the
enemy out sooner. The Massachusetts Legislature, how-
ever, made him an address of thanks, and Congress
presented him with a gold medal. He modestly said
that he was happy to find that his reputation stood
fair.
WASHINGTON AT NEW YORK. 135

CHAPTER XXII.

WASHINGTON AT NEW YORK.
L776.

WASHINGTON made the journey to New York, accom-
panied by Mrs. Washington, her son, who was the gen-
eral’s aid-de-camp, and his wife, or Jack and Nelly, as
they were called in the family. The army traveled in
various divisions, which were carried as far as possible on
the waters of the sound, so that the men might not be
worn out with marching when they reached New York.
At Providence Washington overtook a body of soldiers
who had marched ahead, under the command of General
Greene. Their general ordered all the men who could
boast of uniforms to turn out in honor of the commander
in chief, having first washed their faces and hands, shaved
their beards, and powdered their hair.

The general and his family were in New York by the
13th of April, 1776. Washington had already sent General
Lee to this town in the month of January, when the Eng-
lish general, Clinton, had left Boston with a small British
force, and he feared the English meant to make a lodg-
ment in New York. Lee had begun to fortify both
Brooklyn and New York. The city at that time all lay
below Grand Street. Fortifications were now made all
around the end of the island, and the streets leading to
1386 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

the water were barricaded. Some of the barricades were
made of mahogany logs which were taken from West In-
dia ships. In Brooklyn, besides a fort on the Heights, a
line of works was thrown across the narrowest place be-
hind this village, between Wallabout Swamp and Gowanus
Bay. There were one hundred and twenty-one cannons
in and about New York, thirty-three of which were kept
ready to run to any place where the enemy might make
their most serious attack. During the spring and the
heat of the summer the men dug and dug, expecting
every day that the enemy would appear and that they
would have to fight from behind their unfinished works.
They worked so hard and wore out clothing so fast that it
was impossible to keep them in respectable dress, and a
double allowance of soap was needed for washing hands
and faces.

While Washington was before Boston, and while he was
busy in superintending all that was going on about New
York, he had the affairs of the American army in Canada
upon his shoulders also, although he was too far away to
do more than send general directions and forward men
and supplies. During the past winter Montgomery had
penetrated into Canada by way of Lake Champlain, taken
St. Johns and Montreal, and marched upon Quebec. Wash-
ington had sent Benedict Arnold with eleven hundred
men up the Kennebec River to meet him before the city.
The attack on Quebec had failed, however, and Washing-
ton said that this proved what he had suspected for some
time—which was, that the American soldiers, placed be-
hind a breastwork, stone wall, or any other kind of shel-
ter, would, “from their knowledge of a firelock, give a
WASHINGTON AT NEW YORK. 137

good account of the enemy,” but that they would not
“march boldly up to a work nor stand exposed in a
plain.” A small force of Americans had blockaded Que-
bec all winter, but when the ice in the St. Lawrence
River melted in the spring, so that English troops could
sail in, they were obliged gradually to fall back. Weak-
ened by the smallpox and defeated in a battle at Three
Rivers, they finally retreated through Lake Champlain.
Washington was meanwhile doing all he could to help the
army in Canada, dividing his own forces until, as he said,
there were not enough men to attack the English in
Canada, while there were not enough left to oppose them
in New York. But he did the best he could, and ar-
ranged signals to get in the militia of New Jersey and
Connecticut in case of need.

A young man who joined Washington’s army at this
time said it was an irregular mass of “‘ badly disciplined,
badly armed, and badly equipped men.” THe told how a
body of men calling themselves the Connecticut Light-
horse came and offered their services to Washington. They
were elderly countrymen, mounted on queer old “ jades fi
of horses. Some of them wore dingy regimentals of scar-
let, and three-cornered hats trimmed with tarnished lace,
relics of the last French war, and they all carried old fowl-
ing pieces, many of which were very long. As Washington
had no forage for their old horses, he thanked them and
sent them home. One of these fellows, however, found
his way to Long Island, and was afterward captured by
the British. The English officers made him amble about
for their amusement, and laughed heartily at his expense.
When they asked him what his duties had been in “the
138 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.
rebel army,” he answered, “To flank a little and Carry
tidings.” There was still very little discipline or regard
for appearances among the New England men. General
Putnam rode around in summer wearing a waistcoat
without sleeves, and a hanger strapped across his shoul-
ders. His nephew, who was chief engineer of the army,
was once met by a friend carrying a piece of meat.

“ What!” exclaimed the latter, “carrying home your
rations yourself, colonel ?”

“ Yes,” answered Colonel Putnam, “and I do it to set
the officers a good example.”

Though Washington expected “a very bloody sum-
mer,” he had little time to discipline his men, for they
were constantly employed in digging. But he charged
them to stand to their duty when they were attacked, to
load with balls and buckshot, and not to fire until the
enemy was near. He tried to uniform his soldiers as far
as possible in hunting shirts and what he sometimes
called long breeches, “made gaiter fashion about the
legs,” and sometimes overalls. They were, in fact, a kind
of long trousers, which were a novelty in those days, and
they served to cover the lack of stockings, too common in
the American army. Washington liked this costume be-
cause he thought it terrified the British, who imagined
that a man in an Indian or backwoods dress must be a
good shot. Morgan, who commanded a company of sharp-
shooters during the war, dressed his men in fringed hunt-
ing shirts, wampum belts, leggings, and moccasins worked
with beads and porcupine quills, to which he added also
the knife and tomahawk of the savages. They marched
in Indian file, and he told, after the war, how the very
almos

But as it is ab-
solulely mec-
essar at
men ean

have cloaths
and appear
tight and de
cent he earn.

estly encour
ages the use

2} Wunting
Shirts, with

jena ieee es
mecde of the
same Cloth,
Gaiter fash~
ion about
the Legs, to

ant those yet
unprovided.
No odrrss can
be had cheap-
er nor more
convenient,
Besides sshich
iTis cc cases
sobicd ey

Jhe Generar being ser
sible of the difticulty
and expense o
Bers Claaths of

any kind
for the Trovps,
eels an iunwill-
tig ness Xo recom
mend, much more
to order, any kind
of Uniform




Since the date of m
last we have had the
virlue cond patience
of the Crary put to
the severest trial.
sometimes it has
been five or Six
days Yoqetl er
without bredd,at
olfer times many
days withoul

meats and
once or twice
two or three
days without
athe Olrone
time the sol
diers gat every
kind of horse
food bil Hay
uck wheal com:
mon nee Ae
and Indian @rn
was the com-
position of the
Weal which
made Yheir
bread. As an
Qrmy they bore
it wu cee
eroic patience
: fetes om
Wash ington
te Sen'Schuyler
Jan.3°. 178°.
“She cep iso
lalber saith ie
word Congress”

supposed To Carry no small terrorto upon if, the clothes of willed overall are

the enemy who think every such Trimmed with while ringe, The gaitérs

person & complete markS ma itbeqin just below the knee, Most o then

Washington's GS rdett Book 1776. |qo barefoot” German Officer's Totebook
5 LY a

A SOLDIER OF CONGRESS,

[From a sketch made during the war by a German officer.]
WASHINGTON AT NEW YORK. 139

sight of his riflemen was enough for a Hessian picket.
The Germans would scamper into their lines, crying out
in all the English they knew: “ Rebel in de bush! rebel in
de bush!” There is also another tale which shows how
the English feared this sort of a soldier. An American
who was captured and taken on board an English ship
was asked by the captain how many riflemen he would be
likely to meet in sailing up the Potomac.

“JT don’t mean your regulars,” explained the English
captain, “ but those hunting-shirt fellows from the woods,
who can hit any button on my coat when they are in the
humor of sharpshooting.”

The American assured him that there were plenty of
such men along the Potomac, although there was not in
reality one within hundreds of miles, and the English
captain thought best not to make his trip up the river.

Washington’s headquarters were at a house called
Richmond Hill. Mrs. Washington was with him and
thinking about “taking the smallpox,” though the gen-
eral said that he thought she would not have the resolu-
tion. ‘Taking the smallpox meant inoculation, which
was the only way in those days of escaping this disease, to

3

which she would be much exposed living in an army.
The general went to Philadelphia in May to consult with
Congress, and here Mrs. Washington was inoculated. She
returned to New York again with her husband, and soon
afterward a plot against the general’s life was discov-
ered. Tryon, the royal governor of New York, had re-
tired to a ship of war. From his ship he planned a con-
spiracy, in which many people living in and about New
York were concerned. A man named Hickey, who be-
140 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

longed to Washington’s life guard, was one of the con-
spirators. He was to assassinate Washington, and the other
conspirators were to rise, spike the American cannons, and
capture New York. Hickey decided to poison the com-
mander in chief. He was on good terms with Washing-
ton’s housekeeper, who was the daughter of Sam Fraun-
ces, a celebrated tavern-keeper. He went to this woman
and agreed with her to put poison in a dish of green peas,
of which they knew the general was very fond. Though
the housekeeper pretended to agree with Hickey, she went
to Washington and informed him of the plot against his
life. ‘The poisoned peas came to the table, but Washing-
ton sent them away, and Hickey was soon afterward ar-
rested, as well as many others concerned in the plot.
Hickey was hanged, and Washington was careful after this
to have none but native Americans in his life guard, for
Hickey had been a British deserter.

Meantime the Americans captured several vessels, on
some of which were English soldiers, from whom it was
learned that General Howe had sailed from Halifax,
where he had landed after leaving Boston. With the
enemy coming, Washington was anxious about his lack of
men and arms. Some of the colonies might perhaps get
their proportion of men raised before snowfall, he said,
but not in time to relieve either New York or Canada.
In the early part of June there were less than cight thou-
sand well-armed men in the army. Militiamen who had
no arms were told to bring with them either shovels,
spades, pickaxes or scythes straightened and fastened to
poles. On the 26th of June some large ships were seen
off Sandy Hook. One of them was the Greyhound, with
WASHINGTON AT NEW YORK. 141

General Howe on board. In a few days there were one
hundred and thirty sails outside the harbor. Every-
thing was now made ready for battle, and Mrs. Washing-
ton was sent away. The English general was about to
land his men on Long Island, when he found that the
Americans were strongly posted there, and he chose
Staten Island instead. This was a very anxious time for
Washington, for he expected daily to be attacked at some
point. But during July the enemy lay quiet on their
island, and their fleet gradually grew to three hundred
ships.

On the 9th of July the American army was drawn up
and heard the Declaration of Independence read for the
first time. The soldiers gave many “loud huzzas.” In
the evening a number of them joined a crowd of “ Lib-
erty boys” gathered at Bowling Green, where stood a
statue of George III made of solid lead and gilded. The
crowd pulled down the statue, and it was drawn to Litch-
field, Conn., where the women of the town melted it and
molded it into bullets.

Three days later two English ships of war, the Rose
and the Phoenix, taking advantage of a brisk wind and a
running tide, sailed past the American batteries on the
North River, as the Hudson is called at New York. The
ships kept near the Jersey shore, and their decks were
protected by sand-bags, so that the American cannon did
them no damage. The Rose and Pheenix returned the
American fire, and their balls crashed through houses in
New York. Women and children ran screaming about
the town. The ships ran up to Tappan Zce, where
the river is broad, and there anchored. By this means
149 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

they cut off Washington’s water communication with the
north. The militia watched the shores and prevented the
ships from landing men. The Americans also built some
fire ships and tried to destroy the English vessels. They
grappled with the Phoenix, but she got away, and one of
her tenders only was burned. They towed the remains of
the tender ashore the next day under the enemy’s guns
and saved some cannon from her. The Rose and Phoenix
now sailed back down the Hudson, after having been up
the river five weeks. ‘They received several shots in their
hulls from the American forts, but got off without serious
damage.













we 4

ge ae
So i, ey
-- (£Ziy





WASHINGTON’S HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK ON FIRST ARRIVING.
A QUESTION OF DIGNITY. 143

CHAPTER XXIII.
A QUESTION OF DIGNITY.
1776.

THE admiral of the English fleet was Lord Howe,
brother to General Howe, commander of the army. They
were appointed commissioners by the English Govern-
ment to treat with the American people and try to bring
them to terms. Washington sarcastically remarked that
they were come to “ dispense pardons to repenting sinners.”
On the 14th of July an English officer came up the har-
bor in a boat, carrying a white flag. He was detained by
some whaleboats which made a part of the only fleet
Washington had. The American general consulted with
his officers, and they agreed with him that he ought not to
receive any paper which did not recognize him as a gen-
eral. Colonel Reed, who was Washington’s adjutant-gen-
eral, went down the bay and met the English officer.

“T have a letter from Lord Howe to Mr. Washing-
ton,” said the officer, taking off his hat and bowing
politely.

“ Sir,” answered Reed, “we have no person in the
army with that address.”

“But you will look at the address?” asked the Eng-
lishman, holding out a letter on which was written
“George Washington, Esq.”
144 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

“T can not receive that letter,” said Reed.

“T am very sorry,” said the English officer, “and so
will be Lord Howe, that any error in the swperscription
should prevent the letter being received by General
Washington.”

“ Why, sir,” answered Reed, “I must obey my orders.”

“Oh, yes, sir, you must obey orders, to be sure.”

The officers then exchanged some letters from prison-
ers and parted. But the English boat put back again, and
the officer asked by what title “ General—Myr. Washing-
ton wished to be addressed.”

“ You are sensible, sir,” answered Reed, “ of the rank
of General Washington in our army.”

“ Yes, sir, we are,” answered the English officer. “I
am sure my Lord Howe will lament exceedingly this
affair, as the letter is quite of a civil nature, and not of a
military one. He laments exceedingly that he was not
here a little sooner.” It was supposed that the English
officer meant by this that Lord Howe was sorry he had
not arrived before the Declaration of Independence.

The English admiral next sent a letter addressed to
“George Washington, Esq., &e., &e., &.” But this let-
ter was also refused, and Lord Howe then sent Lieuten-
ant-Colonel Patterson to talk with Washington, who re-
ceived him at Colonel Knox’s headquarters. ‘The Ameri-
can general was very handsomely dressed and “ made a
most elegant appearance,” for Washington was deter-
mined that the English should respect him and his cause.
Colonel Patterson began to talk, taking great care to say
“May it please your Hxcellency’
He explained that the “ &., &c., &c.” on the address of

> as often as possible.
A QUESTION OF DIGNITY. 145

Lord Howe’s letter, which he had brought with him,
“implied everything that ought to follow.” He laid the
letter on the table, but Washington refused to receive it,
saying that a letter sent to a person in a public character
ought to have something on it to show this. After some
talk about the treatment of prisoners, Colonel Patterson
then said that the benevolence of the king had caused
him to make General and Lord Howe commissioners to
settle the present unhappy disputes, and that they would
be very much pleased to effect this. Washington an-
swered that he had no authority in this case, but that it
did not seem that Lord Howe could do anything but
grant pardons, “and that those who had committed no
faults wanted no pardons.” Colonel Patterson refused to
eat of a collation which was prepared, and he and Gen-
eral Washington parted with much ceremonious politeness
on both sides. ;

Washington never failed during the war to insist on
respectful treatment from the enemy. When General
Gage, at Boston, had refused to distinguish American offi-
cers taken prisoner from privates, saying that he did not
recognize a rank which did not come from the king,
Washington replied that a rank which came from the
“choice of a brave and free people” seemed to him the
best of all ranks. Later in the war, when Sir Henry
Clinton once sent a letter to the American general, ad-
dressed to “ Mr. Washington,” the commander in chief
took it from the officer bearing the flag of truce, and said :

“This letter is directed toa planter of the State of
Virginia. I shall have it delivered to him at the end
of the war; till that time it shall not be opened.”

ie)
146 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER XXIV.

THE BATILE OF LONG ISLAND.
L770,

Srnce the first appearance of the English fleet Wash-
ington had been daily looking for an attack. He remind-
ed the men that “the fate of unknown millions” depend-
ed upon their courage and good behavior. Though he
did what he could to encourage them, he had his own
doubts about succeeding in the defense of New York. In
all the posts to be defended he had about twenty-eight
thousand men by the latter part of the summer. But
the season was hot and unhealthy, and something like
nine thousand were ill, so that there were only about
nineteen thousand who were able to fight, and many of
these were militia or raw troops. The English army
amounted to thirty-one thousand, of whom twenty-four
thousand were effective. They were finely trained sol-
diers, with the best of arms. While Washington must
divide up his inferior forces to defend long lines at New
York and Brooklyn and forts above on the Hudson,
Howe could bring most of his to bear upon one spot, if
he chose. The English also had.an immense advantage
in having a fleet to command the waters which nearly
surrounded New York. Washington was so uncertain of
success that he sent all his spare powder to General
THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND. 147

Schuyler, who commanded in northern New York, and
nailed his papers up in a box, which he dispatched to
Congress, but he kept these precautions secret lest his
men should be disheartened.

On the 21st of August.the English were seen to be
getting their troops on shipboard. It was plain that they
meant to attack some part of the American lines. The
next day the Phonix, Greyhound, Rose, and Rainbow,
having been placed so that they could defend the men
from attack, a large body of troops was landed at Graves-
end Bay, on Long Island. There ensued several anxious
days. Washington spent a good deal of time in the
Brooklyn works, making ready for battle. He brought
over more men, until the American forces at this point
amounted to seven thousand, and he put the works in
command of General Putnam, who was familiarly known
as “old Put.” He ordered that the men should have
two days’ provisions of bread and pork always on hand,
and his commands to the troops were, “Be cool and
determined ; do not fire at a distance, but wait for orders
from your officers.”

The English army lay in a plain. Between it and the
American works was a ridge of hills, part of which still
exists in Prospect Park and Greenwood Cemetery. These
hills were rather steep on the side toward the British
army, and were covered with woods and thickets. ‘There
were three roads which ran through them where there
were depressions. The first of these was the Gowanus road,
the second the road to Flatbush, and the third was the
road through Bedford. Away off to the left there was
also a road leading to the village of Jamaica, which crossed
148 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

the hills about four miles away from the Brooklyn lines.
Along these hills the Americans posted their forces.
They could not guard the whole distance perfectly, but as
it was pretty certain that the English would come by
way of the roads, they built barricades of trees across
them and guarded them strongly. The Jamaica road,
however, was so far away from the British army that it
was patrolled by five men who were officers, officers being
almost the only mounted men in the army. troops under General Miles was stationed in the woods
not far from this road, and he was ordered to keep his
“scouts out to watch it. Washington, Putnam, and Sulli-
yan rode out to the hills near Flatbush on the 26th of
August, and viewed the enemy’s encampment through a
field glass. In the evening Washington returned to New
York, where it was necessary for him to keep a watchful
eye for fear of an attack there.

About the same time General Howe began to move
his men silently forward under cover of the darkness, so
that they might be ready for a battle the next day. He
had about three times as many men as the Americans,
and was pretty sure of succeeding. We divided his army
into three columns. One was to march up the Gowanus
road, the second was to march to the Flatbush pass, and
the third and largest column, led by Howe himself, to-
gether with Clinton and Cornwallis, was to march a long
way around to the Jamaica pass, where the English knew
they were not expected. The enemy struck the Ameri-
can pickets on the Gowanus road about two o’clock in the
morning and drove them in. When their pickets fell
back the Americans marched out to meet the enemy,
THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND. 149

whom they found already through the pass. Their gen-
eral, Stirling, drew up his forces, placing part of them
on the high hills where Greenwood Cemetery now is.



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MAP OF THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND.

The British opened a heavy fire from their cannon and
mortars. “ The balls and shells flew fast, now and then
taking off a head,” but the Americans stood to their duty
150 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

manfully. The English did not press them very closely,
for they only wished to keep them engaged while Howe
made his long secret march around to the Jamaica road.
There was, however, some pretty hard fighting for the
possession of the Greenwood hills, and the Americans
kept them.

At the Flatbush pass General Sullivan commanded
the American forces. The Hessians here kept up some
show of attacking, but this was all. Meantime General
Howe, with ten thousand men, had been marching in the
night from the village of Flatlands to the far-away
Jamaica road, guided by three Tories. By coming across
the fields this column got between the American forces
and the five officers who were patrolling the road, about
three o’clock in the morning, and made them all prison-
ers. General Clinton questioned the American officers.
He learned that no troops occupied the Jamaica pass,
but when he tried to learn more, young Lieutenant Duns-
comb, who was a graduate of Columbia College, declared
that “under other circumstances” the English general
would not dare to insult them by asking such questions.
For this the young man got himself called “an impu-
dent rebel,” and was threatened with hanging. Duns-
comb answered that “ Washington would hang man for
man,” and that “as for himself, he should give Clinton
no further information,”

At half past eight in the morning the British had got
through the hills on the Jamaica road. General Miles
had just moved through the woods out to this road, when
he found that the English were on the full march down
it. He thought of trying to cut his way through the
THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND. 151

enemy’s columns and thus reach the Sound, but it was
considered better to retreat. Ie was completely caught
in the trap, and after running against the enemy several
times in the woods, he and his men were taken prisoners.
And now the Hessians marched up the Flatbush road
to attack General Sullivan. This general soon heard the
fire of the English in his rear, where they were chasing
the flying Americans. The enemy was nearer the Brook-
lyn lines than he was. He immediately began a retreat,
and turned the same cannon against the English in his
rear which had been firing upon the Hessians in front.
The gunners stood to their duty “heroically” until
they were all captured. The men fought hard, and
many of them managed to break through the British
lines in small parties and make their way to the Brook-
lyn works. Quite a number were driven back by the
English upon the advancing Hessians, who sometimes
bayoneted the Americans when they resisted too long.
Sullivan himself was taken prisoner by three Hessian
grenadiers.

General Stirling, on the Gowanus road, held his
ground bravely until between eleven and twelve o’clock.
He knew nothing of his danger until he heard firing in
his rear. He then fell back, but found that Cornwallis,
with a part of Howe’s columns, had cut off his retreat on
the Gowanus road. There was but one chance. Stirling
took half of the Maryland battalion and attacked Corn-
wallis, at the same time ordering the rest of his men to
make their way as best they could across Gowanus marsh
and creek. They succeeded in doing this, excepting a
few who were shot or drowned in the attempt. Stirling
159 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

and most of the brave men who covered their retreat were
taken.

During the early part of the morning Washington
had been in New York watching the movements of the
fleet, which threatened the city until a contrary wind
sprang up. He came over to Brooklyn in time to see
from the lines the desperate retreat of the men across
Gowanus swamp.

“My God!” he exclaimed, “what brave men must I
this day lose!”

The battle was all over by two o’clock in the after-
noon, though straggling parties of Americans made their
way into the lines until the next morning. If Howe had
succeeded entirely in his plans he would have cut off all
the American army outside of the works. A surprising
number of the Americans, however, escaped. There were
only about one thousand men missing, and the losses in
killed and wounded were nearly equal, amounting to
something over three hundred in each army.

In this battle about five thousand Americans were
driven back by nearly twenty thousand English. They
must have been driven back sooner or later by a superior
force, but they were outflanked and surrounded, a fact
which was very mortifying to the Americans. Wash-
ington had written frankly some time before this of
“the want of experience to move upon a large scale,”
which, he said, “is common to us all.” This lack of
experience had no doubt something to do with the loss
of the day.

There were great rejoicings in England over this vic-
tory. In many places bonfires were built, windows were
THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND. 153

illuminated, and cannon were fired. But the American
leaders did not lose heart. “ We have lost a battle and a
small island,” said Dr. Rush in Congress, “but we have
not lost a State. Why, then, should we be discouraged ?
Or why should we be discouraged even if we had lost a
State?”
154 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XXYV.

A NIGHT RETREAT.
1776.

Iv rained very hard for two days and nights after the
battle of Long Island. Since a powerful army lay near at
hand, it was necessary to keep the men in the Brooklyn
lines on duty. In some places the poor fellows stood “ up
to their middles” in water. There could be no such
thing as cooking, and they must live on hard biscuit and
raw pork. They were so exhausted that it was almost
impossible to keep them awake. When they did rest they
lay on their arms, without tents or any other covering
from the soaking rain. Washington said that the soldiers
were almost broken down. ‘The commander in chief
spent these two hard days in Brooklyn, and was on horse-
back night and day. He was certain now that most of
the English army was on Long Island, and he ordered
over more troops from New York.

General Ilowe’s camp lay in full sight of the Brook-
lyn works. ‘There were some “ pretty smart” skirmishes
during these rainy days. Once a party of the English ad-
vanced and took possession of some high ground near the
American lines. The Americans marched out and drove
them away, but after they had retired the enemy took it
again. Ilere they began to dig and throw up a breast-
A NIGHT RETREAT. 155

work, which by the next morning was sixty rods long.
Washington now saw that the enemy meant to advance
by trenches, and as some parts of his works were made
only of brush, he knew that they could not stand a regu-
lar siege. Then he feared that the English would make
their way into the East River and cut off his retreat.
The wind had been against them as yet, but when it
should turn he expected that some of the smaller vessels
would manage to get in through Buttermilk Channel,
between Long Island and Governor’s Island, or to sail
safely over the hulks he had sunk between that island
and New York. He did not wish to fight the English
with but half of his army of tired and discouraged men ;
nor did he dare to risk the loss of the division in Brook-
lyn by leaving it to be surrounded. He called a council
of war, and the officers agreed with Washington that a
retreat was necessary.

The general kept his intentions a secret. Te sent
trusted men “to impress every kind of water craft from
Hell Gate to Spuyten Duyvil Creek “that could be kept
afloat, and that had either oars or sails.” He gave out
that he was going to move over re-enforcements from
New York in these boats. Washington then ordered the
men to parade at seven o’clock in the evening in order of
battle. The poor fellows thought that they were going
to fight once more, and some of them made nonenpative
wills—that is, by word of mouth to their comrades.
Later they were given to understand that they were to
be exchanged for fresh men from New Jersey.

When darkness came on all was yery busy, though all
was silent inside the American lines. The sick were
156 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

moved to the ferry first, where they were put into boats
and taken to New York. Then the army began to move.
As one regiment marched off the next one filled its place,
so that the lines should not be left unmanned at any
point. The men carried their baggage on their shoul-
ders, “ through mud and mire, and not a ray of light visi-
ble.” the work of getting them over the Hast River in
boats went on slowly, for the wind was contrary, and the
sailing craft could not be used. At this rate they could
not cross before morning, when the enemy would dis-
cover what was going on and intercept the retreating
army. But by eleven o’clock a breeze from the southeast
sprang up, aud now rowboats and whaleboats, periaugers,
sloops, and sailboats were all in motion. Some of them
were loaded to within three inches of the water.

In the middle of the night a cannon which was being
spiked went off accidentally. The roaring sound in the
stillness of the night produced a startling effect. A party
of men, under General Mifflin, were left to man the
works until the last. It was agreed that they were to
make a stand around the church in case the enemy at-
tacked them, so that the rest of the army might have
time to get safely away. One of the officers, however,
misunderstood his orders, and the entire force. marched
for the ferry about two o’clock in the morning. Wash-
ington met them and ordered them back to the lines, “ or
the most disagreeable consequences” might follow, he
said, since all was confusion at the ferry. The poor fel-
lows marched back to their posts, and there they stayed
until daylight, feeding the camp fires, so that the enemy
might not have reason to suspect anything. Luckily, it
A NIGHT RETREAT. 157

was a foggy morning, and they could hear the English
working away at their trenches with spade and pickaxe,
quite as though their game had not already escaped them.

Washington was everywhere during this anxious night,
and he saw the last man on the boats before he would
leave himself. In one of the last boat loads was a certain
Captain Miller, who could not resist the temptation to
stand up and give three cheers as the craft moved away in
the fog. His huzzas brought down a volley of musketry
from the enemy, which nearly swamped the overladen
boat.

Washington succeeded in carrying away everything
in his hasty retreat excepting a few cannon, which sank
in the mud so that they could not be drawn. The retreat
from Long Island was managed with great ability, and
has since been greatly admired, but it caused much dis-
couragement in the country, where it was not clearly
understood how necessary it was that too much should
not be risked.
158 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER XXVI
AVOIDING A TRAP.
1776.

Wasuineton had wished to hold Brooklyn, for the
reason that it would be impossible for him to defend
New York unless he could command the East River,
which runs between the two towns. Now, however, the
enemy was free to bombard the little city from both rivers
and reduce it to ashes. But what Washington feared
most was that Howe would get into his rear in Westches-
ter County by way of the sound and the East River, and
so catch him in a trap. Hemmed in between the Eng-
lish fleet and the English army, he and his men would
have been captured, and the ruin of the American cause
must have followed such an event.

Soon after the retreat from Brooklyn the ship of war
Rose slipped in between Governor’s Island and Long Is-
land. The Americans fired upon her from New York,
but, though they struck her several times in the hull, she
got by and anchored in Wallabout Bay, on the Brooklyn
side. Washington observed that the English ships were
drawing together and “ getting close in with Governor’s
Island,” while he knew, on the other hand, that the
enemy had a large camp on the sound. These were
ominous signs. He began to move away stores and the
AVOIDING A TRAD, 159

sick, which made about a quarter of his army. He also
caused all the church bells in New York to be taken
down and sent into New Jersey to be melted into
cannon.

The idea of abandoning the city after his men had
worked so hard to build defenses for it was very unpalata-
ble to Washington. The English fought shy of the de-



(a : it





































VIEW OF KINGSBRIDGE.
(From an old print.]



fenses, and were preparing to surround and entrap the
Americans. In fact, they did not wish to destroy the
town, which would make fine winter quarters for them.
General Greene thought that New York should be burned
by the American army, so that the enemy would fail of
their warm quarters. Washington wrote to Congress to
ask whether he should set fire to the city in case he
should be forced to abandon it. The members of Con-
gress, however, voted that New York should not be dam-
160 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

aged, for they expected to regain the town again should
it be lost. At a council of war it was decided to keep
part of the army in the city, and move the other part up
to Kingsbridge. The American officers disliked to aban-
don New York, since Congress seemed to be opposed to
such a movement. But Washington received word from
Congress that the army should not remain in the town
longer than was thought best, and a second council of
war decided on evacuating the city. That same night a
number of English boats went in between Governor’s
Island and Long Island to join the Rose at Wallabout
Bay, where other English ships soon assembled.
Washington now moved men and stores as fast as pos-
sible to Harlem Heights. On the 14th of September he
took up his headquarters at the Morris mansion, at what
is now One Hundred and Sixty-first Street, but then
many miles out of the city. Toward sunset on this day
ten ships made their way into the Hast River, though the
batteries in New York fired upon them. The next day,
which was Sunday, three men of war went up the Hud-
son, so that the American army was threatened from both
sides. Washington was at Harlem, watching the move-
ments of the enemy, who seemed likely to land from Ran-
dall’s Island. Part of his army was still in New York, at
the lower end of the island, to defend his retreat, and part
was stretched along the East River behind earthworks, to
prevent the English from landing at any point and cut-
ting the American forces in two. The question wag
where would they land? Very early on this Sunday
morning five British men-of-war, which had been in Wal-
labout. Bay, crossed over to the New York side and placed
AVOIDING A TRAP. 161

themselves near a cove called Kip’s Bay. The American
militiamen who were stationed at this cove could see the
name of the Phoenix distinctly. At Wallabout Bay Eng-
lish soldiers were embarking in eighty-four boats. One
of the American soldiers who gazed at the boat loads of
red-coated men from the New York side said that they
looked like “a large clover field in full bloom.” But
the Americans did not gaze long. Suddenly the five
ships opened a broadside of seventy or eighty cannon
full upon the breastworks at Kip’s Bay. The roar was
deafening, and there was nothing for the militia to do
but to keep under cover. Even then the English fired
at them from their masts. Soon the men were almost
buried in the remains of their breastworks. The “clover
field ” had arrived by this time, and the English troops
were landed under cover of the smoke from the cannon.
The Americans at Kip’s Bay beat a retreat from the guns
of the ships, and this retreat soon became a flight. Other
men were ordered up to hold the enemy in check, for the
soldiers who were still in New York were in danger if the
Americans did not make a stand and give them time to
escape.

Washington was at Harlem, four miles away, when he
heard the cannonade. He put spurs to his horse and rode
toward the place of danger as quickly as possible. On
what is still known as Murray Hill stood the house of
Robert Murray and a large corn field. Here the general
met his flying militiamen and tried to rally them.

“Take the walls! Take the cornfield!” he shouted.

But the men took to their heels, although there were
only about seventy of the enemy in sight. Washington

13
162 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

was so disgusted that he fell into a towering passion. He
drew his sword, threatening
to run the men through,
and cocked his pistols

at them. But they

8 yo? fled, leaving him
facing the enemy
almost alone and
in danger of
being shot. He
was so vexed
Zz that he threw

ZZ AS his hat on
the ground, and
it was thought
that-for the mo-
ment he “sought
death rather than
life.” Some one

uf










who was with him,






AML As however, caught the

iS Ps D bridle of his horse and

yj i) Say Ze oO turned the animal in the
a opposite direction.

There was now great danger
that the troops which lay three
miles below in New York would be
cut off. General Putnam and _ his
young aid, Aaron Burr, galloped down
past the retreating men, to their rescue.

MAP OF AMERICAN RETREAT 5
Frou New yor« city. Most of them Jay in and near a fort
AVOIDING A TRAP. 163

which stood outside of the city. They could sce the
enemy taking possession of the island above them, but
they had no orders. Presently came Burr telling them
to retreat. General Knox answered that there was no
hope for them, and that he would defend the fort till
the last. But Burr declared that he could show them a
way out. Tle and Putnam led the men along the west
side of the island, taking great pains to keep them in
the woods and out of sight of the road. The officers
were everywhere urging the men on. The day was very
hot, and some of the exhausted soldiers died at springs
where they drank. Everything depended on whether the
English should stretch their lines across the island before
the Americans could pass them, under cover of the woods.

Meantime General Howe and his officers, with true Brit-
ish deliberation, had stopped at the house of Mrs. Robert
Murray, who treated them to cake and wine. Governor
Tryon, who was with Howe, joked Mrs. Murray about her
American friends. Two hours were spent in this way.
While the English leaders were enjoying Mrs. Murray’s
refreshments, the rear of the American forces safely made
its hasty and winding march of twelve miles to Harlem.
It was often said after this that Mrs. Murray’s cake and
wine saved a part of the American army.
164 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER XAVIL.

A SMALL BATTLE.
1776.

WaAsHINGTON drew his army up on Harlem Heights
and extended it across from the Tarlem River to the
Hudson.
loaded with stones to be sunk in the river and fastened
together with chains between two military posts named
Fort Washington and Fort Lee, and he hoped thus to
defend his position and keep the enemy from going up
the river. Below the heights toward the city lay a hol-
low, and beyond the hollow were Bloomingdale Heights.
As Bloomingdale Heights were covered with woods, the
movements of the enemy on this part of the island could
not be seen. Before daylight on the morning after his
retreat from New York, Washington sent a party of
rangers, under the command of Colonel Thomas Knowl-
ton, a brave officer who had fought at Bunker’s Hill, to
reconnoiter toward Bloomingdale Heights, so that the
general might know what the English were about there,
and to protect the main body of the Americans who were
digging intrenchments about this new camp. Colonel
Knowlton marched forward through the woods, till he
fell upon a part of the English forces. He placed his
men behind a stone wall, and there was a smart little
A SMALL BATTLE, 165

skirmish, in which about ten Americans were killed.
Knowlton then found that the enemy was trying to turn
his flank, and retreated.

