tv The Presidency George Washington Sportsman CSPAN October 7, 2017 11:55am-12:56pm EDT
of the news organization as it functions on a day-to-day basis. at 8:00 eastern, on c-span's "q and a." on "the presidency", the book "writing with george: sportsmanship and the first presidency." washington's mount vernon hosted this hour-long event. post: we are really lucky tonight to have a wonderful journalist and historian and friend of mount vernon speaking. philip smucker is a writer and war reporter who spent years covering conflicts in iraq,
afghanistan, and other nations. he is a washington ancestor. a descendent. you are not that old. he is the fifth great grandnephew of george washington through his brother. he began his writing at uc berkeley, covering the rugby conflict reporting on burma and cambodia. he has interviewed many important leaders. includingpublications "the atlantic monthly and the "new york times." he is the author of two other books. my brother my enemy. al qaeda's greatest escape. he has received three pulitzer prize nominations for his
articles. most importantly among all of this he has been one of the research fellows at the mount vernon research fellows. he is somebody who puts us off to go cover a war. that is unusual but we are very accommodating. we welcome him in suggesting -- presenting his newest book read writing with -- riding with george: sportsmanship and chivalry in the making of ."erica's first president let's give a warm welcome to him. [applause] phillip: thank you very much. it is obvious a incredible honor to speak here at the home of george washington. which, arguably, is the best preserved home in america, because of the ladies association. i would like to thank not only stephen mcleod who runs the
program, also the chief curator. thompson, who is a chief historian here and was instrumental in helping me write several chapters. i don't believe she is here this evening. don bonner and emily rosa, thank you. on to greener pastures. i would like to start by mentioning that this book is about george's early life. it is about the formation of his character. and when i speak about sportsmanship, i speak about it in the old sense of the word. i think shakespeare put it i think our wars whenbecome peaceful sports
ladies crave to be encountered sport is a term that will encompass entertainment. any soldier worth his weight would definitely prepare to be dancing on a floor with a lady , then fighting in a war. askedt that, and then i if there are any young men or women and the audience. and one of them came up to me. where is max? max. you he is the sole representative of the younger generation. [laughter] sometimes i don't get any. george washington's story, is a story of sportsmanship, chivalry, and if i can add one line to the subtitle, serendipity.
i would just like to provide a little background on what was happening in england before the washington family arrived of events date. king james, in 1618, wrote what is known, and is titled as "the book of sport." pronouncemental that was seen as a rebuke to the puritans. i will quote from it. he said, "our good not people be disturbed from any lawful recreation, such as dancing, for men or women, archery, leaping, harmlessor any form of , who wasn, charles i his son, went on to republish that book of sport. he was attacked roundly by the roundheads. they consisted of.
since. -- they consisted of puritans. they went after him because sport was associated in many ways with alcohol and wild living. the county fairs often got out of hand. and the puritans did not like that. i won't say that this was one of the causes of the english civil war, but it definitely helped lead to it. there were some people who like to have fun. there were others who did not. and this leads me in another way to washington' arrival. his first son was lawrence washington. the reverend lawrence washington of not onlycused stealing wine from the communion altar, but also serving it while drunk. [laughter] now, this was obviously a politically-charged accusation.
him prettynt after hard, and he had to move from one parish to another, and his reputation was sallied. sullied.putation was his son, john, decides to become a captain. he bought a ship called it the seahorse and it embarked from a little town in denmark called elsinore if anyone knows where that is. i do like ask this audience. he arrived in virginia and he purchased some tobacco and when he was off of the potomac river that we are next to hear his ship runs ashore. it runs ashore and loses the cargo. he gets away safely. the potomac river is not that fast, a flowing river. he comes ashore, and, long story short, in the course of two years he falls in love with virginia. he falls in love with virginia and falls in love with a young
lady named and help. her mother is a wealthy business man. he needs to get out of this ship -- get out of this ship wreck, and get on with his life. he asks his future father-in-law to help them. and nathaniel pope provides him with 60 beaver skins. john should be recognized for that, for falling in love and living in virginia. but he was also wise enough to buy the property here, at mount vernon. and he is the great-grandfather of george washington. eventually, we will see why it is so important that the family moved here, to mount vernon. because the family moved here for you young george moved around when he was young. at the age of five or six he was near fredericksburg, virginia. his family moved around. his father was a businessman. a hard-working man.
