tv The Presidency Washington Winchester the French and Indian War CSPAN November 9, 2019 12:45pm-1:47pm EST
and other stops to our tour, visit c-span.org/cities tour. all weekend every weekend on c-span three. >> historian talks about george washington's ties to winchester virginia during the french and indian war. he explores the divisive role played in the growth of winchester, from a young provincial soldier to celebrated american general and president. the french and indian war foundation and the winchester frederick county historical society hosted the event. >> this could take an hour, so i will make it pretty quick.
2007. a french aristocrat in the american west. my french is not so good. and another one that is very important is st. louis rising, the french regime of st. louis. carl has won many awards which i will not list today. or go through all of the honors but many of you can see them on google. he has some wonderful books that you can get here in winchester or order online. the other thing i wanted to say that i think was so important was in 2014, he was given an
award by the french ambassador for his important work for the colonial people. he has done numerous work for the french people and that is why he was given this award. and we were all invited to the ambassador's house with the french and indian war board. it was a wonderful evening to be there with him for this award. and the other thing i will say is that -- most of you would not know but he is an expert on thomas jefferson. he studied thomas jefferson for the last 50 years, believe it or not. he goes back and forth to paris where he has relatives but he spends a great deal of time there and he is a true lover of thomas jefferson.
if you want to know anything about thomas jefferson afterwards, we will have q&a. and there is birthday cake for everyone. feel free to mingle. this will be a very good program. without any more thanks, carl ekberg. [applause] mr. ekberg: i will thank you, linda for that very generous introduction. anyone that knows linda knows that she can never be faulted for her generosity which is overwhelming. i might say that in mentioning my credentials, one might wonder what on earth am i doing talking about george washington in winchester. neither of those topics are
really within my usual rituals. my field is french colonial history. you can keep that in mind as we go through this and see how i do on these topics. notice that here, when jim ship first saw the title of my talk, from disaster to redemption, he thought i was talking about the university of virginia basketball team. oh, goody. in the fall of 1962, -- you remember that? jack kennedy was president. no one had heard of vietnam. i was stationed at fort bell -- adjacent to mount vernon. and i was working for a topographic survey company in the u.s. army. and a bunch of us were sent tdy, temporary duty, to winchester in
the fall of 1962. the first time i set foot in winchester was that fall of 1962. and i must say, i fell in love with the place. it is terribly cliche but i fell in love with the place. the fabulous historic holdings, the super friendly, hospitable people in winchester. the great draft beer at cork street tavern when it was like an english pub. and i married here in the spring of 1963. i am a longtime winchesterian as it were. linda came to me several months ago and said -- the french and indian war, we have got to do something about this history of winchester back in the 18th century. and my response was -- that would be a wonderful thing to do and it would be my pleasure to participate but we have to integrate george washington into the topic because indeed, in the 1750's, the destinies of
winchester and washington were intimately bound together. you cannot see one without the other. they rose to providence together. winchester made washington and washington made winchester. so, george washington, with the cherry tree he did not cut down, the famous story that is woven about -- "father, i cannot tell a lie, i did cut down the cherry trade." of course, that is an apocryphal story but with those there is often a grain of truth. and in reading, as i have i think, everything george washington wrote during the 1750's, the guy really was a straight shooter, you know? he was not manipulative. what you saw is what you got and i attribute that to him being a surveyor. when you run straight lines and honest corners and you make accurate observations, you don't tell lies. a liar cannot make a surveyor. is anyone running for president that is a surveyor, by the way?
was george our last surveyor? so, he came to winchester in 1748 as a surveyor. famously only 16 years old but this was in march of 1748 so he was just barely 16 years old. here is what he said. wednesday, march 16, we set out early and traveled up to fredericktown, the standard name for winchester at that time. we cleaned ourselves to get rid of the game we had attached the night before and took a review of the town and then returned -- the game obviously being bedbugs. and we returned to our lodgings where we had a good dinner
repared ourselves with wine and rum punch aplenty and a good featherbed and clean sheets which was a very agreeable regale. that is his first take on winchester and it is a good thing that he liked the place because he would spend a good deal of the next 10 years of his life in winchester. once again, washington made winchester and winchester made washington. now, we come to this -- the french and indian war. so confusing. so confusing. and indeed, it is anachronistic because it was not called the french and indian war during the french and indian war. what was it called?