While this skirmish was going on Washington was
writing a letter to Congress, in which he told how, the
day before, a part of his troops at Kip’s Bay had run
away from the enemy “ without firing a single shot,” and
how their “disgraceful and dastardly conduct” had cost
him the loss of most of his heavy cannon in New York.
Just as the general sent away this letter he was informed
that there was fighting going on, and rode to the Point of
Rocks, where he could look off and see his rangers re-
treating in good order, while the enemy appeared on
Bloomingdale Heights, where they blew their bugles as
though they were on a fox-chase—a sound which made
the Americans’ blood boil.

Colonel Knowlton reported that there were about
three hundred of the enemy, and as Washington knew
that they must be detached from the main army, he
thought he might capture them. He sent out some
troops to engage them in front while others should steal
around to their rear. When the English saw a small
party of Americans marching out to attack them, they
ran down the hill into a field and took a position behind
some bushes and a rail fence. In order to keep the Eng-
lish busy while another detachment was marching to
their rear, the Americans began firmg at long range.
The party which attempted to get behind the enemy was
made up of New England men, under Colonel Knowlton,
and Virginians, under Major Leitch. By some mistake,
they did not wait until they were in the rear to make
166 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

their attack, but opened fire when they were on the
flank or side of the Englishmen. The British began to




wm Represents Americansy
ca Represents English y

MAP OF THE
BATTLE OF HARLEM HEIGHTS,

retreat, and the Americans rushed after them, up the
rocky sides of Bloomingdale Heights, pouring in a heavy
A SMALL BATTLE. 167

fire upon the enemy. At the top of the ridge Major
Leitch fell, with three bullets in his side, and was carried
back to the army, where he died about two weeks later.
Colonel Knowlton also goon received a mortal wound. captain who stood by his side asked him if he was badly
hurt.

“Tam,” answered the brave officer, “but I do not
value my life if we do but get the day.”

The fighting went on, and Washington ordered up re-
enforcements until the Americans amounted to about
eighteen hundred, in command of Putnam, Greene, and
Clinton. They charged the English and drove them
from the top of the heights through a piece of woods to a
buckwheat field. Here the English were re-enforced by
Hessian troops and two field pieces. There was a stub-
born little battle in the buckwheat field, which lasted for
an hour and a half. Again the enemy fell back, and again
the Americans chased them to an orchard, and on down
one slope and up another. The officers thought best to
leave off the pursuit here, as they were near the main
body of the British army, and already fresh men were
hurrying forward to oppose them. Washington dared
not bring on a general engagement, and he ordered his
men back. They gave a loud hurrah and retreated in
good order.

The battle of Harlem, as this affair is sometimes called,
had a good effect in giving the Americans some heart, for
they had been deeply discouraged by the defeat at Long
Island. It was plain that they could face and drive the
enemy in the field.

The American army lay on Harlem Heights, digging
168 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

industriously. “I have never spared the spade and the
pickaxe,” said Washington. General Howe had his dis-
couragements now. He had a wholesome respect for
Americans behind intrenchments, and he did not see
how he was to dislodge them from Harlem Heights.
The royalists did not flock to his standard in great num-
bers, as Governor Tryon had promised, while in England
it was expected that he would conquer the Americans be-
fore the year was out.

If Howe had causes for discouragement, Washington’s
were much greater. He had now only about fourteen
thousand men in his army. They had been engaged for a
year, and in a few months their time of service would be
out. Depending on the militia was, he said, “leaning on
a broken staff.” After the battle of Long Island, indeed,
great numbers of these troops had marched off home. As
they took with them arms, which were even more precious
than men, Washington was forced to place a guard at
Kingsbridge to stop the fugitives. This guard arrested
one fellow who carried a bag in which there was, among
other things, a cannon ball. When he was asked what he
wanted with this, he said that he was taking it home to
his mother to “ pound mustard with.”

The early ardor for war had died away. When men
were first “irritated and their passions inflamed,” as Wash-
ington said, they flew “hastily to war,” but now a soldier
who was reasoned with and told fine things about the
rights he was contending for, would answer that this was
all very true, but that these rights were of no more im-
portance to him than to others, and that he could not
afford to ruin himself to serve his country while every one
A SMALL BATTLE. 169

in the country was benefited by his labors. The few men
who were really disinterested, Washington said, were but
“a drop in the ocean.” Because of his great difficulties in
raising and training men only to have them dispersed
again, Washington begged, and begged often in vain,
that soldiers might be raised for the term of the whole
war. There was a good deal of jealousy in Congress lest
Washington, should he have a permanent army, would
have too much power—a power which might endanger the
liberties of the country.

Washington’s many difficulties, the poverty of America,
the weakness of Congress as a government, the inexperi-
ence of the men and officers, and the lack of all kinds of
manufactured articles for warfare, left but one course for
him to pursue. He must make the struggle a war of posts;
he must retreat from post to post when threatened by supe-
rior force, and not risk his “young troops” in the open
field. In this way he might compel the enemy to waste their
time and spend immense sums of money without gaining
any advantage so great as to promise a successful end to
the war. On the other hand, should he once lose his army
and stores America could not recover from the blow.

There were wise men in Europe who saw that this
was Washington’s true policy; but the people of America
looked for a brilliant stroke which should puta speedy
end to the war, just as the English Government expected
that Howe would reduce America in one campaign.
Washington’s position was a very unhappy one, as he lay
upon Harlem Heights and looked back over a summer
of disaster and loss. He said that he should not be sur-
prised were he “capitally censured by Congress.” He
170 THE STORY OF WASIINGTON.

wrote a confidential letter to Lund Washington, a man
who had charge of Mount Vernon, in which he described
his difficulties, so that his friend might make them public,
out of justice to his character, in case he fell. “If I were
to wish the bitterest curse to an enemy on this side the
graye,” wrote Washington, “I should put him in my stead
with my feelings.”

There were many no doubt who at this time blamed
Washington for the losses of the summer. Some thought
that General Lee, who had fought in Europe, would
make a much better commander. It is plain now that
though Washington had accomplished nothing brilliant
during the summer, he had done much with his small,
badly equipped army in giving General Howe all that
he could do for months to gain possession of one small
city. “Is it not strange,” said bluff old Putnam, “that
those invincible troops, who were to destroy and lay
waste all this country with their fleets and army, are so
fond of islands and peninsulas, and dare not put their
feet on the main!”
THE BATTLE OF WHITE PLAINS. 171

CHAPTER XXVIII

THE BATTLE OF WHITE PLAINS AND THE LOSS OF
FORT WASHINGTON.
L776.

WASHINGTON wished very much to hold Harlem
Heights, so that he might guard the great water way, the
Hudson River. But, after wasting a great deal of time,
Howe tried once more his favorite stratagem of gaining
the American rear, hoping to capture Washington’s whole
army and thus end the war, as people in England ex-
pected him to do. He sent two frigates up the Hudson.
They got over the sunken hulks at high tide with very
little trouble, though the American gunners at Fort Lee
and Fort Washington did their best to injure the English
ships with cannon balls. This was a disappointment to
Washington, as he had hoped that the sunken vessels and
the batteries on either side would have been enough to
block the river. Three days later Howe put a large
part of his army on ships, sailed up the East River
through Hell Gate, and landed at Throg’s Neck, a point
jutting out from the Westchester coast; but a body of
Americans pulled up the boards of the causeways which
connected this point with the mainland, and so held the
English army in a trap.

While the enemy was wasting time at Throg’s Neck,
172 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Washington held a council of war, and decided to change
his position, lest Howe should get into his rear. So, he
moved back, and placed his army along the Bronx River.
Not caring to face the American riflemen at the broken
causeways, Howe put his men into boats once more and
moved over to Pell’s Point. From here he marched
toward New Rochelle. He was attacked on the way by
a body of militiamen from behind stone walls. The Eng-
lish lost some men in this skirmish, and Washington
praised the Americans for their conduct.

Howe spent several days at New Rochelle. It was
important for Washington to know what the enemy was
doing, for he and the English general were now playing
a desperate game, and it was a question as to who could
move most quickly and wisely. He accordingly sent
Colonel Putnam to find out. Putnam took the cockade
out of his hat, pulled it down about his ears, and hid his
sword and pistols. This was enough to make an Ameri-
can officer look like any other man. He then rode
near the enemy’s lines, and learned from some people
who were friendly to the American cause that the Eng-
lish were secretly moving toward White Plains, where the
Americans had some stores which they could not afford
to lose. Colonel Putnam rode back to camp and told the
general what he had discovered. Washington immedi-
ately pushed his army on to White Plains, and was there
before Howe. He placed his forces on some hilly ground,
with the left of his army protected by a mill pond and
the right by a bend in the Bronx River. He hastily
threw up breastworks made of cornstalks, the roots, with
the soil clinging to them, being placed outward, so that
MAP

Manbalta

or



THE

BATTLE



OF

este

ra .
coy)

WHITE





i

PLAINS,




THE BATTLE OF WHITE PLAINS. 173

they looked like real earthworks. Washington also sta-
tioned a part of his men on Chatterton’s Hill, which lay
on his right on the other side of the Bronx. There was
no time to fortify this spot even with cornstalks, for Howe
appeared by the 28th of October. The two armies were
each thirteen thousand strong. The English were about
to attack the Americans in front at first, but the corn-
stalk works looked formidable from without, and they
turned their forces against Chatterton’s Hill. About
four thousand British and Hessians pushed up the as-
cent. The Americans, who were only about sixteen hun-
dred in number at this point, poured a hot fire down upon
them, at short range, from the crest of the slope. The Eng-
lish fell back, but came on again and were met once more
with a withering fire. Meantime, however, a body of
Hessians had attacked the hill on the right, where there
were militia posted, and had driven them back. The
Americans were now between two fires and were forced
to retreat to the main army, carrying off their wounded
and artillery. They lost one hundred and thirty in killed
and wounded, and thirty prisoners. The English lost two
hundred and thirty-one.

Howe meant now to try to carry the American corn-
stalk works by assault, but he waited all the next day for
re-enforcements. When they arrived it was raining, and
meantime Washington, having removed the stores at
White Plains, made one of his quick moves in the night
back to the heights of North Castle, where his position
was so strong that Howe thought best to let him alone.
It was this quickness of Washington in evading the
enemy which made his men nickname him “ Sly Fox.”
174 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

The English general now turned his attention to Fort
Washington, which lay in his rear, and which he wished to
reduce before marching upon Philadelphia. Since it had
been found that this post could not prevent the enemy’s
vessels from sailing up the Hudson, Washington’s judg-
ment had been against holding it. But Congress wished
it to be held. While he was at White Plains, however,
Washington sent word to General Greene, who command-
ed at Fort Washington and its companion, Fort Lee, across
the river, to withdraw the artillery and stores from the
post preparatory to abandoning it. But he did not make
this a positive command, as he thought Greene, who
was on the spot, could judge better than he whether it
would be necessary. Meantime Washington, so soon as
Howe began to withdraw from White Plains, threw a part
of his men over into New Jersey, going with them him-
self, since he thought that the English general must march
into this State next, for, said he, “ what has he done as
yet with his great army?” When Washington reached
Fort Lee, on the New Jersey side, he found to his chagrin
that General Greene had done nothing toward evacuating
Fort Washington. There was time yet to withdraw
the garrison, but the dislike Congress had shown to such
a measure, the advice of many about him, and the fact
that the true policy of America was to cause the English
to waste the campaign without coming to a general
action or allowing them to overrun the country, caused, as
Washington afterward said, a “warfare” and hesitation
in his mind which ended in his letting the opportunity
slip for abandoning the fort.

Howe had been slowly drawing his forces around Fort

?
THE LOSS OF FORT WASHINGTON. 175

Washington. There were a number of outside works be-
longing to this post which were to be defended with
something over twenty-eight hundred men. Meantime
an American officer in the fort, named Demont, deserted
to the enemy with plans of the works and information of
the numbers and position of the enemy. The English
general summoned the garrison to surrender on the loth
of November, threatening to put the men to the sword if
they did not do so. Colonel Magaw made answer that
such a threat was unworthy of a British general, and that
he was determined to defend the post. Washington and
several of his generals crossed over the Hudson the next
day in boats, gave what advice they could, and then went
back. The English attacked the American works in three
places on the same day. One column moved down from
Kingsbridge, another crossed the Harlem, and a third
came up from the direction of New York. The Ameri-
cans fought in a spirited manner, and Washington, who
watched them from the other side of the river, hoped that
they would repulse the English; but a fourth column of
the enemy presently crossed the Harlem, got into the rear
of the men facing toward the city, and forced them to fly to
the fort in confusion. The Americans were now driven in
from the other points, and they were all crowded together
in the fort, where they were exposed to a deadly fire from
all sides. Howe summoned Magaw to surrender. He
asked for a parley of four hours. He was allowed half an
hour. Washington sent a captain over in a boat to tell
Magaw to hold out till night, when he would try to bring
the men off. The captain ran through the enemy’s fire
to deliver his message. Magaw, however, had gone too
14
176 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

far in making a treaty. He surrendered, and Washington
lost over twenty-eight hundred men, while the English
lost some four hundred and ‘fifty in killed and wounded.
The fall of Fort Washington was a very severe blow to
the American cause. Greene, who was more responsible
for it than any
other officer, said,
“T feel mad, vexed,
sick and sorry.”
Washington la-
mented his men,
many of whom had
been well trained,
and regretted the



REMAINS OF FORT WASHINGTON AS THEY AP- loss of so many
PEARED INS SOU arms and accoutre-
[From an old print.]

ments, articles hard
for America to procure. But he nobly refrained from
blaming others, and it was long before the world knew
that the fort was held against his better judgment. “I
never shall attempt to palliate my own foibles by expo-
sing the error of another,” he said some years after, in
alluding to this event. At the time he merely wrote
regretfully that, without this misfortune, General Howe,
with so much the best and largest army, “ would have

had a poor tale to tell.”
CHASED THROUGH NEW JERSEY. 177

CHAPTER XXIX.

CHASED THROUGH NEW JERSEY.

Ir was useless to try to hold Fort Lee after the capture
of Fort Washington. The general ordered that the ammu-
nition and cannon should be moved away from this post,
but before everything could be saved Cornwallis crossed
the Hudson above the fort, on a stormy night, with
about six thousand men. The morning found the Eng-
lish threatening the fort. Washington immediately rode
there from Hackensack, and he and Greene hurried the
men away, leaving their tents standing and their kettles
boiling over the fires. By moving very quickly they were
all got across the Hackensack before Cornwallis could in-
tercept them.

Everything now looked very gloomy for the American
army. During three months over five thousand of their
men had been made prisoners, killed, and wounded, be-
sides many who had died of disease. Over two hundred
cannon had also been lost, as well as many tents and
much baggage. While Washington was in New York
State he had succeeded in keeping a powerful English
army, with its well-trained men and fine artillery, at bay,
by taking advantage of the rough, hilly country and the
stone walls which made natural breastworks, and by using
178 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

the pickaxe and shovel on every occasion. Now, however,
he was in a level land, while the all-important spades and
pickaxes had been left behind in his rapid marches. He
had little over three thousand men with him by this
time, and many of them belonged to the “ flying camp,”
as the militia were called, and were anxious to be dis-
missed from their hard service. Perhaps few generals
were ever placed in a harder position.

General Lee had been left by Washington on the other
side of the Hudson with half of the dwindling army.
The commander now sent Lee word to join him. There
was danger lest Washington should be shut in by the
enemy between the Hackensack and the Passaic Rivers,
so he crossed the Passaic and marched to Newark. He
left Newark on the 28th of November, and while his |
rear was marching out of the town at one end the Brit-
ish advance marched in at the other. Washington
pushed on to New Brunswick, where he thought of
trying to prevent the English from crossing the Raritan,
but he found that the stream was so shallow that they
could walk through it anywhere. At this place some
New Jersey and Maryland troops, whose time was up, re-
fused to stay with the American army an hour longer.

Washington had hoped that the New Jersey militia
would turn out to help him defend their State; but, in-
stead of this, the people seemed to think that the cause
was lost, and, wishing to save their property, submitted to
the English as fast as they approached. ‘The general, in
his anger, declared that the conduct of this State was
“infamous.” He hurried on to Trenton, got his stores
across the Delaware, and then turned about to face the
CHASED THROUGH NEW JERSEY. 179

enemy once more. But a large English army was ap-
proaching by this time, for Howe, finding how weak
Washington was, had come from New York to take the
head of his forces, and was planning to take
Philadelphia, and so to make a brilliant end-
ing to the year’s work. There was nothing
for Washington but to cross the Delaware.
Once over, he took across or de-
stroyed all the boats upon the stream

i








Ramapo ¢






MAP OF THE
RETREAT THROUGH NEW JERSEY.



within seventy miles of him, and stationed his men at the

fords to prevent the enemy from going any farther.
Washington’s numbers now amounted to only about

three thousand men. He had sent repeated orders to
180 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

General Lee to join him, with the other half of the
army, but this general preferred to stay where he
would have a separate command, and there is reason to
believe that he wished for Washington’s ruin. He made
various excuses, and remained away. Lee was at this
time very popular. The commander in chief was blamed
by many for the misfortunes of 1776, and they imag-
ined all would have gone better with Lee in com-
mand. Even an officer and particular friend of Washing-
ton—Colonel Reed—wrote to Lee in words which showed
that he thought him an abler officer than the chief. Lee’s
answer was opened by Washington, who thought it was
on matters of business, and he was hurt to discover the
way in which he was spoken of by those nearest him.
He sent the letter to Reed, explaining how he had come
to see words which he would rather not have seen. When
Reed afterward tried to explain the matter away, Wash-
ington received his apologies very generously. At this
disastrous time, however, the unkind words must have
given him pain. Instead of marching to Washington’s
aid, Lee chose to hang upon the rear of the enemy in
New Jersey. He was finally taken prisoner, and igno-
miniously carried off without a hat by a party of Eng-
lish soldiers. His reputation had a sudden fall, for it
was suspected that he had kept near the enemy because
he wished to be taken. Washington only said, “ Unhap-
py man!”

It was the darkest moment during the whole war
when Washington lay at the fords of the Delaware with
but a few thousand men. He hoped the enemy would
find it hard to cross the river, but he feared that they
CHASED THROUGH NEW JERSEY. 181

might bring up pontoons; and, in any case, when the
river should freeze, they could easily march upon Phila-
delphia. He feared that the loss of that city, the larg-
est in America and the seat of Congress, would result in
the entire failure of the American cause. One of Wash-
ington’s fine qualities, however, was a certain equability
of temperament, which prevented him from being unduly
depressed by misfortune or very much elated by success.
He wrote to his brother at this dark time that the cause
was so just that he could not believe that it would “ final-
ly sink,” though it might “remain for some time under
a cloud.” He was determined at least to keep up the
Report, he said, would exagger-
ate his numbers, and so aid in causing the enemy to re-

2

“shadow of an army.

spect him. He was even wondering what he should do
if the worst should happen.

“ What think you,” said he to General Mercer, “if we
should retreat to the back parts of Pennsylvania; would
the Pennsylvanians support us?”

“Tf the lower counties give up, the back counties will
do the same,” answered Mercer.

“We must then,” said Washington, “retire to Au-
gusta County, in Virginia. Numbers will repair to us for

?

safety, and we will try a predatory war. If overpowered,
we must cross the Alleghanies.”

A man who saw the American general during these
dreary days on the Delaware has left a description of him.
Washington was standing by a small camp fire, but he
did not appear to be warming himself, and was lost in
thought. He was as straight “as an Indian, and did not
for a moment relax from a military attitude.” ‘The ob-
189 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

server said that he seemed to be six feet and a half in
height. He was not “ what the ladies would call a pretty
man,” he said, but he was a “heroic figure.” His “ hair
was a chestnut brown, his cheeks were prominent, and
his head was not large in contrast to every other part of
his body, which seemed large and bony at all points. His
finger joints and wrists were so large as to be genuine
curiosities.” His knee was a little lame from running
against a tree, and his nose was red from the piercing
wind. Otherwise his face was very colorless, and his eyes
were so gray as to appear almost white. He was hoarse,
and had a piece of flannel tied around his throat. His
face wore a troubled look, as he stood thinking by the
camp fire. He was, in fact, planning one more effort to
save the cause by a last desperate blow at the enemy.

?
THE BATTLE OF TRENTON, 1838

CHAPTER XXX.
THE BATTLE OF TRENTON,
L776.
THE English, finding the Delaware well guarded, had

gone into winter quarters at New Brunswick, Borden-
town, Princeton, and Trenton, until the time when the



THE BLUE ROOM IN THE BEEKMAN HOUSE.
[Howe’s headquarters in New York.]

river should freeze over and make an easy road to Phila-
delphia. General Howe made his way back to New
York to enjoy the winter, and Cornwallis was about to
sail for England. When Washington had crossed the
184 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Delaware Congress had thought best to take refuge
in Baltimore, and many of the people of Philadelphia
had fled the town in wagons or in boats. ‘The con-
test seemed to be about over. Prominent men on the
American side, it is said, were discussing the probability
of their being hanged for rebels. The American soldiers
were so badly clothed, that men went around Philadelphia
and collected old clothes for them as for an army of beg-
gars, and Washington was grateful even for this aid. His
forces were about this time increased by some thousands of
new men.
delphia, and after Lee’s lucky capture his division joined
Washington’s army. But the first of January was near at
hand, and he would have only fifteen hundred regular
soldiers after this time, as the term of service of most
of the men ran out with the old year. He was almost
in despair when he thought of it. It was apparent to
Washington that some desperate effort must be made to
rouse the spirits of the people, or an army could not be
raised for the coming year. He was probably revolving
such a plan in his mind when he stood before the little
camp fire, pale and troubled, with a red nose and a sore
throat. He held a council of war, at which it was de-
cided to make an effort to capture a Hessian force of
twelve hundred men which lay at Trenton. “For
Ileaven’s sake, keep this to yourself!” he wrote to Colonel
Reed. He found that his numbers were even smaller
than he had thought, “but necessity, dire necessity,” he
said, “ will—nay, must—justify any attempt.”
Washington planned to cross the Delaware at Me-
Conkey’s Ferry, nine miles above Trenton, himself.
THE BATTLE OF TRENTON, 185

Another body of men under General Cadwalader was
to cross opposite the town, and General Ewing was to
make his way over at Bordentown to assist in surround-
ing the Hessians. Cadwalader and Ewing failed to get
across, however, on account of the floating ice. On
Christmas eve Washington marched to the river with
twenty-four hundred men, many of whom left bloody
footprints on the snow, because their worn-out shoes did

go





_. 929
rn Sts
* 497 d0u73




MAP OF THE
BATTLE OF TRENTON,

not protect their feet. It was a stormy night, and hail
and snow were falling. A regiment of Marblehead sail-
ors manned the boats, and the men were slowly pushed
across amid great blocks of floating ice. It was already
three o’clock on Christmas morning before the artillery
was landed, and Washington feared that he would be too
late to surprise the enemy; but try he must. The men
were provided with ropes to carry off captured cannon if
possible, and hammers and spikes with which to spike
them if not. Washington made his officers set their
186 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

watches by his, so that they might all attack the town
at the same moment. He divided his men intotwo col-
umns, which were to march into Trenton from two differ-
ent roads. Some of the soldiers sent word that they
could not keep their muskets dry. Washington an-
swered that, if they could not fire, they must use the bayo-
net, for the town was to be taken at all hazards. The two .
columns struck Trenton within three minutes of each
other. It was eight o’clock in the morning, but most of
the Hessians were still sleeping soundly after a Christmas
revel at which they had drunk pretty freely. The outposts
were surprised, but retreated into Trenton, firing as they
went, while the Americans rushed after them pell-mell.
The sleepy Hessians and their commander, Rahl, jumped
out of their beds to form in the streets of the town.
But the Americans had already captured most of their
cannon, and were sweeping the streets with them. The
Hessians escaped into the fields and tried to retreat
toward New Brunswick, but Washington, with a company
of riflemen, intercepted them. They turned two guns
against their pursuers, but the Americans charged them
and took the cannon. Rahl fell mortally wounded while
he was trying to rally his men, and the main body of
the Hessians soon surrendered. Washington took nine
hundred prisoners, six brass field pieces, standards, horses,
and a great deal of plunder. He had only two men
killed, one frozen to death, and six wounded. He dared
not remain so near the enemy with so small a force.
His men were making too merry a Christmas out of
the spirits they found in Trenton, and would be in
no condition to resist an attack, so, having first made a
THE BATTLE OF TRENTON. 187

visit to the dying Rahl, he immediately recrossed the
Delaware.

That the people might realize how much of a victory
had been won, the Hessian prisoners were marched
through Philadelphia. They were sent to Virginia for
safe-keeping, and everywhere that they went they were
hooted at by the crowd for hiring themselves out to kill
American freemen. Old women especially scolded them
roundly. When Washington heard of this he caused
notices to be posted in the towns through which the
prisoners passed, informing the people that the Hessians
had not come to America of their own free will, but were
forced to do so, and should therefore be treated as friends
rather than enemies. After this no more old women
berated the unfortunate Germans, but old and young
brought them food and treated them kindly.

The battle of Trenton caused great joy in America
and revived the drooping spirits of the people. But
when Congress praised Washington for his success, he
modestly answered that the other officers deserved as
much praise as he did.

Cornwallis thought best not to go to England.
188 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER XXXI.

THE BATTLE OF PRINCETON.
L777.

GENERAL CADWALADER, who had not succeeded in
crossing the Delaware on the night of the capture of
Trenton, went over two days later, for he supposed Wash-
ington was still in New Jersey. He found that he was
mistaken, but as the English forces in this part of the
State had retreated toward New Brunswick, he marched
to a town named Crosswicks. The Americans had gained
heart wonderfully since the battle of Trenton, and fit-
teen hundred militia soon followed Cadwalader across
the Delaware. The New Jersey militia was also begin-
ning to rise in different places. The people of this State
had suffered much. They were the first Americans who
knew what it was to have a victorious European army
overrun their country. Washington had found it next to
impossible to keep his men from plundering houses under
pretense of punishing Tories. If it was hard to keep
American soldiers from robbing their own people, it was
impossible to prevent the English and Germans in
THowe’s army from plundering houses, burning property,
and abusing women. ‘The very people who had sub-
mitted so tamely a few weeks before were now ready to
rise against their conquerors,
THE BATTLE OF PRINCETON. 189

Washington was anxious to take advantage of this
feeling among the Americans. With a great deal of trou-
ble he persuaded hig men whose time was up to stay
with him six weeks longer, promising to pay them ten
dollars bounty. He crossed the Delaware once more,
meaning “to beat up the enemy’s quarters ” again, as he
said. He took a stand in Trenton, where Cadwalader
joined him by making a night march. But Cornwallis
was on the alert now. He moved toward Trenton with
eight thousand men, intending either to capture the
Americans or drive them back over the Delaware.
Washington sent out a detachment to delay the Hnglish
army, which it did, disputing every foot of the road
with Cornwallis. Meantime he drew up his men be-
hind a shallow stream called the Assunpink, which runs
through Trenton. As the English army neared the town,
fighting with the American detachment, Washington sent
out more troops to support his skirmishers, but they were
all finally driven back, and the enemy entered Tren-
ton. They tried several times to cross the Assunpink and
attack the Americans, but they were driven back by the
American artillery. Washington stood at the bridge over
the Assunpink on his white horse commanding the men.
When the English fell back the Americans cheered.
Cornwallis decided to postpone the battle till the next
day, when he could bring up re-enforcements from Prince-
ton. He would “bag the fox in the morning,” he said.
The two armies merely kept up a cannonade until dark.

A half an hour more would have decided the day and
probably have defeated the American army, for the Eng-
lish soldiers were greater in numbers, and were so much
190 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

better disciplined, that it was hardly possible that the raw
American troops could withstand them. Washington
saw that he was in a dangerous position, for behind him
ran the Delaware, blocked with floating ice, and if he
were beaten retreat would be impossible. Nor did he
dare dishearten the country once more by falling back
without a battle.

There was a roundabout road vig |

wee i
which ran from Trenton to g OR Seaway
ince tan Too 2 vat
5 Kon os
Say 2

Fakenyeds
ages retreat



Princeton, -known as
the Quaker road.




rant
ys rer gle “
Lin "® 2 eh wd
Nes . payee Ks
Qa F
3 ae





Aus

Washington de-
cided on the bold
plan of secretly taking
this road in the night, and thus get-
ting into the rear of Cornwallis. He
sent men to dig very industrionsly where
the English sentries could hear them,
that he might lead the English to sup-
Mapor tue parrte pose that he was determined to stay

eeeeTeX where he was. About midnight the
Americans built wp their camp fires on the bank of the
creek, and marched away. Fortunately for them, the
roads, which had been deep with mud, had now frozen
up, and by sunrise of January 3d they were within two
miles of Princeton.

‘Mawhooa sees
Teccer and
advances




na

ae
ee

agape tn see

aT OL





THE BATTLE OF PRINCETON. 191

Washington divided his men into two bodies; one
was to march straight into Princeton, while the other
was to cross over to the main road which led from
Princeton to Trenton, and break up a bridge over Stony
Creek, so that Cornwallis could not easily come to the
rescue. Three English regiments had spent the night in
Princeton. It happened that one of these regiments, com-
manded by Colonel Mawhood, had already marched out of
Trenton on the way to join Cornwallis, while a second
was about to start. Mawhood had crossed the bridge
over Stony Creek when he saw the glitter of arms on
the Quaker road. What he saw was General Mercer’s
division of the American army coming to destroy the
bridge; but the English officer, supposing it to be a
broken portion of the American army defeated by Corn-
wallis, faced about and recrossed the bridge to attack the
Americans, while he sent messengers ahead to bring up
the other regiments in Princeton. Mercer and Mawhood
both tried to gain some high ground near at hand; but
the Americans got there first, and poured a hot fire down
upon the British regiment. A shot in the leg of his
horse dismounted General Mercer. The English now
charged with fixed bayonets, and the Americans, having
no bayonets, gave way. Mercer tried to rally them, but
he was run through with bayonets, and his troops fled
through an orchard, chased by the English soldiers.

Meantime Washington, when he had heard the first
firing, halted the other division of the army and sent for-
ward a body of militia. Mawhood, when he came through
the orchard, halted at the sight of fresh troops, and
brought his artillery to bear upon them. Washington

15
199 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

now rode up. He sent his aid, Fitzgerald, to order up
more troops, and tried to rally Mercer’s retreating men
and encourage the fresh men arriving on the scene. He
tried several times, and several times he failed. The fine
discipline of the English soldiers was too much for the
Americans. Fitzgerald returned from his errand just in
time to see the commander in chief, as the men fell away
from him, rein up his horse between his own lines and
those of the enemy and there stand immovable. At this
mute appeal the Americans halted, dressed their lines,
and took aim. Washington stood between the fire of
friend and foe. Fitzgerald pulled his hat over his eyes
that he might not see his general killed. There was a
roar of musketry and a shout. Fitzgerald looked once
more. The enemy was flying, and Washington was to be
dimly seen amid the smoke. The young man spurred his
horse forward and cried, while the tears ran down his
face :

“Thank God, your excellency is safe!”

The general grasped his hand, and then said: “ Away,
my dear colonel, and bring up the troops—the day is our
own.”

Mawhood’s regiment fled toward Trenton. Another
English regiment, marching out of Princeton to the res-
cue, was beaten by the advance of the American army,
under General St. Clair, and took to the fields, making its
way back to New Brunswick.
ment, which was still in Princeton, fled in the same direc-
tion, while the remaining portion took refuge in the college
building. A few cannon shot soon forced these men to
surrender. Picking up some shoes and blankets left in
THE BATTLE OF PRINCETON. 193

Princeton by the English, and burning some hay, the
American army marched on to Somerset Courthouse, de-
stroying the bridge over the Millstone behind them.
Here Washington halted his men, for they had had no
rest for two days and a night.





NASSAU HALL, PRINCETON COLLEGE, WHERE THE BRITISH TOOK REFUGE
AFTER THE BATTLE OF PRINCETON.

The English at Trenton, when they heard firing in
their rear, took it at first for thunder, but Cornwallis soon
discovered that “the fox” had escaped him. He hurried
back toward Princeton. A portion of his army neared
this town just in time to see the Americans finish the
194 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

destruction of the bridge across Stony Creek before leav-
ing Princeton. The English lost about five hundred men
in killed, wounded, and prisoners at the battle of Prince-
ton, while the Americans lost only thirty soldiers and
some brave officers. But, worst of all, Washington, with
his small force, had completely out-generaled them. Far
from having been bagged, he had reconquered nearly the
whole of New Jersey by his skillful moves. Cornwallis,
afraid of losing his stores at New Brunswick—for Wash-
ington had an eye on them—marched back there as quickly
as possible. ‘he English, who had been within nineteen
miles of Philadelphia, were soon sixty miles away, posted
at New Brunswick and Amboy, as near New York as pos-
sible. In England it was remarked that Washington was
not “the worst general in the field.”

When the joyful news of the battles of Trenton and
Princeton reached Fredericksburg, where Washington’s
mother lived, a number of friends called on her and con-
gratulated her on the deeds of her son. The old lady
took the news very calmly. She remarked only that
George seemed to have deserved well of his country, “but,
my good sirs,” she said, “here is too much flattery. Still,
George will not forget the lessons I early taught him; he
will not forget himself, though he is the subject of so
much praise.”

When Washington heard that Mercer was still alive,
he sent his nephew, Major George Lewis, under a flag of
truce, to attend him. This general, when he had been
told with an oath to call for quarter during the British
charge, answered by lunging his sword into the nearest
man. Thereupon he was bayoneted and left for dead.
THE BATTLE OF PRINCETON. 195

The English surgeon seemed to think that Mercer might
recover in spite of his many wounds, but the wounded
man said to Major Lewis: “Raise up my right arm,
George, and this gentleman will then discover the small-
est of my wounds, but the one which will prove the most
fatal. Yes, sir, that is the fellow that will soon do my
business.” And so it proved to be.

During the battle of Princeton, Washington, it is said,
pointed to the Seventeenth British Regiment, and ex-
claimed, with a soldier’s enthusiasm: “See those noble
fellows fight! Ah, gentlemen, when shall we be able to
keep an army long enough together to display a discipline
equal to our enemies?”
196 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XXXII.

