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Sons of the Father

Sons of the Father: George Washington and His Protégés

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 320
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    Sons of the Father
    Book Description:

    Whether acting as a military officer or civilian officeholder, George Washington did not possess a reputation for glad handing, easy confidences, or even much warmth. His greatest attributes as a commander might well have been his firm command over his own emotions and the way in which he held himself above if not apart from the men he led. Understanding the full range of Washington's leadership, which embraced all shades of persuasion and coercion as well as multiple modes of command and solicitude, requires the examination of his influence on the lives, careers, and characters of the members of a diverse fraternity of younger men.

    InSons of the Father,leading scholars analyze Washington's relationships with men such as Daniel Morgan, Anthony Wayne, Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, Henry Knox, Nathanael Greene, Gouverneur Morris, Alexander Hamilton, and the Marquis de Lafayette. The men on whom this volume focuses were not all his closest associates. Yet all are important figures in that their interactions with Washington provide glimpses into various aspects of his capacities for management, motivation, control, and the cultivation of talent. The essays in this volume demonstrate Washington's consistency in treating all these men differently, for different reasons, at different times. It was perhaps part of his genius to recognize the individuality of the men with whom he interacted as well as the shifting requirements of changing circumstances.

    Contributors:Fred Anderson (University of Colorado, Boulder) * Theodore J. Crackel (University of Virginia) * William M. Ferraro (University of Virginia) * Jack P. Greene (Johns Hopkins University) * John W. Hall (University of Wisconsin-Madison) * Peter R. Henriques (George Mason University) * Mary-Jo Kline (University of Virginia) * Stuart Leibiger (La Salle University) * L. Scott Philyaw (Western Carolina University) * Thomas Rider (United States Military Academy) * Brian Steele (University of Alabama at Birmingham) * Mary Stockwell (Louisiana State University Shreveport) * Mark Thompson (University of North Carolina at Pembroke)

    eISBN: 978-0-8139-3439-6
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xxvi)
  4. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xxvii-xxx)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    When you read the essays in this volume, I believe you will agree with me that a circle encompassing all of Washington’s “sons” would have to be rather widely drawn. In fact, let me suggest a relational construct that will define several of these characters outside the circle of “sons,” and in two cases even outside the familial circle. These latter two are Daniel Morgan and Robert Kirkwood, men whose relationship with Washington was more that of neighbor than family.

    The remaining figures discussed in this volume can be counted as members of Washington’s extended family, but not nearly all...

  6. George Washington’s Mentors
    (pp. 21-30)

    Young people have always needed older ones to guide them, but if some kindly soul had taken George Washington aside at age sixteen and told him how much he would benefit from having a good “mentor,” he wouldn’t have had a clue what that person was talking about. At least according to theOxford English Dictionary,the earliest recorded use of the word, in the sense of “a person who acts as guide and adviser to another person, esp. one who is younger and less experienced [or] … more generally, a person who offers support and guidance to another; an...

  7. “The Spirit and Ardor of a Veteran Soldier”: George Washington, Daniel Morgan, and the Ideal of Service
    (pp. 31-51)

    George Washington knew Daniel Morgan for many more years than any other “son” under consideration in this volume. While the precise date is unknown, it is probable that Washington and Morgan met during the 1750s while at the approximate ages of twenty-five and twenty-one, respectively—roughly the age of a typical graduate or undergraduate student. It is possible that Washington may have heard of Morgan during Braddock’s campaign; if so, there is no indication of any relationship beyond the acquaintance of fellow townsmen. Nonetheless, that shared experience would have deepened their understanding of one another when they did meet.¹ Both...

  8. Most Loyal but Forgotten Son: Anthony Wayne’s Relationship with George Washington
    (pp. 52-71)

    When Henry Lee, then the governor of Virginia, learned that his friend George Washington had appointed Anthony Wayne as the commander of the army to be sent west to defeat the Indian confederation formed to halt the advance of the Americans across the Ohio River—a confederation that had already destroyed armies serving under Josiah Harmar in 1790 and Arthur St. Clair in 1791—he was furious at the president, and told him so in no uncertain terms. “You cannot be a stranger,” he wrote, “to the extreme disgust which the late appointment to the command of the army excited...

  9. “General Washington Did Not Harbor One Principle of Federalism”: Thomas Jefferson Remembers George Washington
    (pp. 72-98)

    From the earliest decade of the nineteenth century, Americans have always wanted to have their George Washington and their Thomas Jefferson too. Peter Parish has suggested that the National Mall in Washington, D.C., symbolizes America’s “secular trinity”: Washington, the Father; Abraham Lincoln, the Son; and Jefferson, the “guiding spirit.”¹ But for this analogy to work, Washington and Lincoln have needed to get right, as it were, with the spirit. Lincoln was able to do this actively and more or less consciously, accommodating Jeffersonianism to the Market Revolution and wrenching Jeffersonian antislavery from conditional termination toward the positive liberty that produced...

