Analysis Of Edward G. Lengel 's Inventing George Washington Essay

Analysis Of Edward G. Lengel 's Inventing George Washington Essay

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An original founder and America’s first president, George Washington is easily one of the most important men in the history of this nation. As the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington and his army helped to defend the colonies from the hands of the British and continue the legacy of the American people. In Edward G. Lengel’s Inventing George Washington: America’s Founder, in Myth and Memory, he explores Washington’s legacy through the ages and the affect him and the stories about him had on the American public. In Lengel’s book, he discusses Washington 's contact with the fairer sex, his religious views, or lack thereof, and the light shed on him by the stories and influences of writers.
One of the subjects Lengel writes about is Washington 's love life and the obscurity surrounding it. Washington was seemingly quite the ladies man, flocked by women competing for his attention, especially to dance with at the army balls. It was also rumored he had secret affairs, the “final and most notorious love affair” before he was married, involving a woman by the name of Sally Fairfax. (58) Known as the “‘Belle of Belvoir,’” Sally came from a wealthy and powerful family in Virginia and was married into an even wealthier family. (58) She had many admirers and Washington was only one of them to throw himself at her feet, yet he was the only one she found friendship with. The two spent a vast amount of time together, and Sally taught him a multitude of social skills, some he found useful with his future political career. “There was plenty of opportunity for the two to engage in an affair,” and the young George “most likely fell in love.” (58) He even wrote Sally a letter before his impending marriage to Martha Custis, statin...


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...shington.” (32) Weems was responsible for the myth about young George chopping down the cherry tree, and wrote primarily about his “Christian upbringing, frequent prayers, and spiritual dependence on God,” and his relationship with his father, Augustine. (32) His Washington was someone even the common man could relate to, “reminding them that a human being…breathed within the marble statue.” (34) George Lippard was another who transformed the image of Washington, reimagining the “stuffy Washington legend with robust doses of frenetic action” into something more “brave, muscular, and always getting into trouble.”(44, 46) His stories were very descriptive and always depicted Washington in death defying situations, one involving the battle of Germantown, the Continentals escaping from British fire whilst a house burns in the background. On the contrary, James Flexner’s

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