SCUFFLING FOR LIBERTY.
L777,

WaSsHINGTON marched to winter quarters in Morris-
town, New Jersey, a few days after the battle of Prince-
ton. He gave out his numbers to be twice as large as they
were, so that the English might fear him, and guarded
carefully against a surprise, lest they should take revenge
on him for the surprises they had suffered. He kept
up frequent skirmishes with the British, in order to drive
them in close to the Jersey shore, where they could not
get fresh provisions, and would be reduced to feeding
their horses on the poor hay from the salt marshes. In
these skirmishes the Americans were nearly always suc-
cessful, taking prisoners and capturing baggage and
horses. At one time in the month of January four hun-
dred raw troops waded through a river up to their waists
and charged the enemy. When the English sent out
foraging parties they were sure to be harassed by the
Americans, who gave them many a “smart brush,”
always killing more of the enemy than they lost them-
selves, because of their skill with firearms. It was said
afterward by the English that they purchased every load
of forage and every article of food only at the price of
blood.
*»

SCUFFLING FOR LIBERTY. 197

Washington was much loved by his men. One of
his aids called him “the honestest man that ever adorned
human nature.” One who saw him at this time said that
his features were “manly and bold, his eyes of a bluish
cast and very lively, his hair a deep brown, his face
rather long and marked with smallpox, his complexion
sunburnt.” Trumbull, who afterward became a portrait
painter, was one of his aids for a short time early in the
war, and he said that Washington did not give the im-
pression of coldness, but he seemed rather to be a thought-
ful man. He was very considerate of others. He once
stopped to dine at a house in New Jersey where there
was a wounded officer who was much disturbed by noise.
While at dinner Washington was very careful to speak in
an undertone, and make no unnecessary sound. When
he had gone into another room, however, his aids were
not so thoughtful. Washington looked uneasy when he
heard them speaking in a loud voice. He presently got
up and went into the room, tiptoed across it, and, taking
a book from the mantelpiece, went softly back. He did
not say a word, but the young men took the hint and
made no more noise.

The time that Washington spent in winter quarters at
Morristown was a time of great anxiety for him. His
army was dwindling away, and new men were loath to
leave their warm homes to join the army at this bitter
season of the year. By the middle of March, while the
English army, lying near him, was ten thousand strong,
Washington had only four thousand men, one fiomeand
of whom were being inoculated. He did not know how he
should “be able to rub along” until the new army was
198 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

raised. He was in constant dread lest the enemy should
discover his weak state, and was very careful to keep
secret the demands for men which he was sending to the
different States.

Warm weather came, and still the American army
increased very slowly. For some time the English forces



WASHINGTON’S CAMP UTENSILS,
[At the National Museum, Washington, D. (.]

numbered more than double those of the Americans.
Washington wondered very much that Howe did not
try to gain some advantage over him. But the enemy
lay perfectly still. By the 28th of May, when Washing-
ton had only seven thousand well men, he moved his
army forward to Middlebrook, with the Raritan River in
front of him, and threw up intrenchments. Howe
marched out of New Brunswick on the 13th of June, and
extended his line to Somerset Courthouse. Washington
was uncertain whether the English general meant to try
to bring him to battle or to march for the Delaware. He
did not, indeed, care which he did, for he was in a very
strong position at Middlebrook, and was willing to face
Howe there, while he meant to attack him should he
SCUFFLING FOR LIBERTY. 199

move toward the Delaware. It was the old game; each
general was trying to get the advantage of position.
Howe did not wish to fight the Americans behind in-
trenchments, and he did not care to march for the Dela-
ware with the New Jersey militia rising in front and
Washington in the rear. He suddenly retreated to Am-
boy, leaving his works unfinished and burning houses us
he went. He threw across to Staten Island a bridge of
boats which he had no doubt meant to use in crossing the
Delaware. Washington immediately sent out parties of
men to annoy the English, and moved forward himself to
Quibbletown, hoping to get some advantage over the
retreating army. Howe was very anxious to bring the
American general to a battle in the open field, where his
greater numbers and better arms and discipline would
insure him the advantage, so he moved back the men
who had crossed the floating bridge in the night. In the
morning he sent one column under Cornwallis to get
around the Americans and gain the high grounds be-
hind them, while two columns should attack them in
front. A light party sent to watch the movements of the
enemy brought Washington word of this manoeuvre, and
he immediately fell back to his strong camp at Middle-
brook. Howe then returned to his floating bridge, and
soon moved his whole army over to Staten Island.
Washington was puzzled to know what Howe intended
to do next. He first supposed that the English would go
around by water to attack Philadelphia, but when he
heard that General Burgoyne was advancing down the
lakes from Canada, he thought the English general must,
in good policy, sail up the Hudson and attack the Amer-
900 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

ican forts in the Highlands, preparatory to joing Bur-
goyne at Albany. There was also the possibility that he
might sail north to Boston or south to Charleston. Mean-
time Washington dared not leave New Jersey, lest the en-
emy should suddenly pounce upon that State again, and
so get to Philadelphia before he could march to the rescue.
When the English ships moved away from the Jersey
shore, however, Washington went to Morristown, leaving
a small force behind him, and sending a portion of his
army part of the way toward the Highlands, so that they
could march on there or turn toward Philadelphia, ac-
cording to the course that might be taken by the English
vessels.

There was a young American officer named Graydon,
who had been captured in the unlucky defense of New
York. His mother afterward made her way into the
English lines, and by a great deal of perseverance secured
Graydon’s release on parole. The young man promised
the other American officers, whom he left in captivity, to
inform them as to how the American cause was prosper-
ing by announcing the charms and beanty of a certain
young lady in his letters, if all went well. He reached the
American army at Morristown, where he presented him-
self to the commander in chief. Graydon thought that
the army looked anything but prosperous, though Wash-
ington and his staff seemed cheerful. He said that the
American uniforms, which had once been blue and buff,
were fast becoming buff alone; while General Wayne,
who had been used to be neatly dressed in a uniform of
blue and white, now wore a dingy red coat, a rusty black
cravat, and a tarnished laced hat. Wayne boasted gayly,
SCUFFLING FOR LIBERTY. 901

however, that the Americans had thrown away the shovel
and the British taken it up. As young Graydon con-
tinued his journey to Philadelphia he was surprised to
see no military parade, or any indication that the people
intended to defend their country. ‘General Washing-



WASHINGTON’S CAMP-CHEST USED DURING THE REVOLUTION.
[At the National Museum, Washington, D. C.]

ton,” he said, “with the little remnant of his army at
Morristown seemed left to scuffle for liberty” alone. He
had not the heart, however, to discourage the officers in
captivity, and assured them of the charms of the imagi-
nary lady when he wrote.
902, THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Meantime all was uncertainty. When Washington
learned, through his spies, that the English were fitting
up places for horses in their vessels, he thought that they
must be going on a long voyage, and warned both Penn-
sylvania and New England to be prepared for an invasion.
But when he heard that Burgoyne was threatening Ticon-
deroga with a large army, he felt certain that Howe must
intend to attack the Highlands, and he sent General Sul-
livan on to Peekskill, and moved his army to the northern
part of New Jersey and to Ramapo, in New York. At one
time he had his headquarters in an old log house, sleeping
on the only bed, while his aids slept on the floor around
him, and all lived contentedly on mush and milk. While
Washington was at Ramapo, a young man who had been a
prisoner in the English army came to him with a letter
pretending to be from Howe to Burgoyne. In the letter
Howe said that he was going to attack Boston. But
Washington was not fooled, and suspected that this letter
was meant to send him north, so that Howe might have a
chance to reach Philadelphia before he did. When the
English fleet finally fell down to Sandy Hook and sailed
southwesterly, Washington marched toward that. city.
Signal fires were lighted along the Jersey coast as the
ships were seen from time to time, but when they passed
the Capes of Delaware all was doubt once more, and
Washington turned his army back again. It was a time
of great suspense in America. The people of Boston were
greatly alarmed lest Howe should be coming to attack
them, and many carted their household furniture away,
paying sometimes as much as a hundred dollars a load,
so great was the demand for transportation.
SCUFFLING FOR LIBERTY. 203

While Washington was waiting anxiously for news of
the next English move he heard of the loss of ‘Liconder-
oga. Though he knew that he should soon have Howe’s
powerful army to cope with, he sent re-enforcements to
the north, and among them were Morgan’s sharpshooters
in their Indian dress. It was so long before Washing-
ton heard anything of Howe’s fleet that he concluded it
had gone to Charleston. Since he could not reach that
city in time to oppose an English army, he decided to
move northward, and either attack New York or march on
to oppose Burgoyne. He had no sooner come to this de-
cision than he heard that the English fleet was already far
up Chesapeake Bay, Howe having chosen this cautious
way of approaching Philadelphia. The having a fleet at
his command gave him a great advantage over Washing-
ton, who had wasted the summer in wneertainty, when,
could he have known Howe’s destination, he would have
intrenched himself in a strong camp and been ready to
dispute the passage of the English army through Penn-
sylvania, perhaps as successfully as he had disputed it
through New Jersey earlier in the campaign.
204 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE.
L777.

GENERAL Howe landed his army on the shores of the
Hik River, at the head of Chesapeake Bay, on the 25th
of August, 1777. He had
lost many of his horses on
the long voyage, and he
spent some time in gather-

MAP SHOWING
WHERE THE
ENGLISH LANDED.











ing horses from the coun-

try around. The
people of Penn-
sylvania met the
invasion with very

little spirit. Many
of them were Quakers
and Germans, and not
many of the militia ral-
led to Washington’s aid.
fy) pos en cOUMAne the people,

Washington marched through
Philadelphia on his way to
meet Howe. The American
army, with its artillery and wag-
ons, made a line of about nine or



York Sp
Ao ne
THE BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE. = 905

ten miles, and took two hours to march through the city
at a “smart, lively step.” The men wore sprigs of green
+1 their hats to give them a uniform look, for uniform
clothes they did not have. They were poorly clothed, in
fact, and badly armed, some having no guns at all, and
others little fowling pieces. Washington’s forces amount-
ed to about fifteen thousand men, though so many were
ill for want of good clothing and proper food that there
were only eleven thousand who were fit for duty. With
this badly clothed and ‘badly armed body of men Wash-
ington was calmly marching out to oppose something
like eighteen thousand of the best soldiers of Kurope.
Though Congress supported him only in the most feeble
manner, and though the people of the country failed to
rise to his aid, it was expected that the American general
should defend Philadelphia, and he undertook to do it,
though it was contrary to his prudent policy to risk the
fortunes of the whole war in a single battle.

The next day Washington was at Wilmington, and
went out with horsemen to view the British lines from a
distance. He sent small bodies of men to skirmish with
the enemy and prevent them from getting horses and
provisions. The Americans took seventy prisoners in
these skirmishes in the course of a few days. Washing-
ton threw his army in the way of Howe at Redclay
Greek. The British made their dispositions to get in
his rear the next morning, but he moved in the night to
Ghad’s Ford, on the Brandywine, directly in front of
Howe’s army. He also secured the other fords of this
stream with bodies of men.

On the 11th of September, 1777, seven thousand of the
206 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

English army marched forward to attack the Americans
at Chad’s Ford, under the command of General Knyp-
hausen. They attacked the American general, Maxwell,
in command of a body of militia, and drove him across
the river to the main army. ‘They then cannonaded the
Americans from the opposite side of the stream. The
Americans crossed the river from time to time and en-
gaged the enemy, but Knyphausen was only amusing them
until Howe should have time to gain their rear. General
Howe had moved up the Brandywine to a place beyond
its forks, where, by crossing two streams and coming
down again, he might flank the Americans. About
twelve o’clock Washington heard that there was a column
of the enemy, which raised a great dust, trying to get in
his rear. He boldly planned to cross the Brandywine
and attack Knyphausen before Howe should have had
time to reach his rear; but just as he was about to carry
out his scheme he got word that the movement of this
column was only a feint. He then sent out scouts,
which brought the news at two o’clock that Howe had
crossed the forks of the Brandywine by going seventeen
miles round, and was now coming in great force down
upon his right. Washington immediately ordered the
division of his army under General Sullivan, which lay
nearest Howe’s approach, to resist him. Sullivan formed
hastily near a little meetinghouse, leaving a gap at first
of half a mile between different bodies of his men, which
he filled up so hurriedly as to throw the ranks into some
confusion. The battle began about half past four. The
firing was severe for some time. The right of the Ameri-
can line, which had fallen into disorder in forming, was
THE BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE. 907

the first to give way. This gave the enemy a chance to
pour a galling fire in upon the flank of the American
forces. Men kept breaking away from the right, and
soon the whole line was confused and
routed. The officers tried bravely to
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Washington pressed forward to the aid of the flying
men. It was impossible to rally them, but he ordered up
his reserve forces under Greene, to a place where they
checked the pursuit. Meantime Knyphausen had

crossed the Brandywine, fighting in earnest now. Gen-
16
208 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

eral Wayne, who commanded at Chad’s Ford, held him in
check until Sullivan was defeated on the right, when his
forces fell back in good order. The road which led to
the town of Chester was now choked with flymg men,
cannon, and baggage wagons, while the roar of the battle
was still going on in the rear. Near Chester, Washing-
ton and his officers succeeded in checking the flight.
Greene’s men defended the rear bravely and fell slowly
back, fighting as they went. One of the captains of the
foree which covered the retreat so well marched into
Chester that night with his handkerchief tied to a ram-
rod in place of a flag.

Among the wounded in the battle of the Brandywine
was the Marquis de Lafayette. When this young man
was scarcely nineteen he had insisted upon leaving
France to join the Americans, though many of his rela-
tions were opposed to his course, and he had to leave be-
hind a young and beautiful wife. The American cause
had few friends in France at this time, for news had
come that Howe was carrying all before him, and that
Washington was flying through New Jersey with but
three thousand men, so that it was impossible for Lafa-
yette to find a vessel bound for America in which he
could embark. But taking for his motto “Cur non ?”—
that is, “ Why not?”—he bought a vessel with his own
_ money and sailed for the New World. Arrived at Phila-
delphia, he found that Congress was besieged by for-
eign officers, to whom it was impossible to give places in
the army in the rank they expected without displacing
worthy Americans. But the young Frenchman sent in
the following note: “ After my sacrifices, I have the right
THE BATTLE OF THE BRANDYWINE. 209

to ask two favors—one is, to serve at my own expense;
the other, to begin by serving as a volunteer.”
erous terms could not be refused, and the young French-

Such gen-

man was made a major-general. Soon after this he met
Washington at a public dinner, the general having come
to Philadelphia on business before the landing of General
Howe. After dinner Washington took the young man
aside and asked him to make headquarters his home. “I
can not promise you the luxuries of a court,” said he,
“but as you have become an American soldier, you will
doubtless accommodate yourself to the fare of an Ameri-
can army.” Lafayette fought in the battle of the Brandy-
wine as a volunteer, without any command. Washing-
ton, when he heard of his wound, sent this word to the
surgeon, “Take care of him as though he were my son.”
From this time there was a warm friendship between La-
fayette and Washington, who always showed a liking for
promising young men.

The Americans lost about one thousand men in
killed, wounded, and prisoners at the battle of the Brandy-
wine, and few were taken prisoners that were not wound-
ed. The English lost between five and six hundred.
Parts of the American army fought with a great deal of
courage and spirit, while others behaved badly. This
would naturally happen where there were so many men
new to a soldier’s life. A struggle between the English
and the Americans in the open field at this time could
hardly have ended in any other way, for the American
army was smaller, not so well disciplined, and much
worse armed than the British army. Washington could
hardly have hoped for success,
910 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER AXATY.

THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN.

vie

ffé.

Tue day after the battle of the Brandywine Washing-
ton marched his army to Germantown, where he gave it
two days for rest. He then crossed the Schuylkill again,
where the water was nearly waist high, and boldly faced
the enemy once more almost before they had left the field
of the Brandywine. The advanced parties of the two
armies were already skirmishing preparatory to battle
when a heavy storm of rain came up and put a stop to
fighting. The rain damaged the Americans very badly,
because the water got into their gunlocks and wet their
cartridge boxes, which were flimsily made. They had
very few bayonets, and there was nothing for them to
do but to retreat. They marched all once day and most
of the next night, in a heavy rain storm and over roads
deep with mud. Washington, finding that his ammuni-
tion was utterly ruined, was forced to cross the Schuylkili
in search of a fresh supply. The army was all night cross-
ing the river. The men were wet to the breast, the night
air was cold, and they were suffering with hunger. Dur-
ing these trying days they were often halted three times
at night, and were ordered to move off again after having
built their camp fires, Sometimes the men tried to shel-
THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN. 911

ter themselves from the rain by placing rails on a slant
against a fence and sleeping under them on a few leaves.

On crossing the Schuylkill, Washington left Wayne be-
hind him with a small force of men to annoy the enemy.
But Wayne was surprised in the night, at a place called
Paoli, and only made his escape after losing three hun-
dred men.

Washington now tried to prevent Howe from crossing
the Schuylkill. The English general, finding that the
Americans had fortified the Swedes’ Ford, on this river,
marched up the stream. Washington kept pace with
him on the opposite side of the river, lest Howe should
cross the Schuylkill above, where it was shallow, and strike
at his stores, which lay at Reading. Having drawn the
American army up the river, Howe suddenly fell back in
the night and crossed at Fatland and Gordon’s fords,
driving away the militia, who had been placed at these
crossings for their defense. The English were soon far
on the way to Philadelphia. They arrived at German-
town, five miles above the city, on the 25th of September,
and part of the army entered Philadelphia the next day.

Washington would have made one more effort to inter-
cept Howe before he reached Philadelphia, but a thou-
sand of his men were barefoot, and they had all been ex-
posed night and day to hard marches under heavy rains,
had forded rivers many times, and were almost without
blankets, and often entirely without food. By the 3d of
October, however, he had had some re-enforcements so
that his army amounted again to about eleven thousand
men. Howe had divided his forces. His main body was
camped directly across the road which led through Ger-
919 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

mantown, but some of his regiments were in Philadel-
phia, and some were detached to act against a fort on
the Delaware. Washington saw his chance to make an-
other stroke at the enemy, which, if it were successful,
might ruin Howe’ army, separated as it was from the
fleet. He planned the attack very ably. One division
of the army was to enter Ger-
mantown by the main road, an-
other was to make a circuit and
attack the enemy’s right, while
the militia were to attempt to
get into the rear on the
right and left. The Amer-
ican army began moving at
seven o’clock in the even-
ing, and marched
















fourteen miles in
q vhe night.
2 The morn-
ing of the
4th of
October



MAP OF THE
BATTLE OF
GERMANTOWN,
THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN. 213

was very dark and foggy. Two hours after sunrise the
attack began. The Americans in front drove the Eng-
lish advanced guard back on the infantry, and held the
whole in check while General Sullivan formed his men
in line of battle. They then came on, Wayne’s men call-
ing to each other to remember Paoli. They drove the
English forces before them down the main street of Ger-
mantown. General Howe rode up and tried to rally his
men.

“For shame, light infantry!” cried he; “I never saw
you retreat before!”

But the light infantry did not heed, and fled on down
the street, past a stone building known as Chew’s house,
until fresh troops arrived and checked the Americans.
The American reserve, in which Washington was, now
passed Chew’s house. They were fired upon by six com-
panies of English soldiers who had taken refuge in this
strong stone building. The Americans attacked the house
and tried to dislodge the enemy, but they did not succeed.
Their cannon, being small, only pierced the walls without
destroying them. A young French nobleman, known in
America as Major Fleury, and a young American, Colonel
Laurens, taking some daring fellows with them, attempted
to set fire to the door of the house with some hay from
the barn, which they carried there. Fleury was met at
the window by an English officer with cocked pistols, who
summoned him to surrender. An English soldier, who
was also at the window, struck at Fleury with the butt
end of his musket, but he felled the English officer in-
stead of the French. The two young men were now forced
to retire, but Fleury, like a true Frenchman, would rather
4 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

have died than appear ridiculous, and declined to run.
He escaped, however, unhurt.

Meanwhile the battle went on. A soldier who was
present said the sounds of musketry and cannon were like
the “crackling of thorns under a pot and incessant peals
of thunder.” The second division of the army, under
Greene, was three quarters of an hour late in attacking
the enemy on the right, while the militia accomplished
little or nothing. Nevertheless, the English were in dis-
order and were almost routed. General Nash, who led
the North Carolina men, was struck by a round shot, which
had first hit a signpost, then glancing, broke his thigh,
and went through his horse. He was thrown heavily to
the ground, but he called out to his men :

“Never mind me; I have had a devil of a tumble.
Rush on, my boys, rush on to the enemy, and Ill be after
you presently!”

Washington exposed himself in the thickest of the
fight. General Sullivan and others begged him to retire
for the sake of his country. To gratify his friends he
rode back a short distance, but his anxiety for the fate of
the day soon brought him to the front again, and there he
stayed.

The dense fog forced the Americans to be slower in
their movements than they would otherwise have been,
and prevented the officers from getting any general view
of what was going on. It also caused some of the troops
to mistake friends for the enemy in their rear, and retreat,
leaving other parts exposed. At the moment when Wash-
ington was sure of success his men began to fall back,
and the best that he could do was to get them off in good
THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN. 918

order. The Americans carried off their wounded and
their cannon. They were pursued for nearly five miles
by the enemy, with whom Greene’s division kept up a
retreating fight, and Wayne finally drove them back by
planting his cannon on a hill and firing upon them.
Washington retreated about twenty miles, and, after rest-
ing his men, pushed on toward Philadelphia once more,
encamping at Whitemarsh.

The American loss at the battle of Germantown
amounted to nearly eleven hundred men, a number hay-
ing been taken prisoners in the fog and confusion. The
English losses in killed and wounded amounted to over
five hundred. Hach army lost a general, for, though
Washington sent his family physiclan—Doctor Craik-—to
attend General Nash, he died after much suffering. An
officer who was wounded in the arm at the battle af Ger-
mantown tells how the surgeon cut off his shirt sleeve on
the wounded arm because it was stiffened with blood. He
then cut off the other shirt sleeve to use as bandages, and
the wounded man was obliged to wear this sleeveless gar-
ment for three weeks for want of another. So much did
the Americans lack necessaries.

Washington, who loved to do a courteous act, returned
a dog to General Howe, two days after the battle of Ger-
mantown, with the following note: “General Washing-
ton’s compliments to General Tlowe—does himself the
pleasure to return him a dog which accidentally fell into
his hands, and, by the inscription on the collar, appears
to belong to General Howe.”

Though the battle of Germantown was not a victory,
it was encouraging to America. “Our people will and do
916 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

fight,” said John Adams, “and although they make a
clumsy hand of it, yet they do better and better.” The
English also saw that the Americans could make ‘‘a de-
termined attack and an orderly retreat,” and gave up the
hope they had long entertained of totally routing them in
the field. Thoughtful people in England observed with
discouragement that with the Americans victory and de-
feat seemed to produce much the same results. The
French minister Vergennes had been cautiously watching
the behavior and spirit of the Americans before he thought
fit to engage openly in the quarrel. He was struck with
the fact that Washington’s had been the attacking force
at Germantown. “To bring an army raised within a year
to this, promises everything,” said he.
DEFENDING THE DELAWARE, oT

CHAPTER XXXV.

DEFENDING THE DELAWARE.
L777.

Tur Americans had sunk chevaux de frise, made of
heavy beams crossed and headed with iron points, at two
places on the Delaware, and they had built forts near
these obstructions to prevent the enemy’s ships from
passing them. General Howe was hemmed in between
the American army, which lay at Whitemarsh, and the
forts on the Delaware. His ships could not reach him,
and Washington guarded the city with bodies of men to
prevent Americans who wished to get English gold from
carrying provisions into Philadelphia. General Howe
must reduce the forts on the Delaware or give up the
city because of starvation. Washington did all that he
could to re-enforce and aid these forts, though he was very
much hampered himself by the want of men and necessa-
ries, and by the jealousy and bad management of Congress
at this time.

While the struggle for the Delaware was going on,
Washington heard of the capture of Burgoyne’s army at
Saratoga. When the country had been deeply discour-
aged by the loss of Ticonderoga, Washington had written
to General Schuyler that he thought that Burgoyne’s
success would be his ruin. He said that if the English
918 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

general would only act in detachments, the Americans,
could they once succeed in cutting off one of these
smaller bodies of men, would gain heart. It happened as
Washington had foreseen. Burgoyne did act in detach-
ments; a portion of his army was defeated at Bennington,



«Whitemarsh

MAP OF THE VICINITY OF PHILADELPHIA.

the people took courage, and soon rose in such numbers
as to surround him as he attempted to push on toward
Albany, while his supplies had to be brought from Lake
George. There were two battles, and Burgoyne finally
surrendered his whole army of between five and six thou-
sand men. Washington rejoiced heartily at this lucky
event, though he could not help wishing that the militia
in the Middle States might have shown the spirit they
had in the North, and come to his aid in trying to inter-
DEFENDING THE DELAWARE, 919

cept the much larger army of General Howe, but he
added quickly that he did not mean to complain. He
wrote to General Gates, who commanded the Northern
army, begging him to hurry forward re-enforcements so
that he might drive General Howe from Philadelphia.
But Gates, who was an officer of foreign experience, like
Lee, began to imagine himself a greater man than Wash-
ington, and was very slow in doing this, so that the re-en-
forcements only arrived after it was too late for them to
be of any use.

General Howe first sent a body of men to attack Bil-
lingsport, a fortification intended to protect the chevaua
de frise lowest down the river. On the approach of the
English, the American militia who manned this work
spiked their cannon, set fire to their barracks, and de-
camped. Howe now bent all his force to the reduction
of the two forts which commanded the upper obstruc-
tions—Fort Mercer, at Red Bank, on the shore of New
Jersey, and Fort Mifflin, which stood on Mud Island,
near the Pennsylvania side. Washington placed some of
his best men and most determined officers in these works.
The English succeeded, after a great deal of labor, in
making a narrow passage for their ships through the
lower obstructions at Billingsport. They then sailed up
to Fort Mifflin and attacked it from the front and from
Province Island. Fort Mifflin, which stood on Mud Is-
land, was poorly built, mostly of palisades which could
not resist cannon, and was defended by five hundred men,
when it should have had fifteen hundred. But the gar-
rison made up in courage for their lack of numbers.
Once they sallied forth and attacked the English batteries
920 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

on Province Island, capturing the two officers and sixty
men who manned them. They also opened the beach in
such a way that the water overflowed this island.
Meantime Howe sent a body of Hessians, under Count
Donop, across the Delaware to storm Fort Mercer. This
work had a garrison of six hundred men, commanded by
Colonel Christopher Greene. Before storming the fort,
Count Donop sent an officer to demand, in the name of
the King of England, that his rebel subjects should throw
down their arms or receive no quarter when the fort
should be taken. The Americans, angered by this mes-
sage, answered that there should be no quarter on either
side. Fort Mercer was defended by two rows of works
and by an abatis made of trees pointed outward. ‘The
Americans annoyed the Hessians from their outer works
until the latter approached them, and then retired to their
redoubt. The Hessians rushed over the first embank-
ment, swung their caps in the air, crying “ Victoria!”
and charged the redoubt. They were met by a murder-
ous discharge of firearms and grapeshot. The ditches
were nearly filled with the killed and wounded. The
Hessians, however, pressed on and mounted the breast-
works, but the Americans within clubbed them with the
butts of their guns. The Hessians fell back, but the
brave German officers rallied their men and pushed them
forward to cut away the abatis, only to fall themselves
among the branches of the trees of which it was made.
In three quarters of an hour the fight was over, and the
Hessians retired for the last time. It was now dark, and
the Frenchman, Major Fleury, who was in Fort Mercer,
issued out with some men to repair a part of the works.
DEFENDING THE DELAWARE, 991

He heard a voice from among the dead exclaim, “ Who-
ever you are, take me away from here.” It was the voice
of Count Donop, who was mortally wounded. The young
Frenchman caused him to be carried to a house and cared
for. The Hessian officer said, when he was dying:

“This is ending early a noble career, but I die the
victim of my ambition and the avarice of my sovereign.”
The German prince in whose service Donop was an officer
had hired his troops to the English Government for
money.

The English lost over four hundred men in the at-
tack on Fort Mercer. Meantime General Howe had
gone slowly and surely to work to take the defenses of
the Delaware. Batteries grew up on all sides, threatening
Mud Island. The men in the fort did not waste time,
but threw up works inside their wooden walls, barricaded
with barrels of earth, and dug “ wolf-holes” without the
fort. The day after the attempt on Fort Mercer, a num-
ber of English ships sailed up to the chevaux de frise,
which was five hundred yards from Fort Mifflin, and
opened fire on this post, and the English land batteries
hoisted the bloody flag, to warn the garrison that there
was to be no quarter. The cannon of the fort and the
little American fleet of galleys joined in the battle. The
Americans sent four great fire ships out to try to burn the
British fleet. Part of the English army was drawn up on
Province Island, the men ready to throw themselves into
boats and storm the fort. A soldier who was present said
that there never was a more solemn spectacle, and declared
that the fort, which was the prize of the day, seemed to
be “involved with fire.”
999, THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

The battle lasted from nine in the morning till noon.
The men in the fort used red-hot balls, and one of these
now chanced to fall on the Augusta, an English ship of
sixty-four guns, and set her stern on fire. She was soon
in a blaze, and before her crew could all be taken off she
blew up “ with a thundering noise.” A moment later, the
Merlin ran ashore near the Augusta, took fire, and also
blew up. The other British ships now retired below Hog
Island, but the land batteries continued their firing till
night, still flying the bloody flag.

The English next built stronger batteries, and cut
down a large Indiaman for a floating battery. These
batteries and the English men-of-war played incessantly
upon the devoted fort. The American cannon answered
with a good deal of effect. Every night the garrison was
relieved and fresh men sent in, and the damage done
the works im the daytime was repaired as nearly as pos-
sible. Presently, however, the earthworks were almost
leveled to the ground, the barracks were destroyed, and
the men, who waded in water knee deep in the daytime,
must lie down in the mud to rest, for it rained a great
deal. Washington wislted the fort to be defended as long
as possible; but by the 15th of November the English
ship Vigilant got into the inner channel, behind Hog
Island, at high tide. She carried twenty twenty-four
pounders.

There was not a single gun on this side of Fort
Mifflin, but, Major Thayer, who was now in command of
the post, his superior officer, Colonel Smith, having been
wounded, ordered a thirty-two pounder to be carried to
the spot. The Americans succeeded in striking the Vigi-
DEFENDING THE DELAWARE, 298

lant with fourteen shots from this gun before she opened
fire. But when she had once anchored, and her guns
began to play, resistance was at an end. ‘Three or four
broadsides from the Vigilant destroyed parapets, gun car-
riages, and even the guns themselves. Hand grenades
were thrown into the American works, and men in the
shrouds picked off those who tried to mount the platform
inside the fort to return the fire. By this time the works
were pretty nearly beaten down, the cannon were dis-
mounted, and the enemy was planning to storm the fort.
The Americans retired in the night to Fort Mercer, across
the river, burning what was left of the platform and bar-
racks in the fort before they retired. When the English
marched in half an hour later, they found that many of
the cannon of the abandoned fort were stained with blood.
The defense of Fort Mifflin gave Americans a reputation
for courage. General Howe at length sent Cornwallis
across the river to reduce Fort Mercer, the only defense
left on the Delaware. Washington sent Greene to oppose
Cornwallis, but the garrison of the fort had already retired
before the approaching English army.

The brave defense of the Delaware gave the Americans
much hope, while John Adams rejoiced that the glory of
it was not due to Washington, though, indeed, he was the
directing spirit of the whole affair. “Now,” wrote
Adams, “‘ we can allow that a certain citizen is wise, vir-
tuous, and good without thinking him a savior.” ‘This
serves to show how much the commander in chief was
already admired by the people, while there were those in
Congress who had put Washington in power but were
now jealous of his popularity.

17
994 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XXXVI.

ALMOST A BATTLE.
L777.

Turere lived in Philadelphia a Quaker woman
named Lydia Darrah. Some of the English officers
chose a room in her house as a place in which to meet for
private business. One evening the adjutant general took
pains to tell Mrs. Darrah that he and the other English
officers would be there until late, and that he wished her
and her family to go to bed early. He promised to call
her up to let them out, and to put out the fire and the
candles. Lydia sent all her family to bed early, but she
was possessed by curiosity to know why the officer was so
eager to get her out of the way. She accordingly listened
at the keyhole of the room where the English officers
were assembled, and heard an order read for the British
army to march out of Philadelphia in the night, two days
later, and surprise Washington at Whitemarsh. Lydia
Darrah then went to bed. When the adjutant general
came and knocked at her door, she took care not to an-
swer him until he had knocked three times. She then
got up and let him out. The good Quaker woman was
very much troubled by her secret, but she did not tell it
even to her husband. The next day, however, she an-
nounced that she was out of flour, and was going to the
ALMOST A BATTLE, 225

mill at Frankfort to get some. Her husband advised her
to take a servant with her, but she refused to do this.
She went to General Howe and asked for a pass, so that
she might go out of the city and get some flour for her
family. She got her pass, and, taking a bag with her, she
went to Frankfort. She left her bag at the mill to be
filled and hurried on toward the American lines. She
soon met an American officer, who with a party of light-
horse was out looking for information. He asked the
Quaker woman where she was going. She said that she
was looking for her son, who was in the American army,
and asked the officer to dismount and walk with her. He
got off his horse and ordered his men to keep in sight.
Lydia Darrah first made him promise never to let any
one know that she had told him anything, for the good
woman imagined that her life was at stake. She then
told what she had overheard the night before. The officer
took her toa house near by, told a woman to give her
something to eat, and hurried on to Washington’s head-
quarters.

When Washington learned that the English army was
coming to attack him, he recalled General Greene, who
was in New Jersey with a part of the army, and pre-
pared for battle. On the night of the 4th of December
the English army marched out and took possession of a
row of hills opposite the Whitemarsh hills where the
American army was encamped. Washington was in a
very strong position on the hilltops, where he had thrown
up intrenchments, planted abatis, and was protected by
woods. He had his heavy baggage all ready to be moved
off in case he was forced to retire, and he rode up and
226 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

down his lines encouraging the men. and officers to do
their best. Although his forces were much reduced by
want of clothing and by sickness, he wished for a battle
and thought that he could defeat the enemy. The Eng-
lish mancenvred for four days trying to find a weak spot
in the American position. At night the hills around
Whitemarsh shone with the camp fires of two armies.
There was some skirmishing, in which the English lost
over eighty men, while the Americans lost only twenty-
seven. Suddenly the enemy filed off for Philadelphia.
General Howe must have been very certain that he could
not conquer Washington at Whitemarsh, for he had
boasted before he marched out that he would drive the
American army over the mountains.

Lydia Darrah, in Philadelphia, saw the English army
return, but dared not ask what had happened. The next
night the adjutant general came to her house and asked
her to come and see him in his room. The good woman
followed him, very much frightened. He asked whether
any of her family had been up the last night he was there.
She answered that they had all gone to bed at eight
o’clock.

“T know you were asleep,” said he, “ for I knocked at
your chamber door three times before you heard me. I
am entirely at a loss to imagine who gave Washington
information of our intended attack, unless the walls of the
house could speak. When we arrived near Whitemarsh
we found all their cannon mounted and the troops pre-
pared to receive us; and we have marched back like a
parcel of fools.”

Before Washington had learned that Howe was com-
ALMOST A BATTLE, 997

ing out to attack him, some of his officers and some mem-
bers of Congress wished him to attack the English army
in Philadelphia. As his army was no larger than Howe’s,
and as the English general was behind very strong works,
and protected on three sides by the Delaware and Schuyl-
kill rivers, in which the English fleet lay at anchor, the
wiser men among the American officers thought that the
army ought not to be risked in so doubtful an attempt.
There were, however, many people who could not know
Washington’s difficulties, and who did not understand why
he should not be so successful as Gates had been. “ Next
to being strong it is best to be thought so,” said Washing-
ton, and he exaggerated his numbers and carefully con-
cealed all his difficulties from friends as well as foes as
much as possible.