sometimes the seven-year war. some of my students used to ask -- what did they call it during the war because they did not know it was going to last seven years? we will use french and indian war. in general what that means is that the french were allies of the indians in combating the british. but it did not always work that way. indeed, at the very beginning, washington was deeply connected with some indians in the allegheny mountains but in general, it is true. the french got along better with the indians and in general, the indians tended to ally with the french rather than with the british. french and indian war. very confusing. here is a before and after to show how enormously important geopolitically this war was. on the left side, the green is the french claimed empire.
up and down the mississippi river and the st. lawrence river, the great lakes and the rocky mountains. this was the huge crescent claime made, by france. on the right-hand side, you see the result of the french and indian war. that is to say that they lost their entire north american empire. so this war, confusing though it is, is hugely important in the geopolitical history of north america. this is what it was about. here we have -- les, you know this area -- pittsburgh? you went to school in this area. this is what was called in the 18th century, the forks of the ohio. on the right-hand side you have the monongahela river flowing up from the south and on the left,
the allegheny river flowing down from new york. and you have the confluence of the two rivers which join to create the ohio river. first, there is the famous three rivers stadium in pittsburgh. this point of land, the peninsula jutting out into the rivers was, in the 1750's, the most important strategic piece of real estate in north america. i will say it again. that point of land was the most important piece of strategic real estate in north america. and george washington was deeply involved in this issue. the governor of virginia at the time, robert dinwiddie -- a hugely important person in george washington's life. and he was george's patron. somehow, when washington went to
see him for the first time in williamsburg in 1753, washington was already an imposing person at that time. at age 21. dinwiddie was smitten with george washington and through thick and thin, dinwiddie stuck with him even when washington was not entirely successful. indeed, in the early 1750's for a period of time, dinwiddie came up to winchester to be closer to the action up in the allegheny mountains. washington's early career in the 1750's, this guy is absolutely indispensable. as far as i can tell in reading their correspondence, he never failed in his support of washington. once again, even when washington did not see the best of times. an important portrait of washington. you have probably all seen this somewhere. 1772.
the earliest portrait of washington. and famously, washington wanted to be portrayed in this particular uniform which we must spend just a few seconds on. it is not a military uniform of the british army. it is a uniform of the virginia regiment. george washington was never, ever an officer in the regular british army. he was in the virginia regiment which was a kind of super militia. in colonial virginia. and he wanted -- it was his request that he be portrayed in this uniform. and it must also be said that it always rankled him a little bit that he was never able to get a commission in the regular british army. it was always -- throughout this whole time, even at the massacre
in 1755 where washington was hugely important, he was never an officer in the british army. ok, here is strategic winchester. really, the only town in the shenandoah valley and it was the portal for where the action was up in what is now southwestern pennsylvania. it was not clear at the time that that would be pennsylvania. it may have in fact -- you know wheeling, west virginia goes way up there and it is fully possible that this would be virginia and dinwiddie seemed to think of it as part of virginia. so, in 1754, -- earlier in the year, washington was a
lieutenant colonel in the virginia regiment. he is only 22 years old. he heads up into the allegheny mountains on behalf of governor dinwiddie. i hope this is not going to get really confusing. the maps are essential because it is all about geography, folks. all about geography. on behalf of the governor of virginia, washington sets out leaving winchester -- winchester is in the lower right-hand corner. he is headed in the upper left for cumberland, maryland which is a jumping off point to the area over the allegheny mountains where all of the action was going to take place. and here is route 50. the new road. you can see there in the lower right-hand corner, edwards -- that was on the cacapon river where fort edwards would eventually be built in 1755. and then you have the south branch of the potomac river.