it was a bustling seaport. they were taking into what dryships every other day. the inhabitants were one thing, but there were sailors. port comesdy knows a with sailors. there was gambling, there were fighting on the street. and george's living across the rappahannock river from all of , this. he does not get to partake of it all the time, because he has a mother who is very austin air. who is very devoted to the lord. what think she insists upon is the idea of gentility. she instills -- the washington family even after four generations was that one of the first families in virginia. she insists that the washington can live and be socially received by the first families of virginia if they behave with good manners.
and we see from the archaeology at ferry farm that she tried to live, what we would say a genteel lifestyle. despite the fact that she dies when george was 11. over the course of the next several years george learns how to ride a horse. now, we do not actually have the videotape. [laughter] but we do know, george washington would eventually become the greatest equestrian of his day. and, i would argue the fact that his mother inherited riding , horses by the age of 16 , probably had something to do with his love of horses. george washington has the fortuitous opportunity through his half-brother, lawrence,
returning from the battle of carain yet -- battle of tegena, to meet with the fairfax family. lawrence washington, who is suffering from consumption acquired in the caribbean, marries anne fairfax. this is one of the wealthiest families in virginia. why are they the wealthiest? because lord affects -- because lord of fairfax, who would arrive shortly, has 5 million acres in what we call the northern neck. that is that what we think of today on the parcel of land that goes out to westmoreland county. it is the entire sin and a lavallee, what we would think of as the wild wild west, in the 1700s. their matter is also the seat of
eerer for the only british p in virginia. living in virginia. i am running behind with my slides. lord fairfax arrives in virginia, in 1747, on his second trip. hishe has already sent hunting dogs on a trip, two dogs and a bit, and he is ready to hunt and he goes off running wherever you can. hunting.est with he is in his early 50's, and he is a bachelor. he is thought to have not had much luck with the ladies. but he and colonel fairfax, william fairfax, take george under their wing. w george what shor
it is like to hunt a fox. hunting foxes in this era was usually a much wilder affair than it is today. , the fox hunting would go on for hours and hours. george, throughout his life, would document the hunts. sometimes he would let the fox go, sometimes he would take it. he would go riding and he polished his equestrian skills. he was also engaged in some serious male bonding. with the fairfax family, he was able to show off and display his also,rian skills, and further exercise his mind. fairfax, william fairfax, introduced him to the writings of alexander the great and the writings of caesar. ,but there was another person in the family who would become very
important for george particularly when it relates to , his manners. unfortunately she was the wife , of another man. george the wife of william fairfax and she is two years older than george. when he is about he meets sally 15, fairfax. the foundations of that house are still there. if you can get past security you can go spend some time there ruminating among the ruins. sally fairfax taught george what i would argue is, the art of flirtation. she did not give him what he wanted. but she was two years older, and she was fluent in french. her grandfather had been the sallyf william and mary. fairfax introduced george to theater, as well. they did short little ditties.
they practiced lines. this was very popular parlor talk in the 18th century. at sally fairfax was astute this, and a love for the theater. he went with his brother to barbados, to the theater. this would come up later in life when he gets to williamsburg. if i can explain some of the fun i had writing this book. there was a fox hunt and i was trying -- do anyone know a -- does anyone know a writer named george plimpton? i grew up in the 80's in the shadow of these writers, these who wanted tos, grow and show the readers the sports they were seeing. and george was a participant, as it were. i tried to participate in the foxhunting. and by the way that is not me on , the horse.
