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Washington: A Life
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PRESIDENTIAL SERIES > WE ARE OPEN - WEEK TWO - SPOTLIGHT - Presidential Series - WASHINGTON, A LIFE - October 3rd - October 9th - Chapters SIX through Chapters TWELVE - 63 - 135 - No Spoilers, Please

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message 1: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Hello Everyone,

For the week of October 3rd - October 9th, we are reading the Chapters Six through Twelve of Washington, A Life by Ron Chernow.

The second week's reading assignment is:

Week Two - October 3rd - October 9th
Chapter Six - Twelve - (pages 63 - 135)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book is being kicked off on September 26th.

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, local bookstore or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up October 3rd.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be moderating this discussion and Assisting Moderators Teri, Jill, and Samanta will be backups.

Welcome,

~Bentley

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Also the citation thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction Thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please. We will be adding to this thread as we read along.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - SPOILER THREAD

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Washington A Life by Ron Chernow by Ron Chernow Ron Chernow


message 2: by Teri (last edited Oct 04, 2016 08:07PM) (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Everyone, for the week of October 3rd - October 9th, we are reading the Chapter(s) 6 - 12 of Washington: A Life

The second week's reading assignment is:

Week Two - October 3rd - October 9th
Chapter(s) Six - Twelve - pages 63 - 135

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 6: The Soul of an Army
In 1755 Washington was appointed supreme commander of forces in Virginia. He immediately had issues and found it impossible to command horses and find men willing to fight. Washington wanted a royal commission. Washington takes sick.

Chapter 7: A Votary to Love
Washington becomes owner of Mount Vernon. Washington immediately began to rebuild the farm into a large plantation. Washington flirts with Sally Fairfax, but began courting Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow with two children, in the spring of 1758. Later that year Washington corresponds with Sally to tell her he was engaged to Martha. Sally remained a good friend to George and Martha.

Chapter 8: Darling of a Grateful Country
Washington ran and won a seat in the Frederick County House of Burgesses. He became embroiled in a disagreement on an approach to Fort Duquesne. An attack ended in disaster for Washington. Fort Duquesne was destroyed. Washington retired from the military.

Chapter 9: The Man of Mode
George and Martha married in January of 1759. Marriage to Martha included an estate belonging to the two Custis children and Washington became executor. He was assigned to the Committee on Propositions and Grievances.

Chapter 10: A Certain Species of Property
Washington was a slave owner. The slave population at Mount Vernon more than doubled when he married Martha. Washington felt he was a good and kind slaveholder, providing good food, cloths, and housing, and asked his overseers to be kind with sick slaves.

Chapter 11: The Prodigy
Washington was a strong man who attracted women. He was a sociable man who enjoyed attending dances.

Chapter 12: Providence
Washington began to gain a standing in the community. He won a seat in the House of Burgesses in the fall of 1760.


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2016 04:14PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
We begin this week's discussion with Chapter Six - The Soul of an Army

The chapter begins:

"The disgraceful defeat of Edward Braddock exposed the vulnerability of western Virginia to attack. Every time the Indians staged a raid in the Shenandoah Valley, terrified British settlers streamed back across the Blue Ridge Mountains to the safety of older settlements. By mid-August 1755, the assembly in Williamsburg voted forty thousand pounds to protect the colony from such threats, and Washington's name was bandied about as the favored candidate to command a newly constituted Virginia Regiment. Evidently the mere prospect that Washington might be appointed elicited resistance from Mary Washington, for George sent her a terse note, justifying his impending decision and holding his blazing temper in check, if barely. After his customary "Honored Madam," he went on: "If it is in my power to avoid going to Ohio again, I shall. But [if] the command is pressed upon me by the general voice of the country and offered upon such terms as can't be objected against, it would reflect dishonor upon me to refuse it and that, I am sure, must, or ought, to give you greater cause of uneasiness than my going in an honorable com[man]d." One notes the pointed rebuke tucked into that word "ought." Everyone in the colony seemed to cheer on George Washington as a bona fide hero except his own mother.