this is all route 50. as you cross the south branch of the potomac river, you can see there is pisspot island. and further up you come to pattison creek. that road is still there. it runs down along the creek eventually towards cumberland, maryland. this is a famous map of 1754. you can clearly see route 50. i was a little surprised to look and there is pisspot island again. you cannot get away from it. this is not photoshop. you open google maps and there is pisspot island. a map from the mount vernon association. showing the action up in the allegheny mountains. first of all, notice to the
right the allegheny mountains. everything to the left of those mountains is in the watershed of the ohio river or over the continental divide. this is hugely important. and this was the issue with the french government. the french government said the entire watershed of the ohio river belongs to us. the potomac river -- that is for you brits if you want it but this watershed -- it is the continental divide and hugely important in all of the strategic maneuvering and all of the military action. and so this map talks about the skirmish at the jumonville glenn. that is a really nice way of putting it. a skirmish. some of you may have been there. an interesting, historic site. here is what happened early that
morning. washington took his virginia militia men with a handful of indians and surrounded the french as they were getting out of bed in the morning and shot them all to pieces. not a terribly honorable thing to do but i have to emphasize that washington was a young man. he was being urged forward by dinwiddie. dinwiddie is very aggressive on this issue. and at this time, may 28th, dinwiddie is in winchester to be closer to the action and he is pushing and pushing washington. and then there was washington's famous guide -- christopher gist. who is also very aggressive. he has his plantation in the ohio watershed in french territory rather than british
territory and he is always pushing, pushing, pushing washington. and then there is the famous indian, a half king, and he is pushing washington. there are all of these pressures on washington to be aggressive. now, we know with certainty that this french party that washington ambushed was in fact a diplomatic mission. we know that with certitude because we have the documents that the french officer was carrying. this was a diplomatic mission. it was not an offensive mission. they did not have pickets posted or sentries. they were entirely vulnerable. they had no idea that washington was going to take this aggressive action. as the shooting stopped,
washington's indians who were with half king, tomahawked the french officer when he was attempting to read a diplomatic document. half king murdered him and his other indians murdered and scalped all of the wounded french. this -- it is a small affair. and a very nasty affair. let me say that -- in england, there was this reaction. can you all read this? do i need to read it? i hope you can read it. a volley fired by a young virginian in the backwoods of america has set the world on fire. let me say this -- dinwiddie, when he heard about this in winchester was perfectly delighted. yes. we have killed some frenchies,
great. he went overboard. jim moyer is here and he is a great map maker. this shows the explosion around the world. it was not called this because they did not know it was going to last seven years but it becomes a worldwide conflict of which the french and indian war is one part of the north american part. ok. i don't know if this is too long or too professorial. these are all direct quotes from george washington in 1754. can you all read them? can you all read them? take a moment to absorb these
quotes. all written in a one-month period in june, 1754. and i am saying that washington regretted these his entire life and he never, ever said anything like this again. it is not washington, you know. he is thumping his chest. he's bragging. he says he loves warfare, the sound of bullets. where we would say "cool" jefferson always said "charming." it is really cool to hear the bullets. as one can imagine, french officers in north america were not delighted with these murders. and the commandant at fort duquesne, pittsburgh, that critical triangle, sends out the
murdered jumonville's brother in pursuit of washington. this is a dramatic episode. when the french are assembled at fort duquesne and the brother is sent in pursuit of washington who has built this kind of pathetic fort which washington was bragging about. it has been beautifully reconstructed and many of you have probably been up there. and so the brother starts out from fort duquesne in pursuit of washington. and his journal, it is a wonderful journal that someone translated into english. he says -- i came to the spot where my brother was murdered and there were still corpses scattered about. this is about three weeks after the massacre. interestingly enough he says
nothing about trying to identify his brother and properly bury him. he was moving fast. he was in pursuit of washington. he did not want him to get away. he wanted to nail washington. this was washington's fort, fort necessity where he held up with his virginia militia men. by july 3, the brother had him surrounded there and washington was in a desperate situation. two sources tell us that half of washington's men were drunk. i have studied militia men from the mississippi river to the atlantic, the french, the
spaniards, the brits -- and at any given time, when militia men are in the field, half of them are drunk. [laughter] that was the nature of being a militia man at that time. so in his journal, the french officer who has washington surrounded and in a pathetic position -- once again, i refer to his journal which is a wonderful document. he said -- i kept my indians under control -- and he had about 200 indians with him. the french officer. the brother says -- i kept my indians under control --pointedly referring to washington's inability to keep his indians under control. washington did not want to see his indians murder the wounded french guys but he did not have control of them. a very bad thing if you are fighting on the frontier. you have to keep your indians under control. secondly, jumonville says i destroyed all of their liquor. the french are not always
temperate themselves but this was a dry run. a totally dry run from fort duquesne to fort necessity. no liquor in the french camp. he captures washington's liquor supply and destroys it. if he had not done that, those two things -- having his indians under control and destroying the liquor, there would have been a really bloody massacre. the shawnees would have gotten into the liquor and they would have obliterated, annihilated washington's militia men and american history might be different. he is trying to behave like a good officer. i have my indians under control, i destroyed the liquor, and all i'm going to do is make washington sign this document.
