Originally published in 1842 by the American Sunday School Union, Life of Washington by Anna C. Reed has been recently re-printed by Attic Books. It finishes with a beautiful tribute to America’s father:
You have learned why there was cause for joy in in Washington’s birthday, and for sorrow in the day of his death. If you have been attentive to what you have read of his conduct, from the one day to the other, you know that in childhood he was a lover of truth, and a peacemaker among his schoolmates; –that in boyhood he was a diligent scholar, and the leader of his companions–not in mischief, folly or vice–but in harmless and healthy exercises: and was a pattern of obedience to the wishes of a parent;–that, when the years of boyhood were passed, he immediately applied to useful purposes the knowledge which he had acquired by attention to instruction; and that early in manhood, he merited the confidence of his native Province, and was instrusted [sic] with important and dangerous duties, which he performed with faithful perseverance; –that he used all his talents, and spent almost all his years, from manhood to declining age, in the service and for the benefit of his fellow-beings; and even in old age, was willing to yield the peaceful enjoyments which he loved most, because he thought that it was “the duty of every person, of every description, to contribute, at all times, to his country’s welfare.
This little book was an immense boon to me. It was full of riveting anecdotes of the great man, examples of his deep piety and grace, and a deeper understanding of the causes and struggles for liberty from England. Washington was a peacemaker. He was a gentleman. He was a giver. He was protected and preserved by God.
This book is slanted. It’s written by a God-fearing human who lives by the Gospel. She makes assumptions and provides commentary that today we find unscholarly…right as she was. It was written by a Christian, probably for a Christian audience about a Christian man. Or was he? This book helped me gel in my mind some of the thoughts I’ve had about Washington’s Christianity.
My favorite period of history is that which falls from the Pilgrims to the American Revolution. There were times I wondered if this book were more about Washington or the War of Independence. It was a treat getting some blanks filled in for me, and it was interesting reading a history written so closely (50 years) to Washington’s death.
This is a great book to hold; it has a good feel in the hand and it’s one of the few books on which I appreciate the deckle/feather edge. I took lots of notes in this book, lots of markings throughout and almost two full pages of references in the back blank pages. That’s a great sign that I got much from this and much that I wish to enjoy again later.
Life of Washington by Anna C. Reed