America was suffering much from the war at this
time, and Congress was becoming more and more help-
less because it had not the power to tax people, while the
paper money, which had been made in large quantities,
had become almost worthless for the reason that there
was too much of it and it was not redeemed in gold. One
English army had been captured in 1777, while another
had spent the entire campaign in taking one city. As
Franklin said, Philadelphia had taken Howe, instead of
Howe’s taking Philadelphia. But though the affairs of
America were really in a more hopeful state, her suffer-
ings were greater. Just now Washington was racking
his brain to try to provide shoes for his men, who had
worn our their foot gear in the hard marches of the cam-
paign and were wretchedly barefoot. While he was in
Whitemarsh he offered a reward for the best substitute
998 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

for shoes made out of rawhide. It is not known whether
any such substitute was ever found.

It was perhaps during the trying days, in which every
effort was being made for the defense of Philadelphia,
that Washington once ordered an officer to cross a river
and reconnoiter, that he might have the latest informa-
tion of the enemy’s position and forces. The man was
gone some time while the anxious general awaited his re-
turn impatiently. When he appeared he announced that
the night was dark, the river full of floating ice, and he
had been unable to get across. Washington picked up a
lead inkstand, threw it at the man’s head, and shouted,
“Be off, and send me aman!” The officer immediately
went out, crossed the river, and got the information.
VALLEY FORGE. 299

CHAPTER XXXVIL

VALLEY FORGE.
L777-1778.

Ir had become very cold, and bleak hilltops were not
a comfortable resting place. It was necessary to get the
men covered in some way from the weather, for they not
only lacked shoes, but stockings, blankets, and even
breeches were wanting. Washington chose Valley Forge
as winter quarters for most of his army, because it
was only twenty-one miles from Philadelphia, and he
might watch the enemy there from his winter camp.
The valley was protected on one side by the Schuylkill
River, on the other by hills, and it was covered with
woods. The men marched to their winter camp on the
19th of December, leaving bloody tracks behind them on
the snow. Experienced frontiersman that he was, Wash-
ington planned to winter his men in log huts. These
cabins were to be made according to his directions, the
chinks filled with mud, and the fireplaces made of wood
thickly daubed with clay. The general offered a reward
of twelve dollars to the party of men in each regiment
that should build a good hut in the shortest time. He
made his soldiers a speech, in which he told them that he
would share their hardships, and he slept in his marquee
or tent until they had cut down the trees and made a
230 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

town of log cabins. Washington then made his head-
quarters in the house of Isaac Potts, a Quaker preacher.
The house was built of stone, but it was very small, and
the general had only one room for his use. In a wide
window sill in this room he contrived a secret trap door,
under which he kept his papers.

The winter at Valley Forge was the hardest time of
the whole war for Washington and his men. The com-
missary department which supphed the army with food
was managed so
badly that a
number of times
during the win-
ter the men
were on the
point of stary-
ing. Washing-
ton said, too,
ae that the sick
Ly were naked He

“nen! the well were

VIEW OF VALLEY FORGE HEADQUARTERS, WITH THE nake Many
CAMP GROUND IN THE DISTANCE. naked. Ma J



soldiers had to
be quartered in the farm-houses about for want of shoes.
Men borrowed each other’s clothes when they went on
duty, and it was a joke in the army that the officers had
but one dress suit, which they wore alternately when
they were invited to dine at headquarters. Horses were
so scarce that the American soldiers made small light
wagons and drew their own wood and provisions, when
they had any. There was a searcity of straw, and the
VALLEY FORGE. 231

poor fellows had to sleep on the damp earth in their
huts, while those who had no blankets sat by the fire all
night. Sometimes Washington’s men were so near star-
vation that he was forced to send officers through the
country to force the farmers to sell their produce to the
army whether they wished or not. Congress had given
him a right to do this, but Washington did not like to
exercise this right, for he thought it unjust, and feared
that it would make the people feel that the army was
oppressing them. ‘Toward the end of the winter he suc-
ceeded in getting droves of fat beeves from the New Eng-
land States, and the men no longer suffered hunger.
Early in February of 1778 Mrs. Washington arrived
at Valley Forge. She is said to have come in a rough
farm sleigh, which she had hired from an innkeeper at
the forks of the Brandywine, where the snow had proved
so deep that she was forced to leave her coach behind.*
The general had sent one of his aids to meet her. It
was about a year and a half since Washington and his
wife had met, for the general had been in too doubtful a
situation the winter before, in New Jersey, to send for his
wife. She thought that her husband looked “much
worn with fatigue and anxiety.” “I never knew him to
be so anxious as now,” said she. She thought the little
room at Isaac Potts’s house very small, but Washington

* Lossing represents Mrs. Washington as having arrived thus at
Whitemarsh and ridden behind Washington on his horse to Valley
Forge; but Washington’s letters show that she did not join him
until the date given above. It seems quite probable that she ar-
rived in the sleigh, as Lossing states, but not at the early date he

gives.
239 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

made himself and his family more comfortable by build-
ing a log cabin adjoining the house for a dining-room.
Lady Washington, as the plump little woman in ker-
chief and homespun was fondly called in the army, soon
set about making herself useful. Every day she invited
the other officers’ wives to help her knit stockings, patch
clothes, and make shirts for the men. Whenever the

(
FB iy



WASHINGTON’S OFFICE AT VALLEY FORGE.

weather was pleasant she set out, accompanied by a stout
girl of sixteen to carry her basket, and visited the log
cabins, looking for the most needy men. “TI never in my
life knew a woman so busy,’ the girl said many years
after.

While Washington’s army was in winter quarters at
Valley Forge, Baron Steuben, an officer who had been
aid-de-camp to Frederick the Great, was appointed to
VALLEY FORGE, 933

the office of inspector general. He found the army he
had undertaken to drill in a deplorable state. “The
arms,” said he, “were in a horrible condition, covered
with rust, half of them without bayonets, many of them
from which a single shot could not be fired. The
pouches were quite as bad as the arms. A great many of
the men had tin boxes instead of pouches, others had
cow horns, and muskets, carbines, fowling pieces, and
rifles were to be seen in the same company. The descrip-
tion of the dress is most easily given. The men were liter-
ally naked, some of them in the fullest extent of the word.
The officers who had coats had them of every color and
make. I saw officers at a grand parade at Valley Forge
mounting guard in a sort of dressing gown made of an
old blanket or woolen bed cover.” The baron went
heartily to work to discipline this motley crew. Often he
lost all patience and swore at the men both in French
and German. A young Captain Walker, who understood
French, offered his services to Steuben to translate his
commands for him. The baron received him as though
he had been “an angel from heaven.” When he had ex-
hausted his own tongues he would call for Walker, saying,
“T can curse dem no more.” The good baron had
brought a French cook with him from Paris, in order
that he might be sure of comfort in camp. When he
reached Valley Forge the Americans assigned a wagoner
to him for his use. Beef and bread were furnished by
the commissaries, and the French cook looked about him
for cooking utensils, but could find none. He asked the
wagoner what was to be done.

“ We cook our meat,” said the American, “by hanging
934 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

it up by a string and turning it before a good fire till it
is roasted.”

The Paris cook was evidently unhappy. He gave
many shrugs and heavy sighs, and now and then used an
oath. At last he went to Steuben and wished to be dis-
missed.

“Under happier circumstances, mon général,” said he,
“it would be my ambition to serve you, but here I have
no chance of showing my talents, and I think myself
obliged in honor to save you expense, since your wagoner
is just as able to turn the string as I am.”

Though life was hard at Valley Forge, it was not with-
out its pleasures. Gentlemen even in bed-blanket coats
could find amusements. It is said that Washington once
stood leaning on a fence watching a game of fives which
was played by some of his officers. The players stopped
when they saw who was observing them, and, though Wash-
ington begged them to go on, telling them that he had
been used to play at the game himself, their respect for
him was too great. Seeing that he had spoiled the fun,
he moved away.

The whole of Washington’s forces were not stationed
at Valley Forge. Smaller bodies of men were placed
where they could prevent the country people from fur-
nishing fresh provisions to the English in Philadelphia
in exchange for much-coveted gold. But the govern-
ment of Pennsylvania was not pleased that the American
army had gone into winter quarters instead of besieging
Howe. Members of the Pennsylvania Legislature seemed
to think, said Washington, that his soldiers were “stocks
and stones.” ‘It was much easier,”’.said he, “to write







]
L " /

“Vins





WASHINGTON AT VALLEY FORGE.
[From a painting made during the winter there, by C. W, Peale.]
VALLEY FORGE. 235

remonstrances in a comfortable room by a good fireside,
than to occupy a cold, bleak hill, and sleep under frost
and snow without clothes and blankets.” To add to his
other troubles, there was a cabal formed against Wash-
ington about this time by some officers who were jealous
of him, and who had some secret plans for putting Gen-
eral Gates in his place. Gates was very popular just
now, because he had been lucky enough to have been
put in command of the northern army just at the mo-
ment of success, after Schuyler had done all the hard
work. He was a vain man, and easily imagined himself
greater than his chief. One of Gates’s aids, when he
had been drinking too freely of wine one day, told how
General Conway, who belonged to this cabal, had written
Gates, saying, “ Heaven has been determined to save your
country, or a weak general and bad counselors would
have ruined it.” Lord Sterling sent this sentence in a
letter to Washington, and Washington sent it to Conway
without another word. To be discovered in this way
worried the members of the cabal, and they spent a good
deal of time first in denying the sentence and then in ex-
cusing themselves. Some of the members of Congress,
who were also discontented with Washington, were influ-
enced by these men to appoint a board of war, with Gates
and Mifflin on it. They then made a plan to get the
Marquis de Lafayette away from Washington by appoint-
ing him to command a winter expedition to Canada.
Washington advised Lafayette to accept the appointment,
but the young nobleman took care to show Gates and his
party that he was devoted to the commander in chief by
giving his name as a toast at a dinner given by these
936 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

schemers. Lafayette went to Albany and found no army
to command. Conway, who was an Irishman in the
American service, resigned, and was surprised when his
resignation was accepted. He afterward quarreled with
another officer, fought a duel, was wounded, and, thinking
himself about to die, wrote a letter to Washington in
which he expressed sorrow for having given him pain.
“You are, in my eyes,” said he, “the great and good
man.” Conway recovered and went to France. Gates,
after making himself in every way disagreeable to Wash-
ington, took the command of the southern army at a later
period, and was totally defeated, showed cowardice, and
ruined his reputation. Thus this plot against Washing-
ton ended, though not until it must have given him much
pain and anxiety. But he was very patient. He said
freemen had a right to censure a man in his station, and
he did what he could to keep the matter from becoming
public, lest the enemy should be encouraged by the knowl-
edge that there were quarrels among the American leaders,
HOWE LAYS A TRAP FOR LAFAYETTE. 937

CITAPTER XXXVIII.

HOWE LAYS A TRAP FOR LAFAYETTE.
L778.

Tur English Government, finding that France was
hikely to take part with the United States, passed some
laws which gave the Americans about what they had
claimed at the beginning of the war. But the American



people were in a very different temper by this time.
Washington said that “nothing short of independence ”
could “possibly do.” Soon after this France publicly
acknowledged American independence, and this was
equivalent to a declaration of war between France and
England. ‘There was great rejoicing among the patient
soldiers at Valley Forge when Washington announced
this event, on the 6th of May, 1778. Thirteen cannon
were fired, and there was a running fire of musketry
along the whole line of the American army, and the shout
of “ Long live the King of France!” After these cere-
monies the men huzzaed for the friendly European pow-
ers and for their own States. A banquet was set out of
doors; Washington and his officers dined in public and
toasts were given in honor of the occasion, and heartily
cheered. At five o’clock Washington retired amid clap-
pings and cheerings. The general turned around with
his retinue several times and huzzaed. The men tossed
18
938 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

their hats in the air and shouted until he was half a mile
away. Never had there been so joyful a day in the
American army.

In England, it was decided that the English army
must give up Philadelphia, which had cost them such a
struggle, for the reason that a French fleet might easily
shut the British up in this town. General Howe had

asked to be recalled. Before he left his officers gave a
grand entertainment in his honor, which they called the
Mischianza, in which they did hom-
















age to their commander as to
the greatest of conquerors.

Say etter
Peston A There was first a water
ayers
venue \ regatta and then
a tournament,
MAP OF

BARREN ILL, at a the
of the Eing-
lish army, who
were dressed as
Knights of the
Blended Rose aoe
Knights of the Burning \ ‘
Mountain, fought for the ““" $
favors in the turbans of Philadelphia belles who were
dressed as Turkish princesses. There was a ball in a
room decorated with blue, gold, and pink, and adorned
with eighty-five mirrors borrowed from the people of the
city. Last of all, there was a gaming table, fireworks,
and a banquet, set with four hundred and thirty covers
and twelve hundred dishes.



ibon Read
eee ay

as
HOWE LAYS A TRAP FOR LAFAYETTE, 939

While the English army was reveling, Washington
sent Lafayette, with twenty-five hundred men, across the
Schuylkill to take possession of Barren Hill and watch the
enemy, for he suspected that they were about to evacuate
Philadelphia. ‘he following day Howe heard of Lafay-
ette’s position. He immediately laid a plan to trap the
young Frenchman, and he was so sure of succeeding,
that, before leaving Philadelphia, he invited some ladies
to dine with the young marquis the next evening. The
English army marched out in three divisions, one of
which was to gain Lafayette’s rear, according to Howe’s
favorite stratagem. The marquis was fairly caught, for
the militia who were to guard the roads behind him
failed to warn him. Across the river Washington and
his officers fired alarm guns to warn Lafayette. Mat-
son’s Ford was the only road left open for retreat, and
one column of the English army was nearer that than
the Americans. Lafayette, however, sent parties of men
out through the woods. These kept up a show of oppo-
sition, while the marquis quickly withdrew his troops
across the ford. In one place a body of Indians who were
with him lay in ambush. A party of English dragoons fell
upon them unawares. Both dragoons and Indians were
equally terrified at each other’s appearance, and they flew
in opposite directions as fast as possible, the red men
swimming the Schuylkill for safety. At length the three
columns of the English army closed in from different
sides upon Barren Hill, expecting to take Lafayette. But
they found themselves facing one another. General Howe
was late to supper that night, and he did not bring Lafay-
ette with him for the amusement of the ladies.
9AO THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XXXIX.

THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH.
L778.

A MAN named George Roberts galloped into camp at
Valley Forge, on the 18th of June, 1778, with the news
that the enemy had left Philadelphia. He said that he
had been to the place where the English had destroyed
the bridge across the Schuylkill, and that the townspeople
had shouted to him that the English were gone. They
had, indeed, crossed the Delaware, and were hurrying
through New Jersey toward New York, dragging with
them a baggage train twelve miles long, in which was
much plunder. Washington had been expecting this for
some time, and had part of his forces advanced toward the
Delaware. He immediately set out in pursuit of the en-
emy. He was escorted—as a young girl records in her
diary—by fifty of the life ouard with drawn swords.

General Lee was now with the American army, and
was second in command. There had been some danger
when he was first captured that he would be executed as
a deserter from the English army, and he was ordered to
England for trial; but Washington immediately set aside
some ITessian officers who were his prisoners, and let the
English understand that they should be treated exactly as
General Lee was. he difficulty about Lee’s treatment
THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH. O41

caused a long delay in the exchange of prisoners between
the two armies. The Americans had finally captured an
English general in a daring adventure at Newport, and
Lee was exchanged for him. The American army was
drawn up in honor of Lee’s return, and Washington, with
asuite of the highest officers, had ridden out to meet him,
the commander in chief dismounting and welcoming him
like a brother. But Lee soon afterward ungraciously re-
marked that “ Washington was not fit to command a ser-
geant’s guard.” No one, however, knew that Lee was
actually a traitor to the American cause, and had laid
plans for the British to capture Philadelphia while he was
their prisoner. The English officers, in fact, after some
experience with Lee, seem to have concluded that he was
“the worst present” they could make to their enemies,
He now began to hamper Washington by insisting that
the Americans could not hope to gain a victory over the
English, and that, for his part, he would build a bridge of
gold to aid them in reaching New York. Far from doing
this, however, Washington sent bodies of militia ahead of
the enemy to break bridges and fill up wells, for the weath-
er was very hot and water was a necessity. He pushed
on as rapidly as he could toward the retreating army, and
sent a detachment ahead to annoy the enemy if possible.
Lee had the right to command this body of men, but he
refused to do so, and Lafayette was sent in his stead. Lee
then claimed his right, and Washington, to avoid difficulty
with this troublesome “ Boiling Water,” as the Indians
called him, sent Lee to join Lafayette with re-enforce-
ments, so that the command would fall to him as the
superior officer. Lafayette yielded gracefully to the older
249 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

man the command of a body of men which now amounted
to six thousand.

When Sir Henry Clinton, who was now the command-
ing general in the English army, found that the Amer-
icans were near, he sent his baggage ahead to protect it
from the pursuers, and placed his best troops in the rear,
where the fighting was likely to be. The advance of the
Americans under Lee and Lafayette overtook him in the
county of Monmouth, as he was pushing forward to get
to Sandy Hook. The English general encamped for the
night of the 27th of June on some high ground near
Monmouth Courthouse, where he was well protected by
woods and a marsh.

Washington was eager to strike a blow at the enemy
before they should reach the heights about Middletown,
where it would be impossible to assail them with any hope
of success. He accordingly ordered Lee to attack the
English as soon as they should begin to march. The
Americans lay on their arms all night. About five o’clock
on the morning of the 28th of June, 1778, news came that
the enemy was moving. It was a very still, hot Sunday
morning. LLee’s orders were to surround the rear body of
the English army and so capture them. He wasted much
time, however, in reconnoitering, and gave Clinton a
chance to draw up his best forces in order of battle. He
gave contradictory orders, and seemed half-hearted from
the first. Lafayette begged to be allowed to try to gain
the rear of a division of the enemy now moving forward
to the attack.

“Sir,” said Lee, “you do not know British soldiers ;
we can not stand against them.”
THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH. 943

Lafayette answered that British soldiers had been
beaten before and could be beaten again, and sent a mes-
senger to Washington to tell him that he was needed at
the front. When a portion of his troops mistook orders
and began to retire, Lee ordered a retreat. Pursued by
the enemy, the Americans were demoralized, they hardly
knew why. ‘They pressed across a marsh in their rear,

2 where some were drowned and others were
ose trampled to death. Meantime Washing-
e » ton, when he first heard that the Brit-
[ ol 5, ae on the move, pushed his men
ah 8s A £0, vance forward, ordering them to

ng vn retreat = throw off their packs and

* blankets so that they might
march the quicker in the

%,. intense heat. He had




Ler fm advance







Posilionc of the fing *2E- ¢ oS Be rest of the,
after tyey followed kee >,"Sy*%, : gE sane
and “ad Eee oe Stairs Sut soon
ce gE
hingron + een 3, 27° Position
a “ey +, f7, and thence to
Monmouth aa! eet eee Main army
ee. Ya, at
MAP OF THE BATTLE or MonmouTH. * Here sero?
keg eng. #
[-
only heard a few cannon shots at the front, ‘

; Position of English
and did not suppose that Lee would retreat when tee appears

without giving battle. He and his officers were presently
met by a little fifer boy, who said:

“ They are all coming this way, your honor.”

“Who are coming, my little man?” asked General
Knox.

“ Why, our boys, your honor—our boys, and the British
right after them.”
9AL THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

“Impossible!” exclaimed Washington, and he instant-
ly put spurs to his horse. He soon met the retreating
men. He then fell into one of his towering passions—
very rare, but all the more terrible.

“What is the meaning of all this, sir?” he demanded
of Lee.

Lee hesitated.

“T desire to know the meaning of this disorder and
confusion!” cried Washington.

“Our troops can not stand the charge of the British
grenadiers,” answered Lee.

“ By God, sir, they can, and they shall!” answered the
commanding general. There were a few more angry words,
and Washington called Lee a “ poltroon” with a very
forcible oath, and rode on to rally the men. He formed a
portion of them in the face of the enemy, and then, turn-
ing to Lee, said:

* Will you retain the command on this height, or not?
If you will, I will return to the main body and have it
formed on the next height.”

“Tt is indifferent to me where I command,” answered
Lee.

“T expect you will take the proper means for checking
the enemy,” said Washington.

“Your orders shall be obeyed,” replied Lee, “and I
shall not be the first to leave the field.”

Washington hurried back to the main army and drew
up his men on the high grounds near the marsh. The
soldiers under Lee fought bravely until they were charged
by cavalry and by infantry at the point of the bayonet.
They then fell back, and Lee brought them off in good
THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH. 245

order. Washington ordered them to form in the rear,
while fresh men should take up the battle. There was
some hard fighting now. When the English attacked the
Americans in front they were warmly received. They
tried to turn the American left flank, and failed; they
then fell upon their right, and were driven back. The
Americans gained much this day from careful drilling of
Baron Steuben at Valley Forge. They wheeled into line
while they were hard pressed by the enemy as coolly as
though they were on parade. Washington was in the
thickest of the fight. As Hamilton said, he did not hug
himself ata distance, and his courage made his officers
love him more dearly than ever. The white charger
which he rode during the first part of the day died from
the heat. He then mounted a chestnut Arabian horse,
which his man Billy led up. He galloped along the lines,
shouting :

“Stand fast, my boys, and receive your enemy; the
Southern troops are advancing to support you!”

Toward sunset the English fell back behind a ravine,
where they were protected by woods and marshes. Wash-
ington pushed on, bent upon attacking them once more,
but their position was hard to reach, and it was night be-
fore the Americans could get to where they could renew
the fight. Washington ordered the men to sleep on their
arms, that they might be ready for battle the next day.
He and Lafayette lay down on the same mantle, and
talked long of the bad behavior of Lee. During the
night an officer approached Washington cautiously. He
had something to say, but he did not wish to disturb the
general’s rest.
946 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

“ Advance, sir,” said the commander in chief, “and de-
liver your errand. I lie here to think, and not to sleep.”

During the night the English army silently marched
away. By morning they were well on their way to high
grounds, where it would be useless to attack them, and
Washington was forced to give up his hope of renewing
the battle. The Americans lost over two hundred in
killed and wounded at the battle of Monmouth, while the
English lost more than four hundred. 'There-were also a
number of men on both sides who died of the heat. In
addition to this, the English general, Clinton, lost over
eight hundred men by desertion as he retreated through
New Jersey. Many of the deserters were Germans, who
had either married or engaged themselves to German girls
in Philadelphia during the winter, and went back to their
sweethearts.

It is said that, before the battle of Monmouth a num-
ber of Washington’s officers talked of drawing up a paper,
begging him not to expose himself in battle. Dr. Craik,
his old family physician, who had been with him in his
young days in the French war, told them that such a
paper “would not weigh a feather” with the general.
He told how the old Indian, on his journey down the
Ohio, had predicted that Washington could not be shot.
During the battle, when the commander in chief was re-
connoitering with some of his officers, a round shot struck
the ground near him, and threw the earth all over him
and his horse.

“Dat wash very near!” remarked Baron Steuben ; and
Craik nodded to the other officers, to show that he believed
in the Indian’s prediction.
THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH. 94%

At another time, during the battle of Monmouth,
Washington’s body servant, Billy, who carried the gen-
eral’s field glass, got together a number of other valets as
a suite, and, riding to a hill where there was a large syca-
more, began to reconnoiter with the glass as he had seen
his master and staff do.

“See those fellows collecting on yonder height,” said
Washington to the officers who stood near him. “The
enemy will fire on them to a certainty.”

And so it happened. Some English gunner soon sent
a cannon ball crashing through the tree under which he
saw, as he thought, a body of American officers. The
darkies scampered, and Washington laughed.

During the day a sturdy young Irish woman with a
freckled face was busy carrying water to her husband,
who was an artilleryman. ‘The fellow was shot, and the
piece was ordered to be withdrawn, since there was no
one to serve it. But Molly dropped her bucket, seized
the rammer, and filled the place of her dead husband
while the battle lasted.

The next morning General Greene presented the
young woman, covered with dirt and blood, to Washing-
ton. She was rewarded with a sergeant’s commission and
put on the list of half-pay officers. After this, Captain
Molly, as she was called, sometimes acted as a servant at
headquarters, dressed in an artilleryman’s coat and cocked
hat. One day, when she was washing clothes, Washing-
ton said to her:

“ Well, Captain Molly, are you not almost tired of this
quiet way of life, and longing to be once more in the field
of battle?”
248 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

*Troth, your excellency, and ye may say that,” an-
swered Molly, “for I care not how soon I have another
slap at them redcoats, bad Inck to them!”

“But what is to become of your petticoats in such an
event, Captain Molly ?”

“Oh, long life to your excellency, and never do ye
mind them at all, at all. Sure, it’s only in the artillery
your honor’s excellency knows that I would sarve, and
divil a fear but the smoke of the cannon would hide my
petticoats.”

Lee was much vexed with Washington’s angry words
on the day of the battle, and he wrote some very disre-
spectful letters to him. Washington caused him to be
tried by court-martial, and he was suspended from his
command for a year. Before the year was up he was
dismissed from the army for writing an impertinent let-
ter to Congress. Sir Henry Clinton afterward sent word
to the English General Philips, who was a prisoner in
Virginia, that he fought on velvet at Monmouth, alluding,
no doubt, to his suspicion of Lee’s treason, which prob-
ably prevented the day from being very disastrous to him.
Highty years had passed before it was discovered—when
the private papers of General Howe were made public—
that Lee had actually aided in planning the unlucky cam-
paign against Philadelphia, even advising the sailing up
the Chesapeake. Before this Lee had always been re-
garded as an eccentric, hasty, ill-tempered man, who was
slovenly in his dress, fonder of dogs than of men, and apt
to indulge in criticism of his superior officers. To-day it
is uncertain whether Lee’s motives were wholly treagon-
able or only perverse at the battle of Monmouth, but his
THE BATTLE OF MONMOUTH. 24.9

behavior as a prisoner among the English leaves him open
to the worst suspicions.

General Scott, an American officer, much given to
swearing, was once reproved by a friend, who undertook
to hold up Washington as an example, asking him if he
ever heard that general swear. ‘“ Yes, once,” answered
Scott; “it was at the battle of Monmonth, and on a day
that would have made any man swear. Yes, sir, he
swore on that day till the leaves shook on the trees.
Charming! delightful! Never have I enjoyed such
swearing before or since.”

Such an outburst of honest indignation as Washing-
ton’s on the field of Monmouth, however, had little in
common with vulgar profanity in ordinary conversation.
bo

50 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER XL.

DEFENSIVE WAR.
L77S-1779.

Tut English had been forced to abandon their dearly
bought possession of Philadelphia because of the proba-
bility that the French would send a fleet to the Delaware
and shut them up in that city. They were none too soon,
for not long after the battle of Monmouth the Count
d’Hstaing, with a French fleet, arrived at the Capes of
Delaware. Adverse winds only had prevented him from
reaching America in time to have entrapped the English.
army. Washington said that, had the French been a lit-
tle sooner, he might have captured Sir Harry, as he called
Clinton, the English general. Finding the enemy gone,
the French admiral sailed on to Sandy Hook. The
pilots whom he engaged to carry him into New York
harbor told him that the water on the bar was too shal-
low for some of his ships. Though he offered a reward
of fifty thousand crowns to the one who should carry him
safely in, none of them wished to undertake it. Wash-
ington and the French admiral were obliged to give up
laying siege to New York, which they had planned, and
the fleet now sailed against Newport, where there was
an army of six thousand English troops. Washington
sent a force of men under General Sullivan to aid the
DEFENSIVE WAR. 951

French in capturing the British at Newport. Soon after
their arrival an English fleet was seen outside of the har-
bor. Count d’Estaing sailed out to give the enemy bat-
tle, but a storm scattered both fleets, damaging the ships,
and the French put into Boston for repairs, to the great
disgust of General Sullivan and other American officers.
Washington him-
self was sadly dis-
appointed, for, had
the English army
at Newport been
captured, the war
might have been
brought to an
end. However,
he hid his regret,
and tried to heal
the disputes which



at
WASHINGTON’S PISTOL HOLSTERS, OF HEAVY
arose between the PATENT LEATHER.
[From Washington’s room at Mount Vernon.]

Americans and
French on this point. He warned his own officers that
the French were apt to take fire when other men were
scarcely warmed, and by using his influence avoided trou-
ble between men of the two nations at a time when
America sorely needed the help of France.

Washington now took his position in the High-
lands of the Hudson, guarding this important river, and
hoping to strike some blow at the enemy when there
should bea chance. After two years of struggle and hard
fighting the two armies found themselves, in the fall of
1778, in about the same position that they had left in
259 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

1776, except that, as Washington said, it was now the
English who were using the spade and pickaxe. There
was a rumor, however, that the enemy meant to attack
the French in Boston, and Washington moved to the east
side of the Hudson, and placed his army where it could
march quickly to the aid of Boston. He was kept on the
watch in this way for four months. Meantime the Eng-
lish took the opportunity to send out foraging parties into
New Jersey, and they captured a company of American
dragoons, putting many of them to death at the point of
the bayonet. This was all that the British accomplished
in the campaign of 1778, after the retreat from Philadel-
phia, except that late in the year Sir Henry Clinton
planned an expedition up the Hudson toward the forts in
the Highlands with great secrecy, never so much as
letting a mouse get within his lines, as Washington said.
The main body of the Americans were on the march to
winter quarters in New Jersey when news reached them
that the English were moving up the river. Although
he had left the Highlands in command of a good officer,
Washington was anxious, and hurried hack with a num-
ber of regiments. He reached the neighborhood of
King’s Ferry only to find that “Sir Harry” had, as he
afterward said, burned two small log houses at this place,
“destroyed nine barrels of spoiled herring, and set sail
for New York” once more. The Americans returned,
through cold and storm, to winter quarters, where the
men got into huts as quickly as possible. Washington
had hit upon the plan of dividing up his army for the
winter, and quartering them in different places about
New York, from the sound to the Delaware, so that they
DEFENSIVE WAR. 253

might be the more easily supplied with food, and yet
protect the country as much as possible from the enemy.
He made a plan for alarming the different posts in case
of an attack. An eighteen pound cannon, known as the
“Old Sow,” was placed on Bottle Hill, in New Jersey,
which overlooked a great extent of country, and here sen-
tinels watched night and day. In case of an alarm, the
“Qld Sow” was to be fired every half hour. Immediately
beacon fires were to be lighted on every hill, and so the
news would spread from hilltop to hilltop.

Vashington spent about five weeks in Philadelphia
during the winter, consulting with Congress about the
next year’s operations. He proposed three plans for the fol-
lowing summer. ‘The first was, to try to expel the enemy
from New York; the second, to march against the Eng-
lish fort at Niagara, which was the center of Indian wars ;
and the third was, to remain entirely on the defensive,
except for some operation against the Indians. Paper
money had become so worthless, the Government was so
poor, and the country so much harassed by the war, that
it was decided to adopt the last plan, and raise only a
small army for the next year, thus giving the people rest,
and leaving more men free to work on their farms and
raise grain, that there need be no dangerous scarcity.

The Indians had long tormented the frontier, encour-
aged by the English, who held the forts in their midst,
which had once belonged to the French. There were the
usual massacres, burnings, and destruction. It had been
impossible for Washington to aid the poor frontier peo-
ple before, but he turned his attention in the summer of
1779 to their cruel enemies. He sent General Sullivan

19
954 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

with an army of four thousand men into the country of
the Six Nations, first giving him the most careful direc-
tions about Indian fighting, and warning him against a
surprise. Sullivan marched into the heart of the Indian
country, had one battle with the enemy, in which he put
them to rout, and then destroyed their towns and corn-
fields, even chopping down the peach and apple orchards
which stood about their cabins.

The English Government meantime had decided to
keep up a predatory war, in which seacoast towns should
be destroyed, and the people distressed into submission.
Sir Henry Clinton accordingly sent some ships and men to
Virginia, where they sacked a town, destroyed a stock of
provisions, burned a village and some country houses, and
seized a good deal of tobacco. After the return of this
inglorious expedition, a number of vessels, containing an
army of six thousand men, sailed up the Hudson and at-
tacked some unfinished works of the Americans at Stony
Point and Verplanck’s Point. They captured these works,
and would have moved against the other forts on the Hud-
son, but, learning that Washington was ready for him, Sir
Harry thought best to sail back again.



WASHINGTON’S PORTFOLIO ON WHICH IIE WROTE HIS DESPATCHES
DURING THE REVOLUTION.
[in the National Museum, Washington, D. C.]
THE STORMING OF STONY POINT. 955

CHAPTER XLI.

THE STORMING OF STONY POINT.

Str Henry Cin ton did not choose to attack Wash-
ington in his strong camp in the Highlands. By way of
keeping up a predatory warfare, and hoping to draw the
American general into the level country, where he could
fight him to better advantage, he sent Governor Tryon
with a body of men and ships to attack the coast of Con-
necticut. Tryon landed at New Haven, plundered the
people, and burned the stores on the wharves; he then
sailed to Fairfield and Norwalk, sacked these towns, and
burned them to the ground. Washington, however, did
not move down to defend Connecticut, as Clinton had
hoped, but struck a blow in another quarter, which caused -
the English general to hastily recall his forces under
Tryon and give up the destruction of New London,
which he had planned next.

Washington, indeed, was mortified that he was obliged
to lie inactive during the summer of 1779, and felt that
he must do something to keep the people in heart, for
it would have been unwise even to let his friends know
why he stayed in the Highlands, and how small his army
was. Stony Point is a rocky hill standing out in the
Hudson, and ent off from the mainland by water and a
256 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

marsh, over which there ran a causeway. The English
had finished the works begun by the Americans at this
place, and had placed some vessels in the river near by to
protect Stony Point and Verplanck’s Point, which lay op-
posite. Washington thought that with a small body
of men and a perfect surprise the fort might be cap-
tured. Should this succeed, it would be a great encour-
agement to the Americans, and if the attempt failed the
loss would be small. He planned the attack with a great
deal of care, and chose General Anthony Wayne, who was
nicknamed “ Mad Anthony” in the army, to command
the assault. Washington had a long consultation with
this officer, in which Wayne is reported to have said, in
his enthusiasm :
“ General, if you will only plan it, I will storm hell.”