and, the document says principally two things -- one, where is our french -- i would like to have him translate this for us. but it was a difficult time for washington. he had a man that was supposedly able to read french. what was in yellow was the acknowledgment that the french officer had been murdered, assassinated. the second part of the document is when you go back over the mountains, over the continental divide into the watershed of the potomac river, you are promising never to come back. never to come back. west over the mountains into the watershed of the ohio river which washington, in signing this, was saying was technically french territory. well, washington probably never had any intention of adhering to
what he signed. he later said he really could not understand what he signed which was true. washington could not read the french. difficult as it is. and there is even some question about what his translator could. in any case, what dinwiddie said was not very much. but what he did is he had sent washington an honorific medal and had sent him -- washington said i am particularly obliged in your favor with the rum that you sent from your private store. this is dinwiddie doing favors for george washington. listen to george washington as he is developing his vocabulary. because he is a self taught guy by and large. an autodidact. he has his dictionary with him and he is learning words. washington says to dinwiddie -- the approbation you have expressed for my conduct has given me more pleasure than
anything such that has happened since this expedition began for i assure you, sir, i had expected nothing but your disapprobation. when was the last time you used "disapprobation" in your twitter feed? [laughter] another one he likes is "pusillanimous." he is constantly working on upgrading his skills with the language and he loves the latin words. ok. at this point, the question is -- what happens next? washington limps back over the mountains. oh, i wanted to mention this for someone that might be into antiques. i happened to catch this on the internet. as you see here, this is the first edition published in paris in 1756.
it includes louis' journal but also washington's journal translated into french. because when he captured fort necessity, he also captured washington's journal. it went to quebec and then to paris when it was published in 1756. that is the best edition that we have. we do not know where washington's original english journal is but the closest we have is the french translation published in this volume. a nice volume if you are a collector and have some money. a beautiful first edition. ok, so, this cartographer, was working in paris and in 1755 -- for the first time winchester, can you see winchester there? the french do not have a "w" so he spells it with a "v."
"vinchester." here's a map of eastern north america and for the first time winchester appears. look at any map you want in 1750, winchester does not appear. in 1755, the royal cartographer in paris has winchester nailed. this is because of george washington. if it had not been for george washington's activities in the allegheny mountains, winchester would never have appeared on this map. once again i am saying that the two of them, as it were, winchester and washington, grow up and come to prominence together in the 1750's, the french and indian war. look in the lower right-hand corner. this is the famous jefferson
map, peter jefferson is thomas jefferson's father. what i want to point out is -- do you see fredericktown? look to the right. you will notice the road to philadelphia. so here we have what was a very remote place in the shenandoah valley, winchester, and by 1755 you have a direct post road to philadelphia. and occasionally, amazing to me in reading the correspondence between winchester and philadelphia, some of it was moving as quickly as five days. that is almost 50 miles a day. they must've had some sort of pony express system. so philadelphia at this period, think about this, philadelphia was the second largest english-speaking city in the world. after london. second largest english-speaking
city in the world. and there is a direct post road to winchester. winchester is coming along. moving into prominence. isn't it? french and indian war. back to the forks of the ohio. the green spot there. the most sought-after piece of real estate in strategic north america at this time. and washington has not solved this problem. he got beat up pretty bad. what the british government decides to do is get serious about it and send a british army to take fort duquesne. once again, we have the forks of the ohio with a fairly substantial french fort located there built in 1754 and 1755. braddock starts out in alexandria. he is about 60 years old. there are no portraits from
life. he himself actually came to winchester. most of his army detoured around winchester to the north. in any case, their objective was of course for duquesne. and this time it was not going to be the virginia regiment. it was not going to be a ragtag bunch of half drunk militia men. this was going to be the real deal. a british army with a british general. washington participated shamelessly in this expedition. here was their opponent. a french canadian. highly intelligent. a brilliant tactician. a family man. very serious roman catholic. and a stone cold killer.