Introductory Question(s):

1. What does this introductory paragraph tell the reader about the state of affairs in the colonies and in Virginia at that time? What were some of the fears and threats and why?

2. What is the relationship between George Washington and Edward Braddock, George Washington and his mother Mary Washington, and George Washington and the Virginia Assembly?

3. What can we, the readers, glean from George's interactions as to his personality, temperament and thought processes (his decision making skills)? Do you think that George's ambition over reached his experience? Why or why not?


General Edward Braddock

Some interesting information on Braddock and some excerpted videos
Source: Alchetron - http://alchetron.com/Edward-Braddock-...

General Braddock Defeated from History Today - http://www.historytoday.com/richard-c...


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2016 05:29PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Discussion Questions:

1. The disgraceful defeat of Edward Braddock showed the vulnerability of Western Virginia. Williamsburg wanted protection and the Virginia Regiment appeared to be the answer to this desire for protection. Were the Virginians justified in their fears? Was Washington a good choice or the best choice for the position? Discuss the pros and cons of that decision.

2. Were you particularly surprised by Washington's penchant for classy uniforms with all of the regalia and elegance of style? Why or why not?

3. How did Washington's rigid and tough methods for handling deserted men surprise you? Did you feel that his methods were cruel or unjust? Why or why not?

4. What did Washington observe was the "soul of the army"? In what ways do you agree, in what ways do you disagree?

5. How were his military leadership tactics and operations reminiscent of his mother's tutelage?

6. What kind of reputation did Washington acquire with his "rough recruiting methods"?

7. How surprised were you that Washington actually went behind the back of Dinwiddie? Did you feel that it was underhanded and was not something that you would think that he would do? Did it change or alter your initial impression of GW?

8. In what ways were Washington's complaints about the unfairness of the British military toward American colonists and those British subjects serving in America - the first indication that the British colonists were treated vastly different than British subjects were in mother England?

Did this mistreatment and inequality spawn other uproars over mistreatment and unfair practices against the colonists? Why or why not?

Did this mistreatment by the English king against its British subjects here in America make them feel that they were second class citizens without the rights and the representation that they would have had living in England?

Did all of this lead to the resentment which fueled the American Revolution and how surprised were you that George Washington would be the selected leader?

9. Did you feel that a man that survived bullets being fired directly at him, smallpox, pleurisy, malaria, as well as dysentary might be destined for greater things? Or was he just incredibly lucky? Or maybe both?

The Virginia Regiment Uniform:
http://web.hardynet.com/~gruber/vareg...

Good video on Early War Experience:
http://www.biography.com/people/georg...

Source(s): Hardynet, Biography.com


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2016 03:39PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod

George Washington rallying the broken forces at the Battle of Monongahela on July 9, 1755 - Emanuel Leutze’s “Washington at the Battle of Monongahela.”

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: - http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/O...


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2016 04:15PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Battle of the Monongahela

Following the British failure to capture Fort Duquesne in 1754, British authorities assigned General Edward Braddock the task of venturing to the Forks of the Ohio and removing the French presence from the region. Accompanying Braddock on the expedition was George Washington, who served as aide-de-camp. Although only a volunteer, Washington played an instrumental role in saving Braddock’s army from utter annihilation during the French and Indian War, thereby restoring Washington's reputation as a competent leader after his defeat at Fort Necessity the previous year.

More: http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-en...

Source: Mount Vernon site


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Sprang & The Braddock Sash

See Youtube Video - https://youtu.be/WoFMeGNshcM

Learn more about the 18th century weaving technique called sprang and how it was used to make a replica of the Braddock Sash. The Braddock Sash was a Spring Sash and is a Scandinavian term used to refer to a variety of open work textiles. It is now referred to as a type of braiding where you have a mirror image created.





Source: Mount Vernon and Youtube


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2016 04:57PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
For those of you who want to understand the French and Indian War (what it was called here in North America) and the Seven Year's War (what it was called overseas - the first truly global war in which the British and the French competed to be the world's foremost imperial power) - a good way to do that is on Khan Academy - free instruction and videos. It boils it down.