that is the president of the foxhunting association of america. he is leaping over a stone wall, and you don't want to miss when you do that because you will , kill yourself. it is a exciting sport rate it -- it is an exciting sport and still goes on to this day in , much the same form. he wore a similar outfit later in life to the one that he is wearing in this picture. george washington becomes a incredibly good fox hunter. but, what does that add to his future? it adds not only the fact that theas a major patron in fairfax family, but he is also a great equestrian. and he is in love with the idea of war. the reason i started this project is that i wanted to understand a confluence of sport and war, in my own background i , have been a sports reporter
and a war reporter. and i also wanted to understand the attraction of war, because i know there is an attraction. and george washington was incredibly attracted to the idea of work as a young man. so much so, that in his first battle, where the indians were slaughtering the french with their tomahawks, he wrote home to his brother and he said the sound of the bullets was charming. the sound of the bullets whistling past easier was charming. when king george heard wind of said, he wouldn't have said that if enough bullets had been going past his ear. george washington was not only in love with the idea of being a a soldier, he also was y engaged with
trying to please the governor, dinwiddie, but understanding that he always had the fairfax s backing him. he always had a chip on his shoulder. but, the governor of virginia would reward him. reward him even when he lost a battle of necessity, at williamsburg. if i can say that his motto for the french and indian war was i would rather be lucky than good. in fact, when george washington gets to the battle of monongahela, and there have been other books written about the but, iof monongahela would say that the serendipity notion comes into play here because, he should have been killed. he was riding around and he gets on his third horse. he has lost two horses. he has taken three bullets in his jacket, and one in his hat.
and he is the only officer who is not wounded. and most of the other officers are dead. retreat, which is memorable because he is also suffering, at the time from , dysentery. and he has four pillows on his saddle. and he leaves the retreat and he writes home and he says it was harder to stop the british regulars, mainly irish men, from running away, then he was to try to stop a bear. very impressed with the courage of the virginia forces, planting the seed for what would be his idea of possibly defeating the british, who he ,as a little bit peeved at because they had denied him a commission in the british army. george washington gets to the
continental congress and he is wearing the same uniform you see, that he was wearing on the horse. he walks into the continental congress, still with some ambition. of georgenk washington is the most humble of the founding fathers, but the 6'2", towerings over everyone, certainly helped him being selected. john adams did not help by exaggerating that he came with magnanimity. but, george washington watching, and he becomes the general leading the continental army. we get to the battle of princeton. george washington at this point, everyone knows what happened to trenton.
and i just want to say that, the moment for me, in my research, that sport and war really comes together, and we see the complete george, is not at renton, which was a very dangerous operation. george washington was a gambler and he knew it would be either victory or death. would win or lose. but he crossed it, three or four days later and he gets trapped by his nemesis, cornwallis. he gets trapped in trenton proper. and he is waiting for a attack. the british say, well we have got george cornered. say, we have got him cornered and we will take him in the morning. the old fox, we will take him in the morning. washington leads the troops, he says we are not going to stick around and see that happen. he covers wagon wheels and cloth
down theornly goes back road toward princeton. it was a very cold day and fortunately the road had frozen over and it was easy for the wagons to move. his best friend, a doctor one of -- a doctor and one of his very mercer, who, hugh had fought with them in the french and indian war. and he had also care for is ailing mother. -- he had also cared for his ailing mother. and colonel mercer is in the front row going to princeton. he meets with a kernel who is a classic british officer. and he is running with two springer spaniel's at the feet of his horse. and he has this certain something, and he is ready to take on the continental army. by the very force of personality
, and numbers the continental army, is on their backflip and they are retreating. this is maybe the moment that is so crucial because george washington was the commander and he was expected, as most commanders to remain on a hill , looking down at the battle. takes matterston into his own hand, and he rides in on his great white horse, and enters stage right. , he says to the retreating philadelphians, parade with me, my fellows. there are only a handful of the enemy and we will have them shortly. the troops line up the , continental army on one side and the british on the other. washington is right in the middle. he raised the horse up almost
saying, shoot me. it is crazy for a commander to do that. his aid tells his grandson a couple of decades later that he thought he would die. there is george washington raced -- there is george washington, ringed in smoke. wreathed in smoke. there is the colonel and his dogs, running in the other direction. george washington held his men and said, it is a fine fox chase. they went off after him. his whole troops have to restrain him this is a important -- and this is an important moment because it brings , together the notion of how he perceived war. one of his best friends had just been murdered on the cold ice at princeton. the game has continued. he is courageous. he does not care if they shoot him or not. he goes after.