It was agreed that Wayne was-to keep his intentions a
secret even from his officers and men until almost the mo-
ment of attack, and that he was to guard every road care-
fully, and see that no one came or went from Stony Point,
so that by no possibility should the enemy hear of his in-
‘tentions. He was to take a few artillerymen with him to
serve the guns in case the fort should be captured; but
so eager was Washington to hide his designs even from
friends, that when he ordered these men down to join
Wayne he caused them to bring two cannon with them,
that they might not suspect on what sort of errand they
were bound. Washington carefully picked the men for
the attempt on Stony Point from all the States. He
chose midnight as the best time for a surprise, for he said
that, as two o’clock was the usual time for such adyen-
tures, a good officer was more on his guard late in the
THE STORMING OF STONY POINT. 957

night. Finally, that no possible alarm might be given,
all the dogs in the neighborhood of Stony Point were
killed as the Americans approached.
‘The men had no idea whither they were bound. ‘They
were marched fourteen miles through a very rough coun-
try, on the 15th of July, 1779. By eight o’clock at night
they were within a mile and a half of Stony Point, and
here they rested for over
three hours. By half
past eleven they were on
the march again. When
they neared the fort the
order to halt was passed
along the line in a low
tone. Hach man then
fixed a white paper in his
hat, go that he might be
known to his friends in
the darkness. The men
were divided into two
columns, which were to
attack the fort from dif-
ferent points. Ahead of run Pcie Eu one POINT,
either column marched a
forlorn hope of twenty men provided with axes, with
which they were to cut away the abatis which was half-
way up the hill. The advanced men in each division
carried their muskets unloaded, that, being unable to fire,

f

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4
Ne








they would be compelled to depend upon the bayonet.

The watchword of the night was to be “The fort?s our
a
own!” ‘The men passed the marsh, and silently moved





:
ie




anh Ne



|
|
t


958 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

up the hill from two points. The blows of the axemen
upon the abatis were the first sounds which reached the
garrison of the fort. At twenty minutes past twelve the
word was given to advance. The Americans rushed up
the hill in the face of a hot fire of musketry and grape-
shot from the fort. On they went, and over the works,
driving the English back at the point of the bayonet,
and never discharging a gun. The young French officer
Colonel Fleury was the first man to enter the fort. He
pulled down the English colors, and cried:

“The fort’s our own! ”

The watchword was soon answered from all sides.
Wayne had been struck on the head with a musket ball
while still outside the fort. He fell, but, rising on one
knee, cried :

“March on! Carry me into the fort, for, should the
wound be mortal, I will die at the head of my column.”

His aids helped him into the fort, and his injury
proved not to be a serious one. Stony Point was quickly
in the hands of the Americans. Some six hundred men
were captured, and a number of cannon and stores. The
guns of Stony Point were directed against Verplanck’s
Point, for Washington had hoped to take this post also.
But the officer who was to attack it from the other side
of the river, once Stony Point was secure, did not. re-
ceive his message in time, and before the attempt could
be made the English had moved up to protect it. Wash-
ington thought best not to keep Stony Point, since his
army was small, and it would take more men than he
could spare to defend it against an enemy who had ship-
ping. Accordingly he destroyed the works and abandoned
THE STORMING OF STONY POINT. 959

it. Though the English afterward occupied the point
again for a short time and rebuilt the works, the storming
of Stony Point was very much admired in America and in
Europe, and did much to encourage faint-hearted people,
as Washington had hoped.

About a month after the storming of Stony Point,
Major Henry Lee, known to fame as “ Light-Horse Harry
Lee,” with something over three hundred Americans, sur-
prised the English fort at Paulus Hook, where Jersey City
now stands, and took one hundred and fifty-nine prison-
ers. The exploits of the English during the campaign of
1779 were confined to the burning of some defenseless
Connecticut towns. “How a conduct of this kind,” said
Washington, “is to effect the conquest of America, the
wisdom of a North, a Germaine, or a Sandwich best can
tell.” North, Germaine, and Sandwich were English min-
isters. Washington pronounced their policy of warfare
on unprotected towns too deep and refined for ordinary
mortals to understand.
260 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER XUIL

WINTER QUARTERS.
1779-1780.

In the latter part of November, 1779, Washington
was troubled in getting the stock of clothing divided
among the men before going into winter quarters.
There was not enough of it, and there was so much dif-
ference in color and quality that it was hard to make it
answer. He quartered his men in various places around
New York, as he had done the winter before, and made
Morristown his headquarters. Mrs. Washington spent
the winter, as usual, with her husband. She said that she
heard the first and the last cannon of the season, while
Washington wrote to a friend that his wife always
“marched home when the campaign was about to open.”
Their quarters were very uncomfortable, often “ a squeezed-
up room or two,” as he said. At one place there were but
two frame houses in the settlement, and neither of them
had an upper story. Washington chose one of these.
houses, and engaged a couple of young soldiers, who were
carpenters, to fit up a room in the attic for Mrs. Wash-
ington, whom one of the men afterward described as “a
portly, agreeable-looking woman of forty-five.” She said
to these carpenter-soldiers :

“Now, young men, I care for nothing but comfort
WINTER QUARTERS. 261

here, and should like you to fit me upa buffet on one
side of the room, and some shelves and places for hanging
clothes on the other.” :

Every morning, about eleven o’clock, she carried some
refreshments upstairs for her mechanics. They worked
very earnestly, nailing smooth boards over the worm-
eaten planks of the attic, doing what they could to im-
prove the rough and knotty floor, building shelves, put-
ting up pegs, and making a buffet. On the fourth day
they finished their work, and one of them said to Mrs.
Washington, when she came upstairs:

“Madam, we have done the best we could. I hope
we have suited you.”

“T am astonished,” answered the lady with a smile.
“Your work would do honor to an old master, and you
are mere lads. J am not only satisfied, but highly grati-
fied with what you have done for my comfort.”

Mrs. Washington bore all sorts of discomforts cheer-
fully. At Newburg, she and the general were quartered
ina Dutch farmhouse. The largest room in this house
was used for a dining-room, but it had only one window
and seven doors, while the fireplace was large enough to
roast a bullock in. The sitting-room was very small, and
when Washington had to entertain a French officer, he
was obliged to put him on a camp bed in this same sitting-
room, to the astonishment of the Frenchman. In camp
Washington ate from tin plates. He once described his
table, after inviting some ladies to dime with him.

“Since our arrival at this happy spot,” said he, “we
have had a ham (sometimes a shoulder) of bacon to grace
the head of the table; a piece of roast beef adorns the
262 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

foot, and a dish of beans or greens (almost imperceptible)
decorates the center. When the cook has a mind to cut
a figure (which I presume will be the case to-morrow), we
have two beefsteak pies, or dishes of crabs, in addition,
one on each side of the center dish, dividing the space
and reducing the distance between dish and dish to about
six feet, which without them would be near twelve feet
apart. Of late he has had the surprising sagacity to dis-
cover that apples will make pies, and it’s a question if,
in the violence of his efforts, we do not get one of ap-
ples, instead of having both of beefsteaks. If the ladies
can put up with such entertainment, and will submit to
partake of it on plates once tin, but now iron (not be-
come so by the labor of scouring), I shall be happy to
see them.” During these active years of his life Wash-
ington has been described as having been a very hearty
eater, and hunger is said to have put him in a sort of
rage.

Once Washington’s headquarters were at the house of a
Mrs. Berry, in New Jersey. Mrs. Washington arrived one
day at this house in her coach, escorted by ten dragoons.
Mrs. Berry, looking out of her window, saw a plain little
woman, dressed in brown homespun, wearing a hood, and
a large white handkerchief folded across her bosom,
alight from the carriage. Though she was followed by a
colored maid, Mrs. Berry thought that she must be an
upper servant, until she saw the general meet her, greet
her affectionately, and begin to inquire after his pet
horses.

During the winter in Morristown the headquarters
were at the house of Mrs. Ford, the widow of a Revo-
WINTER QUARTERS. 263

lutionary officer. Here Washington had a family of
eighteen, including his servants, and they and Mrs.
Ford’s servants were all obliged to crowd together into
one small kitchen. The general wished to build another
kitchen, but could not get the necessary boards. Some-
times there were alarms that the enemy was coming.
The soldiers of Washington’s life guard then hurried into
the house, barricaded the doors, took out the windows,
and stood at them with their muskets cocked. Mean-
while Mrs. Washington and Mrs. Ford were forced to go
to bed to keep warm. When the alarm was over, the
general always went to the ladies’ beds, drew back the
curtains, and told them that all was safe. It is told of
Washington, that one night on the Hudson, when the
enemy marched to attack him, and the wives of a number
of the generals were present, it was proposed to remove
the ladies; but Washington refused.

“The presence of our wives,” said he, “ will the better
encourage us to a brave defense.”

A great hurry followed, the commands of officers, the
marching of troops, and the dragging of cannon, while
the house filled with soldiers and the windows were
taken out. But the English, finding, perhaps, that they
had not surprised the Americans, retired.

Soon after Mrs. Washington arrived in winter quar-
ters at Morristown some of the ladies of the town went
to call upon her, richly dressed. They were surprised to
find that she wore brown homespun, and were a little
ashamed of their own extravagance at a time when the
country was in so much distress. They thought her
“wise, kind-hearted, and winning in all her ways.” Mrs.
264 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Washington was a very busy woman. She told one lady
that at Mount Vernon, where there was an army of slaves
to clothe, she kept sixteen spinning wheels going, and had
a great deal of cloth woven in her house. She showed
her two dresses of cotton and silk woven by her servants.



RUINS OF SLAVES? QUARTERS, MOUNT VERNON,

[Spinning-house, ete., in the distance.]

The silk stripes were made from the ravelings of brown
silk stockings, and old, crimson damask chair covers.
Her coachman, footman, and maid were dressed through-
out in homemade goods, except that the coachman’s
cuffs were made of scarlet cloth imported before the war.

The year before, while Mrs. Washington was at win-
ter quarters in Middlebrook, she was amused by a review
of the army in which some Indians from western Penn-
WINTER QUARTERS. 265

sylvania took part. It was wise to flatter these people in
some way, so Washington rode along the lines, a noble
figure, followed by his Indian guests, looking much like
cutthroats, as Mrs. Washington said, half-naked as they
were, or covered with ragged shawls which fluttered in the
wind, while their bodies were decorated with feathers and
strings of bear’s claws, and they were mounted on miser-
able old horses with no saddles and bridles made of rope,
carrying their guns in all sorts of positions. Mrs. Wash-
ington declared that it was the funniest review she had
ever seen. Sometimes she was present when the general,
on the occasion of some great event, pardoned men who
had been imprisoned for various offenses. Once it was in
honor of the alliance with France, and fifty thinly clad
tellows, with pale but happy faces, came to headquarters
to express their thanks. Mrs. Washington’s eyes filled
with tears, and she gave them some money and said kind
words to them. Their spokesman kissed her hand and
said, “ God bless Lady Washington!”

Sometimes there were balls in honor of some event,
and it was not uncommon for the ballroom to be deco-
rated with representations of Washington’s various suc-
cesses. At these assemblies, as they were called, the gen- .
eral and his wife danced the minuet.

The last years of the war were very trying to Washing-
ton. He said that he had not desponded in what America
had called her gloomy days, but now that the people had
lost their ardor and were inclined to depend upon France
to fight the war for them, at a time when their money
was so worthless as to make it almost impossible to
feed or keep an army, and Congress was daily becoming
266 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

weaker and more helpless, he had the keenest anxieties.
“We can no longer drudge on in the old way,” said he.
Cries of distress came to him from all parts of the coun-
try, while he was powerless to help. When the Continen-
tal money no longer passed, he wrote, “We stand upon
the brink of a precipice from which the smallest help
casts us headlong.” During the winter in Morristown,
which was the coldest within man’s memory, the men
lived, as Washington said, on “ every kind of horse food
except hay.” When it became necessary to force the peo-
ple to sell provisions whether they would or no, he
directed that it should be done with as much tenderness
as possible, and then he dreaded lest it should “sour the
tempers” of the people. “It would be well for the
troops,” said he, “if they could, like the bear, suck their
paws for sustenance during the rigors of the winter.”
Once he declared that either the men must “ disband or
cater for themselves.” So hard a life did the Revolu-
tionary soldier lead, that Morgan, when asked which na-
tionality made the best soldiers, answered that men were
all much alike, none of them fighting more than was
necessary, but that he preferred the German, because,
_ said he, “he starves well.” The American officers also

suffered much, for paper money had become so worthless
that their pay amounted to almost nothing. An officer’s
expenses meantime were very great, for, as Washington
said, “a rat in the shape of a horse” cost two hundred
pounds, or a thousand dollars, a saddle two hundred dol-
lars, and a pair of boots a hundred dollars. Some of the
officers applied for the coarse clothing furnished so scan-
tily to the men, and,as Washington said, it was only “ pa-
WINTER QUARTERS, 267

triotism and a love of honor” which kept these men in .
the service.

There was never enough clothing. Washington wrote
at one time that a great many men were destitute of
shirts and breeches, and a fourth or fifth without shoes.
They were “ feelingly reminded ” of the want of clothing,
he said, in cold weather. Again it was,“ We have no
shirts.” Another time he wrote to Lafayette, “ Your in-
fantry is formed, two thousand fine men, but the greater
part of them naked.” In a review of the troops held in
the spring of 1780, a regiment of men cut up the few
shirts among them to make collars for the whole. Soon
after this the ladies of Philadelphia raised a fund to aid
the soldiers, and Washington advised them to put it into
shirts, which were always lacking. They accordingly
made two thousand and five shirts, at the house of Mrs.
Bache, the daughter of Franklin. Each lady put her
name on the garments she had made, and they were sent to
the army in the winter of 1780-81. But in spite of the
fact that, owing to short enlistments, the troops were like
a pedestal of ice,” forever melting under him, though
there was sometimes not money enough in the hands of
the quartermaster general to pay for an express, and
though the army, owing to state jealousies, was, as he
said, sometimes one and sometimes thirteen armies, while
it was often neither or both, Washington kept up heart.
He said that the possession of American towns while
there was an army in the field would do the enemy little
good, and that he had got so inured to difficulties by this
time that he was able to take them more calmly than he
had been used to do.
268 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Many of the States, in order to bring paper money
back to credit, had made laws that it should be taken
in payment for debts. The money did not gain in
value, but such laws gave many men a chance for dis-
honest speculation. “ Virtue and patriotism are almost
kicked out,” said Washington, and he despised those men
who tried to make fortunes out of the general ruin.
While the general was at Morristown, Lafayette once
noticed that he treated a certain man very coldly when
he came to headquarters. He thought that perhaps this
was because Washington was busy at the time, but when
the man came a second time the commander in chief only
nodded to him. Lafayette afterward asked the general
why this was. Washington explained that the man had
taken advantage of the law making Continental currency
legal tender to pay his debts in it at a time when forty
dollars were worth about one.

“T tried to speak to him,” said Washington, “but
that Continental money stuck in my throat, and the words
would not come out.”

During the bitter cold of the winter at Morristown
Washington planned a descent on Staten Island. Lord
Stirling and a body of men crossed on the ice, which had
frozen over between New Jersey and this island, but they
found the enemy prepared, and were obliged to retreat.
In the late spring of 1780 General Knyphausen retaliated
by entering New Jersey, and trying to strike a blow at
Morristown; but cannon were fired, signal fires were
lighted, and the New Jersey militia rose and fought from
behind fences. Washington, too, was prepared for him,
and Knyphausen finally retired, after having burned two

>
WINTER QUARTERS. 269

villages. Mrs. Caldwell, the wife of a favorite minister,
was killed, either by a chance shot or the gun of some
wanton soldier, during this expedition, and her death
added much to the bitter hatred which the Jersey people
had come to feel for their invaders.
970 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER. XLITI.

THE TREASON OF ARNOLD AND THE FATE OF ANDRE.
THE USE OF SPIES.
L780.

AFTER leaving Boston, where he had put in for re-
pairs, the French admiral, Count d’Estaing, had sailed to
the West Indies to fight the English there. He returned
to Georgia in 1779, and made an unsuccessful attack on
the British in Savannah. But Sir Henry Clinton was so
much alarmed by the presence of a French fleet on the
coast of North America that he evacuated Newport and
Stony Point, and drew all his forces in the north into
New York, where he fortified industriously. During the
winter of 1779-80 Lafayette went to France to ask for
more aid. Te not only asked for troops, but he begged
for arms and clothing.

“Tt is fortunate for the king,” said the Prime Minis-
ter of France, “that Lafayette does not take it into his
head to strip Versailles of its furniture to send to his
dear Americans, as his Majesty would be unable to re-
fuse it.”

In July, 1780, part of a new French fleet arrived at
Newport, consisting of ten men-of-war, two bombs, and
five thousand soldiers. There was a second division to
follow, and then Washington and the Count de Rocham-
{HH TREASON OF ARNOLD. OTL

beau, the commander of the French forces, hoped to be
strong enough to lay seige to New York from the land
and from the water. Soon after the arrival of the French
fleet, Sir Henry Clinton put six thousand soldiers on ships
and crossed the sound, bent on attacking them. But
Washington, whose headquarters were at Tappan, in the
[lighlands, immediately moved down to strike at New
York in his absence, and Clinton hurried back again.
The English, however, who had much the larger fleet,
blockaded the French in Newport. Unluckily, the second
division of the French fleet never arrived, for it also was
blockaded by another English fleet in the harbor of Brest,
in France.

In the fall of 1780 Washington made a journey to
Hartford, where he met the French General Rochambeau
and consulted with him about future operations. But
nothing could be done. The blockade of the French
fleets in Newport and in France spoiled all plans. Wash-
ington had been through immense difficulties to raise men
and clothe them for the campaign, which he had hoped
would be his last, and all that now remained was to wait
for re-enforcements from a third French fleet, which was
in the West Indies, in which case he might yet carry out
his projects. While he was absent from his army a
treacherous plot was being laid, which promised ruin to
all his hopes and to the cause of America.

Washington had always thought it important to keep
possession of the Hudson, which separated the New Eng-
land from the other States, and which, were it once taken,
would cut the Union in two. Since it was impossible to
guard the Hudgon at New York, he had chosen the High-
279 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

lands, where the country was rough and the river was
narrow, as a place of defense. He made West Point his
principal fort, and had had thousands of men doing fa-
tigue duty there the summer before in order to make it a
very strong place. At this point an immense iron chain
was stretched across the river. West Point was so im-
portant, indeed, that it was called the Gibraltar of America.

General Benedict Arnold had shown great courage in
several battles, had been twice wounded, and was very
popular. He was, however, a dishonest man. When he
was in Canada he had been charged with robbing the
merchants in Montreal for the purpose of selling the
goods for his own profit. After the evacuation of Phila-
delphia by the English he had been put in command of
that city, and was guilty of dishonest practices there. He
led a gay and extravagant life in Philadelphia, living in
the handsome Penn house, which he furnished richly,
and driving in a coach and four. He married, as his sec-
ond wife, Miss Shippen, a beautiful girl of eighteen, who
had been a favorite with the British officers the year be-
fore, and had figured as a Turkish princess in the Mis-
chianza. Tis debts soon became very great. He made
large claims on the Government for his expenses in Can-
ada, but these were very much cut down before they were
paid. He was imbittered because he had once been over-
looked in the promotion of officers. He was also tried by
court-martial for dishonest practices, but was acquitted
of all except some small charges, such as that of using
public wagons for his own purposes, and was only sen-
tenced to be reprimanded by the commander in chief.
Washington softened his reprimand by praising Arnold’s
THE TREASON OF ARNOLD. 273
courage; but, soured by disgrace and embarrassed by
debt, Arnold secretly opened a correspondence with the
enemy by writing to a friend of his wife’s—Major John
André, of the English army. The letters were in a dis-
guised handwriting, signed with assumed names, and the
schemes of the writers were hidden under such expres-
sions as “good speculations,” “ ready money,” and the
“price of tobacco,” as though they were the writings of
merchants discussing their business. In order that his
treason might fetch a larger price, and that he might be
honored as ending the war, Arnold wished to turn over
some important post to the enemy. It had long been
Clinton’s desire to possess the forts on the Hudson, bat
he dared not attack places so strong. The capture of
these posts at atime of so much discouragement in Amer-
ica might have put an end to the war in a way disastrous
to the hopes of Americans.

Arnold asked Washington to give him the command of
West Point and the Highlands. The commanding gen-
eral tried to persuade him to go into more active service,
but Arnold said that his wounds were still too bad; and
Washington, who thought him a brave and trustworthy
officer, intrusted him with this most important post.

Arnold chose the time when Washington had gone to
mect the Count de Rochambeau to complete the plans for
his treason. It was necessary that there should be some
military operations, so that the traitor should not appear
to have given up his post without a fight. A large body
of English soldiers were put on ships in New York harbor
to be ready for action, and Major André was sent up the
Hudson, in the sloop of war Vulture, to within fifteen
ye THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

miles of West Point, to consult with the American gen-
eral. In case of success, André, as well as Arnold, was to
have a large reward in money, and to be made a British
general. Sir Henry Clinton had warned André not to go
within the American lines, and not to carry any papers,
lest he might be caught as a spy. A flag of truce was
sent ashore from the Vulture, that Arnold might know
where his accomplice was ; and the American general sent
aman named Joshua Smith to the English vessel in the
night, in a boat with muffled oars, to bring André away.
Arnold met him in the bushes on shore. They consulted
together for some time, and Arnold finally persuaded An-
dré to mount an extra horse which he had brought with
him and accompany him to the house of Smith, which
was inside the American lines. Here the English adju-
tant general and the American general agreed upon the
plan for the capture of the strong forts and valuable
stores on the Hudson, and probably on the price of the
treason. The plan was for Arnold to draw most of his
men out into the gorges of the Highlands, in defense of
West Point, leaving the fort nearly unprotected, so that
the English might enter, capture the works, and so cut off
the men from a retreat. They must either be captured
or be cut to pieces. With so large a part of his army
sacrificed, and completely divided from the French as he
would have been, it was expected that Washington, with
the remainder of his men, must succumb. Certainly the
people, in their state of discouragement, would hardly
have gained heart after so severe a blow.

While the consultation was going on an American
officer had brought a gun to bear on the Vulture, so that
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she was forced to fall down the river; and as it was im-
possible to get any one to run the risk of taking André
out to her, it was necessary for him to return to New York
976 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

by land. Up to this time he had worn. his officer’s uni-
form, hidden under a long coat, but he now removed it
and put on some clothes belonging to Smith. ‘Taking
with him some papers, among which were a plan of West
Point, an account of Washington’s plans for the campaign,
and a pass written by Arnold, he assumed the name of
John Anderson, and, accompanied by Smith, crossed the
river and took a roundabout course through the American
lines. After some alarms he got through in safety, and
Smith left him. When he was near Tarrytown he was
stopped by some roving militiamen, who were playing
cards in the bushes and watching the road in the hope of
waylaying some one whom they might plunder, after the
fashion of many men on both sides of the dispute in those
lawless days. André took them to be cowboys, as Tories
of this sort were called, and said:

“Gentlemen, I hope you belong to our party?”

“Which party?” asked one of them.

“ The lower party,” answered André.

The men said that they did.

“Tam a British officer on particular business,” André
then said, “and I hope you will not detain me a minute.”

But the men thought they would. They took their
prisoner into the bushes and undressed him. ‘They were
looking for money, but they found papers in their prison-
er’s stockings. ‘They then concluded that he was a spy,
and though he offered them his watch and a large sum of
money, which, however, he did not have with him, they
would not let him go. They took him to North Castle
and delivered him up to Colonel Jameson, an American
officer, claiming his watch, horse, saddle, and bridle as
THE TREASON OF ARNOLD. OTT

plunder. Jameson, though the papers found on the pris-
oner were in Arnold’s handwriting, did not once think
of suspecting his general, but was about to send André-to
him. Another officer, Major Tallmadge, however, with
much trouble persuaded Jameson not to do this, but the
latter persisted in sending a letter to Arnold, announcing
the capture of a man named John Anderson, so giving the
traitor warning that he was about to be discovered. He
sent the papers found on André to Washington by an ex-
press messenger, who was to meet the commanding general
on his way back from Hartford.

But Washington did not return by the road that he
had gone, and so missed the messenger. He had spent
the night at Fishkill, and came down the river road, as the
Albany road was called, early on the morning of Septem-
ber 26, 1780. He had sent his baggage ahead to Ar-
nold’s headquarters, with the message that he would be
there to breakfast. He presently, however, turned up a
road which led to the river opposite West Point.

“General, you are going in a wrong direction,” said
Lafayette, who was with him; “you know Mrs. Arnold
is waiting breakfast for us.”

“Ah,” exclaimed Washington, in banter, “I know
you young men are all in love with Mrs. Arnold, and wish
to get where she is as soon as possible. You may go and
take your breakfast with her, and tell her not to wait for
me. I must ride down and examine the redoubts on this
side of the river, and will be there in a short time.”

The young officers, however, remained with Washing-
ton, excepting two aids, who rode on to let Mrs. Arnold
know that Washington was not coming. They found
278 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

breakfast waiting, but on their arrival Arnold and his
wife and aids sat down to eat. While they were at break-
fast a messenger arrived with the letter from Colonel
Jameson, which told Arnold of the capture of André and
the ruin of his well-laid plot. He showed some excite-
ment, but presently told the young men calmly enough
that his presence was required at West Point, and that
they might tell Washington, on his arrival, that he had
gone across the river. He then went to Mrs. Arnold’s
room and sent for her. He broke the evil news to her
suddenly, and left her in a fainting fit. He hurried to the
door, mounted a horse belonging to one of his aids, which
happened to stand there ready saddled, and rode to the
river bank. He jumped into a boat, and ordered the six
men who manned it to pull out into midstream. He then
told them that he was going down the river with a flag of
truce, and promised them two gallons of rum for their
long pull. When they passed Verplanck’s Point he held
up a white handkerchief as a flag of truce, and was finally
landed on board the English ship, where, instead of get-
ting their rum, the boatmen were made prisoners by their
own general.

Washington arrived at Arnold’s house soon after he
had left. Hearing that Mrs. Arnold was ill, and that the
general had gone over to West Point, he ate a hasty break-
fast and prepared to follow him. When he was crossing
the river he said to his officers:

“ Well, gentlemen, Iam glad, on the whole, that Gen-
eral Arnold has gone before us, for we shall now have a
salute, and the roaring of the cannon will have a fine ef-
fect among these mountains.” But all was silent.
THE TREASON OF ARNOLD. 979

“ What!” he exclaimed presently, “do they not intend
to salute us?”

A solitary officer, who met the boat at the shore, said
that Arnold had not been there.

“This is extraordinary,” said Washington. “ However,
our visit must not be in vain. Since we have come, we
must look around a little and see in what state things are
with you.”

The express messenger which had been sent to meet
Washington with the papers found on André, finding
that he had not gone by the lower road, had returned and
arrived at Arnold’s headquarters during the general’s ab-
sence. Alexander Hamilton, one of Washington’s aids
who had not gone to West Point with him, opened the
package. When the commander returned, at the end of
about two hours, Hamilton laid the papers before him
without a word. The discovery of this plot must have
been a great blow to Washington, but he merely said:

“Whom can we trust now?” and those who were in
the house observed that, while he was considering the
papers he chewed to pieces a switch which he had brought
in with him. He sent in pursuit of Arnold, but it was
too late. He expressed orders in all directions, putting
his forces in readiness for an attack. It was long before
the plot was completely unraveled, and before Washington
could be sure that there were not other officers concerned
in it, and his anxiety must have been very great.

Mrs. Arnold, who was the mother of a little baby,
was distracted with grief. Washington after a while sent
her to her friends in Philadelphia, and she afterward
joined her husband in New York. André was brought
280 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

to Arnold’s house, though Washington himself never saw
him. THe was soon sent on to Tappan, the headquarters
of the army, for safe keeping. He and Major Tallmadge,
who guarded him on his journey, were the best of friends
and talked freely together. André described how he was
to have aided in the sham attack on West Point, and how
he would have been made a brigadier-general as a reward.
Ie asked Tallmadge what he thought his fate would
now be. The young American officer tried to avoid an-
swering, but André would not be put off.

“T had a much-loved classmate in Yale College,”
Tallmadge finally said, “by the name of Nathan Hale,
who entered the army in 1775. Immediately after the
battle of Long Island, General Washington wanted infor-
mation respecting the strength, position, and probable
movements of the enemy. Captain Hale tendered his
services, went over to Brooklyn, and was taken just as he
was passing the outposts of the enemy on his return.
Do you remember the sequel of this story?”

“Yes,” said André; “he was hanged as a spy. But
you surely do not consider his case and mine alike 2?”

Tallmadge answered that he did, and André seemed
much troubled for a time. He was a very engaging and
accomplished young man, and those who were with him
became attached to him. Washington appointed a board
of officers to decide whether he should be regarded as a
spy. When he was called before thig board, André frankly
admitted that he had not come into the American lines
under the protection of a flag of truce, that he had worn a
disguise, and had gone under a false name. The officers
decided that these things, with the fact that he carried
THE TREASON OF ARNOLD. 281

information in his stockings, were enough to class him as
a spy. They recommended that he should be hanged,
such being the law of war regarding spies. Washington
thought it right that an example should be made of André
for the warning of the English, and of all conspirators
among the Americans. He was still painfully uncertain
how many of his own officers might have been engaged in
Arnold’s plot. He caused it to be intimated to Sir Henry
Clinton, however, that André’s life could be saved by his
exchange for Arnold; but Clinton, though he wished to
save his young favorite, could not in honor give Arnold
up. Washington also laid a plot for capturing Arnold,
and an American sergeant deserted to the enemy for this
purpose, but the plan failed.

André wrote a letter to Washington, begging that he
might be shot rather than hanged, since shooting was an
honorable soldier’s death. But Washington thought that
even this request could not be granted, for André had
been engaged in a dishonorable transaction. He avoided
answering the young man in order not to give him un-
necessary pain. Arnold meantime sent a letter to Wash-
ington, threatening that if André were hanged he would
retaliate on any Americans that came in his power and
“spill a torrent of blood.” Such a letter, of course, had
only the effect of making the American commander more
fixed in his stern purpose.

André was executed on the 2d of October, in the pres-
ence of the American army, excepting that Washington
and his suite were absent. The young man was perfectly
calm on the morning of his death. When his servant
came into the room in tears, he said: “ Leave me till you
982 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ad

can show yourself more manly.” He shaved and dressed
himself, and ate the breakfast which was sent to him, as
usual, from Washington’s table. He then said to the
officers of the guard, “I am ready at any moment, gentle-
men, to wait on you.”

He walked quietly to the spot of execution, but when
he saw the gallows he showed some emotion. “TI am
reconciled to my death, but I detest the mode,” he said.
His last words were, “I pray you to bear me witness that
I met my fate like a brave man.” Captain Hale, the
young American whose case many compared to that of
André, had said at the gallows, “I only lament that I
have but one life to lose for my country.”

Arnold was burned in effigy all over the United
States. The next spring he led an English expedition
by sea against Virginia, burned Richmond, and collected
alot of plunder. A storm haying injured the English
fleet which blockaded the French in Newport and driven
them off, some French vessels were sent to capture
Arnold in Virginia; but the latter general succeeded in
drawing his ships too far up the Elizabeth River for the
French ships to reach them, and the French returned with-
out success, to the regret of Washington. “The world,”
he said, “is disappointed at not seeing Arnold in gibbets.”

Among Washington’s other anxieties after the escape
of Arnold to the English was the fear that some of his
spies should have been known to this general, and so be
in danger. During the Revolutionary War he made use
of every means to gain information of the enemy’s
strength and movements. It was so easy for men to enter
the British lines under pretense of being Tories or de-
THE USE OF SPIES, 983

serters that he was usually pretty well informed of Eng-
lish doings. When he lay before Boston, soon after he
had taken command of the American army, Washington
was one night stopped at his own door by a boy of siX-
teen, who stood on guard and who insisted that the gen-
eral’s coach should not pass until the countersign had
been given. The fellow, whose name was Bancroft, was
ordered to come to headquarters next morning, at which
he was much frightened.

“ Are you the sentinel who stood at my door at nine
o’clock last night?” asked Washington.

“ Yes, sir, and I tried to do my duty.”

«“ J wish all the army understood it as well as you do,”
said the general. “ Can you keep a secret?”

“T can try.”

“ Are you willing to have your name struck from the
pay roll of the army, and engage in seeret service at the
hazard of your life, for which I promise you forty dollars
a month?”

The boy was willing, and Washington gave him a let-
ter in a blank envelope, which he told him to take to Rox-
bury Heights, and, lifting up a certain flat stone, to put
a round stone which lay near it beneath it, and, taking a
letter from a hollow under this stone, deposit the one he
carried in its place. He was to be very careful not to let
any one take him. Bancroft went to Roxbury Heights
for some time, fetching and carrying letters. One night
he thought he saw two persons watching him in the
bushes, and he went close to them and pecred in. Wash-
ington told him that he must never do that again, lest
some one should jump out and capture him. The next
284 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

night three men rushed out of the bushes and chased
Bancroft. He had to run very hard, and was almost
caught before he reached the American lines and gave
the countersign. Washington did not send him there
again, but presently told him to take a letter to a certain
house down on Cambridge Neck.

“Enter the front door,” said he, “and when you
enter the room, if there be more than one person present,
sit down and make yourself a stranger; when all have
gone out of the room but one, then get wp and walk
across the room repeatedly. After you have passed and
repassed, he will take a letter out of his pocket and pre-
sent it to you, and, as he is doing this, you must take this
letter out of your pocket and give it to him. I charge
you not to speak a word to him on peril of your life. It
is important you observe this.”

The boy went to the house, and found but one man
sitting in the corner of the room. He immediately began
walking up and down the room, eying the man, who, the
third time he passed him, put his hand into his pocket,
took out a letter and gave it to his visitor, who gave him
one in exchange, and left without a word. One night,
however, the man whispered to Bancroft:

“Tell General Washington that the British are com-
ing out on the Neck to-morrow morning at two o’clock.”

When the boy brought this news Washington started,
and, after reading the letter, took his hat and cane and
went out, locking the door after him and leaving Ban-
croft still in the room. When the commander returned,
after an hour, he dismissed his messenger, telling him to
stay about the camp and he would continue his pay.
THE USE OF SPIES. ¢

bo

85

It was necessary for Washington to keep up his knowl-
e ge of the enemy’s movements, but he was very careful
not to get his spies into trouble, lest they should share the
fate of Nathan Hale. THis plan usually was to get some
man living in or near New York to send him information
through a chain of friends who could be trusted. Usually
the man wrote on the blank leaves of a book or an al-
manae with a stain which was invisible until a certain
chemical was applied to it. Sometimes he wrote a letter
to a friend “a little in the Tory style,” as Washington
said, “with some mixture of family matters,” while
between the lines and on the remaining blank places
he wrote his information in the invisible stain. If the
letter were captured by the enemy there was nothing about
it to excite suspicion. Rivington, a printer who published
a paper in New York that supported the English cause
with bitterness, is said to have been one of Washington’s
spies. He bound up information in the covers of books,
and sold them to men who sent them to the American
general. At the close of the war people were surprised
that the Tory printer did not leave New York. When
Washington made a visit to his shop, he took the general
into a back room to show him some agricultural books,
he said, but the door did not latch well, and the American
officers in the outer shop heard the clink of gold passing
between the American commander and the Tory printer.
Gold, indeed, had to be always forthcoming during the
war to pay spies, though it could not be had for any other
purpose.

Soon after the capture of André, Washington, haying
heard that another American general was guilty of trea-

24
286 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

son, secretly directed a sergeant who was sent with a
higher officer and a guard under a flag of truce into the
British lines to desert, go into New York, and find out
whether the rumor was true, after which he was to re-
-desert and join the army again. His superior officer was
surprised to find him missing soon afterward, for he knew
nothing of Washington’s secret plan. The man came
back with the news that the suspicions against the Ameri-
can general were unfounded.