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanitie...

There are 8 videos in the section called the Road to Revolution.

Source: Khan Academy (it is all free)


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Also a special thank you to Assisting Moderator Teri who helped me by getting weekly non spoiler threads up in advance ready to be opened.

Very helpful.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2016 05:34PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
This is from the Mount Vernon site - Braddock's Defeat: Interview with David Preston
http://www.mountvernon.org/george-was...

Braddock's Defeat The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution by David L. Preston by David L. Preston (no photo)

Synopsis:

Finalist for the 2016 George Washington Book Prize. On July 9, 1755, British regulars and American colonial troops under the command of General Edward Braddock, commander in chief of the British Army in North America, were attacked by French and Native American forces shortly after crossing the Monongahela River and while making their way to besiege Fort Duquesne in the Ohio Valley, a few miles from what is now Pittsburgh. The long line of red-coated troops struggled to maintain cohesion and discipline as Indian warriors quickly outflanked them and used the dense cover of the woods to masterful and lethal effect. Within hours, a powerful British army was routed, its commander mortally wounded, and two-thirds of its forces casualties in one the worst disasters in military history which altered the balance of power in America, and escalated the fighting into a global conflict known as the Seven Years' War.

Source: Mount Vernon


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 02, 2016 05:41PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Ten Facts about George Washington and the French and Indian War

http://www.mountvernon.org/george-was...

Washington and the French & Indian War

http://www.mountvernon.org/george-was...

The Journal of Major George Washington

In 1753, young George Washington was appointed to the delicate and difficult assignment on the northwestern frontier of the colony. When he completes his assignment, he is told to prepare his report in writing. The resulting pamphlets is one of the rarest publications in American history. This book was made from one of the eight existing copies that were printed on William Hunter's press. Read the report that brought George Washington a measure of early fame and a reputation that was to grow steadily greater.

Journal of Major George Washington by George Washington by George Washington George Washington

Available as well on the Mount Vernon Site

Source: Mount Vernon


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Folks this thread is open for discussion - just simply look at the discussion questions above and just jump right in and post your responses, thoughts, questions and any thing else you would like to discuss about the assigned reading for this week or the weeks before.

You just cannot discuss anything beyond page 135 on this week's non spoiler thread. But there are spoiler threads opened up where you can - the Glossary thread, the Bibliography thread, the Book as a Whole thread which are all "spoiler" threads.

If you would like to discuss something else in this week's reading just post your thoughts here. All of us love reading your posts and it makes the discussion and reading that more exciting, fun and relatable.


message 13: by Teri (last edited Oct 03, 2016 03:27PM) (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Just getting started on this week's read. I am so impressed with how clearly Chernow paints us a picture of Washington, both physically and in personality.

Washington proved heroic in Braddock's defeat and VA needed someone that would lead them. His mother seemed the only one that didn't want to support him. Yet I get a sense of him feeling inadequate since he's not been formally educated.

So you have this picture of him and then you see him being flirtatious and definitely wanting to look the part of the proper military man. He was concerned with the way he dressed, and the way he looked (those poor teeth).

As much as I enjoy reading about his military pursuit, I'm enjoying reading about his human side. Reading on....


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 03, 2016 06:27PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
I think Teri that his mother is getting a bum's rush here. You know you could tell she loved him and worried about him I think and she had already lost her husband - so losing her son would be devastating. Yes, she probably went overboard with her protective ways but I think she was anxious and worried about him nonetheless but Chernow clearly did not appreciate her.

Yes, his poor teeth indeed. I am enjoying the juxtaposition of both too.


message 15: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Oh agreed. The tone of his mail to her makes it seem like he was frustrated with her. and I assume that is because he felt she was not a support to him. Do you think that is Chernow's opinion coming through, then?


message 16: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) In the first part of chapter six, we read about Washington using capital punishment in the cases of mutiny, desertion, etc. I don't know how many members joining this conversation read Blood of Tyrants with us, but I remember in that book that Logan Beirne made it sound like Washington was reluctant to use capital punishment, but ultimately made the call that he had to. Chernow portrays Washington as a stronger willed person than Beirne. He doesn't seem reluctant at all. Am I remembering this wrong?

