George Washington, Volume I eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 383 pages of information about George Washington, Volume I.
The silent man was now warming into action.  He “made the most eloquent speech that ever was made,” and said, “I will raise a thousand men, subsist them at my own expense, and march them to the relief of Boston.”  He was capable, it would seem, of talking to the purpose with some fire and force, for all he was so quiet and so retiring.  When there was anything to say, he could say it so that it stirred all who listened, because they felt that there was a mastering strength behind the words.  He faced the terrible issue solemnly and firmly, but his blood was up, the fighting spirit in him was aroused, and the convention chose him as one of Virginia’s six delegates to the Continental Congress.  He lingered long enough to make a few preparations at Mount Vernon.  He wrote another letter to Fairfax, interesting to us as showing the keenness with which he read in the meagre news-reports the character of Gage and of the opposing people of Massachusetts.  Then he started for the North to take the first step on the long and difficult path that lay before him.



In the warm days of closing August, a party of three gentlemen rode away from Mount Vernon one morning, and set out upon their long journey to Philadelphia.  One cannot help wondering whether a tender and somewhat sad remembrance did not rise in Washington’s mind, as he thought of the last time he had gone northward, nearly twenty years before.  Then, he was a light-hearted young soldier, and he and his aides, albeit they went on business, rode gayly through the forests, lighting the road with the bright colors they wore and with the glitter of lace and arms, while they anticipated all the pleasures of youth in the new lands they were to visit.  Now, he was in the prime of manhood, looking into the future with prophetic eyes, and sober as was his wont when the shadow of coming responsibility lay dark upon his path.  With him went Patrick Henry, four years his junior, and Edmund Pendleton, now past threescore.  They were all quiet and grave enough, no doubt; but Washington, we may believe, was gravest of all, because, being the most truthful of men to himself as to others, he saw more plainly what was coming.  So they made their journey to the North, and on the memorable 5th of September they met with their brethren from the other colonies in Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia.

The Congress sat fifty-one days, occupied with debates and discussion.  Few abler, more honest, or more memorable bodies of men have ever assembled to settle the fate of nations.  Much debate, great and earnest in all directions, resulted in a declaration of colonial rights, in an address to the king, in another to the people of Canada, and a third to the people of Great Britain; masterly state papers, seldom surpassed, and extorting even then the admiration of England.  In these debates and state papers Washington took no

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George Washington, Volume I from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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