e. he goes after the fol i think it also shows because he would write a letter of recommendation. he had no enemies. he considered war to be something of a game and sport. i will get to how that changed later in life and his own mind. but it also brings into play the notion of how he perceived the fight. he had a certain aplomb. i think that describes imperfectly. and he became the character of the army. he became what everyone in who -- what everyone who was a soldier, wanted him to do. he also extended a fig leaf constantly. he treated them well. he decided the british were essentially murdering during the war and he wanted to treat them well.
he believed in fair play. i think it was part of his code of honor. he wanted to reach out and he was able to get the germans from trenton to settle down and become proper americans. so that was a feat unto itself. didn't giveington up on his notion of gentility, the notion that his mother had planted in his mind. revolution, he bought two books on european earlier, ias talking was going through these volumes, and they were fascinated -- fascinating. can you imagine a commander in chief thinking about the future of his country, and he is sending a way to amazon.com, for books on manners. they did arrive, and they are
now in the possession of the library. form a nation that would be a republic. but he was also now, essentially, an aristocrat. remember, he had been hobnobbing with the first family of virginia. he had been hobnobbing with lord to,fax, who he paid tribute always, by calling in the good old lord. george washington recognized that there needed to be a certain amount of protocol. and he wanted to balance the and the republican. and the way he did this was, he encouraged a dialogue with martha. he was able to create parlor perceptions in philadelphia, where he would write to women, asking them for their opinion on how to create a nation of great manners. he was really accessed with this . and this was, of course, during the time when the war is going on. there are rumbles of war between
france and england. the french revolution has broken out, and all of the aristocrats are being tilled. and that is a great concern for all of the aristocrats in virginia. and he wanted to know, how far can we really take this? how far can we set up a republic, and still remain aristocrats? and thomas jefferson, who plays the foil, and is a constant critic of george during his first two terms in office, is constantly accusing him of wanting to become the king. and it gets so repetitive, at some point, that you think, he picayng picky human -- une. whense there was one time
they are sitting on the couch and the dancers are coming up , and they are bowing to george and martha. andy jefferson is outraged, because he believed these are icaltocratic and monarch behaviors. not only does jefferson attack george himself, he hires a man. philip, he was working on a scathing article and attacking washington. and one of the moments when washington just completely exploded, was when the writer wrote a little ditty, a short play in the newspaper, and it said that george washington would be dragged through the streets or his aristocratic crimes, and sent to the guillotine.
and george washington just explodes. and you can imagine, jefferson is there in a cabinet meeting and he is scribbling notes. and the best account we get of this moment is from thomas jefferson, and george washington goes into a rage, and he says, how can they say this about me? i have always just wanted to be a farmer. this is outrageous. this is obviously, impugning his character. george washington, he continues heinsist upon manners and also recognizes that the republic will need to be built from men that have come up in a similar way that he has. and certainly, there is going to people --involved involved. and all young people know there is an opportunity and you have to dig advantage of it.
but he wanted people of merit. and his own personal story, i would argue that he studied his entire life. but his own personal story s a rise through good manners and skill. if anybody knows the harvard professor howard gardner people learn in different ways. i know there is a sports historian in the room, today. engage in who activities learn. and george washington was constantly engaging in activities, and learning. he was not concerned about dragging himself up from his bootstraps, because he did have opportunity, with the fairfax is. and he earned it. and he aired it for several means, including courage in battle. but george washington, and i stress this, he wanted a meritocracy.