  10. George Washington and James Monroe: Military Compatriots, Political Adversaries, and Nationalist Visionaries
    (pp. 99-120)

    James Monroe, born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on April 28, 1758, was more than twenty-six years younger than George Washington, who was born in the same county in February 1732. Given Washington’s stature in Virginia for his accomplishments as a colonial army officer and his participation in colonial assemblies, it is likely that Monroe knew of him by reputation before seeing, and probably meeting, the older man in the first year of the Revolutionary War, during battles around New York City and in New Jersey. Years later, in 1822, President Monroe pointed toward Washington as “an example to the world...

  11. Guns of the Revolution: Henry Knox, George Washington, and the War of American Independence
    (pp. 121-148)

    On July 6, 1775, Washington for the first time looked upon the army that Congress had recently adopted and placed under his command. What he saw this day must have caused him to pause at the enormity of the task before him. The new Continental Army, the primary means by which he was supposed to counter superior British regulars, was a motley collection of inexperienced and unprepared citizens turned soldiers. The troops were undisciplined and ill-trained, arms and supplies were insufficient, and defenses were inadequate. Washington confessed that these problems made his life “one continued round of a[nnoyance] & f[at]igue.”¹


  12. “My Favorite Officer”: George Washington’s Apprentice, Nathanael Greene
    (pp. 149-168)

    George Washington might have considered November 16, 1776, the worst day in what had already been a very bad year. Happy memories of American victories around Boston faded in late summer and early autumn as British forces embarrassed the Americans on Long Island and then outmaneuvered them on Manhattan, turning the Continentals out of one position after another and compelling the abandonment of New York City. By late October, Washington ceded the rest of the island save a single post that bore his name. With its mate, Fort Lee on the Jersey shore, Fort Washington ostensibly commanded the Hudson River,...

  13. Gouverneur Morris and George Washington: Prodigal Son and Patient Father
    (pp. 169-188)

    What unlikely candidates for friendship: George Washington, the model of a Virginia gentleman, famed in his time and ours for faultless rectitude and reserved behavior, and Gouverneur Morris, a cosmopolitan New Yorker twenty years Washington’s junior, an irrepressible jokester with a reputation that led Richard Brookhiser, one of his most recent biographers, to subtitle his studyThe Rake Who Wrote the Constitution

    The unlikely nature of that friendship accounts for the persistence of one of the best-known (although thoroughly discredited) apocryphal stories of the early republic. The story gained credence when Max Farrand included it in an appendix of “Anecdotes”...

  14. The Great Collaboration: The Increasingly Close Relationship between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton
    (pp. 189-209)

    Alexander Hamilton is unique even among the inner circle of the six most famous and renowned Founding Fathers. George Washington lived until he was sixty-seven, and the others—Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams—all lived into their eighties or beyond (Adams was ninety). Hamilton was dead before his fiftieth birthday. All of the other founders were native-born Americans. Hamilton was born on the tiny British island of Nevis in the Caribbean. None had such a stigmatized childhood to overcome. He was the illegitimate son of Rachel Lavein (a woman imprisoned for “whoring” by her vengeful husband),...

  15. George Washington and Lafayette: Father and Son of the Revolution
    (pp. 210-231)

    Virtually all historical works on George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette affirm the existence of a father-son relationship between the two men. Most of these works do not, however, probe the nature of this association very deeply. Instead, most take it for granted, and some romanticize it. For example, David A. Clary’sAdopted Son: Washington, Lafayette, and the Friendship that Saved the Revolutionoffers a starryeyed, idealistic interpretation, describing the relationship as love at first sight for both men, and declaring that Washington “had no other confidential friend.” A picture caption in Douglass Southall Freeman’s monumental biography of the...

  16. Son of the Army: Captain Robert Kirkwood of the Delaware Regiment
    (pp. 232-256)

    As the sun rose on the morning of November 4, 1791, warriors of the Shawnee, Miami, and other allied tribes sprang from the woods surrounding the United States Army encampment on the banks of the Wabash River in what is today western Ohio. In little more than three hours of intense fighting, they encircled and virtually destroyed Major General Arthur St. Clair’s 1,400-man force. Luckily for St. Clair and those of his panic-stricken men who were able to break out, the Native Americans abandoned their pursuit in order to plunder the camp and finish off the hapless survivors who remained...

  17. Afterword: Unanticipated Challenges and Unexpected Talents—Leadership and the Colonial Matrix
    (pp. 257-268)

    This essay departs somewhat from the theme of this volume to address the issue of leadership, a subject on which Don Higginbotham did some of his best work about thirty-five years ago. His perceptive essay on the military dimensions of leadership appeared in a volume emanating from a Library of Congress symposium in May 1974 entitledLeadership in the American Revolution.¹ To my knowledge, this book was the last to address this subject from a general perspective, but it was hardly the last word on it. Only two of the five pieces it included, Higginbotham’s and an essay by Marcus...

  18. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 269-274)
  19. Index
    (pp. 275-285)
  20. Back Matter
    (pp. 286-286)