he set it up. and here is the setup. you can see the redcoats to the right. you can see the guy hiding behind the tree. these sneaky frenchmen. he is a french marine with the hat on and he is from the phalanx directing the fire of the indians and the other guys there who are canadian militia men. this was the tactics all set up. beaujeu's lieutenant said why do we not hang out in the fort and make the english come to us? we have a big fort here. let the british come here and beaujeu said, no, we're going to go get them.
he was killed in the first volley. both commanders were killed. these were the tactics that set up -- that virtually destroyed his army. here is our very own norman baker. a great historian. a wonderful guy. we do not know for sure where braddock's grave is but here is norman baker at his grave. here is the burial record of the french commander. his name means beautiful day. he had a beautiful day except he got killed. in any case, it says in this burial record that he had taken confession before the battle and it says -- i love this -- it said he is buried in the cemetery of the assumption of the holy virgin of the ohio river. a beautiful kind of poetic name.
no one knows where the cemetery was. when fort duquesne was destroyed in 1758, apparently the cemetery was also destroyed. they kept the burial records from the cemetery but we do not know where braddock's body is or where beaujour's body is although i would think excavations in pittsburgh would be able to show us that. this was a disaster. an embarrassing disaster for the british army. one of the most embarrassing things in the history of british military annals. it is interesting to read washington, he retreats to cumberland and writes to his mother. he says mother, it was not so bad. do not believe everything you hear. it is not so bad. i don't think washington cared a whole lot about the destruction
of the british army. you know, washington in his writings is constantly talking about my country -- my country, my country, my country. he never mentions england, great britain, the british empire, king george the second -- his country is really only virginia. and the destruction of this british army -- dear mother, it is not such a big deal. he also, in my opinion, sees an opportunity here for himself. he was, after all, a ferociously ambitious young man. and what he sees here is that he is going to deal with the issue of security. not a british army. a virginian of the virginia
regiment is going to take care of the western frontier. and guess what? that is exactly what happened. dinwiddie, governor dinwiddie promotes him to colonel of the virginia regiment and he turns him loose largely in winchester to protect the western frontier. so here is washington as a colonel in the virginia regiment. once again, not in the british army. and he is assigned by governor dinwiddie to protect the western frontier of virginia with his base of operations being in winchester. this is a hugely important thing for both him and for winchester. and so, how does he redeem himself? he has been up in the mountains twice. 1754, fort necessity. 1755, the monongahela disaster. how does he redeem himself? here is his favorite book. here is his favorite book. discipline. discipline. discipline.
discipline. and he starts by disciplining himself. he is an unbelievably disciplined fella. he drove himself mercilessly. he rode on horseback thousands of miles on the virginia frontier. from pennsylvania all the way to north carolina. literally thousands of miles. his health was always breaking down. difficulties with his health because he drove himself that way. he also then instilled discipline in his troops. 100 lashes for drunkenness. that is a lot. 100 lashes for drunkenness. he insisted that his virginia regiment must have the power of life and death. he persuaded the government in williamsburg to grant him the same power that a british officer would have. so he had the power -- he
personally did not have the power of life and death but his military court sitting in winchester had the power of life and death and by god, they used it. yes. they both hung and shot deserters at fort loudon. i do not think anyone has tried to figure out how many but washington said that they had a gallows 14 feet high. for hanging people at fort loudon.
and it is for sure certain that they shot people for desertion. now, let me also say this -- washington insisted they had that power of life and death but really he did not like using it. his courts on which he did not necessarily sit, his courts were harsher than he was. and they condemned more people to death than washington was willing to execute. so washington, he had to have that power of life and death but yet he really did not like using it. something else he was concerned about -- he was concerned about the disruptive effect of loose women. [laughter] for sure about that. so he says three women are allowed each company and provisions drawn for them on condition of them behaving well. and no more women will be allowed to draw provisions. three per company as washer women. at fort ashby, his captain ashby, captain john ashby had difficulties with his wife. and washington writes to him --
this is really harsh. i am very much surprised to hear of the great irregularities which were allowed in your camp. the rum i am credibly informed is your property. there are continual complaints to me about the behavior of your wife. who apparently had an overfondness for rum and young soldiers. [laughter] if she is not immediately sent from camp or i hear any more complaints of such irregular behavior, i shall take care and drive her out myself and suspend you. is that harsh enough? right. he was tough. he was tough. now, with regard to the townspeople, with regard to the townspeople come he did not have the power of life and death.
