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Further information: "George Washington and slavery
This 19th-century engraving is a depiction of Washington supervising his slaves at Mount Vernon.

The survival of the "United States in large part depended on the actions of "George Washington, the dynamic leader in the "American Revolution and the country's first "President. Washington believed that the institution of slavery on its own would eventually die out and be replaced by an industrial revolution that was beginning to emerge in the Northern states.

Prior to the American Revolution, Washington never displayed any animosity towards slavery. His views on slavery were modified during the Revolution, between 1775 and 1784, having been influenced by the "egalitarian belief that men were born with "natural rights. Washington also discovered during the Revolution that free blacks who served in the "Revolutionary Army could match the industry, "dedication, and "courage exhibited by white soldiers. [11] In 1794, while President, to resolve his dilemma over slavery, Washington attempted to lease property at "Mount Vernon to English farmers on the condition that former slaves would work as paid free laborers. This idea had been postulated to Washington by a young French abolitionist, "Marquis de Lafayette, in a 1784 meeting at "Mt. Vernon. However, the plan proved to be improbable and no buyers could be found to purchase the land. Although Washington himself could have freed his own slaves and paid them as workers, he never did. According to historians, his death in 1799 under his new will in essence condemned Mt. Vernon to ruin and was in effect an act of "atonement for Washington's lifetime involvement in human "exploitation. Martha voluntarily freed Washington's slaves in 1800, sixteen months prior to her own death.[11]

George Washington by Charles Willson Peale, c. 1776

Monuments and memorials[edit]

List of monuments dedicated to George Washington

Washington's face and image are often used as national symbols of the United States, along with the icons such as the flag and great seal. Perhaps the most pervasive commemoration of his legacy is the use of his image on the "one-dollar bill and the "quarter-dollar coin. Washington, together with "Theodore Roosevelt, "Thomas Jefferson, and "Abraham Lincoln, is depicted in stone at the "Mount Rushmore Memorial.

Starting with victory in their Revolution, there were many proposals to build a monument to Washington. After his death, Congress authorized a suitable memorial in the national capital, but the decision was reversed when the Democratic-Republicans took control of Congress in 1801. The Democratic-Republicans were dismayed that Washington had become the symbol of the Federalist Party; furthermore, the values of Republicanism seemed hostile to the idea of building monuments to powerful men.[12] Further political squabbling, along with the North-South division on the Civil War, blocked the completion of the Washington Monument until the late 19th century. By that time, Washington had the image of a national hero who could be celebrated by both North and South, and memorials to him were no longer controversial.[13] Predating the obelisk on the National Mall by several decades, the "first public memorial to Washington was built by the citizens of "Boonsboro, Maryland, in 1827.[14]

Construction on the George Washington portrait at "Mount Rushmore, c. 1932.

Many things have been "named in honor of Washington. George Washington is the namesake of the nation's capital, "Washington, D.C., and the state of "Washington, the only state to be named for a president. The "Washington Monument, one of the most well-known American landmarks, was built in his honor. A variety of "colleges and universities, throughout the United States, are named for George Washington. The "United States Navy has "named three ships after Washington. The "George Washington Bridge, which extends between "New York City and "New Jersey, and the "palm tree genus "Washingtonia, are also named after him. A bronze statue of Washington stands in "London at the "National Gallery, a gift from the Commonwealth of Virginia.[15]

There are many other "Washington Monuments" in the United States, including two well-known equestrian statues, one in Manhattan and one in Richmond, Virginia. The first statue to show Washington on horseback was dedicated in 1856 and is located in Manhattan's Union Square.[16] The second statue is known as either the Virginia Washington Monument or as the George Washington Equestrian Statue[17] and was unveiled in 1858.[17][18] It was the second American statue of Washington on horseback[18] but figures prominently in the official seal of the Confederate States of America.[17][19]

A "marble statue of Washington was made from life by sculptor "Jean-Antoine Houdon, and now sits in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia. A duplicate, one of 22 bronze exact replicas,[20] was given to the British in 1921 by the Commonwealth of Virginia and now stands in front of the "National Gallery at "Trafalgar Square.[21]

"Washington Square Arch (1892) in "Washington Square Park, NYC, is perhaps the nation's most prominent monument celebrating the centennial of Washington's inauguration.

In 1917 the "886 Washingtonia "asteroid was named in his honor.


List of places named for George Washington

Many places and entities have been "named in honor of Washington. Washington's name became that of the nation's capital, Washington, D.C., one of two national capitals across the globe to be named after an American president (the other is "Monrovia, Liberia). The state of "Washington is the only state to be named after a United States president.[22] "George Washington University and "Washington University in St. Louis were named for him, as was "Washington and Lee University (once Washington Academy), which was renamed due to Washington's large endowment in 1796. "Washington College in "Chestertown, Maryland (established by Maryland state charter in 1782) was supported by Washington during his lifetime with a 50 "guineas pledge,[23] and with service on the college's Board of Visitors and Governors until 1789 (when Washington was elected president).[24] According to the US Census Bureau's 1993 geographic data, Washington is the 17th most common street name in the United States,[25] and the only person's name so honored among the twenty most-common street names.[a]

Centennial celebration[edit]

President Harrison rowed ashore at Wall Street, April 29, 1889.
Washington Inaugural Celebration, 1889, New York. Parade passing Union Square on Broadway.

The centennial anniversary of Washington's inauguration as President fell on April 30, 1889. In observance of the occasion President "Benjamin Harrison followed the itinerary of one hundred years before, from the Governor's mansion in New Jersey to the foot of "Wall Street, in New York City, to old Saint Paul's Church, on Broadway, and to the site where the first Chief Magistrate first took the oath of office. Three days were a round of naval, military, and industrial parades, with music, oratory, pageantry, and festivities. For this Centennial Whittier composed an ode. The venerable "S. F. Smith, who had written "America" fifty-seven years before, was also inspired by the occasion to pen a Century Hymn, and to add to "America" the stanza:[26]

Our joyful hearts today,
Their grateful tribute pay,
Happy and free,
After our toils and fears,
After our blood and tears,
Strong with our hundred years,
O God, to Thee.

