Mason L. Weems
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The work of Parson Mason L. Weems, a clergyman and early Washington biographer, is a prime example of rewriting history for instructional purposes.
His stories of Washington's life were entitled, A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits, of General George Washington (1800) and later The Life of George Washington, with Curious Anecdotes Laudable to Himself and Exemplary to his Countrymen (1806).
The incident of the future hero chopping down a cherry tree and refusing to tell a lie about it seems to be a complete fabrication. No contemporaneous letters or other documents contain the story and it did not appear in other literature until after Weems' account was published.
Weems also provided an account of Washington praying on his knees in the snow at Valley Forge. This scene has been memorialized in many ways over the years Ś a famous painting, prominent magazine cover, stained glass window in the Capitol, postage stamps and so forth. Yet most historians doubt the event occurred; Washington most likely was a Deist, like many of the leading political figures of the day. He attended church regularly, but declined to take communion. Washington did not request prayers or the ministrations of a clergyman while he suffered his final illness.
Mason County Obits 1982 G-L
... Collection Mason County Library, Point Pleasant, WV Page 45 August 5, 1982 Iva L Johnson, 2028 Lincoln Ave., Point Pleasant, died Wednesday morning at her home following a long illness. Born July 10, 1896, Poca, she was the daughter of the ...
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George Mason Statesman MASON, George, colonist, born in England: died in Stratford county, Virginia. in 1686. He was the first of the Virginian family of that name that came to this country. He lived in Staffordshire, and belonged to the family ...