Sometimes Washington made use of spies to send false
information to the enemy. Once he wrote an ill-spelled
letter in an ignorant style, which he caused to be copied
in another hand than his, and sent into the English lines
to convey an impression that he was in great force, when
this was far from being the case. Some sentences in this
letter read: “ The militia all ready to come out when sig-
nals is fired, which is pleaced in all places in Jersey. They
seem very angry with the British, and curse them for
keeping on the war. Many of them brag that the wold
take revenge if they could but get a good opportunity and
Gen. Wash. to back them. I can’t say there’s much dis-
content among the sodgers, tho’ their Money is so bad.
They get plenty of provisions, and have got better cloes
now than ever they had. They are very well off only for
hatts. They give them a good deal of rum and whiskey,
and this I suppose helps with the lies their officers are
always telling them to keep up there spirits.”
A CHANGE OF PLANS. 987

CHAPTER XLIV.

A CHANGE OF PLANS.
L781.

THe year 1781 began with a mutiny in the American
army. The men of the Pennsylvania regiments, who lay
in winter quarters at Morristown, were dissatisfied, many
of them having enlisted for three years or “during the
war,” and they held that this clause was meant to relieve
them if the war should be over within three years, and not
to detain them after the three years were up, as their offi-
cers asserted. On New Year’s day, when they had drank
too much rum, they suddenly mutinied. When General
Wayne, who was their commander, cocked his pistols at
them, they placed their bayonets at his breast, saying :

“We love and respect you, but you are a dead man if
you fire.’ They declared, however, that they were not
going to the enemy, and that if the English were to come
out they would fight under their general’s orders. They
killed two of their captains who tried to suppress the
mutiny, and marched off toward Philadelphia, thirteen
hundred strong, with all their arms and six cannons.
General Wayne followed them and caused them to be
supplied with provisions, so that they need not rob the
people of the country. The English general, Sir Henry
Clinton, as soon as he heard of this revolt, sent messen-
288 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

gers to the mutineers, offering to make up the back pay
due therm in the American army, and not to expect mili-
tary service of them if they would join him. But the
men said that they did not wish to “turn Arnolds,” and
delivered up to Wayne Clinton’s messengers, who were
afterward hanged as spies. A committee of Congress
finally met the revolted soldiers, agreed to dismiss those
whose three years were up, make up the pay of the others,
and furnish them with the clothing they so much needed.
They accepted these offers, and most of the Pennsylvania
line was soon after discharged. Washington thought at
first of going into New Jersey to try to quell the mutiny,
but the men at his post were suffering for want of flour
and clothing, and he dared not leave them lest they also
should rise, and Clinton should take advantage of their
disorder and sail up the river. But he quietly prepared
to nip the next revolt in the bud, choosing a thousand
trusty fellows for this purpose and holding them ready
to march with four days’ provisions. A mutiny soon
broke out in the New Jersey troops at Pompton. Wash-
ington immediately sent a body of six hundred of the
picked men to the spot. The mutineers were taken by
surprise and compelled to parade without their arms,
while two of their ringleaders were shot. Many of the
Pennsylvania and New Jersey men were Germans. Wash-
ington said that the remainder of the troops, who were
natives of America, would, he thought, “continue to
struggle on” without more trouble.

The difficulties of the commander in chief grew
greater every year. The country was exhausted, and
since France had become their ally the people were look-
A CHANGE OF PLANS. 289

ing forward to peace without more exertion. Washing-
ton felt that so long as the enemy kept cautiously to the
seacoast he could do nothing without the aid of a power-
ful fleet, and he said that the only reason America had not
suffered more from the lack of a fleet was that the meas-
ures of the English generals had been feeble and unwise.
“We have got to the end of
our tether,” said Washington,
and he declared that it was
unreasonable to suppose that
because a man had rolled a
snowball till it was as large as
a horse, that he might do so
until it was as large as a
house. ‘“ Ilowever,’” said he,
“we must not despair, the

2:

game is yet in our hands,”
but he felt that the end was
a long time in coming, and
he panted for retirement, for
home, and for a country life.

For some years Washing-
ton’s favorite plan had been



to attack and surround New
York, and thus end the war
with one grand blow. He had

WASHINGTON’S UNIFORM.
[National Museum, Washington. }

this plan very much at heart. ‘“ We are now launching,”
said he, “into a wide and boundless field. A glorious ob-
ject is in view, and God send we may attain it!” But
the army never lannched. There was always some great
obstacle. At one time there was not enough flour to sup-
290 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

port the men through a siege; and though Washington
had feared that the summer of 1780 would see the last
efforts of dying liberty unless something were done to
save the cause, the French refused to make an attempt
on New York unless the French fleet were superior to the
English, and Sir Henry Clinton should send away large
enough detachments to weaken his forces in this city.
During several years there had been a war going on
in the South. Clinton sent out bodies of men and squad-
rons of ships to the southward, hoping, since he could do
nothing in the North with Washington on the watch, he
might gain these States, and so turn the war in favor of
Great Britain. Washington, too, sent from time to time
portions of his small forces to protect the South, until he
declared that if he sent any more men he should have to
go himself, for want of an army to command. ‘The Eng-
lish took the town of Savannah in 1778, and in 1780 they
captured the city of Charleston, after a siege in which
General Lincoln and a small American army resisted
the enemy to the last moment. General Gates was put
in command of the Southern army by Congress, and
was totally defeated at the battle of Camden, in South
Carolina, in 1780. Although no Southern army worth
mentioning was left, the people were still unsubdued.
Bands of militia, under Sumter and Marion, stole about
through the country, living often on roast potatoes, and
plaguing the enemy whenever occasion offered. Wash-
ington was now asked to send a general to the South.
He chose General Greene, who had entered the army
“one of the rawest of mortals,” but had long been
thought by Washington a very able officer. Greene had
A CHANGE OF PLANS. 991

been quartermaster general, but he had resigned this po-
sition. “Noone ever heard of a quartermaster general
in history,” he said. He willingly went South to take
command of the mere remains of an army. The English
were soon afterward beaten at the battle of the Cowpens,
in South Carolina, where a body of English troops under
Tarleton fought an American detachment under Morgan.
Greene led Cornwallis a chase across North Carolina for
two hundred miles, and then, when he had succeeded in
joining other bodies of men to his little army, he fought
the English general at Guilford Courthouse. The
Americans were forced to retire from the field at the
close of a day of hard fighting, but the army of Corn-
wallis had been so badly cut wp, and was in so much peril,
that he was obliged to retreat to the seacoast, leaving the
wounded behind. Cornwallis now thought to attempt
the conquest of Virginia, and he joined the English
troops already in this State. He was opposed by La-
fayette, who had been sent to Virginia by W ashington
with a small body of men. The English general said,
“The boy can not escape me,” but the boy did, and
Cornwallis, who had proved himself the most active
and able of the British generals, now fortified himself
at Yorktown, by the command of Sir Henry Clinton,
that he might be able to receive any squadrons of
the English fleet when they should come to the Chesa-
peake, and act from this point against different parts
of the State, by means of Virginia’s numerous water
ways.

There is said to have been at first some jealousy be-
tween the French and the Americans at Newport. The
299 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

French were proud and showy, the Americans shabby,
half paid, and poorly fed. The French soldiers are re-
ported to have vowed that they would act only under
French officers. “ What!” said they, “amarshal of France
subaltern to an American bucktail?” But it had been
agreed in France
that Rochambeau
ts was to act under

a Washington, and
the two command-
ers took great care
to be very courte-



ous to each other.
WASTINGTON’s sworD, carrizp pure tne When Washington
[Preserved URS eR ERE went to Newport
to consult with Ro-
chambeau, the French troops were drawn up in lines to do
him honor, and at a ball given by Rochambeanu, at which
Washington opened the first dance, called “ A Successful
Campaign,” with a belle of the town, the French officers
took the fiddles away from the musicians and played them-
selves while the great American danced. Those people in
the town who were too poor to own candles had candles
given to them by the town council, so that every house
should be illuminated in honor of the American general.
On his return Washington was greeted at Providence by
crowds of children carrying torches, and they thronged
around him so closely that he could not move on. He
pressed the hand of Count Dumas, a French officer who
accompanied him, and said:
“We may be beaten by the English —it is the
A CHANGE OF PLANS. 293

chance of war—but behold an army that they can never
conquer !”

The French troops finally left Newport, where they
had long been shut up “like an oyster in his shell,” as a
young Frenchman said, and joined Washington on the
Hudson at Dobb’s Ferry. The Frenchmen decorated
their tents and amused themselves with making little gar-
dens about them. The American and French officers
sometimes gave banquets to one another, at which the
tables were set in barns.

At last the plan was to attack New York, if all went
well. Washington knew that the Count de Grasse, who
with a large French fleet was engaged in fighting the Eng-
lish in the West Indies, was to bring more French forces
to America in 1781, and to stop a short time on the coast
of the United States to aid in anything the American
commander might choose to undertake. Washington sent
him a letter asking him to come to Sandy Hook and help
in the capture of New York. The two armies lay for six
weeks in the summer of 1781 at Dobb’s Ferry, making
ready for an attack. During this time Washington and
Rochambean, with engineers and a troop of dragoons,
reconnoitered New York from the Hudson to the sound.
As they moved calmly along making their observations
they were cannonaded from the distant English works or
from ships of war. Once they were on an island, on the
coast of Long Island Sound, which was connected by a
causeway with the mainland. While the engineers were
making their observations and two small vessels in the
sound were cannonading them, Washington and Rocham-
beau lay down in the shade of a hedge and fell asleep.
994° THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

When they awoke they found that the tide had risen and
covered the causeway with water. Two small boats were
brought, and the generals got into them, taking their sad-
dles and bridles with them. When they had crossed, two
dragoons took back the boats and brought off the rest of
the party, a few at a time, swimming a horse over behind
each boat and driving the rest of the horses into the water
after them with the whip, so that they would be forced to
follow. The French general admired American devices
in such an emergency.

Washington once moved his forces to within a few miles
of Kingsbridge, which is the uppermost point of New
York island; but the English were very strongly forti-
fied, and had fresh re-enforcements, while American re-
cruits came in very slowly. It would not do to attempt
New York until the French could be sure of a superior
fleet. Washington felt that success either great or small,
but success in some form, was necessary to save the coun-
try, and he dared not risk a possible failure. At last, by
the middle of August, came a letter from the Count de
Grasse saying that he could spend but a few weeks in the
United States, and that he would come to Chesapeake
Bay. This spoiled Washington’s plans, for New York
could not be reduced in so short a time. But he had
had another project in his mind for some time, and had
secretly had an eye on Cornwallis, fortifying himself at
Yorktown. It is related that Washington was at the house
of Van Brugh Livingston when he received the French
admiral’s letter. For a moment a cloud of disappoint-
ment passed over his face; then he turned to Peters, the
Secretary of War:
A CHANGE OF PLANS. 295

«“ What can you do for me?” he asked.

“ With money, everything,” answered Peters; “ with-
out it, nothing.”

Washington looked anxiously toward Robert Morris,
who was Secretary of the Treasury.

“Let me know the sum you desire,” said Morris. It
was finally arranged that Rochambeau was to loan Morris
twenty thousand gold dollars, which he agreed to repay
by the first of October. Some of this money was after-
ward used to give the men a month’s pay in gold, on their
going South, lest the long-enduring soldiers should revolt
on account of the hard march.

As soon as Washington had changed his plans, he sent
Lafayette word to place himself where he could prevent
the escape of Cornwallis into North Carolina. Meanwhile
it was of the utmost importance that Sir Henry Clinton
should not suspect his designs, lest he should intercept
the American army or send aid to Cornwallis. In order to
deceive the English, Washington caused ovens to be built
for baking bread in New Jersey, forage to be laid in, and
the roads to be repaired toward Staten Island, so that the
enemy might imagine that he was moving into New
Jersey to attack New York from this point. To deceive
Sir Henry Clinton further, he wrote a letter and sent it
where it would be likely to be intercepted. He said in
this letter that he feared Cornwallis would fortify York-
town. He also wrote another letter, which contained a
plan for attacking New York, and engaged a young Bap-
tist preacher to carry it through Ramapo Clove.

“There are cowboys there. I shall be taken if I go
there,” objected the messenger.
296 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

“Your duty, young man, is not to talk but to obey,”
said the general, with a stamp of the foot. The messen-
ger was taken, as Washington wished, and the letter was
printed in Rivington’s Gazette in New York. - The
French and American armies crossed the Hudson and
marched into New Jersey, still threatening New York,
while the men themselves had no idea where they were
going. There were many bets in the army among officers
and men as to where they were bound, so well did Wash-
ington guard his secret.
YORKTOWN. 297

CHAPTER XLV.
YORKTOWN.
L781.

Frow the time that he started southward Washington
was, as he said, “almost all impatience and anxiety.”
Success hung on movements from distant quarters, which
might go wrong. The fleet from the West Indies must
arrive in safety, and the other French men-of-war from
Newport and ten transport ships loaded with the heavy
ordnance necessary for the siege must escape the Eng-
lish fleets which were on the watch for them. Corn-
wallis, meantime, must not escape, and Sir Henry Clinton
must not be given time to relieve him. All depended on
concert, secrecy, and haste. Washington traveled post,
and stopped at Mount Vernon on his way south. It was
the first time that he had scen his home in six years. He
was joined at Mount Vernon by the French officers, the
Count de Rochambeau and the Marquis de Chastellux,
and they all hurried on to Williamsburg, where Lafayette
was stationed.

The 28th of August found the Count de Grasse with
his fleet at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, and the French
and American armies at the head of the bay, waiting to
be carried down by water. The Count de Grasse imme-
diately blocked up the mouth of the York River, and sent
298 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ships up the James River to prevent Cornwallis from
escaping across this stream southward, and to carry three
thousand West Indian soldiers whom he had brought with
him to where they could join Lafayette. The English
Admiral Graves, with ‘a fleet of nineteen vesscls of war,
now sailed to Chesapeake Bay to attempt the rescue of
Cornwallis. He found the Count de Grasse with a
fleet of twenty-four sail riding within the capes, some-
what short of hands, for many of the seamen were busy
carrying the West Indians up the James River. The
French admiral slipped his anchors and sailed out to
meet the English fleet. But he avoided a severe battle,
for his object was only to keep the English out of the
Chesapeake. There was some fighting and much ma-
neeuvring for five days, and finally the English admiral
was obliged to sail to New York for repairs. While the
two hostile fleets had been facing each other, now this way
and now that, the Count de Barras, who commanded the
French fleet from Newport, which guarded the valuable
ordnance ships, having sailed a long way round by the
Bermuda Islands to avoid the enemy, slipped safely into
Chesapeake Bay.

The Americans, meantime, politely sent the French
soldiers down the bay in such ships and small craft as
they could command, and marched themselves to Annap-
olis, where they in turn were taken up on French ves-
sels and carried to the scene of action. Washington went
on board the Ville de Paris, lying within the chops of the
capes, to visit the Count de Grasse and agree on plans for
the siege. The French admiral, after the manner of his
people, flew to meet the American commander, hugging
YORKTOWN. 299

and kissing him on each cheek, and calling him “my
dear little general.” Both the Count de Grasse and
Washington were very tall men, and the American officers
who were present were much amused, but controlled their
smiles, excepting jolly, fat General Knox, who laughed
aloud.

The 28th of September, 1781, found the combined
armies all before Yorktown. Washington slept under a
mulberry tree, with its root for a pillow, on the first night.
There were now about sixteen thousand of the French
and Americans encamped in a semicircle about the little
town, where the army of Cornwallis, numbering about
seven thousand men, lay behind freshly made earthworks.
The English general had also fortified Gloucester Point,
which was opposite to Yorktown, so that he might com-
mand the river. French seamen and American militia
invested this point, so that Cornwallis was wholly sur-
rounded.

Sir Henry Clinton, in New York, when he discovered
that Washington had completely fooled him and gone
southward, sent Arnold into his own native State of Con-
necticut, where he plundered and burned the flourishing
town of New London, ruining many families in a few
hours. But if the English general had hoped that this
blow would cause Washington to return, he was deceived.
Cornwallis had sent word to Clinton that he must either
come to the relief of Yorktown or expect to hear the
worst; and Clinton began fitting up a large fleet for this
purpose as quickly as possible.

The second night after the arrival of the besiegers
Cornwallis abandoned his outside works and drew his
300 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

forces all into the town. ‘The Americans and French im-
mediately took possession of the abandoned works, while
the English kept up a steady cannonade. On the night
of the 6th of October a large body of Americans, carrying
fascines, spades, and pickaxes on their shoulders, marched
silently to within six hundred yards of Yorktown, followed
by horses drawing cannon, and wagons loaded with sand-
bags for quickly making defenses. These men during
the night threw wp an intrenchment nearly two miles in
length, and morning found them well covered from the
enemy’s furious cannonade, which began with the day-
light. The work went steadily on, and in three days can-
non were mounted and batteries were ready to open on
the town. Washington put the match to the first gun.
This was immediately followed bya tremendous discharge
of cannon and mortars. Earl Cornwallis had received his
first salutation, as the Americans said. Two nights later
the second parallel, as such trenches are called, was opened
at three hundred yards from the enemy’s lines. During
this time the cannonade was very fierce on both sides. A
red-hot shot set fire to several of the English ships which
lay near Yorktown. The vessels burned in the night, the
flames leaping high above their mastheads, while all around
was the roar and flash of cannon and of shells flying back
and forth from the besieged town like blazing comets



with fiery tails. The English were forced to warp their
vessels over to Gloucester Point. The surgeons were kept
busy. Every now and then a man’s leg or arm must be
amputated or his wounds dressed ; the injuries were mainly
from the bursting of shells.

There were two redoubts held by the English outside
YORKTOWN, 301

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MAP OF THE SIEGE OF YORKTOWN.

their main works which commanded the new parallel.

On the night of the 14th of October Washington pre-

pared to take these by assault. One was to be stormed by
22
802 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Lafayette’s Americans, led by Colonel Alexander Hamil-
ton, and the other was assigned to the French, commanded
by the Baron de Viominel. The men of the two nations
were ambitious each to show the greatest courage. At
eight o’clock at night rockets were fired as a signal, so
that the attacks might be made at the same moment upon
the two redoubts. The Americans rushed forward, tore |
away part of the abatis with their own hands, and clam-
bered over the rest without waiting for the sappers to re-
move it in the usual manner. Hamilton, at the head of
his men, climbed on the shoulder of one of his soldiers,
who kneeled for the purpose, and mounted the enemy’s
works first of them all. The men rushed after him, and
captured the redoubt at the point of the bayonet. The
American surgeon was sent for almost before the balls
from the guns of the English garrison in the redoubt had
ceased whistling about his ears. As he entered the newly
captured works he noticed that a sergeant and eight other
Americans lay dead in the ditch, and he found thirty
wounded men within the little fort. As soon as the re-
doubt had been taken, Lafayette sent an aid through the
terrible fire of the whole British line to the Baron de Vio-
minel with the message, “IJ am in my redoubt; where are
you?”

The French officer was still waiting for his sappers to
clear away the abatis in due form, but he said, “ Tell the
marquis I am not in mine, but will be in five minutes.”
And he was, though he lost many more men in killed and
wounded than the Americans in consequence of the de-
lay at the abatis. While the assault was going on the
English kept up avery severe fire of cannon and mus-
YORKTOWN, 308

ketry along the whole line. Washington, with some of
his officers and aids, dismounted and stood at an exposed
spot waiting anxiously for the result. One of his aids,
Colonel Cobb, said to him:

“Sir, you are too much exposed here. Had you not
better step a little back ?”

“ Colonel Cobb,” answered Washington, “if you are
afraid, you have liberty to step back.”

When the last redoubt was taken, he said: “The work
is done, and well done.—Billy, hand me my horse.”

Cornwallis held out bravely. He hoped that aid
would come tohim from Sir Henry Clinton. Washing-
ton, too, feared that something would happen to favor the
English general. At one time De Grasse was on the
point of leaving him to go in search of the English fleet,
which he heard was approaching, and Washington had all
he could do to persuade him to stay quietly in the Chesa-
peake. He dreaded lest the French admiral should not
remain long enough to complete the capture of Corn-
wallis, and he pushed the siege as rapidly as possible.
The fire was so severe that nearly all of the enemy’s can-
non were silenced. The English made a brave sortie on
the 16th of October, and entered an American and a
French battery, where they had barely time to thrust the
points of their bayonets into the touchholes of some of the
cannon and break them off before they were driven ont.
The bayonet points were soon removed.

Cornwallis had his headquarters in the finest house in
Yorktown, belonging to ex-Secretary Nelson, the father
of Governor Nelson. Here he stayed until the building
was almost a wreck. The steward of Cornwallis was finally
304 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

killed by a cannonball while carrying a soup tureen. The
English general then moved to a house belonging to Gov-
ernor Nelson, who led the Virginia militia in the siege.
Lafayette, having just finished a battery, asked Nelson the
best spot to fire upon.

“There,” said the governor, pointing to his own house.
“Tt is mine, and, now that the secretary’s is knocked
down, is the best in the town, and there you will be almost
certain to find Lord Cornwallis and the British head-
quarters. Fire upon it, my dear marquis, and never spare
a particle of my property so long as it affords a shelter to
the enemies of my country.”

Two cannon were accordingly aimed at the building,
and the very first shot is said to have gone through the
house and killed two British officers. Cornwallis was
now forced to move toa cave in the bank of the river,
where two rooms were made for him, lined with boards
and covered with baize. Sickness raged in Yorktown.
Hundreds of the negroes who bad been taken away from
their masters by the English army died of camp fever
and smallpox, and many of their bodies were left lying
in the streets. The horses of the British legion, for
which there was no food, were shot and thrown into the
York River, where they filled the air with evil odors. On
the night of October 16th Cornwallis made a desperate
effort to escape. He tried to carry his army across the
York River to Gloucester Point, where he meant to sally
out, cut his way through the French and militia, and at-
tempt a forced march to New York; but a storm came
on while the men were crossing, drove the boats down
stream, and he was compelled to give up the rash project.
YORKTOWN. 305

About one hundred pieces of heavy ordnance were
now thundering from the works of the besiegers. The
whole peninsula seemed to tremble with the cannonade.
he defenses at Yorktown were almost beaten down, the
English cannon were all silenced; the besieged men
could only throw shells, and their stock of shells was al-
most exhausted. ‘The Americans were so near that they





THE MAIN STREET OF YORKTOWN.

could distinctly see the havoc wrought by their own can-
non. Sometimes mangled bodies were thrown into the air
by the bursting of a shell. There was nothing left for
Cornwallis but to surrender. On the morning of the 17th
of October, only eight days after Washington had put the
match to the first gun fired by the Americans, an Eng-
lish drummer boy mounted the parapet and beat a parley.
Hostilities ceased while terms were being agreed upon.
306 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Washington refused the English general’s first demands.
When Cornwallis asked him what terms he would allow
him, he answered that they should be the same that the
English had allowed the American General Lincoln when
he had surrendered Charleston to the English. Cornwallis
delayed matters, and Washington, fearing that Sir Henry
Clinton and a powerful fleet might come to the rescue,
dreaded lest something should yet happen to cheat him
of his victory. On the morning of the 19th of October,
1781, he caused the rough draft of the articles of sur-
render to be copied, and sent them to Cornwallis with
the message that he expected them to be signed by eleven
o’clock, and the English army to march out of Yorktown
at two o’clock that very afternoon. Cornwallis could only
submit.

By two o’clock the victorious armies were drawn up in
two parallel lines of more than a mile in length, the
French on one side and the Americans on the other.
The Americans looked as soldierly as possible, but their
shabby and ill-matched clothes did not compare well
with the fine French uniforms. Washington charged his
men not to insult their fallen enemy by huzzaing or
shouting. “ Posterity,’ said he, “will huzza for us.”
Before leaving Yorktown Cornwallis caused each of his
men to be given a suit of new regimentals. At two
clock the English army marched out of their works,
their colors cased and their drums beating The World
turned upside Down. The victorious men looked eagerly
for Lord Cornwallis, but General O’Hara led the Eng-
lish army instead. He apologized for the absence of
his commander, saying that he was ill. Cornwallis, in-
YORKTOWN. 307

deed, who was the only one of the English generals that
had shown great spirit and ability, was very bitterly dis-
appointed. His brave men shared in his feelings, and
they had a sullen look and shuffled along in an irregular
manner. They could not bear to turn their eyes toward
the right, where their shabby American conquerors stood,
but looked toward the left, where the French were gay in
their fine uniforms. Lafayette, who was among the
Americans, at the head of his “ darling light infantry,”
whose nakedness he had covered at his own expense with
shirts and linen overalls, wishing them to see his fine
fellows, ordered the band to “strike up Yankee Doodle,
and this brought the eyes to the right. They did look at
us,” he said, “ but they were not very well pleased.”

The English marched to an open field, where they
laid down their arms in the presence of General Lincoln,
as his men had laid theirs down at Charleston only the
year before. The English soldiers threw down their
guns as though they meant to break them, but a word
from General Lincoln put a stop to this. There was, in-
deed, much bitter feeling between the Americans and the
English. ‘The English and French officers showed great
friendliness after the surrender, but the Americans and
English had as little to do with each other as possible.
Many American planters assembled at the surrender of
Yorktown to claim property taken away from them by
the army of Cornwallis. The English colonel, Tarleton,
who had made himself yery much hated in the South, was
one day riding a fine horse on his way to dine with some
French officers. He was stopped by a planter, who
claimed the horse he was on. Tarleton hesitated, but
308 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

General O’Hara, who was present, said, “You had better
give him the horse, Tarleton.” The proud young officer
was forced to dismount and appear at the French quar-
ters on a miserable animal.

Five days after the taking of Yorktown Sir Henry
Clinton reached the Chesapeake with a large English
fleet, hoping to relieve Cornwallis, but when he found
that he was too late he returned to New York. Wash-
ington had fairly outgeneraled Clinton. The skill and
quickness with which he had planned the siege of York-
town and brought it to a successful end were the admi-
ration of men in America and in Europe. Henceforth
no one doubted that he was a great general. He would
have liked very much to follow this grand success by the
capture of Charleston, but the Count de Grasse declined
to remain any longer on the coast of the United States,
The fall of Yorktown, however, soon caused the English
to abandon all that they had conquered in the South, and
draw their forces together in and about New York island.
After seven years of hard fighting they possessed only this
one spot in the whole of the United States.

There was great rejoicing all over America when the
news of the victory was spread abroad. At Philadelphia
an express rider reached the city about three o’clock on
the morning of the 22d of October with the intelligence,
and an old German watchman went about the town shout-
ing, “ Basht dree o’clock, and Cornwallis isht daken!”
There was a public celebration two days later, when an
aid of Washington’s arrived with more certain news.
The windows of the houses of Tories who refused to
illuminate were smashed, and their furniture broken, until
YORKTOWN. 309

their neighbors saved further destruction by running in
and placing candles at the windows, upon which the mob
moved away appeased.

Among the anecdotes told of the siege of Yorktown,
there are some which show that Washington, as usual, was
perfectly fearless. A chaplain who was standing by his
side once had his hat covered with sand by a ball which
struck the ground near them. ‘See here, general,” said
he, taking off his hat in an agitated manner.

“Mr. Evans,” answered Washington coolly, “you had
better carry that home and show it to your wife and
children.”

Another time, when a musket ball struck a cannon
near him and glanced at his feet, Knox grasped his arm
and said :

“ My dear general, we can not spare you yet.”

“Tt is a spent ball; no harm is done,” answered Wash-
ington calmly.

A more amusing story is told of Baron Steuben, who,
to avoid a shell about to explode, threw himself into the
trench. In the confusion of the moment, General Wayne,
who was a brigadier under Steuben, fell on top of him.
“Ah,” said the baron, looking up, “I always knew you
were brave, general, but I did not know you were so per-
fect in every point of duty. You cover your general’s
retreat in the best manner possible.”

After the surrender of Yorktown a grand dinner was
given at headquarters to the officers of the three armies.
Washington gave “The British army” for a toast, and
made a speech, in which he complimented Cornwallis and
his men. Cornwallis replied in a handsome manner, say-
310 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ing that the war was really at an end—which was true.
Before the Count de Grasse sailed away from the Chesa-
peake Washington presented him with two handsome
horses. The one which he rode himself at the surrender
of Yorktown he never mounted again. He was a chest-
nut, with white face and legs, and was named Nelson.
He lived for many years at Mount Vernon.
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER,

CHAPTER XLVI.

THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER.

L7S1-1789,

dll

WasHINeTon’s stepson, John Parke Custis, then a
young man of twenty-eight, served as one of his aids at

the battle of York-
town, and was taken
with the camp fever,
which raged so badly
in the beleaguered
town. Though he
was already il, he in-
sisted on being sup-
ported to the field to
sce the surrender of
Cornwallis. But he
grew rapidly worse,
and was removed to
the home of his moth-
ev’s sister, Mrs. Bas-
sett, at Eltham. His
wife and mother were
sent for, and they































GEORGE WASHINGTON PARKE CUSTIS.

{From a painting owned by Genera
C. Lee.]







G. W.

traveled to Eltham in a carriage, with a nurse and the

two youngest children of the sick man.

Washington
312 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

also rode all night to reach Eltham, and was there in
time to see Mr. Custis die. He shed tears over his step-
son’s death, and told



his young widow that
he would adopt the
two youngest of her
four children as his
own. These children
were Eleanor Parke
Custis, who was two
years old, and George
Washington Parke
Custis, a baby of six
months.

After the funeral
of his stepson, Wash-
ington went to Fred-
ericksburg with a
brilliant suite of offi-
cers, among whom
were many French-
men. When he had
arrived at the town he went alone to his mother’s house







ELEANOR PARKE CUSTIS.
[From a pastel owned by Gen. G. W. C. Lee.]

to make her a visit. The old lady was busy about some
household work. There was a ball given in the evening,
to which Washington’s mother was invited. She re-
marked that “her dancing days were pretty well over,”
but agreed to go. The French officers were surprised to
see Washington enter the ballroom with an old lady,
plainly dressed, upon his arm. They also wondered that
Mrs. Washington took her son’s great success so calmly.
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER. 313

The general danced the minuet at this ball for the last
time in his life, it is said, for, though he afterward walked
through dances at balls given in his honor, he did not
take the step. Early in the evening Washington’s mother
remarked that it was time for old folks to be in bed, and
left the room on her son’s arm.

Though the siege of Yorktown was the last great ac-
tion of the war, it was by no means certain for some time
that it would
be followed by
peace. Washing-
ton urged Con-
gress to keep up
the army, lest
the prospect of
peace should fail,
and also because
America would



be more certain aggs. wasHINGTON’s RESIDENCE AT FREDERICKSBURG.
of getting fair

terms were she known to be well prepared for war. He
would still have liked very much te expel the enemy
from New York, but his army remained small, poorly fed,
ill clad, and unpaid. When the Count de Grasse was
defeated in the West Indies during the winter Washing-
ton feared the English would take heart once more, but
they remained quietly in New York, having withdrawn
all their forces from the south. Washington encamped
in the Highlands again, and nothing occurred except a
few skirmishes. In the fall of 1782 the French army
sailed away from America. ‘There was so much prospect
814 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

of peace in the winter of 1782-83 that Washington would
have made a visit to Mount Vernon, but he dared not
leave, for “the temper of the army ” was, as he said, “ very
much soured.” At one time the men had “long been
without anything which their own thriftiness could not

on nitayren (8



WASHINGTON’S HEADQUARTERS AT NEWBURGH IN 1789-83.

procure them,”

and again he declared that the States did
not seem to think it necessary to give the army “ any-
thing but hard knocks.” The officers were particularly
discontented. A colonel’s pay was at one time worth
about four dollars a month in gold, and the officers could
not get even the depreciated money due them, and were

forced to draw rations to live on, like common soldiers,
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER. 315

and to spend their own private fortunes to get decent
clothes. The country was well able to pay its army, but
Congress was too weak to enforce any law by which means
could be raised for this purpose, and the States were too
jealous of one another to contribute what was due from
each of them. At one time the officers got one of their
number to propose, in a letter to the commanding general,
that he should make himself king, and so give to America
the advantages of a strong government. Washington
promptly refused, saying that nothing which had hap-
pened during the war had given him more pain than this
proposal, which, he said, was “ big with the greatest mis-
chiefs” which could befall his country.

When the officers of the army applied to Congress to
have their accounts settled, their entreaties were disre-
garded. They finally grew discontented and rebellious,
and a paper was circulated among them which appealed
to their wounded feelings in a very dangerous way, and
appointed a meeting of the officers of the army on the fol-
lowing day. Washington immediately took the matter in
hand, changed the meeting to a later day, and talked with
each officer alone. When the day for the meeting came
he attended it himself. He apologized for being there,
and said that he had written an address to his brother
officers which he would like to read to them. He read a
little, then stopped and took out his spectacles, asking the
officers to excuse him while he did this, telling them “that
he had grown gray in their service, and now found him-
self growing blind.” ‘There were tears in almost every
eye, and when Washington finished reading the paper, in
which he urged them to patience for the sake of their own
316 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

honor, and left the room, the officers passed resolutions of
affection for him and of faith in the justice of Congress.
This incident shows Washington’s great tact in managing
men.

The first certain news of peace was sent to America in
the spring of 1783 by Lafayette, who had returned to
France. It came in a French vessel called the Triumph.
The army was disbanded gradually, for it was thought
dangerous to let loose suddenly a large body of unpaid
soldiers. .Some new levies, indeed, mutinied, marched
into Philadelphia with fixed bayonets, surrounded the
Statehouse, and kept the members of Congress prisoners
for three hours, after which Congress fled to Trenton.
Washington immediately sent faithful men on to put a
stop to such proceedings.

It was the 25th of November, 1783, before the
English turned their backs wpon New York. As they
left the posts about the city the remnant of Washington’s
army marched in and took possession. The Americans
were close on the heels of their old enemies, ag the latter
moved slowly toward the water, and officers of both
armies chatted together in a friendly manner when they
halted. Having seen the English all embark, the Ameri-
can troops headed for the Battery. The cannon: had been
toppled off the walls of the fort by the British in the
haste of leaving, and they had unreefed the halyards of
the tall flagpole and greased it so that the American flag
might not be hoisted. After some time, however, a young
soldier managed to climb the slippery pole, reef the hal-
yards, and run up the Stars and Stripes amid the shouts
of the crowd.
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER. 817

Washington looked worn but happy. Now and then
he would mention some officer who was dead, and wish
that he had lived to “see the glorious end” of the strug-



MOUNT VERNON, LOOKING TOWARD THE RIVER,

gle. On the 4th of December he bade his officers good-
by in Fraunces’s Tavern. Filling a glass, after the cere-
monious fashion of the time, he said:

“ With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take
leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days
may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have
been glorious and honorable. I can not come to each of
you and take my leave, but shall be obliged to you, if
each of you will come to me and take me by the hand.”

