Washington's Birthday eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 265 pages of information about Washington's Birthday.

“Mad Anthony” Wayne now took up the task, with nearly three thousand men, and completed it thoroughly.  At Fallen Timbers, August 20, 1794, he met the combined tribes and delivered a crushing defeat, from which the Indians did not recover for years.  One year later, eleven hundred chiefs and warriors met the United States commissioners at Fort Greenville and signed a treaty of peace, relinquishing at the same time a vast tract of land lying in the present States of Indiana and Michigan.

THE WHISKEY REBELLION.—­Among the important laws passed by Congress was one imposing a duty on distilled spirits.  This roused great opposition in western Pennsylvania, where whiskey was the principal article of manufacture and trade.  The revolt there assumed such formidable proportions that it became known as the “Whiskey Rebellion,” and the President was compelled to call out the militia, fifteen thousand strong, to suppress it.

WASHINGTON’S SECOND TERM.—­Washington did not desire a second term, but his countrymen would not permit him to decline.  He again received all the electoral votes cast, while the next highest number went to John Adams.  Strong party spirit was shown, Hamilton being the leader of the Federalists, and Jefferson the foremost Republican.

“CITIZEN GENET.”—­During Washington’s administrations, France was plunged into the bloodiest revolution known in history.  Her representative in this country was Edmond Charles Genet (zheh-na), better known as “Citizen Genet.”  Landing at Charleston, South Carolina, in April, 1793, he did not wait to present his credentials to the government, but began enlisting soldiers and fitting out privateers for the French service.  Many thoughtless citizens encouraged him, but the wise Washington, finding that Genet defied him, ended the business by compelling his country to recall him.

JAY’S TREATY.—­There was much trouble also with Great Britain, but a treaty was finally arranged with her by our special envoy, John Jay.  One of its provisions guaranteed payment to British citizens of debts due them before the war.  This caused much opposition, but the time came when it was admitted that Jay’s treaty was one of the best made by our government.


[11] From “Young People’s History of Our Country.”  Thomas R. Shewell & Co., 1900.

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  O noble brow, so wise in thought! 
  O heart, so true!  O soul unbought! 
  O eye, so keen to pierce the night
  And guide the “ship of state” aright! 
  O life, so simple, grand and free,
  The humblest still may turn to thee. 
  O king, uncrowned!  O prince of men! 
  When shall we see thy like again? 
  The century, just passed away,
  Has felt the impress of thy sway,
  While youthful hearts have stronger grown
  And made thy patriot zeal their own. 
  In marble hall or lowly cot,
  Thy name hath never been forgot. 
  The world itself is richer, far,
  For the clear shining of a star. 
  And loyal hearts in years to run
  Shall turn to thee, O Washington.

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Washington's Birthday from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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