Blood of Tyrants George Washington & the Forging of the Presidency by Logan Beirne by Logan Beirne Logan Beirne


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Teri wrote: "Oh agreed. The tone of his mail to her makes it seem like he was frustrated with her. and I assume that is because he felt she was not a support to him. Do you think that is Chernow's opinion coming..."


Yes I do - every historian no matter how much they try to remain neutral has a bias and an hypothesis they are trying to prove.


message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Teri wrote: "In the first part of chapter six, we read about Washington using capital punishment in the cases of mutiny, desertion, etc. I don't know how many members joining this conversation read Blood of Tyr..."

No you are not. I remembered that too - this almost seems like a different man.


Pamela (winkpc) | 621 comments Bentley wrote: "Teri wrote: "Oh agreed. The tone of his mail to her makes it seem like he was frustrated with her. and I assume that is because he felt she was not a support to him. Do you think that is Chernow's ..."

I think Mary Ball Washington was probably a pretty severe mother. Chernow isn't the only historian to portray her that way. I don't mean unloving or hateful; she probably just felt that being too soft wouldn't help her children to face the struggles of life in that age. Kinda of - if I praise them too much they'll quit striving - type.

Here are links to a couple of blogs that take a tongue in cheek look at Mary.

http://ploddingthroughthepresidents.b...

http://carlanthonyonline.com/2015/05/...


message 20: by Teri (new) - added it

Teri (teriboop) Those are great blog posts, Pamela! Very helpful for understanding their relationship more. I now have an interesting picture of Washington in my head, reading the letter from his mother amid all kinds of warfare with a "Are you kidding me? You want butter NOW?" look on his face.


Pamela (winkpc) | 621 comments I did think that letter sounded a lot like "since it's on your way could you stop at the store and bring me..."


message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Pamela wrote: "Bentley wrote: "Teri wrote: "Oh agreed. The tone of his mail to her makes it seem like he was frustrated with her. and I assume that is because he felt she was not a support to him. Do you think th..."

Thank you Pamela - you may want to add them to the glossary thread as well


Harmke Thanks Pamela for the reads, they are great.

After reading chapter 6 I wrote down in my little notebook that Washington was a very idle man. Everything had to look good: his uniform, his servants, his soldiers, their behaviour as a regiment. You almost think it was a show regiment for there is almost no mention of fighting here. There even is a whole chapter on Washingtons sense for good looks (9. Man of Mode).

I guess he knew the benefits of his own youth, because it was a kind of Prussian discipline that he wanted in his regiment. I was not suprised by his tough methods. It was very rationalized and based on his strong beliefs in discipline and high moral standards.

I also noted 'arrogant': his regiment and his rules were sort of perfect. He was very hotheaded if anyone dared to think otherwise or did have the impertinence not giving him proper reward (payment, promotion, etc.).


message 24: by Steve (last edited Oct 06, 2016 11:10AM) (new)

Steve Jenkins | 39 comments I get the sense that Mary Ball Washington Mother set down some very strict rules and regulations for George. That is probably why George Washington's Military leadership style was also characterized by strict rules and regulations. It is also may be one of the reasons why he wanted such discipline in his unit.


Glynn | 214 comments Bentley wrote: "For those of you who want to understand the French and Indian War (what it was called here in North America) and the Seven Year's War (what it was called overseas - the first truly global war in wh...There are 8 videos in the section called the Road to Revolution."

Thanks Bentley, I enjoyed watching the 2 videos on the French & Indian War (The Seven Years War.) Very informative! Your link sent me to them but I could not find any of the other videos. Only articles about the various "Acts" that Parliament imposed on the colonists.


Savannah Jordan | 94 comments Bentley wrote: "Discussion Questions:

2. Were you particularly surprised by Washington's penchant for classy uniforms with all of the regalia and elegance of style? Why or why not? “.