Currency and postage[edit]

The image of Washington has always been commonplace on U.S. currency and postage stamps.


Postage stamps[edit]

U.S. presidents on U.S. postage stamps and "History of Virginia on stamps
"Benjamin Franklin and "George Washington: The First U.S. Postage Stamps, Issued 1847: The first stamp issues were authorized by an act of Congress and approved on March 3, 1847.[27]

Washington, along with "Benjamin Franklin, appeared on the "nation's first postage stamps in 1847. Since that time Washington has appeared on many postage issues, more than all other presidents combined.[28]

Washington's victory over Cornwallis at the Battle of Yorktown was commemorated with a two-cent stamp on the battle's 150th anniversary on October 19, 1931.[29] The 150th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution with George Washington as presiding officer was celebrated with a three-cent issue on September 17, 1937, was adapted from the painting by Julius Brutus Stearns.[30] Washington's presidential inauguration at Federal Hall in New York City was celebrated on its 150th anniversary on April 30, 1939.[31]

Video games[edit]

George Washington is featured in modern video games as a prominent fictionalized character from world history in "Age of Empires III, "Civilization V and "Assassin's Creed III (as himself in game and a counter-history King in DLC). These games are discussed in Winnerling and Kershbaumer's Early Modernity and Video Games explaining that the player manipulating the games' semiotic system of communications thereby "gives insights in his historical consciousness."[32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The rest of the Top 20 street names are all descriptive (Hill, View and so on), arboreal (Pine, Maple, etc.) or numeric (Second, Third, etc.).


  1. ^ David Hackett Fischer (2006). Washington's Crossing. Oxford UP. p. 446. 
  2. ^ George Washington Biography. Retrieved on 20 October 2008.
  3. ^ The earliest known image in which Washington is identified as such is on the cover of the circa 1778 "Pennsylvania German almanac (Lancaster: Gedruckt bey Francis Bailey). This identifies Washington as "Landes Vater" or Father of the Land.
  4. ^ Gordon Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1992), pp 105–06; Edmund Morgan, The Genius of George Washington (1980), pp 12–13; Sarah J. Purcell, Sealed With Blood: War, Sacrifice, and Memory in Revolutionary America (2002) p. 97; Don Higginbotham, George Washington (2004); Ellis, 2004
  5. ^ Farington, Joseph (1922). Greig, James, ed. The Farington Diary, vol. i. London: Hutchinson. p. 278. , entry for December 28 1799.
  6. ^ "Smithsonian Institution entry on Franklin's cane
  7. ^ Jefferson to Washington Apr 16, 1784
  8. ^ Promotion order of George Washington, Military Personnel Records Center (""Image:Orders 31-3.jpg and ""Image:Orders 31-3 Cover Letter.jpg).
  9. ^ Jensen (1948, pp. 178–179)
  10. ^ Unger (2013, pp. 61, 146)
  11. ^ a b Ferling (2000), Setting the World Ablaze, pages 274–277
  12. ^ Cohen, Sheldon S. (April 1991). "Monuments to Greatness: George Dance, Charles Polhill, and Benjamin West's Design for a Memorial to George Washington". Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 99 (2): 187–203. "JSTOR 4249215. 
  13. ^ Savage, Kirk (2009). Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape. Berkeley,Calif: Univ.of California Press. pp. 32–45. "ISBN "978-0-520-25654-5. 
  14. ^ "Washington Monument State Park". Annapolis, MD: Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved December 11, 2010. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "July 4th Marks 150th Anniversary of the Dedication Of Union Square's George Washington Monument". City of New York Parks & Recreation. 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c "The George Washington Equestrian Monument". The Virginia State Capitol History Project. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Virginia Washington Monument". National Park Service. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  19. ^ "The Great Seal of the Confederacy". Home of the American Civil War. June 1, 2002. Retrieved January 18, 2011. 
  20. ^ "The addition of the statue of President George Washington to the National Statuary Hall Collection". Office of the Clerk, US House of Representatives. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Houdon Statue of George Washington". The GW and Foggy Bottom Encyclopedia. December 21, 2006. Retrieved August 24, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Map of Washington". Worldatlas. Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  23. ^ "George Washington's 50 Guinea Draft". Philadelphia: "C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. December 23, 1782. Archived from the original on June 9, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Board of Visitors and Governors". Chestertown, Maryland: "Washington College. Archived from the original on August 19, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Most Common U.S. Street Names". Washington, D.C.: "National League of Cities. 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Andrews, E. Benjamin (1912). History of the United States. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 
  27. ^ "U.S. Postage Stamps". Publication 100 - The United States Postal Service - An American History 1775 - 2006. USPS. May 2007. Retrieved 29 December 2011. 
  28. ^ Kloetzel, James E., ed. (2009). Scott 2010 Specialized Catalogue of United States Stamps & Covers. Sidney, Ohio: Scott Pub. Co. "ISBN "978-0-89487-446-8. 
  29. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., Yorktown Issue, "National Postal Museum online.
  30. ^ Trotter, Gordon T., [3c Constitution Sesquicentennial plate block of four Constitution Sesquicentennial Issue], National Postal Museum online.
  31. ^ Haimann, Alexander T., Washington Inauguration Issue, National Postal Museum online.
  32. ^ Winnerling, Tobias and Kershbaumer, Florian. Early Modernity and Video Games. "ISBN 978-1-44-386234-9, p. 70, 106, 148, 160.
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