it was only men in the military that his courts had jurisdiction over but he did have the power to commandeer the labor force of the townspeople to work on the fort or whatever. you know, you read these documents from 1756 and 1757 and at that time washington was persuaded that they were going to have to retreat back over the blue ridge mountains. he thought the shenandoah valley was going to become uninhabitable. he says that over and over again. our next frontier -- blue ridge mountains. his harshness you can maybe understand some of his harshness. that was the key to it. discipline. he had two books that he used. the dictionary. you see him looking up words and then the issue of discipline.
moreover, this is jim moyer's great map. to use this map properly you have got to go to the french and indian war website. this is an interactive map and it shows all of the various places that activities took place during the french and indian war. if you look carefully, you can kind of see route 50. the south branch of the potomac river. the great wagon road. this is a fabulous map that jim has done and you need to take a look at this. in addition to being in winchester, he had outlying forts like fort edwards on the cacapon river and in the spring of 1756, there was a bloody
encounter there that is to say that indians led by young french officers were penetrating this close to winchester in the spring of 1756. this is when washington was saying -- i am afraid the shenandoah valley is lost to us and we are going to have to retreat eastward back over the blue ridge. this was -- outside of fort edwards was the bloodiest close encounter during the french and indian war. they have a great website also by the way, fort edwards. then, there is fort pleasant up at oldfield which happens to be close to our family farm. and the only thing i see wrong here is i don't think there were ever any british regulars there. there were members of the virginia regiment but no british regulars. in 1756, there was the battle of the trough. a bloody affair. once again, young french officers with the indians attacking sellers. this fort was built and occupied by thomas wagner, a hugely
important person. oldfield -- washington was at oldfield's as a surveyor as early as 1748. here is -- this is difficult to figure out here. can you kind of see the fort in the corner? this is a very early illustration of a frontier fort. it is unclear if this was rebuilt after the french and indian war. there is some discussion about this. this really excellent map is in the hardy county library in moorefield, west virginia. all of this land is now owned by renick williams, a major landowner and i was in talking to him close to where the yellow blotches in the right hand corner. and the legend on the map says that is the burial ground for fort pleasant. i was talking to renick and he said -- yes, some of my guys were putting in a fence over there and they dug up a bunch of bones. i said, renick, those are some
really important bones. what happened to them? and he said -- i don't know. maybe they threw them to the dogs. i don't know. he is a really important landowner there. fort pleasant was captain thomas wagner -- by the way, wagner is a really interesting guy. i don't know if there is enough stuff for a biography that he sat on some of washington's military courts when they condemned young men to death for desertion. ok, most important of all is fort loudon in winchester. because that was the base of winchester's defense of the frontier. a hugely important place. it was the center of operations for the entire western frontier and washington spent a huge amount of time there from where
he went to all of the outlying outposts. fort loudon, you can see that is loudon street running north is to the left and running south is to the right. that is north loudoun street you see running through it. washington designed it and oversaw the building of it. hugely important. i love this painting by erik -- is he here today? i love this because it shows that relative to the town, this fort was enormous. it just kind of was overwhelming as a presence in town. a huge investment by the british. maybe as much as 10,000 pounds plus all of the ancillary
economic activity generated by the construction. and imagine a 40 foot gallows in that fort? winchester was a pretty grim place in 1756 and 1757. i love this painting because it conveys that sense of the overwhelming size and importance of fort loudon. here is winchester after the war. most of the major streets, cameron, loudon, braddock, fairfax, they were all named after french and indian war personalities. we come back to the issue of, you know, the french and indian war is the making of winchester and the making of george washington. and they rose to prominence together.