General Knox, who stood nearest, was the first to take
28
318 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

his commander’s hand. The tears ran down Washing-
ton’s face ag he grasped the hand of his old comrade
in arms in silence and kissed him, and he bade one and
another of them farewell in the same hearty fashion
as they crowded about him. He then left the room, pass-
ing through the light infantry which was drawn up out-
side of the tavern, and walked to the river, followed by
his officers, who looked dejected and mournful. Wash-
ington got into a boat, and, waving his hat to his old
friends, moved away for the Jersey shore. He journeyed
to Annapolis, where Congress was then sitting, and, resign-
ing his commission, “ got translated into a private citi-
zen,” as he said, and returned to Mount Vernon. Heand
Mrs. Washington reached home the day before Christmas.
The old valet, Bishop, now over eighty, stood in the door
of his cottage to salute them, dressed in the scarlet regi-
mentals he had worn at Braddock’s defeat. Washington
entered his own doors, as he said, nine years older than
when he had left them. The Mount Vernon servants
made a great racket in honor of Christmas eve and of
their master’s home-coming.

It was some time before Washington could overcome
the habit of thinking, when he first waked in the morn-
ing, of the business of the day and realize that he was re-
lieved of his heavy burdens. He came home, as he said,
with empty pockets, for he had taken nothing from Con-
gress except his expenses, and his estates had not been
profitable during his absence. He began a planter’s life
again with fresh interest. He left off growing tobacco in
a great measure, for tobacco exhausted the soil, and he
began planting his fields to crops by rotation, trying thus
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER. 319

to find a better way of farming than the one to which he
had been brought up. He was very much interested, too,
in introducing mules into the South. The King of Spain
sent him two asses for breeding purposes, and he had soon





























BANQUET HALL, ADDED TO MOUNT VERNON BY WASHINGTON.

raised a great many mules, of which he was so proud that
he thought of using them in place of carriage horses.
Washington took much interest in his kennels. La-
390 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

fayette sent him some hounds from France. Mrs. Wash-
ington was not very fond of these great animals, espe-
cially when one of them was found to have made away
with the ham which had been boiled for dinner. Wash-











POHICK CHURCH, NEAR MOUNT VERNON, PLANNED BY WASHINGTON.

ington rode a horse named Blueskin when he went hunt-
ing, and it was his pride that when his hounds were in
full ery they stood so close together that they could have
been covered with a blanket. But he was growing old,
and in 1785 he went on his last hunt. ‘After this he gave
away his dogs and turned his kennel into a deer park.
Washington felt, as did others of the great Virginians
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER, 391

of his day, that slavery was wrong, and he resolved to buy
no more negroes. His mind was wonderfully active and
practical. Before leaving the army he had visited Lake
George and the northern part of New York State and
planned a water way between the Great Lakes and the
Hudson—a plan which was afterward realized in the Erie
and Champlain Canals. He also made a journey to the
Ohio River after he had left the army, and projected
the improving and opening of water ways between Vir-
ginia and the Ohio. Two companies were formed at his
suggestion for this purpose, called the Potomac and
James River Companies, and the State of Virginia pre-
sented him with a number of shares in each company.
But Washington was always unwilling to accept anything
which might be regarded in the light of a reward for his
patriotism, and agreed to keep these shares only on condi-
tion that he should be allowed to use them for a chari-
table purpose. He reminded the Virginia Legislature that
at entering on command at the beginning of the war he
had taken, as he said, “a firm resolution to shut my
hand against every pecuniary recompense.” He inter-
ested himself also in a boat made by Rumsey, one of the
early experimenters in steam navigation.

Washington’s house was now, as he said, “like a well-
resorted tavern.” Every traveler coming from North or
South must make the great man a visit, while many dis-
tinguished Americans and foreigners came from afar to
see him. He was flooded with letters from all over the
country. Often they were from men who had been in
the army and wished him to certify to some fact, and he
was forced to go over his numerous papers in order to an-
399 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

swer them. He said that he liked to write to friends, but
that it was not so easy to write letters which required
“researches, consideration, recollection, and the d—I
knows what to prevent error.” After a time he got a
secretary, who was to answer his letters and teach Mrs.
Washington’s grandchildren, Nelly and Washington, as
they were called. The little boy was now a beautiful






Yip
Li iM
LO eeu RGAE
egy

INTERIOR OF POHICK CHURCH AS IT APPEARED IN WASHINGTON’S TIME,














child, and he might sometimes be seen standing beside
his adopted father, grasping with his little hand one of
Washington’s immense fingers.

The great general was asked to sit many times for his
portrait. “ At first,” said he, “I was as impatient at the
request and as restive under the operation as a colt is of
the saddle. The next time I submitted very reluctantly,
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER. 323

but with less flouncing. Now no dray horse moves more
readily to his thill than I to the painter’s chair.” Yet he
never enjoyed sitting for his portrait, and the painter
Stuart tells how his face expressed discontent. Tle art-
ist, to divert him, began to.talk about horses, whereupon
the general’s face became animated with interest.

During the years in which Washington was at home,
quietly leading the life of a farmer, to the admiration of
men in Europe, who wondered that a great conqueror
should not seek to aggrandize himself, the affairs of the
country were going very badly. Congress was becoming
more and more feeble, now that the States were not fright-
ened by the war into some sort of respect for it. Wash-
ington watched everything from his home, calmly but
anxiously. He wrote to his old friend George Fairfax,
in England, that the States, “like young heirs” come a
little early into a large inheritance, “would probably riot
for a while,” but he thought that this would “work its
own cure, as there’s virtue at the bottom.” He said that
“democratic States must feel before they can see,” and
the American people had to feel for some time the need
of a strong government before they would consent to have
one. When Washington was at last made one of the dele-
gates to a convention for forming a constitution, he went
unwillingly, not wishing to be drawn away from a private
life. The convention met in Philadelphia in the spring
of 1787, and sat for four months. Washington was chosen
president of this body. He might be seen in those days
walking alone to the Statehouse, dressed in a plain blue
coat and cocked hat, and with his hair powdered. He
seemed to be “pressed down with thought.” Franklin,
B94 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

who was now a very old and very stout man, had to be
brought every day to the hall of Congress.in a Sedan chair
by “a posse of men.” When, after the long four months
of d2bate, the Constitution was finally signed, Franklin
said to those about him, pointing to a sun painted behind
the chair in which Washington sat as president of the
convention: “I have often and often, in the course of the
session and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its
issue, looked at that sun behind the president without be-
ing able to tell whether it was rising or setting; at length
I have the happiness to know it is a rising, and not a set-
ting, sun.”

The Constitution was not to be in force until nine
of the thirteen States should accept it. There was a
very strong party opposed to it, and it was nearly a year
before nine of the States accepted it, and about three
years before the last of the thirteen—Rhode Island—
finally joined the other States under this new govern-
ment. Washington knew that he was likely to be elected
President, and his friends tried to persuade him to ac-
cept the office, but he said that he felt “a sort of
gloom” whenever he thought that he would have to de-
cide about it. He was unanimously elected in 1789, John
Adams being chosen as Vice-President. Washington
had many misgivings. He said that his “feelings on
moving to the chair of government” would be like
“those of a culprit who is going to the place of his exe-
cution.”

Before leaving Virginia the new President-elect went
to see his mother, who was now very old, and suffering
from a cancer of the breast. He had long given her


MARY WASHINGTON’S HOUSE AT FREDERICKSBURG, AS IT IS AT PRESENT.
{View from the garden, looking toward the old dining-room.]
THE END OF THE WAR AND AFTER. 395

money toward her support, but sometimes the old lady
seems to have been troublesome, and to have made unrea-
sonable demands upon him or talked in a complaining
way to others. Before the war ended it was proposed
that the Legislature of Virginia should give her a pen-
sion. Washington was pained, lest it should be said
that he did not provide for his mother. He wrote to his
brother, John Augustine, asking him to hint delicately
to their mother that she should not complain too much
about the hardness of the times, and so seem to be in
need. At another time he wrote to her advising her to
live with one of her children, but saying that he could
not take her to live with him, since there were always
visitors in the house, and that she must either be chang-
ing her dress continually, which would not be pleasant to
her, or appear in deshabille, which would not be pleasant
to him, or keep her room, which would be unpleasant for
both of them. Evidently Mary Washington’s habits were
very simple. When Lafayette visited America after the
war, he went with one of her grandsons to visit Washing-
ton’s mother. The boy pointed to an old woman in
homespun, wearing a broad straw hat and gathering up
refuse in her garden.

“ There, sir, is my grandmother,” said he.

“ Ah, marquis,” said Mrs. Washington, “ you see an
old woman; but come in, I can make you welcome to my
poor dwelling without the parade of changing my dress.”

When Lafayette talked to her about her son’s great-
ness, she merely said, “I am not much surprised at what
George has done; he was always a good boy.”

There is no doubt that Washington loved his mother.
396 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

When he went to see her before becoming President, he
told her that the people had chosen him for this high
office, and that he would come to see her again as soon
as possible. But she said, “ You will see me no more,”
and told him that she was sure she would not live
long. Washington, it is said, laid his head upon her
shoulder and wept while she clasped him in her arms for
the last time.
WASHINGTON AS PRESIDENT. 327

CHAPTER XLVI.

WASHINGTON AS PRESIDENT.
L789-1797.

Wir many misgivings, Washington started on horse-
back for New York, where he was to be inaugurated.
But everywhere as he traveled he was met by crowds of
people, who did him honor in the most extravagant man-
ner. At Philadelphia, as he passed under an arch, a
young man, aided by some machinery, let a civic crown of
laurel down upon his head. At Trenton, the bridge over
the Assanpink was decorated with a triumphal arch sup-
ported by thirteen pillars, and bearing the inscription,
“The Defender Of The Mothers Will Be The Protector
Of The Daughters.” Here Washington was met by a
party of matrons, leading their daughters, dressed in
white. The young girls strewed flowers and sang an ode
to Washington. He crossed from Elizabethtown Point,
in New Jersey, to New York in a fine barge rowed by
thirteen sea captains, attended by a great display of
boats and vocal and instrumental music, ships were deco-
rated, cannon roared, and the crowds which covered the
New York docks shouted in his honor. These things
made Washington sad, for he thought how all this might
be changed if the people became displeased with his acts
as President.
398 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

Washington took the oath of office on the 30th day of
April, 1789, in the open gallery in the front of Federal
Hall, which stood at the head of Broad Street. He was
dressed in a suit of dark-brown cloth and wore white silk
stockings, all of American manufacture. In the gallery



FEDERAL HALL.

[From a water-color drawing made in 1798 by Robinson. New York
Historical Socicty.]

with him were Vice-President Adams, Generals Knox, St.
Clair, Steuben, and other officers, Governor Clinton, of
New York, and Richard Henry Lee. Otis, who was Secre-
tary of the Senate, held a Bible on a crimson cushion, and
Chancellor Livingston read the oath of office. W ashing-
ton then said “I swear,” bowed to kiss the Bible, raised
his head, and with closed eyes added, “So help me God.”
WASHINGTON AS PRESIDENT. 399

“Tt is done,” said Livingston. “ Long live George
Washington, President of the United States!” and the
crowd took up the shout. The first to shake hands with
Washington was Lee, the “Dickey” of his boyhood
friendship. The newly made President then gave an
inaugural speech before the Houses of Congress, and
went on foot to St. Paul’s Church, where prayers were
read by the bishop.

Mrs. Washington made the journey to New York in
the latter part of May, with her two grandchildren, Nel-
lie and Washington. She, too, was dressed in clothes of
American manufacture, and was received everywhere
with great honors. The President first rented a house at
No. 3 Cherry Street, but as this was not large enough, and
the high headdresses of the ladies of the day were apt to
graze the chandeliers, the plumes of one belle even catch-
ing fire, he moved to a larger house on Broadway, for
which he paid twenty-five hundred dollars rent. This
seems little enough now, but it was thought a very ex-
travagant rent in those days.

As the presidency was a new office and there were no
customs, everything had to be settled as to the proper
forms. Washington liked a certain amount of dignified
ceremonial. There was much discussion as to how the
President should be addressed. One day when this was
being talked of at a dinner which he gave at his house,
Washington said to one of his guests:

“ Well, General Muhlenberg, what do you think of the
title of High Mightiness?”

“ Why, general,” answered Muhlenberg, “if we were
always sure that the office would be held by men as large
830 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

as yourself, or my friend Wynkoop,” alluding to another
tall man present, “it would be appropriate enough; but
if, by chance, a President as small as my opposite neighbor
should be elected, it would become ridiculous.”






pn









THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE IN CHERRY STREET.

Every one laughed except Washington, who did not
enjoy the joke.

As he found it impossible to receive calls at those
hours of the day when he should be attending to busi-
ness, Washington appointed certain days for levees. Jef:
ferson tells how, at his first levee, Colonel Humphreys,
who was a sort of master of ceremonies, when the com-
pany had assembled, preceded Washington from the ante-
room, and, when the door of the inner room had been
WASHINGTON AS PRESIDENT. 331

thrown open, announced in a loud voice, “ The President
of the United States.” Washington was so disconcerted
by this ceremony that he afterward said to Humphreys,
“You have taken me in once, but you shall never take me
in a second time.” At his levees Washington wore a suit
of black velvet, black silk stockings, and silver shoe and
knee buckles. His hair was powdered and tied behind in
a black bag ; he wore yellow gloves, and a dress sword ina
white leathern scabbard, while he held in his hand his
cocked hat edged with black feathers. When the guests
had assembled the President entered, and walked round
the room greeting each one in turn, without, however,
shaking hands. At Mrs. Washington’s receptions, when
he considered himself only a private gentleman, he dressed
in a brown cloth suit with bright buttons, wore no sword,
and moved among the guests, talking freely.

There were people who criticised Washington’s cere-
monies. They thought his levees were too much like
those of a king, and were shocked because people were re-
quired to stand on these occasions. The fact was that
the room in which they were held would not have con-
tained a third part of the chairs necessary to seat the
guests. There was a caricature printed of Washington’s
entry into New York which represented him as riding on
an ass, led by Humphreys, who was singing hosannas in
his praise. But foreigners who visited his house thought
the manner of his life very simple. One noticed that
he dined on a boiled leg of mutton, eating only of one
dish, and that after dessert a single glass of wine was
served to each guest, after which Washington rose and

led the way to the drawing-room. Another visitor said
24
339 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

that everything about the house had an air of simplicity.
Mrs. Washington’s receptions broke up before nine
o'clock. ‘The general,” said this lady, “always retires
at nine, and I usually precede him.” It must not be



CUP AND SAUCER.

[From a set presented to Mrs. Washington by Van Braam or Lafayette.
National Museum, Washington, D. C.J

forgotten, however, that the hours kept in that day were
earlier than those of later times. The plays at the
theater began at six and were over before nine.
Washington made the tavern keeper Fraunces, or
Black Sam, as he was often called, his steward. Al-
though he entertained a great deal, seldom sitting down
WASHINGTON AS PRESIDENT. 3383

to the table without guests, and spent a part of his own
private fortune, as well as his salary of twenty-five thou-
sand a year, while he was President, he still made an
effort to enforce economy in his house, and kept a very
careful account of his expenses, so that he could, as he
said, tell at least what he lost and how he lost it. He had
a hard time with Frannces, who had his own notions as to
how a President of the United States should live. The
steward once bought a fine shad at the Vly Market. It
was served the next morning at breakfast, and Washing-
ton asked what kind of a fish it was.

“ A shad,” answered Fraunces.

“Tt is very early in the season for shad,” said the
President. “ How much did you pay for it?”

“ Two dollars,” replied the steward.

“Two dollars!” exclaimed Washington. “I can



never encourage such extravagance at my table. Take it
away; I will not touch it.”

Fraunces carried the shad out, and afterward made a
good meal of it in his own room. It issaid that Wash-
ington usually had a scene with his steward once a week,
when accounts were settled. Fraunces would leave the
room with tears in his eyes, saying: “ Well, he may dis-
charge me, he may kill me, if he will, but while he is
President of the United States, and I have the honor to
be his steward, his establishment shall be supplied with
the very best the country can afford.”

Washington chose his Cabinet with great care. He
made John Jay, a very pure and high-minded man, Chief
Justice. General Henry Knox, who had begun life a
bookseller in Boston, and who had become an important
334 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

major general in charge of the Revolutionary artillery,
was already Secretary of War, and Washington kept him in
this office. For the Treasury Department he chose Alex-
ander Hamilton, a young man of much ability and force.
He was a native of the
West Indies, sent to New
York for his education.
Washington first saw
Hamilton at the passage
of the Raritan in the
flight through New Jer-
sey, in 1776. He noticed
the courage of a young ar-
tillery officer who was di-
recting a battery against
the enemy’s advanced col-



CASE OF SILVER-HANDLED KNIVES AND Ummns, which were press-
FORKS BELONGING TO WASHINGTON. z .
ing the Americans hard.

[National Museum, Washington, D. C.]

Washington inquired the
name of this young man. It proved to be Hamilton, and
he made him one of his aids. For Secretary of State
Washington chose Thomas Jefferson, a man who pos-
sessed a mind of the very first order. Hdmund Ran-
dolph was made Attorney-General.

The President had been but a few months in office
when he was seized with a serious illness known as an-
thrax. A tumor was removed, and for some time he was
so dangerously ill that a chain was stretched across the
street. to keep wagons from passing his house. During
this time his mother died, at the age of eighty-two.
Washington was twice very ill during the early years of
WASHINGTON AS PRESIDENT. 835

his presidency, and he thought that confinement to busi-
ness was bad for the health of one who had passed most
of his days in the saddle. In order to get exercise and
change, and to bind the States together by friendly feel-
ings for their Government, he was accustomed to make
journeys through the country when Congress was not in
session, and he sometimes spent his summers at Mount
Vernon. On his tours he was loaded with honors which
were often so extravagant as to be a little ridiculous.
Hymns were sung in his praise in which he was called
“ Columbia’s Savior.” It was common for him to be
greeted with shouts of “ Long live George Washington !”
or “God bless your reign!” Buttons were worn bearing
his initials and the motto, “ Long live the President!” On
his Southern tour, he was at one time conveyed in a richly
decorated boat, rowed by sea captains dressed in light-
blue silk jackets, black satin breeches, white silk stock-
ings, and hats bound with bands of black ribbon on which
were the words “ Long live the President” in golden let-
ters. Ladies wore sashes with his portrait and the same
motto painted on them. At a ball which Washington
attended the women all carried fans, imported from Paris,
decorated with his portrait. He seems to have wearied of
all this worship. On his journeys to and from Mount
Vernon he tried to avoid being known. He sent a
courier ahead to engage rooms, charged to let no one but
the landlord know of his coming. Usually, however, the
news leaked out, a trumpet was sounded, crowds gathered,
and the village cannon was fired. An old artillery officer,
who was several times cheated of his cannonade by Wash-
ington’s traveling in secret, said: “He shall not serve
336 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

meso again. Dll warrant that my matches will be found
lighted next time.” On his New England tour he was
introduced to Mr. Cleaveland, the minister of the town,
who stood before the great man with his head uncov-
ered.

“ Put on your hat, parson, and I will shake hands with
you,” said Washington.

“J can not wear my hat in your presence, general,”
answered the minister, “ when I think of what you have
done for this country.”

“You did as much as I did,” answered the President.

“ No, no,” exclaimed the parson.

“ Yes,” said Washington, “ you did what you could,
and I’ve done no more.”

When Washington was on a tour in 1790, a tavern on
Long Island was thrown into
a great commotion by the news
of the President’s approach,
and a grand supper was pre-
pared for him. What was the
astonishment of the negro serv-
ants in the kitchen when the
great man ordered mush and
milk for his repast.

Once Washington sent a

present to some country girls

WATER-MARK FROM PAPER USED é :
BY WASHINGTON puRING urs Whom he saw on his travels,
eae Dr. Toner] with this pretty letter to their
father: “Sir: Being informed
that you have given my name to one of your sons, and
called another after Mrs. Washington’s family, and being,


WASHINGTON AS PRESIDENT. 337

moreover, much pleased with the modest and innocent
looks of your two daughters, Patty and Polly, I do for
these reasons send each of these girls a piece of chintz:
and to Patty, who bears the name of Mrs. Washington,
and who waited more upon us than Polly did, I send five
guineas, with which she may buy herself any little orna-
ments she may want, or she may dispose of them in any
other manner more agreeable to herself. As I do not
give these things with a view to have it talked of, or even
of its being known, the less there is said about the matter
the better you will please me; but that I may be sure the
chintz and money have got safe to hand, let Patty, who,
I dare say, is equal to it, write me a line informing me
thereof, directed to ‘The President of the United States,
New York. I wish you and your family well, and am
your humble servant.”
3388 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

CHAPTER XLVIII.

THE EARLY EVENTS OF WASHINGTON’S ADMINISTRATION.
L789-1798.

One of-the first actions of the new Government was
to provide for the payment of the great public debt of
about eighty millions, caused by the Revolutionary War.
Every one agreed that the foreign debt, which was
mostly due to France, should be paid as soon as possible ;
but Hamilton planned not only to pay at full value all
the paper certificates issued by Congress during the war,
which had now come to be worth only about fifteen cents
on a dollar, because it was never expected that the Gov-
ernment would pay their full value, but he also proposed
the bold plan of undertaking the State debts. He said
that, as all these debts were the price the country had paid
for her freedom, it was only just that they should be paid
by her Government. He also wished, though he did not
say it, to make the Central Government strong by this
measure, and to reduce the power of the separate State
governments, which he dreaded. There was a great deal
of opposition in Congress to the latter part of Hamilton’s
plan. At the same time there was a bitter wrangle about
where the permanent capital should be placed. Virginia,
which had a small debt, was opposed to the Central Gov-
ernment’s assuming State debts, and she was anxious to

%
EARLY EVENTS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION. 339



have the new city placed on the Potomac. It was finally
agreed that the Virginia members should vote for assump-
tion, while the Northern members should vote to locate
the capital on the Potomac. Thus the city of Washing-
ton came to be situated in the South, and Hamilton car-
ried his brilliant measure which was to put the Gov-
ernment on an honorable footing. Washington was given
charge of the affairs of the new city, and took much inter-















THE PRESIDENTS HOUSE IN PHILADELPILA,

est in the planning and founding of the metropolis that
was to bear his name, but which he always modestly called
“ the Federal City.”

While the new Capitol was building, it was agreed that
the Government was to be removed for ten years to
Philadelphia. As Robert Morris had been interested in
procuring the removal of the Government to Phila-
840 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

delphia, New Yorkers enjoyed a caricature of the
day which represented Morris as walking off with the
Federal Hall on his shoulders, the members of Congress
leaning from the windows, some encouraging and some
cursing him, while the devil from the roof of Paulus
Hook ferry house beckoned to Morris, saying, “ This way,
Bobby.”

The Revolutionary War had excited the passions of
the Western and Southern Indians, who were jealous of the
steady growth of the United States westward. The new
settlements in Kentucky were so tormented with Indian
massacres that Kentucky came to be known once more as
“the dark and bloody ground.” The name Kentucky is
said to signify this, and to have been given to that land
because of the desperate encounters of Indians of various
tribes with one another in their struggles for its possession.
The Indians were encouraged in their warfare on the
Americans by the commanders of the English posts which
lay along the northern frontier of the Ohio country. In
1790, Washington sent General Harmer into the heart of
this Indian region with a force of fifteen hundred men
to punish the Indians. Harmer, however, far from chas-
tising the savages, was himself severely defeated. The next
year Washington sent another expedition into the Indian
country, under the command of General St. Clair. In the
fall of 1791, St. Clair was surprised and utterly defeated by
the Indians under the chief Little Turtle. The wounded
and exhausted men who could not follow the retreat were
butchered in the most horrible manner. Washington
was dining when he received the dispatches announcing
St, Clair’s defeat. He appeared to be perfectly calm, at-
EARLY EVENTS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION, 341

tended Mrs. Washington’s reception, and showed no signs
of excitement until every one had left except his secre-
tary, Lear, when he began to walk up and down the room,
and suddenly burst into one of his rare fits of terrible
anger.

“Tt is all over!” he exclaimed. “St. Clair’s defeated
—routed ; the officers nearly all killed, the men by whole-
sale; the rout complete—too shocking to think off—and
a surprise into the bargain!”

He strode up and down again. ‘ Here on this very
spot I took leave of him. I wished him success and
honor. ‘You have your instructions,’ said I, ‘from the
Secretary of War. I had a strict eye to them, and will add
but one word—beware of a surprise! I repeat it, beware
of a surprise! You know how the Indians fight us.” He

m7







went o



f with that my last solemn warning thrown into
his ears, and yet he suffered that army to be cut to pieces,
hacked, butchered, tomahawked, by a surprise, the very
thing I had guarded him against. O God! O God!
he’s worse than a murderer. How can he answer it to his
country? The blood of the slain is upon him, the curse
of widows and orphans, the curse of Heaven!”

Washington went on pacing up and down the room.
After a time he sat down, and said more quietly to Lear:
“This must not go beyond this room.”

There was a long silence. The first strong passion
was subsiding, and the cooler thoughts which usually
governed his actions were beginning to come to him. At
last he said : :

“ General St. Clair shall have justice. I looked hastily
through the dispatches, saw the whole disaster, but not
3842 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

the particulars. J will receive him without displeasure, I
will hear him without prejudice. He shall have full jus-
tice.”

And so he did. When the ruined general arrived he
hobbled up to Washington on his gouty feet, seized his
hand, and sobbed aloud. He was never reproached by the
President. But though St. Clair was acquitted of blame
by Congress, the popular prejudice against him was so
great that Washington replaced him by another general.
To aid himself in deciding on a man for this important
position, he wrote his opinion of the qualities of the
various officers on paper, noting any faults which might
stand in the way of their success, and carefully weighing
one against the other. Under the name of Wayne, he
wrote: “ More active and enterprising than judicious and
cautious; no economist, it is feared; open to flattery;
vain; easily imposed upon and liable to be drawn into
scrapes; too indulgent (the effect, perhaps, of some of the
causes just mentioned) to his officers and men. Whether
sober or a little addicted to the bottle I know not.” But
after careful thought Washington chose Wayne to lead a
new expedition into the Indian country, and his choice
proved to be a good one.

The country soon came to be divided into two parties.
The Federalists were those men who believed in making
the Central Government of the country as strong as pos-
sible, and who were inclined to lean toward English
methods of governing. Hamilton was the leader of this
party. He was a very able man, but he had little faith in
the ability of the people to govern themselves. He ad-
mired the British Constitution, and his enemies suspected
EARLY EVENTS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION. 3438

him of a leaning toward royalty. Men who were of an
opposite way of thinking began to form themselves into a
new party known as the Republican party, which is not
the same as the Republican party of our day. They be-
lieved in government by the people, in the rights of the
States, and were jealous of the power of the Central Gov-
ernment. They sympathized with France in her great
Revolution, and hated and suspected Great Britain. Jef-
ferson became the natural leader of this party. This great
man believed in a very liberal form of government. He
had lived in France long enough to see all the evils of an
aristocracy, and dreaded lest any such institutions should
oppress our land. Both parties had right on their side,
and did a good work—the one in making the Government
strong and powerful, and the other in preventing it from
becoming oppressive. But it is hard for men in their own
day to see good in both of two political parties. Washing-
ton, though he naturally was a stronghold to the Federal
party, wished to belong to no such divisions. ‘They were
the harder for him to bear because the two great leaders
of the parties were in his own Cabinet. Jefferson believed
that Hamilton had a dangerous tendency toward mon-
archy. He encouraged a paper, edited by a clerk in his
department named Freneau, which criticised the Govern-
ment, and especially Hamilton, without attacking Wash-
ington. He told the President that he wished to resign,
but Washington persuaded him affectionately to remain.

The time had arrived for the President to decide
whether he should accept the office for a second term.
Both Hamilton and Jefferson urged him to do so, and thus
carry the country through what, as it seemed to them,
B44 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

would be a period of danger. Washington said to Jeffer-
son that he feared that people would say that, “ having
tasted the sweets of office, he could not do without them.”
Me said that his hearing was failing, and “ perhaps his
other faculties might fall off and he not be sensible of it.”
He was annoyed by the attacks made upon the Govern-
ment by Freneau’s paper. He said that he considered them
as attacking him, for he declared that he “ must be a fool
indeed to swallow the little sugarplums thrown out to
him.”

Although Washington was tired of office and wished
to retire once more to his home, it seemed go important
for him to remain at the head of the Government for
another four years that he did not refuse to be a candi-
date for President once more. He was re-elected in 1792,
and began his second administration in March, 1793.
WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM. 345

CHAPTER XUIX.

WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM.
L7938—-1797.

WASHINGTON was inaugurated the second time, on
the 4th of March, 1793, with very little display. He was -
dressed in mourning on account of the death of one of
his nephews, a young man who had managed his affairs
for some time. ‘he foreign difficulties now became very
great. France was in the midst of her great revolution.
Americans sympathized strongly with the French strug-
gle for liberty. In Boston, an ox roasted whole, with the
French and American flags hanging from its gilded
horns, was drawn around the streets by sixteen horses,
after which the people feasted on it in honor of the
French cause. But the murder of the French king, the
fall of Lafayette, and the shocking excesses which were
practiced in France, began to make some men doubtful.
England, meanwhile, was sulky in her treatment of the
United States. For some time she sent no minister to
this country ; she held her posts on the frontier, encourag-
ing the Indians to war, while she searched American
ships for British subjects. Soon after the beginning of
Washington’s second term news came that France had
declared war against England. There was great danger
that America would be involved in the struggle. ‘There
346 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

were many Americans who still hated England with the
greatest bitterness, and thought that we owed so much to
France that we were bound to aid her against the old
enemy. Washington was at Mount Vernon when the
tidings of this new war arrived. He knew that though
the country was fast becoming prosperous once more, it
was in no state to engage in a war. He was determined
to prevent the United States from being drawn into Eu-
ropean struggles. He hurried to Philadelphia, consulted
his Cabinet, and issued a proclamation of neutrality.
Thus Washington set an example of sound policy, a
policy that has always been followed by the United
States in cases of foreign wars.

A new French minister, known as Citizen Genet,
arrived about this time in the United States. He was a
violent man, and determined to draw America into a war
with England. He landed at Charleston and immedi-
ately fitted out privateers manned with American seamen,
and sent them to cruise against English ships. Genet
was received everywhere with great applause by the
Americans. ‘The people were madly in favor of French
liberty, and Washington’s neutral course was very unpopu-
lar. There was a caricature printed about this time,
called the funeral of Washington, in which the President
was represented asa king placed upon a guillotine. In
one of his Cabinet meetings Washington broke forth into
one of his fits of passionate anger when this outrageous
attack was mentioned. He said that he had repented
but once having let slip the chance for resigning his
office, and “that was every moment since.”

“Thad rather be in my grave,” said he,“ than in my
* WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM. 347

present situation ; I had rather be on my farm than to be
made emperor of the world; and yet they are charging
me with wanting to be a king!”

But though his proud nature was keenly wounded by
the injustice of party attacks, Washington never for a
moment thought of acting in any other way than that

uh













Vp

ff

tt

PORTRAIT OF MRS. WASHLNGI'UN,

[From a painting by Gilbert Stuart, made in 1796, called the “ Atheneum
portrait.” |

which seemed to him right, no matter how unpopular his

actions might be. He tried to put a stop to the sending

of privateers against English ships by the troublesome

French minister, lest the proceedings of that ambassador

should draw the country into war with England. But
20
348 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

while he was absent at Mount Vernon Citizen Genet
fitted up at Philadelphia the Little Susan, an English
vessel recently captured, renamed her the Little Demo-
crat, and let her go to sea asa privateer, though he had
been forbidden to do this by the authorities. He started
democratic societies in the United States in imitation of
the French Jacobin clubs, and finally insulted the Gov-
ernment by threatening to appeal to the American people,
with whom he was so popular. The Government quietly
asked France to recall him, and when it became known
how he had threatened Washington and his Cabinet he
lost his popularity. He was presently recalled, and a
wiser man put in his place.

Meanwhile both Hamilton and Jefferson resigned.
Hamilton was to remain until the end of the session of
Congress. Jefferson, who was really leader of the party
opposed to much that the Government did, was in a very
uncomfortable position, and wished to leave at the end of
the month. Washington, who was determined not to be
alienated from a great man like Jefferson merely because
he did not agree with him, called on him at his house.
He said that he wished that he himself had left office at
the close of his last term, since he was to be deserted by
those he counted on. He would, he feared, have great
difficulty in finding a Secretary of State who would know
enough about foreign affairs. Jefferson proposed Chan-
cellor Livingston, but Washington objected that he and
Hamilton were both from New York, and as it could not
be known for some time that Hamilton had resigned, “a
newspaper conflagration” would follow if Livingston were
chosen. Other men proposed were accused of doubtful
WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM. 849

speculations or were unequal to the office. Jefferson’s
account of this talk between himself and the President
shows how great were Washington’s anxieties and how
pure were his motives. Jefferson consented to remain in
office a few months longer, and Edmund Randolph, the
former Attorney-General, was finally put in his place.

Great Britain seemed to be doing what she could to
arouse American anger. American ships bearing corn to
French ports were stopped and carried to England, while
American vessels in the West Indies were seized by the
English governors of these islands. There was a great
war fever in the United States, and it seemed impossible
that even Washington’s steady hand could keep the coun-
try neutral. But England presently modified her policy
and ceased to interfere with American ships in the West
Indies. It was now proposed to send Hamilton on a mis-
sion to England, to make a treaty with that country; but
the Republican party was opposed to the sending of Ham-
ilton on such a mission. Monroe, one of the leaders of
this party, asked to have an interview with Washington
on this subject. Washington haughtily refused to see
Monroe, and then, acting on a generous second thought
as he so frequently did, he appointed Monroe minister to
France. He often chose for high office men who were
opposed to him in politics. He sent John Jay to Eng-
land to try to settle the disputes with that country.

In order to raise money with which to pay off the
debt, a law had been passed putting a tax on spirits made
in the country. This was called “drinking down the
national debt.” But the farmers who lived across the
Alleghanies, and made their corn into whisky because it
350 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

could not be carried in any other form across the moun-
tains, disliked this tax very much. These people rose in an
insurrection in 1794, and assembled on the field of Brad-
dock’s defeat. After trying in various ways to bring them
to terms, Washington raised a small army. He inspected
the men himself, and meant at one time to march at their
head, but finding all well arranged, he returned to Phila-
delphia. The army crossed the Alleghanies, to find the
people subdued by the rumor of its approach. About the
same time came the news of Wayne’s victory over the
Indians. This officer had been advancing slowly and
gradually into the Indian country, building forts as he
went. He fought the Indians in 1794, on the Maumee
River, almost under the very walls of a fort still held by
the English, defeated them, and destroyed their cabins
and. cornfields.