Yes I was surprised by it. I had thought that the power of his presence needed no embellishment, but usually such people are great talkers and that was definitely not Washington, but Washington had an extraordinary ability to understand human nature and he knew that appearance means a lot particularly if one is a fairly quiet person. Many of us may aver that we are unimpressed by appearance, but the fact is we are. At work, I have seen person after person be promoted because of attractive appearance when their capabilities did not warrant their promotion.

3. How did Washington's rigid and tough methods for handling deserted men surprise you? Did you feel that his methods were cruel or unjust? Why or why not? "

His methods did not surprise me. Those were tough and brutal times. The ordinary person found every day a struggle to survive. Merely putting someone in a stockade would have made no impression. The punishment had to exceed the pain of ordinary life.

4. What did Washington observe was the "soul of the army"? In what ways do you agree, in what ways do you disagree?

He felt that discipline was the soul of the army. I don’t know enough about military life to determine whether it is the preeminent quality needed in the military, but I do know that one cannot accomplish anything that is difficult without having discipline.

5. How were his military leadership tactics and operations reminiscent of his mother's tutelage?

He didn’t express praise easily.

7. How surprised were you that Washington actually went behind the back of Dinwiddie? Did you feel that it was underhanded and was not something that you would think that he would do? Did it change or alter your initial impression of GW?

Did not surprise me nor did it change my opinion of GW. Often times it is necessary to go to someone who is in a higher position than the person with whom one is having a conflict.

9. Did you feel that a man that survived bullets being fired directly at him, smallpox, pleurisy, malaria, as well as dysentary might be destined for greater things? Or was he just incredibly lucky? Or maybe both?

I think that it was destiny not luck. Through quantum mechanics we know that every object has a wave associated with it. I believe extraordinary individuals produce powerful waves which literally alter the path of material objects.


Savannah Jordan | 94 comments Teri wrote: "In the first part of chapter six, we read about Washington using capital punishment in the cases of mutiny, desertion, etc. I don't know how many members joining this conversation read Blood of Tyr..."
On p. 73, an incident in which Washingtnton planned to hang 14 men for desertion is discussed. He changed his mind and pardoned 12 of the men. Sounds like he did show reluctance to execute people.


Carol Dobson | 94 comments I think that uniforms were important to people in the 18th century. It was a matter of pride in their regiment and country to look good. The British, French and German uniforms were extremely smart and Washington's ideas on how soldiers should be dressed came from his experiences fighting with the British army. He was also very particular as a person in how he looked and, of course, had the money and the means to play the part. When he first went to Congress when he was chosen to be Commander-in-Chief of the American Army, his indentured servant, Andrew Judge, made his uniform.
Later, he obviously had to revise his ideas substantially as his army was raggedly clothed and often half-naked.


Carol Dobson | 94 comments Savannah wrote: "Teri wrote: "In the first part of chapter six, we read about Washington using capital punishment in the cases of mutiny, desertion, etc. I don't know how many members joining this conversation read..."
I read somewhere that Washington never attended executions.


message 30: by Carol (last edited Oct 11, 2016 08:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol Dobson | 94 comments Re discussion point 9: Washington had a very robust constitution and was a powerfully built man. Therefore, he was not killed by illnesses which might have been fatal to others. Sometimes also the extent to which you get illnesses relates to the immunity given to you by your parents, (if they, for instance, have had the same illness badly) and not necessarily to that provided by your own body. Also, there can be an element of luck sometimes, but not, I feel, destiny.
His diet was probably good as he came from a farming family and had access to meat, fish and vegetables. This would have helped in the event of a serious illness.
Bullets often didn't kill, or even reach their intended target in those days. The weapons were very inefficient. He had however, I believe, four bullets in his clothes and hat, so I think his lucky star shone on him that day.


Savannah Jordan | 94 comments Carol wrote: "Savannah wrote: "Teri wrote: "In the first part of chapter six, we read about Washington using capital punishment in the cases of mutiny, desertion, etc. I don't know how many members joining this ..."