i think this kind of says it all. it was a military town. and it was not just the 10,000 pounds which was a huge amount of money. invested in the building of the fort. but, once again, there were all of these secondary, ancillary economic activities generated by the existence of the construction workers and the soldiers etc., etc., etc. ok, the famous elections to the house of burgesses. when i said that washington was not loved by thomas jefferson, he was not loved by james madison and not loved by james monroe. he was not loved by the townspeople of winchester either.
and notice that his pathetic showing in the first round at the top -- no one was interested much in george washington. famously then james was, who was a patron of washington's, not as important as dinwiddie but he was a patron of george washington's and he stepped in and there are other people who know about these elections, more than i do but apparently james wood put up the money to buy this election for george washington but i am not sure that was an accurate statement. there was a lot of james wood money involved in getting george washington eventually elected. >> [inaudible] >> right. right. the change in the election between 1757 and 1758 was dramatic. something happened. washington did not suddenly become a popular figure on his own. so, then, everything changes in 1758, dramatically. the british send a better army across pennsylvania to fort duquesne. and they eventually compel the
french to burn the place and abandon it which changes the whole nature of things. of this campaign against fort duquesne in 1758. it is a little hard to figure out. here is a postage stamp from 1958. it commemorated the 200th anniversary. if you look carefully, can you see the guy on the ground in his sick bed? that is the british general forbes in charge of this. i think that is supposed to be george washington on horseback with his hat raised. and in the background you see the burning of fort duquesne. after four years of pursuing
this fort, they manage to succeed. washington was there. he got engaged to mary custis -- martha custis in 1758. he was married in 1759. he goes on to retire to mount vernon and when he is at mount vernon, he loves being engaged in farming activities and watch his crops grow and his animals. so, for example, he says, 1759, friday, may 2. it was cold with strong westerly winds at mount vernon. my stallion covered the great bay mare. i had never heard that expression before. saturday, may 2, wind gusts southerly but blew fresh and cool.
the stallion covered rankin. and afterwards, breaking out of his pasture, they covered the mare again. interesting use of language. 1780 he is commander of the continental army. a year after this painting was done, washington, with his french friends, the most important of home was rochambeau. gave the british a very good covering. [laughter] very good covering at yorktown.
but this was done with his french friends. this is a wonderful statue. it is right across pennsylvania avenue from the white house. it is in lafayette park. this is a statue in paris. it is a wonderful statue of washington on the right shaking the hands of probably his favorite french officer, the marquis de lafayette. there were a lot of people that did not love washington but i tell you, these french officers were head over heels in love with george washington. i managed to find a book, the library of michigan was throwing it away. i think i have to donate it to the handley library.
the last time it was checked out was 1944. [laughter] this is a book that is made up exclusively of love letters written by french officers for george washington. these young officers were crazy about george washington. his fellow virginians, like jefferson, adams, and monroe did not care for him but washington was a huge favorite with the french. so, state capital. richmond. in 1785, benjamin franklin was in paris, he loved to be in paris. in 1785 though he came home to the united states and he brought with him this french artist. who was the most famous sculptor
portraitist in europe at the time. he did a bust of jefferson and of franklin and of voltaire and he did this of george washington. franklin sent him to mount vernon where he did all of the models and things which he took back to paris and had this done in his workshop. it is really a great piece, isn't it? it is a dramatic piece. by houdon. appropriately standing in the foyer of the statehouse in richmond. here we have at this time washington is a most famous man in the world. really, the most famous man in the world and we have the most famous portraitist sculptor going to mount vernon.
holy cow, folks, this was big stuff. so, i don't know whether you love him in this portrait but he surely is impressive. and he had come a very long way from here. [laughter] a very long way from here when he arrived in winchester as a 16-year-old server. i want to conclude by offering a toast to our beloved winchester. 275th. to our greatest president and to our enduring friendship with france. thank you very much. i enjoyed it. [applause] tvyou are watching american -- american history tv all onkend on c-span 3 great
september 21, 1976, a car bomb inloded on embassy row washington, d.c. up next, we visit sheridan circle with a story to see a memorial at the spot where the crime took place. the professor is the author of ghosts of sheridan circle. dr. mcpherson: so, we are literally at the scene of the crime. this is a memorial that was put here by the institute for policy studies to memorialize the assassination of orlando letelier.