The Indispensable Man

There is only one man who is indispensable in American history, he was born 287 years ago, yesterday. Of course, we are talking about George Washington. Lieutenant General commanding the Continental Army (by Act of Congress the senior general of the US Army in perpetuity) unanimously elected President of the Constitutional Convention, the first and the only unanimously elected President of the United States, twice, and a farmer.

Henry (Light Horse Harry) Lee eulogized him as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in the heart of his countrymen, which he remains. King George III of Great Britain called him when he resigned his commission at the end of the Revolution, “The Greatest Man in the World”.

One of his warnings which should be much in our mind is his distaste for political faction or party. In the farewell letter, he left us as he left the presidency (itself an act that stunned the world), he said (Hat tip to the Victory Girls.)

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

The rest at the link (above).

Washington also penned the classic statement of American religious tolerance in his justly famous letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, RI in 1790. It is here.

I was in response to a letter presented to Washington by the congregation when he visited Providence, which is not so well known. (hat tip to PowerLine.

Permit the children of the stock of Abraham to approach you with the most cordial affection and esteem for your person and merits ~~ and to join with our fellow citizens in welcoming you to NewPort.

With pleasure we reflect on those days ~~ those days of difficulty, and danger, when the God of Israel, who delivered David from the peril of the sword, ~~ shielded Your head in the day of battle: ~~ and we rejoice to think, that the same Spirit, who rested in the Bosom of the greatly beloved Daniel enabling him to preside over the Provinces of the Babylonish Empire, rests and ever will rest, upon you, enabling you to discharge the arduous duties of Chief Magistrate in these States.

Deprived as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free Citizens, we now with a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty disposer of all events behold a Government, erected by the Majesty of the People ~~ a Government, which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance ~~ but generously affording to all Liberty of conscience, and immunities of Citizenship: ~~ deeming every one, of whatever Nation, tongue, or language equal parts of the great governmental Machine: ~~ This so ample and extensive Federal Union whose basis is Philanthropy, Mutual confidence and Public Virtue, we cannot but acknowledge to be the work of the Great God, who ruleth in the Armies of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of the Earth, doing whatever seemeth him good.

For all these Blessings of civil and religious liberty which we enjoy under an equal benign administration, we desire to send up our thanks to the Ancient of Days, the great preserver of Men ~~ beseeching him, that the Angel who conducted our forefathers through the wilderness into the promised Land, may graciously conduct you through all the difficulties and dangers of this mortal life: ~~ And, when, like Joshua full of days and full of honour, you are gathered to your Fathers, may you be admitted into the Heavenly Paradise to partake of the water of life, and the tree of immortality.

Done and Signed by order of the Hebrew Congregation in NewPort, Rhode Island August 17th 1790.

Moses Seixas, Warden

I can’t think of another man, anywhere, at any time, who was a better man, or a better leader for his, and all, people.

Happy Birthday, Sir.

About Neo
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

22 Responses to The Indispensable Man

  1. the unit says:

    Well, I’d read years ago he was against forming parties, but had never seen that detailed statement.
    I guess “at this point, what difference does it make?”
    Oh, and gosh…founding them on geographical discriminations!
    Scoop did they ever sell this in any of the geography of NY? 🙂

    In the picture on the blog of Washington, is that a beer belly he’s got?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. the unit says:

    P.S. Notice the chief, Moses Seixas (well, speaker for them) “Done and Signed by order of the Hebrew Congregation”. Sounds like unity and not parties there. Doubt anybody objected. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      I’m not sure that much of anybody (possibly excepting Horatio Gates) had any serious objection to him after the French and Indian War. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        I see Moses family immigrated from Portugal. And he first generation Jewish-American. Guess that means he natural born here? How’d they get to Portugal in the first place?
        Samuel ha-Levi, the treasurer of king Pedro I “the Cruel” of Castile and founder of the Synagogue of El Transito in Toledo, Spain, parents were of the Abu-l-Afiyat family of Tunisian Jewish origins. (Wiki) So lot of immigration going on back then.
        Dang, it’d been so much simpler if Lucy had just stayed home in Africa and didn’t party.
        You know a wink and a smile on my lips here. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. the unit says:

    Along with NEO, the other indispensable blogger. Mark America discussing Q in latest blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: An Ideal Parliament | All Along the Watchtower

  5. Charles Lee wanted his command as well, but was terribly inept. He was captured during the retreat across NJ, and his performance at Monmouth nearly cost Washington the battle.

    Liked by 1 person

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