he wrote to his own nephew, the son of jack, in fact, and he if it could help you get this post as an attorney in virginia, and even if you are qualified, i could not help you because you are my blood relative. so he kind of drew the line , there. he did this before he took office. he wanted to promote people that deserved it. and you wanted to promote people, to have the opportunity to rise on their own. so, essentially, his story becomes our story. the blood ties, the creation of the republic. and it is a story of good manners and heroism. and i would just like to add was myecause it great-great grandfather that sold mount vernon in 1858, to the ladies association, that washington was a flawed
he left somed things unsolved. mary thompson would argue, washington could have actually released his slaves. it would have been extremely difficult, but his slaves only represented 3% or 4% of his entire wealth. he would die the wealthiest man in the united states, land-rich and money-port. , hegeorge washington struggled in his mind constantly, articulately during the revolution when blacks were putting their lives on the line, to decide what he was going to do about the issue of slavery. mind you, he was traveling with his personal valet. so, it was obviously, often have beenr him, to fighting for freedom, and have his personal slave there. he would go back and forth and
-- fourth in the back and forth in letter writing. you can see this going back and forth in lafayette. he said we should buy a plantation in south america and we can free the slaves and see what happens. i am paraphrasing, but he wanted to experiment with the idea of freeing the slaves. and george washington said, when you go by mount vernon we can discuss it. laffey at wrote him a couple of letters in this regard. ,george washington never resolves it. and it is a great tragedy, because the owner of mount vernon, who is a hunter is also , a slave owner. in the first battle he is shut them off of his horse. they came out of the bushes and
they shot him. by what we call yankee bushwhackers. they came out of the bushes and shot him, and it was a big story in the "new york times." and his family grew up orphans. washington lost everything but it has been preserved now by the ladies association. there was something unresolved they had written that slavery makes every man a tyrant. george knew that in his conscious. rather than end on a very pessimistic note, i would like to note that mount vernon has acquired some new letters. there is one letter that reminds me just about how much he learned in the course of his life.
letter he wrote before he would die, and it reminds me of exactly how george was when he was a young man through the french and indian war. he says, "you are a young military man who read the harvest of law. how many seeds are sown? " he then goes on to write about chivalry, and he says "knight errantry and mad heroism may be at the end. turned swords into plowshares."
that is what george washington ultimately wanted. i think george washington stared -- felt clear 04, because he had in the barbarism of war. feel clear of war, because he had been in the barbarism of war. he learned and it is a great story of heroism. it is also a great cautionary tale. he had the opportunity to, as winston churchill said, it allows you to see all the elements of human emotion and caf au lait it in one day. he had come out of it alive. without any apparent ptsd. that is where i am going to wrap it up. i think we do move then -- my slides have not gone through. i would just like the less like if anyone would like to become a fox hunter. come on.
the battery is dying. [laughter] it is moving but slowly. so, this horse, if you will, is a wild horse in north dakota that she let me ride for a day. she obtained it at the age of five. worried as we went out on a trail ride that it would run off and that i would get killed. it did not do that. part of the story and the fun is to learn about the world. winston churchill always said the best seat to observe the world is always from the saddle of a horse. so, you can do that, too. along with the dancing and the fencing. i will take some questions now
from anyone in the audience. i think emily has a microphone. >> so, excellent talk. i was just curious, because, earlier, you talk about the charms of war and how he was in love with the adventure side of war. there has been a lot of great military and sometimes political leaders like ulysses s. grant who found war to be a antidote to depression. had a temperamental that was thrown to melancholy -- was pro that melancholy and found the intensity of war alleviating that. i am wondering with george washington in your research did
that ever come up? how was his temperament when he was inactive otherwise? phillip: this question has come up before. i think george washington during war suffer from bouts of depression. we see that in his letters. this is a long war. it lasted for seven years, and he often thinks it is a lost cause. even when he takes the command in boston, he looks around and he sees a lot of ruffian frontiersman. he has to remind himself that these are the best marksman in the world. his the course of time, temperament and his attitude improves, and he is less depressed. is he participating in war in order to of leave some sort sort of allieve some
psychological desire. i did not mention that he was depressed in the british empire. he was the perfect and soldier. the british empire encouraged him to do everything that he did. he did it in an exceptional way. he became the greatest equestrian. he led battles. he jumped into the line of fire. the british empire encouraged glory during war. if you died in war, that was great. you are a martyr. it was very strong motivation for him. i think also for many participants in the revolution. i think that this letter is pretty clear that those of not of not taking into account the drumbeat of war are something not necessarily great.