I know that he did not attend Major Andre's execution, but I am not sure about the others that he ordered.


Carol Dobson | 94 comments I don't know if Washington ever actually ordered an execution. I believe it was generally a committee which would decide, as in the case of Andre. Washington could then decide to reprieve the convicted man, as he did for the Frenchman at Valley Forge, when de Kalb and Lafayette went to see him and pleaded for the man's life.


message 33: by Vincent (last edited Oct 19, 2016 07:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Hi all - sorry to be late

I have looked at your comments and will respond to a few and will look at some of the links - thanks Bentley and Pamela - when I get a chance but for now I add my notes to this section which might be of interest - as I found them worthy of note but maybe only due to my lack of real knowledge and understanding about GW before - I have used GW for George and MW for Martha
--------------
Chapter 6

this shows his interest in recognition of success - clothes may not make the man but to him they seem to confirm the man.

pg 66 para 2 & 3 - shows his management/leadership style - consistent and measured.

also he used the tools of discipline for the British military of that time - whipping and death.

he had his first political defeat - but learned from it - and had to leave the scene ill. -

Chapter 7

pg 76 - so GW decides to change his focus from the military to gentleman farmer. - to show his “success” he seems to continue with conspicuous consumerism for Mt. Vernon as he did with his wardrobe. - same page his motto “the outcome justifies the deed” - results justifies the means? - how he does or does not adhere to this will be interesting as we go forward.

pg 77 para 2 - so he acted as his own architect - so was Jefferson not unusual in acting as a n architect in this - likely not for Monticello but for the University of VA?

pg 78 para 2 - so he was, as I assume most if not all Virginians of his time, enabled by slavery and although he somewhat resisted whipping - as with the military - he permitted it in accordance with the custom of the times. (for him is this ok back to his motto?)

Martha - interesting and seemingly like GW a deliberate person.

pg 79 para 2 - were American crafts and styles so poor as to justify Martha sending a nightgown to be dyed? - a clothes horse like GW?? (who got the big closet or chest?)

pg 83 para 3 - “both used (GW & MW) every moment profitably” - a sign of their suitability for each other.

and then GW seems to break any possible inappropriate interchange with Sally Fairfax - and forge his relationship with Martha for a strong and stable marriage/ life.


Chapter 8 - 1758 - 18 years before the Revolution

pg 87 para 2 - Washington gets to command 2000 men - important experience and was still denied a British commission.

there was a victory over the French but blemished by the friendly fire incident in the endeavor - but Pg 92 - the men and officers are sorry to see GW leave.

he succeeds in winning an seat in the House of Burgesses but I note that pg. 89 para 2 GW got a “poll sheet” and could determine how each person voted. So I am curious when secret ballot came to Virginia.

Chapter 9

So here GW expands his horizons and fits into MWs world it seems and builds a stable family life - family business and takes possession and occupies Mt. Vernon.

pg 101 para 3 - the uncertainty of life and the non secure life expectancy of the time is well illustrated here by MW’s apprehensions. This reminds me that (from I think Undaunted Courage) either Lewis or Clark (Lewis I think) noted that when he left on the his 1804 expedition that it was uncertain if he would ever see his mother again due to the uncertainty of life at the time.

pg 105 para 2 - on his debt to London and the note that this was common of Virginia planters at the time - interesting fact maybe diluting my negative opinion of Thomas Jefferson’s financial problems.

———————————————————-

Chapter 10

this shows us GW as a working farmer reasonable with slave - experimenting with crops etc.

—————————————————————

Chapter 11

in this chapter we have illustrated for us the man of stature, poise, culture, modesty - gifts or acquired traits that made him well suited for his eventual successes - also a bit vain and superior and very active - hunting and parties and theatre.

———————————————————————————————————

Chapter 12

it is 1760 Geo II had died and Geo III will arrive and the house of Burgesses will face new elections.

