Death of George Washington


Portrait by Gilbert Stuart, 1797 (source)

February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799

“To him the title of Excellency is applied with peculiar propriety.  He is the best: and the greatest man the world ever knew.  In private life, he wins the hearts and wears the love of all who are so happy as to fall within the circle of his acquaintance.  In his public character, he commands universal respect and admiration.  Conscious that the principles on which he acts are indeed founded in virtue and truth, he steadily pursues the arduous work with a mind neither depressed by disappointment and difficulties, nor elated with temporary success.  He retreats like a General and attacks like a Hero.  If there are spots in his character, they are like the spots in the Sun; only discernable by the magnifying powers of a telescope.  Had he lived in the days of idolatry he had been worshipped as a God.  One age cannot do justice to his merit; but the united voices of a grateful posterity shall pay a chearful tribute of undissembled praise to the great assertor of their country’s freedom.”

– Francis Hopkinson,
from “The Political Catechism”, 1777




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