George Washington: A Biographical Companion
By Frank E. Grizzard, Jr.
Published by ABC-CLIO, May 2002
The Real George Washington
Few, if any, Americans have so completely dominated their era as did George Washington. Yet, what do we really know about the silent dignified figure who appears on the one-dollar bill universally known as the "Father of His Country" other than often-repeated tales about him cutting down the cherry tree, having wooden teeth, and refusing to become king? Who can tell us who George Washington really was?
Frank E. Grizzard, Jr., can. As senior associate editor of The Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia, Grizzard knows the man behind the legends. And he has used his command of Washington's papers to write George Washington: A Biographical Companion, the first encyclopedic work devoted exclusively to the most important figure in 18th-century America.
Most of the 250+ entries in this illustrated A-Z volume are based on primary sources, incorporating Washington's own words and those of his contemporaries where possible. Scholars, students, and history enthusiasts will find an array of useful and interesting essays on a wide variety of subjects.
Read about Washington's military service in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, and the so-called Quasi-War against France; about his fellow officers and aides-de-camp; and about important events such as the Newburg Conspiracy and the formation of the Society of the Cincinnati.
Learn about Washington's political service in the Virginia House of Burgesses, at the Constitutional Convention, and during his two terms as President, including the formation of his Cabinet, the establishment of the Federal City on the banks of the Potomac, the emergence of the Federalist Party, and the quashing of the Whiskey Rebellion.
Explore Washington's entrepreneurial ventures in farming, distilling, and fishing; his land investment schemes that included settling his western lands, draining the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia, and purchasing tracts of lands in New York and the Mississippi delta; and his push for internal improvements such as opening navigation on the Potomac, James, and Kanawha Rivers.
Discover unfamiliar material about his home and family life at Popes Creek, Ferry Farm, and Mount Vernon and about members of the Washington, Custis, and Lewis families as well as the enslaved population on his plantations.
Entries cover little-known facts and well-worn myths about his:
Coat of arms
The magnitude of Washington's papers (more than 135,000 letters!), the complexity of events in which he was involved, and the number of surviving artifacts surrounding Washington's life can be overwhelming to the would-be student. Yet the comprehensive George Washington presents accurate and accessible information in an easy-to-use format.
Serious scholars and armchair historians alike will value the selected writings, bibliography, chronology, Washington genealogy, and index provided in George Washington. They'll also appreciate getting to know the real George Washington, perhaps the first person in the country with a clear vision of a unified America as timely now as it was then.
Copy presented to Congressman Bob Goodlatte, 6th Virginia District, at Waynesboro Town Hall Meeting.
Interview with Chris Graham of The Augusta Free Press
Interview with Christopher Truscott of The News Leader
George Washington: A Biographical Companion Nominated for the Library of Virginia Annual Literary Awards!
Frank E. Grizzard, Jr., is senior associate editor of The Papers of George Washington at the University of Virginia and editor of several volumes of the Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series. He is now preparing a comprehensive edition of Washington's Financial Papers.
Contact: Tara Guentz, Publicist
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