he is able to temper his attitude towards war in the future. by the way, if you people here from the university of california at berkeley. as well as from my high school. williams high school, as made famous in the film "remember the titans." we were not coached by denzel ough.ngton th can i get another question? >> i have a question regarding the beginning of the talk you mentioned john washington. you did not mention his partner partner, nicholas
spencer, who was a member of the junior government. phillip: washington, george promised mount vernon to jack during the french and indian war. john died before the war ended. so he comes over to live there once george dies. he had no children. it goes to the rest of the siblings of jack. >> i was talking about at the beginning. nicholas spencer was a partner with john washington -- phillip: that allowed him to acquire the land that we are standing on today. absolutely. the fact that he acquired it is fairly amazing, because they were not based here most of the time. it was westmoreland county as we know it. as all the early washington's
were, they were highly inquisitive. about did not talk washington's other sport. i understand he was a very good wrestler, runner, swimmer, he was a all-around athlete. phillip: i was trying to avoid that, because usually i get asked if i am a dancer. i tried at the governor's mansion -- i will get into a couple of those sports in a moment. the dance was of particular importance for george. he could do the french minuet like no other. he would do it during his presidency. danceearned it, it is a put tonnot only be
music, but it is also a spontaneous dance that one can show off their feathers. george washington was constantly judged as everyone was as you would dance. if you made a misstep, they would laugh. i had that happen, and i lost confidence entirely. [laughter] george washington did not have that problem. a reminder, he was also 6'2" and that was astounding. if you made a misstep, it was a bigger misstep than anyone else. i included some slides that had some of the major artifacts that prove he was a great lover of all sports. we have here the hunting warned that george used in his fox
hunts. it was acquired in england. we have his silver riding spurs. we also have his bait and tackle kit. i thought that was interesting because i thought he was a fly fisherman. he didn't like to hook a fish, likee did take -- he did to hook a fish, and he did one time take hamilton and jefferson up to sandy point and try to calm them down. he enjoyed fishing with his brothers. part of the legends that i dealt with early, because that much as -- not much has been written about his exceptional athletic prowess. some things were not true. for example, you cannot throw a silver dollar across the potomac
river, if it does not exist. he did have a amazing arm. people noted this. he was just adept at everything he did. they found two bowling balls. two bowling balls were found in a shed after he died. so, we know that they used the bowling long -- lawn. in the book, i have a few interludes where i talk about williamsburg. it is a lighthearted chapter where i spent my time bowling with a actor who studied the character. bowling, and it is a fascinating sport. george washington apparently did all of these things well. there was also archery. on the chapter about sword
fighting, the daily beast excerpted it. think achapter where i lesson in historical sword fighting. here at mount burton -- mount vernon that went into george's acquisition of dozens of swords and his fascination with swordsmanship. in winchester, virginia. i wanted to learn some of it and understand his appreciation for swords. he never raised his voice in anger during a battle. he left a sword to his nephew and he said that a sword must never be raised in anger against a rival. only if it is in defense of your
country. then, you should be prepared to die with it in your hand. he took swordsmanship very seriously. he also had to discourage dueling during the revolution. men who would get upset at each other way to often say choose your weapon, and then they would go out and kill each other. so, to temper people and keep them from cutting each other up on his officer corps, he would ban dueling. he continued to ride. he would ride a horse when he went into town. he wanted to display his equestrian skills. he also just wanted to be on that great, white horse which says a lot about who he was. in the back there. weight for the microphone.
