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George Washington



  • Did George Washington Have an Enslaved Son?

    West Ford founded the freedmen's town of Gum Springs near Mount Vernon in 1833. Today a preservation effort to protect the town is tied to a bitter conflict with Mount Vernon over whether West Ford was also the unacknowledged son of George Washington. 


  • George Washington and the Legacy of the Flexible Cabinet

    by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

    The Presidential Cabinet, and its flexible relationship to the chief executive and the work of the executive branch, is the most important legacy of the Washington presidency. It has served some administrations well and been the ruin of others. 



  • There’s a Very Good Reason ‘Washington Slept Here’

    by Nathaniel Philbrick

    "Today the phrase 'Washington slept here' is a historical joke, but during the two years of intermittent travel at the beginning of his presidency, all those nights spent in taverns and homes across the country were essential to establishing an enduring Union."



  • The Long History of Vaccine Mandates

    by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

    President Biden's recent call for mandatory vaccination for federal workers follows the precedent set by George Washington's order to inoculate the Continental Army for smallpox.


  • Vaccine Skeptics Should Heed George Washington’s Example

    by Robert Brent Toplin

    With the American Revolution hanging in the balance, Washington ordered the mass inoculation of the Continental Army against a smallpox pandemic. Would today's vaccine skeptics accuse him of trampling freedom? 



  • We, the Nation, Born Under This Tree

    by Sean Cleary

    A speech of Edward Everett and a painting by N.C. Wyeth create a mythical founding moment of an American nation conceived as a white homeland. 



  • From Washington to Trump: What Is Dereliction of Duty?

    by Lindsay Chervinsky

    Public ideas of the presidential duty to defend the nation against foreign and domestic enemies have evolved over two centuries; if Donald Trump had been president in 1793, his response to a pandemic wouldn't have cost him reelection.   



  • How George Washington Didn’t Lead

    Historians Lindsay Chervinsky, Noemie Emery, David Head and Craig Bruce Smith offer reflections in a virtual forum on the first president's leadership.


  • Advice to POTUS 46 from POTUS 1

    by David O. Stewart

    The author of a recent political biography of George Washington wonders how the first president would guide the most recent one. 



  • ‘George Washington’ Review: Our Founding Politician

    David Stewart's new book on George Washington highlights his political skills and careful work at cultivating allies. Far from being an apolitical leader, Washington was a skilled operator whose greatest achievement was avoiding the stigma of politics. 



  • America’s First Black Regiment Earned Their Freedom by Fighting Against the British

    Philip Morgan says the decision to enlist both free and enslaved Black troops resulted both from Rhode Island's difficulty mustering a sufficient all-white force and George Washington's fear that Lord Dunmore's offer of freedom to enslaved men who joined the British army would undermine the slavery-based economy of Virginia and the southern colonies. 


  • George Washington Resisted the Siren Call of Absolute Power

    by Jan-Benedict Steenkamp

    George Washington is celebrated for his refusal to continue past two terms as President. But his earlier actions in refusing the leadership of a military coup against the Continental Congress in 1783 put the new nation on track to have civilian leadership under law.