Last night was the first in a trilogy about our first president, George Washington. We knew nothing about it until our son-in-law, a real history buff, brought it to our attention. I love the way the history channel gives us a different look at things from the past.
When I was a child, George Washington was revered as the father of our country. He could not tell a lie, even when he was confronted about cutting down a cherry tree. He was a great leader, an ethical man and a wealthy land owner.
In this retelling of his life, I learned that his father passed away when George was just a young boy. He had to become the man of the house so wasn’t able to follow the educational venues of the day. Instead he would manage the tobacco farm left to his mother.
George wanted to become an officer in the British army, serving in the colonies. He was inexperienced in leading and in the art of war. Both of those qualities led to some serious encounters and defeats. In an attempt to cover up those embarrassments, he stretched the truth in letters he would later come to regret. So much for a flawless hero.
The pressures launched against the early colonials had to do with Britain not paying good prices for those items exported and taxation without representation. Britain was ruling from afar and could do whatever they pleased with these new settlers. At least that was the opinion of King George.
The series is well done. It creates amazing pictures for us to lay our eyes on. The glory of colonial America at its very beginning shines through. The agricultural fields, the fancy ball gowns and superior manners – the mud filled battlefields, covered with dead and ravaged bodies. We hear about the part the French played in this saga, along with the native people who aligned themselves with them.
Washington was a tall man for his time, standing at 6’4″ he was an impressive looking fellow. He was also deemed quite handsome. He fell in love with Martha and they were married, but George’s service to his country took him away from Mt. Vernon for much of their early years together.
We often place our founding fathers on pedestals. It’s sometimes good for us to see that these heroes were mere men with flaws like everyone of us. I look forward to the rest of the series and highly recommend it.