it for the microphone. >> you mentioned that he was a good swimmer. did he swim in the potomac? if so, where? phillip: i'm not so sure if he swam in the potomac river. i don't have evidence of that. he did swim in one river. famously, he lost his close that time. somebody ran up -- ran off with his clothes. he had to take them to court. [laughter] he was not too pleased with losing his outfit. i think he was 21 at the time. there was another incident where he had to deliver a letter and he was telling the french to get out of the ohio valley. , andturns, he built a raft he is taking a whole in the
water on a icy, winter day. because of the current, he flips himself into the icy river and has to swim to shore. this is another moment of serendipity where he really should have died, but he fortunately gets to the side, the river freezes over, and then he walks on water. [laughter] he always said someone was looking out for me. he would call it providence, but i am sure there was someone. >> we obviously know about his honesty and chivalry. how do we have the story about the cherry tree? phillip: there have been other books written on cherry trees. i will say that i was having a party the other day, and there was a tree blocking. we will just have
to chop it down like george did, and i said that he did not really do that. there are a lot of myths, but some of them are interesting. there was one that said he broke a horse and the horse had a heart attack. suggest toes, they me an incredible athletic prowess. while they are not true, a lot of them, everybody wanted to tell you how amazing as a athlete and sportsmen he was. i wanted to bring those together and tie them into a bigger story. also, in the back there is a question. >> do you have any information
jewel?he charles leale oh.lip: uh [laughter] i knew someone was going to throw me for a hook. washington intervened and it was who started it? the second was hamilton and burr. phillip: i can only speak to the earlier moments when charles lee betrayed the continental army and he fell into disrepute.
george washington exploded onto the battlefield. he was very disappointed with charles lee. general charles lee was not of the lee family, to be sure. the big first family of virginia, he was british. he married an indian america. i did not study this. i did not study the dual. there are two or three. pretty them were interesting. some of them made history. it is amazing to make that a 10-year-old had a question like that. can we get a hand for that question? [laughter] [applause] phillip: something i want to do is go to schools and treat --
and teach about sportsmanship need avalry, and i sidekick. if your mother lets you go for a year, maybe you can. >> guess where i learned that? >> how? >> the hamilton musical. phillip:, the musical. i am sure -- the musical. i am sure there are quite a few people here would like to see a musical about george as well. maybe one day that would come about. we are not sure. i think we can go for a couple of more questions. also for anyone interested, the tavern which is attached to the
restaurant is open at 8:30 p.m. and we can go have a drink and i think george would approve. [laughter] go ahead. >> i have heard that george washington was fairly a except with his friends. i am wondering about etiquette was a way he could maintain that aloofness and not be so familiar with folks. phillip: there is a moment in his youth when he is in barbados and he writes to the governor. he says, in effect, that he was not the kindest man, but he was trict andand -- was s he was respected. there is another incident -- i will remember it in a second. washington observed people very closely. he also decided in his own mind
that, in order to be the father of the country, he had to maintain a certain amount of aloofness. ofentially, it was a bit acting. i think he loved everybody. he had a great love and affection for everybody. he did famously remain aloof. we can go into the stories of people who would walk up and cap him -- and tap him on the shoulder and he would just scowl. sir? >> how do you explain with the other writings that have described him as fearless during battle? phillip: that is a good point. i think it was encouraged by the british empire. some young men were exceptional about this.
it is the same like -- how you do you become a leader in war? he was rewarded, and, again, he was lucky. he should have been killed on several occasions. the indians came up to him to decades later and said they -- and said, "hey, you are the guy we tried to kill. we could not kill you." basically, george washington kept going, because he was never injured. he was rewarded every time he was incredibly courageous. there is a certain attraction to war. winston churchill writes about it, too. young men have a fascination with war. he was fascinated with combat. he did those things that set him apart from other men. >> can we give him a big round of applause? [applause]
before we let you go and go sign books, and everyone should buy one because they give you a sense of these great stories. what is the next book you are going to work on? philip: i am relying on you for that. [laughter] a great,lly, i want well known historical figure who had a very active life like george. that is very hard to find. maybe i will have to retire and become a schoolteacher. unless, you find me to ride across the country on my horse. i am all for that. >> thank you so much. [applause] everybody go get a book and we will see you next month. [applause]
>> you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join in on the conversation, like us on facebook at cspanhistory. >> you might recognize these trail of governors which stretched all the way down to the missouri river. coming up next, we will hear about some of south dakota's former leaders. >> the trail of governors was started in 2011 by a couple of businessman in town who were a couple of history buffs and wanted to find a way to promote history in the capital city. the city gets a lot of