Pg 128 para 3 GW depicted as “the handpicked candidate of the wealthy” - and the ongoing book makes it obvious he is so much more wealthy than the average or median Virginian -
noting that he tried/succeeded to get the verbal individual voting to begin in his favor to begin his win and his comment pg 129 para 2 that he “dealt little in politics” maybe kills virtue of the cherry tree story

this chapter also reveals an avid and continuous church goer and that GW gave Providence respect - the name of the chapter.

Undaunted Courage The Pioneering First Mission to Explore America's Wild Frontier by Stephen E. Ambrose Stephen E. Ambrose Stephen E. Ambrose


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Harmke wrote: "Thanks Pamela for the reads, they are great.

After reading chapter 6 I wrote down in my little notebook that Washington was a very idle man. Everything had to look good: his uniform, his servants..."


Hi

I really find it hard to think of him at all as "idle" - did I miss something - he was pretty active as I see it


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Carol wrote: "I think that uniforms were important to people in the 18th century. It was a matter of pride in their regiment and country to look good. The British, French and German uniforms were extremely smart..."

I sort of agree but, I forget the chapter etc, that he and his troops went to Indian style dress to be more effective -


Pamela (winkpc) | 621 comments Vincent - I also made note of that ends justifying the means comment. He was such an upright person that I have trouble believing that he meant that the way it sounds. We will see, I guess.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Pamela wrote: "Vincent - I also made note of that ends justifying the means comment. He was such an upright person that I have trouble believing that he meant that the way it sounds. We will see, I guess."

He was young and maybe had a restricted view of possible means used.

I am optimistic - we really need a political hero this year


message 38: by Carol (last edited Oct 20, 2016 01:01AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol Dobson | 94 comments Just picking up on a few of Bentley's points.
Re the army floggings, GW ordered floggings at least as harsh as those given by the British, who were always considered very cruel in this respect by other nations. (It's in Chernow but don't recall the page, he quotes a historian on this). The British soldiers were known by the Americans as the 'bloody backs' for this reason. I read recently that it was the drummers in the American regiments who gave the floggings. I always think of them as rather young little boys, so was rather surprised by this.The very famous soldier who was flogged by the British was Daniel Morgan. He was ordered to have 500 lashes (which often resulted in death, and was also commonly given as a punishment by GW.) but he always said that he only received 499, and so the British owed him one! He would go round his soldiers without his shirt on, the night before battle, showing his men his scars in order to give them a fighting spirit against the enemy. (He understood his men very well and knew that the militia would often run in the face of the British regulars marching towards them, therefore his policy was often to tell his men to fire three shots and then run. He achieved a very deserved success at Cowpens with his unorthodox methods.


Carol Dobson | 94 comments I was initially surprised by Martha sending her dress to be dyed. However, dresses were obviously extremely expensive in those days, so it probably is not odd at all. Martha also was a very careful woman who was actively involved in running her household- her sewing circle etc. Virginian women were evidently very proud of the quality of the smoked bacon they produced, according to GW and Martha was no exception.


Carol Dobson | 94 comments It seems apparent that gentlemen of those times often designed their own houses. I am sure it wasn't just Washington and Jefferson. It seems a shame that they didn't also take time to design better homes for their slaves. They also owned land and so I suspect that Washington was not at all unique in the variety of businesses he conducted on his property- grist mill, fish industry etc.


Harmke Vincent wrote: "Harmke wrote: "Thanks Pamela for the reads, they are great.

After reading chapter 6 I wrote down in my little notebook that Washington was a very idle man. Everything had to look good: his unifor..."


Sorry, my mistake. English is not my first language, so I might use the wrong word sometimes. I meant that his looks were very important to him and that he paid a lot of attention to it.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Harmke wrote: "Vincent wrote: "Harmke wrote: "Thanks Pamela for the reads, they are great.

After reading chapter 6 I wrote down in my little notebook that Washington was a very idle man. Everything had to look ..."


Thanks


message 43: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Folks we will continue this and get caught up - there is no rush and this is a great book - I was just out handling personal situations.


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