President from 1789-1796
By Richard E. Noble
George Washington, well, well ... no wooden teeth, no cherry tree, and it is even questionable whether he actually won the American Revolution or not. If it weren’t for the French joining in at Yorktown, doubling the size of George’s army and providing a navy off shore, Cornwallis probably would never have surrendered.
George may also have been sterile or impotent. His pear shape and particular ailments may have been indicative of a genetic distortion precipitous of this condition. This may explain his marriage of convenience to Martha - no children of their own; and his overwhelming desire to prove himself a brave, courageous leader.
His argumentative and illiterate mother, Mary Washington, didn’t think much of her little boy. She refused to participate in any ceremony honoring little Georgie, and always claimed of being neglected. To Georgie’s embarrassment she actually asked the Virginia legislature, at the height of the Revolutionary war, to come to her financial aid.
George was himself quite meticulous when it came to watching his pennies. Though he asked for no salary as Revolutionary General or as President, his expense accounts are a topic of a good deal of historical inquiry. There are those who contend that it might have been cheaper to pay him a salary after
Some letters show that he may have had a little thing going with a neighbor’s wife, a Mrs. Sally Fairfax. Of course if he was actually impotent, it would have been ... a very little thing, I’d imagine.
One thing does seem to be certain though. George Washington was a brave and fearless warrior. How smart, bright, or tactical a warrior he was, seems to be another matter. His best tactic seemed to be getting beat, but yet surviving long enough to escape overnight in order to come back again to fight on another day. He does seem to be a pretty lucky guy who led a rather charmed life. His marriage to the chubby, affable little widow Martha, made him just about if not, the richest man in the Colonies.
You could say that he was lucky in marriage, lucky in war, and lucky in business, but the truth is he sought out each in a planned determined way. When he decided to be married, they said that he rode all over the state proposing to any super-rich widow who might have him. In his business he was watchful and meticulous, and in war he was brave, courageous, determined, and if not the smartest, a man who learned well from his mistakes.
His greatest fame comes not from what he did, but from what he didn’t do. He was a military leader who won a revolution and didn’t attempt a permanent takeover of power after his victory. Unlike Cromwell, Napoleon, Lenin or Mao tse tung, Castro and who knows who else throughout history, he walked away from the seat of power, and had to be lured back and even begged to take a second term as a lowly president; never mind King or Caesar, or his Royal Majesty or something.
This may not seem to be much to some but it stands as unique in the annuls of human history. And if he didn’t take the reins for those first few years, it does seem that this Republic - for which it stands - might never have come about.