The twenty-second day of February is a national holiday in America because, as everybody knows, it is the
anniversary of George Washington's birthday. All loyal Americans love and honor him, the greatest man in
the history of the Republic.
He was born in 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, where the Potomac River flowed past his father's
farm. The farm-house, called "Wakefield," was burned, but the United States Government built a monument
to mark the place where it stood.
To obviate misunderstanding, it seems well to warn the reader that this book aims only at giving a sketch of
George Washington's life and acts. I was interested to discover, if I could, the human residue which I felt sure
must persist in Washington after all was said. Owing to the pernicious drivel of the Reverend Weems no other
great man in history has had to live down such a mass of absurdities and deliberate false inventions. At last
after a century and a quarter the rubbish has been mostly cleared away, and only those who wilfully prefer to
deceive themselves need waste time over...