The next important event was the arrival, in 1795, of
the Jay treaty with England. It was not a very favorable
treaty for the United States, but it promised that the
frontier posts should be given up, and by its acceptance a
war with England would be avoided. The Senate voted
that the treaty should be ratified. But when it came to
be known how few advantages the treaty granted to the
United States there was a great clamor against it. Meet-
ings were held at which it was denounced; it was burned
before the house of the British minister, the English flag
was trailed, and Jay’s effigy was carried about and then
burned. But Washington was not to be frightened in
this way. After much thought, he believed it best that
the treaty should be signed, and this was done. About
the same time some French dispatches which were cap-
WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM. 3h1

tured by an English vessel were sent to America. In
them were some things which seemed to show that Ran-
dolph, the Secretary of State, had offered to sell his influ-
ence to the French minister. The President showed these
papers to Randolph, and the Secretary immediately re-
signed. Washington was obliged, now that his course
was unpopular, to make up his Cabi-
net of second-rate men. Randolph
revenged himself by attacking the
President.

Washington had the habit of
making speeches on the opening of
Congress, instead of sending mes-
sages as Presidents do now. He had
the Virginia love of fine horses and
equipages. He drove to Congress in
a cream-colored coach, which was



decorated with cupids holding fes-
toons of flowers, and was drawn by / \
six bay horses. He was preceded by if
two gentlemen bearing wands, who
kept back the crowd when the Presi-
dent alighted. A little boy who was
in the crowd on such an occasion
afterward told how Washington was
dressed. His powdered hair had been ot
gathered into a black silk bag orna- Sworp. 2nismm 70
mented with a large rosette of black [Albany State Library.]
ribbon, and he wore a black velvet

suit, diamond knee-buckles, square silver ive: buckles,
black silk stockings, japanned shoes, a ruffled shirt, a








852 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

cocked hat, and his dress sword. The boy glided into the
hall of Congress almost under the skirts of Washington’s
coat, but he would as soon have thought of touching an
electric battery as touching the great man. He climbed
upon one of the two cast-iron stoves which stood near the
door. Once there, his eyes were fastened upon the Span-
ish ambassador, who wore a splendid diplomatic dress,
decorated with orders, and carried under his arm an im-
mense hat edged with white ostrich feathers. Washing-
ton was a hesitating speaker, and his voice had been left
‘weak by lung trouble in his youth. A man who once
heard him speak in public said that it gave him pain that
one so great in other things should not be also great in
this regard.

Washington bought solid and handsome articles to
furnish his house and his table, and he liked such dress
as he thought suitable to the occasion, but if he was fond
of display it was in horses. His adopted son, little
Washington Custis, remembered how the President’s white
chargers, when he was about to use them, were covered
over night with a paste made of whiting, wrapped in
cloths, and given clean straw to sleep on. In the morn-
ing they were rubbed till they shone like satin, their
hoofs were blacked and polished, their mouths washed,
their teeth picked, and they were trapped in leopard-skin
housings. Washington was one of the best horsemen of
his day, and he was a superb figure when he rode abroad
on one of his fine animals.

One day when President Washington was holding a
levee an old Irish soldier of the Revolution came to the
door and wished to see his former commander. German
WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM. 253

Jobn, the servant who stood at the President’s door, ob-
jected, but the old fellow calmly took a seat in the hall,
and there he sat while senators, judges, ambassadors, and
other great men came and went. When the levee was
over the President was told that there was an obstinate
Irishman in the hall who refused to leave until he had
seen him. Washington stepped into the hall.

«“ Long life to your honor’s excellence !” exclaimed the
Irish soldier. “Your honor will not remember me,
though many’s the day I have marched under your orders,
and many’s the hard knock I have had too. I belonged to
Wayne’s brigade—Mad Anthony, the British called him,
and by the power, he was always mad enough for them !
I was wounded in the battle of Germantown. Hurrah
for America! And it does my heart good to see your
honor; and how is the dear lady, and all the little ones? a

Washington smiled, said that he was well, and Mrs.
Washington was well, but that unfortunately they had no
children. He then slipped a piece of money into the
veteran’s hand.

“There, now, you old Hessian fellow,” said the Trish-
man to German John as he left the house, “you see
his honor’s excellency hasn’t forgotten an ould soldier !”

While Washington was President his old friend La-
fayette was thrown into an Austrian prison. The
Marchioness de Lafayette wrote touching letters to the
President, begging him to use his influence to get her
husband released. He did all in his power ; he instructed
his foreign ministers to use their influence, and he himself
wrote to the Emperor of Germany. Meanwhile he sent
two thousand guilders to Holland for the use of Madame
354 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Lafayette, writing to her that he owed Lafayette that
amount. When the latter’s son, George Washington La-
fayette, took refuge in the United States, Washington
caused him to be entertained in the homes of his friends.
He feared, at first, to take him to his own home, lest it
might cause trouble between this country and France, for
there the young man would
have to meet the minister
of the French Government,
which was persecuting his
father. He finally threw
aside all scruples, however,
and took the boy and his
tutor to his own house, until
he returned to his parents
on the release of Lafayette.
Mrs. Washington enjoyed
DRAWING From A awiarcre or Public life as little as did her
GEorer wasnineron rarxe husband. She spoke of the
FPeinted for Gorrie Wataveite: time she spent away from
and returned after his death home as the President’s
to Mary Custis Lee.]
wife as her “lost days.” She
described herself in one of her letters as a sort of “ state
prisoner.” ‘“ There are,” said she, “certain bounds set
for me which J must not depart from, and as I can not do
as I like Tam obstinate and stay at home a great deal.”
She said that when she was younger, she would no doubt
have enjoyed the innocent gayeties of life as much as
most persons of her age, ‘“‘ but J have long since,” said she,
“ placed all the prospects of my future worldly happiness
on the still enjoyments of the fireside at Mount Vernon.”


WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM. 355

Washington declined to accept a third term. He was
thoroughly weary of public life. The Federalist party

chose John Adams for
their candidate, and the
Republicans Thomas Jef-
ferson. As the man with
the second number of votes
in those days became Vice-
President, and Adams was
elected, Jefferson, who was
of an opposite party, came
into office as Wice-Presi-
dent. As soon as Wash-
ington was out of the strife
the party papers ceased
their bitter attacks upon
him, and during his last
months in office all tried
to show the grateful love
which the country really
felt for him. At the manu-
guration of Adams Wash-
ington made a farewell ad-
dress. While he was speak-

Se








CANDLESTICK USED BY WASTINGTON

WIEN HE WROTE HIS FAREWELL
ADDRESS.

[National Museum, Washington, D. C.]

ing Adams covered his face with both his hands and the
tears were seen to wet his coat sleeves. The audience

wept, and tears ran down Washington’s face as he sat
down. When the retiring President went out there was
such a rush to see him that dignified men are said to
have escaped from the crowd only by sliding down the

pillars of the hall,
356 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

CHAPTER L.

AT HOME.
L797 -1799.







fetes









z wt w be
LOND wayyy
oo Ll
i NES EES Ula ol

Cebu saseisran Bais

DOORWAY TO MOUNT VERNON ON THE SIDE FARTHEST
FROM THE RIVER.

WASHINGTON wrote to
a friend that his only ob-

ject in life now
was to make and
sell a little flour
and repair his
home. Hyvery-
thing that he un-
dertook was well
done, and barrels
of flour marked
with his name
were passed in
the West Indies
without being
opened for in-
spection. Mount
Vernon was pres-
ently transformed

into a substantial mansion. Washington was very eager

to improve agriculture in the South,

and tried to get

English farmers to come over and manage his planta-


MOUNT VERNON AS IT APPEARS AT PRESENT.
AT HOME, 357

tions. But aman who came from England for this pur-
pose thought the soil of Mount Vernon poor, and did
not think land could be made profitable where there
were a large number of negroes, many of them useless,
to be supported. Washington’s one fault seems to have
been a habit of close dealing—a habit which no doubt
had done much to raise him from a poor boy to a
rich man. Everything that came into his house was
weighed, measured, or counted, often under his own
eye. A mason who had plastered a room in his absence
had been paid by measure. Washington measured the
room on his return, and found that the man had been
overpaid. The mason had since died, and his wife had
married a second husband, who advertised to pay the first
husband’s debts. Washington collected from the second
husband the fifteen shillings overpaid. A gentleman who
crossed a ferry owned by Washington paid in a coin
which was found to be under weight. Washington caused
his ferryman to collect the few cents due him. He would
not give a certain tenant a receipt for rent which was a
trifle underpaid, and the man had to ride to Alexandria
to make change. Colonel Lee, who was famous in Revo-
lutionary days as “ Light-Horse Harry Lee,” was once
dining at Mount Vernon, when Washington mentioned
that he wanted to buy a pair of carriage horses.

“T have a fine pair, general,” said Lee, “ but you can
not get them.”

“ Why not?” asked Washington.

“ Because,” answered Lee, “ you will never pay more
than half price for anything, and I must have full price
for my horses.”
358 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Mrs. Washington fell to laughing, and her parrot, sit-
ting beside her, joined in the langh. “ Ah, Lee, you are a
funny fellow,” said the general, good-humoredly ; “see,
that bird is laughing at you.” Such were Washington’s
faults. He was just almost to hardness in his dealings,
but he was generous in other matters. He gave freely to
many useful objects. During the war he charged his
agent at Mount Vernon to keep up his charities, that his
poor neighbors might not suffer by his absence. He was
always surrounded by young people whom he was help-
ing on in the world or educating at his own expense.
Some of these were
his nephews and
nieces, but some were
not related to him.
While he was Presi-
dent he found time
to write his young rel-
atives careful letters
of advice. He kept
a kindly eye on their
faults, which he tried
to correct. When he
sent his niece Har-
riet, for whom he



PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTON CUSTIS. had been caring, to
ie ae ee General G. W. stay with his sister
rage Betty (Mrs. Lewis)

while he was in Philadelphia, he charged her to direct
Harriet in the use of her clothes, “for without this,”
said he, they will be, I am told, dabbed about in
AT HOME, 859

every hole and corner and her best things always in
use.”
Washington took great pride in his two adopted chil-

dren, Nelly and Washington. For Nelly he bought a



NELLY CUSTIS’S HARPSICHORD AND STOOL, AND GENERAL WASHINGTON’S
FLUTE,

(Drawn at Mount Vernon.]

harpsichord which cost a thousand dollars, and her brother
afterward remembered how his sister would “play and
ery and ery and play” for four or five hours a day on
this instrument under the strict eye of Mrs. Washington.
The grandmother was more indulgent to the boy; and
when he went to college and proved indolent and care-
less Washington shed tears over his failings. On the
other hand, he took much pleasure in Nelly. He would
laugh heartily when she gave “a saucy description” of
something which had happened, or played some merry
prank. He liked to see her amuse herself with her girl
360 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

friends, but when he found that his presence awed them
he would leave the room. He wrote Nelly a letter of
advice on the occasion of her first ball, which happened
while he was still President.

“Let me touch a little now on your Georgetown ball,”
said he, “and happy, thrice happy, for the fair who were
assembled on the occasion that there was a man to spare;
for had there been seventy-nine ladies and only seventy-
eight gentlemen, there might in the course of the evening
have been some disorder among the caps, notwithstanding
the apathy which one of the company entertains for the
‘youth’ of the present day, and her determination
‘never to give herself a moment’s uneasiness on account
of them.’ A hint here: men and women feel the same
inclinations toward each other now that they always have
done, and which they will continue to do until there is a
new order of things; and you, as others have done, may
find, perhaps, that the passions of your sex are easier
raised than allayed. Do not, therefore, boast too soon or
too strongly of your insensibility to or resistance of its
powers. In the composition of the human frame there
isa good deal of inflammable matter, however dormant
it may be for a time, and, like an intimate acquaintance
of yours, when the torch is put to it, that which is
within you may burst into a blaze; for which reason,
and especially, too, as I have entered upon the chapter
of advices, I will read you a lecture drawn from this
text.

“ Love is said to be an involuntary passion, and it is
therefore contended that it can not be resisted. This is
true in part only, for, like all things else, when nourished
AT HOME, 361

and supplied plentifully with aliment it is rapid in its
progress; but let these be withdrawn, and it may be
stifled in its birth or much stinted in its growth. For
example, a woman (the same may be said of the other
sex), all beautiful and accomplished, will, while her hand
and heart are undisposed of, turn the heads and set the
circle in which she moves
on fire. Let her marry,
and what is the conse-
quence? The madness
ceases, and all is quiet
again. Why? Not be-
cause there is any diminu-
tion in the charms of the
lady, but because there is
an end of hope. Hence
it follows that love may
and ought to be under
the guidance of reason;
for, although we can not PROTRAIT OF NELLY CUSTIS.
avoid first impressions, we [From a as ae by General G.
may assuredly place them
under guard. And my motives for treating this subject
are to show you, while you remain Eleanor Parke Custis,
spinster, and retain the resolution to love with modera-
tion, the propriety of adhering to the latter resolution, at
least. until you have secured your game, and the way in
which it may be accomplished.

“When the fire is beginning to kindle and your heart
growing warm, propound these questions to it: Who is

the invader? Jlave I a competent knowledge of him?
26


362 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

Is he a man of good character—a man of sense? For,
be assured, a sensible woman can never be happy with a
fool. What has been his walk in life? Is he a gambler,
a spendthrift, or drunkard? Is his fortune sufficient to
maintain me in the manner I have been accustomed
to live, and my sisters live, and is he one to whom
my friends can have no reasonable objection? If these
interrogatories can be satisfactorily answered, there will
remain but one more to be asked; that, however, is an
important one: Have I sufficient ground to conclude
that his affections are engaged by me? Without this
the heart of sensibility will struggle against a passion
that is not reciprocated, delicacy, enstom, or call it by
what epithet you will, having precluded all advances on
your part. The declaration, without the mosé indirect
invitation of yours, must proceed from the man to ren-
der it permanent and valuable, and nothing short of
good sense and an unaffected conduct can draw the line
between prudery and coquetry. It would be no great
departure from truth to say that it rarely happens
otherwise than that a thorough-faced coquette dies in
celibacy, as a punishment for her attempts to mislead
others, by encouraging looks, words, or actions, given for
no other purpose than to draw men on to make over-
tures that they may be rejected.”

Nelly Custis afterward married Washington’s nephew,
his sister Betty’s son, Lawrence Lewis, who lived in Wash-
ington’s house as an assistant, as several of his nephews
did at different times. Washington is said to have been
much pleased with the match.

Washington’s habits at home were simple. He rose at
AT HOME. 363

four o’clock in the morning. THis body servant prepared
his clothes and combed and tied his hair, but he always
shaved and dressed himself. His clothes were of an old-
fashioned cut, and of plain but good material. The hair
in those days was powdered with a ball made of cotton
yarn, and the powder was carried in a buckskin bag. He
visited his library and stables before breakfast. He made
his breakfast of Indian cakes, honey, and tea. After
breakfast he rode round his farms, a journey of from ten
to fifteen miles. He went alone, opening gates and letting
down bars for himself. One of the many strangers who
came to Mount Vernon to get a look at the great man
asked young Washington Custis how he should know him
when he met him.

“ You will meet, sir,” answered the young man, “ with
an old gentleman riding alone, in plain drab clothes, a
broad-brimmed white hat, a hickory switch in his hand,
and carrying an umbrella with a long staff which is at-
tached to his saddlebow—that person, sir, ig General
Washington.”

“Thank ye, thank ye, young gentleman,” answered
the stranger. “IT think if I fall in with the general I
shall be apt to know him.”

Washington’s appearance in later life was somewhat
changed by some false teeth which he was obliged to
wear. The teeth were carved out of a piece of hippopot-
amus tusk, and the appearance of gums was produced by
means of pink wax, which had often to be renewed. The
upper and lower sets of teeth were joined together by
little gold springs, which made an outward pressure on
the lower jaw, and caused the lower lip to stand out in a
864 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

manner not natural to him, and which may be seen in his
most famous portraits.

Elkanah Watson, a gentleman who once visited at
Washington’s house during the later years of his life,



PORTRAIT OF WASHINGTON,

{From a pastel by Sharpless, made in 1798. Owned by General
G. W. C. Lee]

tells that, having a troublesome cough, he was astonished
to find the great man standing by his bedside in the mid-
dle of the night with a bowl of tea, which he wished him
to take for his cold. With all his kindly qualities, Wash-
AT HOME. 365

ington had an air of dignity about him which made men
fear to trifle with him. It is told that Gouverneur Morris
once made a wager that he would treat Washington with
familiarity. He accordingly went up to him, slapped
him on the back, and said, ‘‘ How are you this morning,
general?” Washington merely turned and looked at
him, but Morris afterward admitted that he did not care



PORTRAIT OF MRS. WASHINGTON.

{From a pastel by Sharpless, made in 1798. Owned by General
G. W. C. Lee.]

to make the experiment again. Grave though he was,
Washington was not without a sense of humor.
boy who once ran after him, admiring his new clothes
when he was coming from the tailor’s in Philadelphia,
never forgot how the great man suddenly turned round
366 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

and made him a low bow. Colonel Humphreys once chal-
lenged Washington to jump a hedge when they were riding
together. Washington told Humphreys to go on. The
colonel accordingly jumped the hedge and landed in a
mudhole on the other side, quite up to the horse’s saddle
girths.

“ Ah, colonel,” said Washington, coolly looking over at
Humphrey’s struggles from the other side of the hedge,
“vou are too deep for me.”

Washington had much of old-fashioned gallantry in
his treatment of ladies. A letter which he wrote when
a young man to Mrs. George William Fairfax, when she
had twitted him on his engagement to Martha Custis, has
sometimes been supposed to indicate that he was really
in love with the wife of his friend while he was about to
marry another woman, though the letter seems to express
only the customary gallantry of an old-fashioned Vir-
ginia gentleman toward ladies. In the same way Wash-
ington presents himself in a letter to Madame Lafayette
as “one of her greatest admirers,” though he had never
seen her, and pretends to be about to gain her heart,
though he acknowledges that he has a disadvantage over
her husband in being an old man. At another time he
excuses himself from making a journey to France because
it would be uncouth to talk with ladies through an inter-
preter. Nelly Custis tells how he was always considerate
of and affectionate to her grandmamma, though he was
sometimes so absent-minded that his wife was forced to
seize him by the button to attract his attention when she
wished to say something to him.

Mrs. Washington was now very happy, “settled
AT HOME. 367

down,” as she said, to the pleasant duties of an old Vir-
ginia housekeeper, “steady as a clock, busy as a bee, and
cheerful as a cricket.” A lady who visited at Mount
Vernon tells how she found Mrs. Washington busy in her
room; on one side of her sat the chambermaid knitting,
on the other a little colored pet learning to sew, and “an
old decent woman” was near cutting out winter clothes
for the negroes. Mrs. Washington directed them all, knit-
ting incessantly herself. She showed her visitor several
pairs of colored stockings and gloves she had made, and
gave her a pair half done, asking her to finish them and
wear them for her sake.

Bernard, a famous English actor of those days, was
playing in Annapolis in 1798. One day he rode to a place
below Alexandria to visit a friend who lived on the Po-
tomac. He was returning on horseback. An old-fash-
ioned chaise was before him on the road. The driver of
the chaise used the whip freely, and the horse appeared to
be very indifferent to it until it happened to fall on a
galled spot and hurt the poor animal so badly that he
threw himself back on his hind legs. One of the wheels
went over the bank and the chaise upset, throwing out
the owner and his young wife. A horseman who had
been trotting gently from an opposite direction now gal-
loped to the scene of the accident. He and Bernard dis-
mounted and went to the assistance of the young woman,
who was insensible. The stranger supported her while
the actor brought water in the crown of his hat from a
distant spring. The young woman when she returned to
consciousness immediately began to scold her husband,
who had been busy extricating his horse. The vehicle
368 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

lay on its side and was heavily loaded with baggage. The
stranger, who was an elderly man, began unloading the
luggage, and Bernard assisted him. They then grasped
the wheel of the heavy chaise and having righted it
with difficulty, helped the owner to load up once more.
It was half an hour’s hot work, and the perspiration
rolled off their faces. The owner of the chaise expressed
his thanks by inviting the two men to go to Alexandria
with him and take “something sociable,” but they re-
fused, and the chaise went on
its way. The stranger now of-
fered to brush the dust from
Bernard’s clothes, and the two
gentlemen accordingly brushed
each other. Bernard noticed
that his companion was a “tall,
erect, well-made man,’ dressed
in a blue coat, buttoned to the
chin, and buckskin breeches.
When the older man took off his
hat his face seemed very famil-
iar to Bernard, who had indeed
seen it over every fireplace and



WASHINGTON’S POWDER BAG
AND PUFF,

on many a tavern sign. Still

he did not recognize it as that of Washington. The
latter, however, was quick at remembering a face he had
seen before. A smile lighted up his face.

“ Mr. Bernard, I believe?” he said.

The actor bowed.

“T had the pleasure of seeing you perform last winter
in Philadelphia,” said Washington,
AT HOME, 369

Bernard explained how he happened to be in the
neighborhood, and his companion said: “ You must be
fatigued. If you will ride to my house, which is not a
mile distant, you can prevent any ill effects from this ex-
ertion by a couple of hours’ rest.” He pointed to his
house. Bernard had the day before spent half an hour
looking at this very dwelling.

“Mount Vernon!” he exclaimed with a stare of won-
der. “ Have I the honor of addressing General Washing-
ton?”

With asmile of rare benevolence Washington extend-
ed his hand, and said: “An odd sort of introduction, Mr.
Bernard; but I am pleased to find you can play so active
a part in private, and without a prompter.” Washington
then pointed to their two horses, standing looking at them,
and shrugged his shoulders at the inn.

Bernard accepted Washington’s invitation, and the
two gentlemen rode to Mount Vernon together, where
they had a long talk while they rested. The actor ob-
served that the great American’s face had little expres-
sion, but that the indentations over the eyes and the
compression of the mouth seemed to show that he kept
his passions under firm control. His voice was not rich,
but he spoke earnestly, and his eyes were “ glorious con-
ductors of the light within.” To Bernard these eyes
seemed to say, “I am a man, and interested in all that
concerns humanity.” When the actor mentioned the
differences he saw between New England people and
those of the Southern States, Washington, who had long
since overcome any prejudices in favor of one part of his
country over another, said :
370 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON,

‘“T esteem those people greatly; they are the stamina
of the Union and its greatest benefactors. They are
continually spreading themselves too, to settle and en-
lighten less-favored quarters. Dr. Franklin is a New
Englander.”

They then had some talk about England, and Bernard
said that Washington’s remarks were flattering to his
country.

“Yes, yes, Mr. Bernard,” answered he, “ but I con-
sider your country the cradle of free principles, not their
armchair. Liberty in England is a sort of idol; people
are bred up in the belief and love of it, but see little of
its doings. They walk about freely, but then it is be-
tween high walls; and the error of its government was in
supposing that after a portion of their subjects had
crossed the sea to live upon a common, they would permit
their friends at home to build up those wally around
them.”

At this moment a slave came into the room with a
pitcher of spring water, and Bernard could not avoid
smiling in a way which seemed to say, “Is this your
liberty ?”

“This may seem a contradiction,” said Washington,
reading his visitor’s thoughts, “but I think you must per-
ceive that it is neither a crime nor an absurdity. When
we profess as our fundamental principle that liberty is
the inalienable right of every man, we do not include
madmen or idiots; liberty in their hands would be a
scourge. Till the mind of the slave has been educated to
perceive what are the obligations of a state of freedom,
and not confound a man’s with a brute’s, the gift would
AT HOME, 871

insure its abuse. We might as well be asked to pull
down our old warehouses before trade had increased to
demand enlarged new ones. Both houses and slaves were
bequeathed to us by Europeans, and time alone can
change them—an event, sir, which, you may believe me,
no man desires more heartily than I do. Not only do I
pray for it on the score of human dignity, but I can
already foresee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery
can perpetuate the existence of our Union, by consolidat-
ing it in a common bond of principle.”

Thus did the far-secing mind of Washington fore-
shadow the conflict of later days. He had some further
talk with Bernard. THis face
lighted up vividly with pleasure
when the actor said that he was
surprised to meet so many men
of talentin Philadelphia. Wash-
ington said that men on the other
side of the water had said that
America had not produced one
poet, statesman, or philosopher.
It was easy to see, he said, why
talent in a new country should
tend to be scientific rather



than imaginative. He men-
tioned Franklin, Rittenhouse, CHAIR FROM LAFAYETTE’S CHA-
and Rush, and added the names Doe eg

. [Presented to Mount Vernon
of Jefferson and Adams as poli- HT Oe

by Edmund de Lafayette.]

ticians. He ended by offering
the actor an introduction to “my friend Jefferson,” as
he called him. This shows, among other things, that
872 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

though Jefferson was the leader of an opposite party,
Washington never allowed the friendship to be really
broken between himself and that other great American.

Bernard was much impressed with Washington. To
the actor, Washington’s figure and every feature of his
face seemed to indicate a spirit both simple and sublime.
He said that “nine country gentlemen out of ten who
had seen a chaise upset near their estate would have
thought it savored neither of pride nor ill-nature to ride
home and send their servants to its assistance.” The
actor felt that he had “witnessed one of the strongest
evidences of a great man’s claim to his reputation—the
prompt, impulsive working of a heart which, having
made the good of mankind—not conventional forms—
its religion, was never so happy as in practically display-
ing it.”
WASHINGTON’S LAST DAYS. 373

CHAPTER LI.

WASHINGTON’S LAST DAYS.
L799.

OnxcE more before he died Washington was called
into public life for a short time. President Adams had
sent three commissioners to France. The French minis-
ter, Talleyrand, treated them ill, and sent secret agents to
them to let them know that nothing would be done until
they paid large bribes. The three Americans sent home
cipher dispatches in which they told how they had been
received. President Adams thought best to publish these
dispatches, putting the letters X, Y, and Z in place of the
names of the secret agents. These papers came to be
known as the X, Y, and Z dispatches, and they caused
great excitement in America. The cry was, ‘ Millions
for defense, but not one cent for tribute,” and the war
spirit rose very high. Every one wished Washington to
be the leader in case there should be war with France.
President Adams accordingly wrote to Washington, ask-
ing him to accept the command of the new army which
was to be formed. Washington accepted, on condition
that he was not to be called into service unless there
should really be war, and that he should be allowed to
name the chief officers who were to serve under him. He
wished to put a young and able man second in command—
874 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

for old officers seldom make good ones—so he chose Ham-
ilton first, then Pinckney, and then Knox. Adams dis-
liked Hamilton, and tried to place Knox second in com-
mand, as this old officer thought his due. There was
some trouble between Washington and Adams on this
point, but Adams was forced to give way to the great
leader. Washington went to Philadelphia in the fall of
1798, to work over army plans with hig major-generals.
It seemed possible that he might have to lead the Ameri-
cans against one of Napoleon’s great armies. But though
he made careful preparations, Washington did not believe
that there would be war. He thought, however, that pre-
paring for war would be the best way to bring about peace.
And so it proved; for no sooner did Talleyrand see that
the Americans were really aroused than he caused it to be
intimated to the American minister at Holland that he
would treat another envoy better. Adams accordingly
sent one to France, and war was finally averted, though
the news of the settlement did not reach America until
after the death of her great general.

Washington had said, “I am of a short-lived family,
and can not remain long upon the earth.” In fact his
sister and all of his brothers except one died before he
did. According to his usual careful habits, he made out
a jong paper, in which he planned how his estates should
be managed for several years, with a rotation of crops.
He finished this paper only four days before his death.
The day before he was taken ill he walked ont with his
nephew, Lawrence Lewis, who was now marricd to Nelly
Custis and living at Mount Vernon, and talked to him
about building a new family vault. “ This change,” said
WASHINGTON’S LAST DAYS. 875

he, “I shall make first of all, for I may require it before
_the rest.” ;

On the 12th of December, 1799, Washington made the
tour, as usual, of his plantations. The weather was very
bad. There was rain, hail, and snow falling at different
times, and a cold wind blowing. It was after three o’clock
when he returned. Mr. Lear, his secretary, brought him
some letters to be franked, for he intended to send them
to the post office that afternoon. Washington franked
the letters, but said that the weather was too bad to send
a servant out with them. Lear noticed that the general’s
neck appeared to be wet, and that there was snow cling-
ing to his hair. He spoke to him about it, but Washing-
ton said that he was not wet, as his greatcoat had pro-
tected him. He went to dinner, which was waiting for
him, without changing his clothes. The next day he
complained of a sore throat, and remained in the house in
the morning, as it was snowing hard. In the afternoon,
however, he went out to mark some trees which he wished
cut down, between the house and the river. He was quite
hoarse by evening. He sat in the parlor, however, with
Mrs. Washington and Lear, reading the papers which had
been brought from the post office. He read some things
aloud in spite of his hoarseness. At nine o’clock Mrs.
Washington went to the room of her granddaughter
Nelly, whose first child had recently been born. The
two gentlemen continued to read the papers, and Wash-
ington seemed cheerful. Once he became excited over
some political event, and used some of the strong words
he could command on occasion. Before they went to bed
Lear advised the general to take something for his cold.


et
a
cS
co
id



WASHINGTON

Drawn st Mount Vernon.)

We

ture belonged to h

r fiurni

[The bed is the one on which he died, and all the othe
WASHINGTON’S LAST DAYS. B17

“T find Iam going,” Washington said to him. “ My
breath can not last long. I believed from the first that
the disorder would prove fatal. Do you arrange and re-
cord all my late military letters and papers. Arrange
my accounts and settle my books, as you know more about
them than any one else, and let Mr. Rawlins finish record-
ing my other letters which he has begun.”

Washington asked Lear whether he thought of any-
thing else that ought to be done, for he had but a very
short time, he said, to remain with his friends. The
secretary answered that he could think of nothing, and
that he hoped the general was not so near his end as he
thought. Washington smiled, and said that he certainly
was, “and that, as it was a debt which we must all pay,
he looked on the event with perfect resignation.”

Sometimes he seemed to be in pain and distress from
the difficulty of breathing, and was very restless. Lear
would then le down upon the bed and raise and turn him
as gently as possibly. Washington often said, “I am
and when the young
man assured him that he wished for nothing but to give

afraid I shall fatigue you too much;”

him ease, Washington replied :

“Well, it is a debt we must pay to each other, and I
hope that when you want aid of this kind you will find
ibe?

Ile noticed that his servant, Christopher, had been
standing most of the day, and told him to sit down. He
asked when his nephew Lewis and his adopted son Custis,
who were away from home, would return. When his life-
long friend Dr. Craik came to his bedside, he said : “ Doc-
tor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go. I believed
378 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

from my first attack that I should not survive it. My
breath can not last long.” The doctor was unable to
answer from grief, and could only press his hand.

He afterward said to all the physicians: “I feel myself
going. I thank you for your attentions; but, I pray you,
take no more trouble about me. Let me go off quietly; I
can not last long.” He continued to be restless and un-
easy, but made no complaints, only asking now and then
what time it was. When Lear helped him to move, he
gave the secretary a look of gratitude. About ten o’clock
at night he made several efforts to speak to Lear before
he could do so. He finally said: “Iam just going. Have
me decently buried ; and do not let my body be put into
the vault in less than three days after Iam dead.” Lear
nodded, for he could not speak.

“Do you understand ?” asked Washington.

“Yes.”

“Tis well,” said the dying man.

About ten minutes before death his breathing became
easier; he felt his own pulse, and the expression of his
face changed. One hand presently fell from the wrist of
the other. Lear took it in his and pressed it to his
bosom.

Mrs. Washington, who sat near the foot of the bed,
asked in a firm voice, “Is he gone?”

Lear was unable to speak, but made a sign that Wash-
ington was dead.

“Tis well,” said she; “all is now over; I shall soon
follow him; I have no more trials to pass through.”

Washington died on December 14, 1799, in his sixty-
eighth year. All his neighbors and relatives assembled to
WASHINGTON’S LAST DAYS. B79

attend his funeral; the militia and Freemasons of Alexan-
dria were present; eleven pieces of artillery were brought
to Mount Vernon to do military honors, and a schooner
which lay in the Potomac fired minute guns. Washing-
ton’s horse, with saddle, holster, and pistols, was led be-
fore the coffin by two grooms dressed in black. The
body was deposited in the old family vault, after short and
simple ceremonies. Washington was deeply mourned all
over the United States, for never had a man been so be-
loved by his own countrymen.

Washington left all of his estates to his wife for life ;
after her death they were to be divided between his neph-
ews and nieces and Mrs. Washington’s grandchildren.
He made his nephew, Bushrod Washington, his principal
heir, leaving Mount Vernon to him. He said that he did
this partly because he had promised the young man’s
father, his brother John Augustine, when they were
bachelors, to leave Mount Vernon to him in case he
should fall in the French war. He willed that all his
negro slaves should be set free on the death of his wife.
He said that he earnestly wished that it might be done
before this, but he feared it would cause trouble on ac-
count of their intermarriages with the dower negroes
who came to Mrs. Washington from her first husband,
and whom he had no right to free. He willed also that
such negroes as were too old or too young to support
themselves should be comfortably clothed and fed by his
heirs. T'o his five nephews he left his swords, with the
injunction that they were “not to unsheath them for the
purpose of shedding blood, except it be in self-defense, or
in defense of their country and its rights; and in the lat-
380 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

ter case to keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with
them in their hands to the relinquishment thereof.”
Washington’s life is an open book. He knew that he

was making history, and he kept careful copies of all his
most important letters and writings, so that it is impos-



THE VAULT IN
WHICH WASHINGTON
WAS BURIED,



sible that there should be
doubts on any very important
point. So jealous was he of his own
honorable reputation, that his last act as President was
to file a denial of the authenticity of some spurious letters
which were attributed to him by his political enemies.
These letters were first published during the Revolution
by the English, and purported to be written by Washing-
ton to Lund Washington, to Mrs. Washington, and to


WASHINGTON’S LAST DAYS, B81

John Parke Custis. The person who wrote them knew
something of Washington’s private affairs, but he made
the American general say things which represented him
as opposed to the independence of the colonies. It was
asserted that Washington in his retreat from New York
left his servant Billy behind, and that these papers were
found in a handbag which the valet carried. As it was
well known in the army that Billy had never been cap-
tured, Washington did not then think it needful to deny
having written these letters; but when they were brought
forward again by his enemies during the last years of his
presidency, he was alarmed lest they should go down to
history as his own. Most of Washington’s writings which
are preserved show him to us only as a grave public char-
acter, and lives of Washington drawn mainly from this
source are apt to make the great man seem unnaturally
cold, dignified, remote, and impressive. So usual has this
view of Washington become, that there is a common be-
lef that he never langhed aloud—a belief which there are
many stories to refute. In order to make Washington
seem the truly human man that he was, many personal
anecdotes have been introduced into this book.
Washington had immense physical courage. In all
the battles in which he fought he exposed himself fear-
lessly. His moral courage was even greater. He never
shrank from doing what he thought right because it was
likely to make him unpopular. Perhaps Washington’s
greatest qualities were his wisdom and prudence. These
traits were very important in the leader of a young peo-
ple engaged in a revolutionary struggle. He had few
brilliant military successes, but it is impossible to say what
389 THE STORY OF WASHINGTON.

he might not have done had he not been weighed down
by immense difficulties. His influence over men was
great, and those who were under him loved him. He was
never swayed by mean motives, his actions were always
honorable, and he was generous even to those who were
his bitter opponents. Though he was a man of action,
he thought deeply on many subjects. “ Never,” said
Jefferson, “did nature and fortune combine more per-
fectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same
constellation with whatever worthies have merited from
man an everlasting remembrance.”

THE END.
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