- Washington and Slavery. Documents from the Papers of George Washington and referencing the names and ages of his slaves at Mount Vernon as well as related articles investigating Washington’s role in the controversy over slavery.
- Washington’s Advice on Love & Marriage. Washington’s views expressed through letters of advice to his younger relatives.
- Lafayette’s Visit to America, 1780. Documents from the Papers of George Washington and related links and articles highlighting Lafayette’s arrival and important message to Washington during the Revolutionary War. Also includes current news of a replica reconstruction of the ship Lafayette sailed.
- Royal Gift. Acquired in 1785, Royal Gift was Washington’s prized Spanish donkey.
- The Rules of Civility. These maxims originated in the late sixteenth century in France and were popularly circulated during Washington’s time. Washington wrote out a copy of the 110 Rules in his school book when he was about sixteen years old. This exercise, now regarded as a formative influence in the development of his character, included guidelines for behavior in pleasant company, appropriate actions in formal situations, and general courtesies.
- Lease for Mount Vernon. 17 December 1754, between George Lee, Ann Lee, and George Washington. The annual lease payment of “Fifteen thousand pounds of Tobacco in fifteen Hogsheads” includes a number of slaves whose value was to be deducted “if it should so happen that any…should Die during the said Term.”
Revolutionary War Series
- The Road to Revolution. Selected letters from Washington on the topic of the Stamp Act and possible revolution against Britain, from 1765 to 1775.
- Washington relied on many people for intelligence during the Revolutionary War. One of the persons who took an interest in assisting Washington’s efforts to gather intelligence was William Duer of New York, who opened correspondence on the subject with Washington after the Continental army set up headquarters at Morristown, New Jersey, in early 1777. See Duer to Washington, 2 March and 28 January 1777.
- Correspondence between Major General Charles Lee and George Washington, June 1778, concerning events surrounding the Battle of Monmouth on 28 June 1778.
- Washington’s Revolutionary War Itinerary and the Location of His Headquarters, 1775–1783 A full listing of homes, taverns, mills, and mansions used by Washington as his headquarters during the Revolution, with corresponding dates, cities, and states.
- Making of the Constitution. Washington wrote to Bushrod Washington on 9 November 1787: “The warmest friends to and the best supporters of the Constitution, do not contend that it is free from imperfections; but these were not to be avoided, and they are convinced if evils are likely to flow from them, that the remedy must come thereafter; because, in the present moment it is not to be obtained. And as there is a Constitutional door open for it, I think the people (for it is with them to judge) can, as they will have the aid of experience on their side, decide with as much propriety on the alterations and amendments wch shall be found necessary, as ourselves; for I do not conceive that we are more inspired—have more wisdem—or possess more virtue than those who will come after us.”
- Washington and the Barbary Coast Pirates. A collection of documents, maps, and links pertaining to the pirates of the Barbary Coast of North Africa. These selected items explore the ongoing problem and subsequent actions taken during Washington’s administration.
- Annual Addresses to Congress. Washington delivered his first State of the Union address in the Senate chambers on 8 January 1790. According to Sen. William Maclay’s account “The President was dressed in a second Mourning, and . . . read his speech well. the senate headed by their President were on his right The House of Representatives . . . with their Speaker were on his left his [official] Family with the Heads of Departments attended. the business was soon over and the Senate were left alone.”
- Washington’s Presidential Vetoes. George Washington was the first president to veto Congressional legislation, exercising that prerogative once in each of his administrations.
George Washington’s presidency had a great effect on the future government, as well as on America’s actions at the time. He made some great decisions, whereas some others might not have been the best for our country at the time. The nation was just starting out at the time, and he had to choose which actions would be best for both the current time and the future. He had to set an example through wars, rebellions, and treaties, preserving our country along with his own opinions.
I think one of George Washington’s greater achievements was during the Whiskey Rebellion. He was the first man to send his own army after U.S. citizens at this time. The farmers were killing tax collectors in protest of the whiskey taxes, and George Washington believed it wasn’t an appropriate method of protest. A wig in the time capsules symbolized this action. I think this was a great achievement because Washington set an example by showing the citizens not to go against the government’s decisions.
Another achievement was George Washington’s agreement to move the nation’s capital to Washington D.C. Citizens from the South refused to pay bonds that should have been paid for by the North, so the nation’s capital was moved from New York City to a place that would be more convenient for both areas, and close to the Potomac River. In the time capsule this was represented by a picture of Washington D.C. as the new capital. This was a great achievement because it pleased both areas in the nation at the time, and provided a capital that seemed even more convenient overall.
One of George Washington’s final achievements was included in his farewell speech. Represented in the time capsule by a sign with names of the two current political parties, George Washington mentioned that he didn’t want there to be a division between the two political parties at the time. Today, members of the opposite leading political parties get into major disagreements about their views, and this is the opposite of what Washington wanted. If his words were taken into consideration today, the country would be able to find a happy medium between the Democrat and Republican parties today.
While George Washington had some great achievements, his presidency had some adversities as well. One adversity in particular was when he signed Jay’s Treaty. He didn’t agree with some of it, and thought the British deserved more punishment, but he signed it to get the situation out of the way. If he’d encouraged changes in it and refused to sign, the treaty would end up complying with the average citizen’s opinions, as well as his own. This was represented in the time capsule with a picture of Washington.
A significant event involving adversity was the Battle of Falling Timbers. This battle took place between the United States, Britain, and Indians. George Washington wanted more land to be a part of the country, but the British joined the battle and sided with the Indians. In the end, the United States won, and the British had to pay for the boats they’d taken and damaged. This was represented by a map of Ohio, where the battle took place, and a boat, which showed the damages the British had to pay for.
George Washington faced a lot of pressure when he was President, because he had to make decisions that would influence a great deal of the county in the future. He made some bad decisions, but some of them turned out to be reasonable. It was his job to solve certain problems that required him to carry through with things he didn’t necessarily believe in, and smooth over unfortunate events during his terms as President, but he successfully set a precedent for future traditions and ideas in the government.
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1. George Washington: Achievements and Adversities – time capsule items
2. George Washington vs. Benjamin Franklin
3. Biography of George Washington Carver
4. Honest Graft: The World of George Washington Plunkitt
5. The Writings of George Mason, Eleanor Parker Custis Lewis, and George Washington
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