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Haven Correspondence. - Disasters of his Administration,
I. Group plate of four Presidents, containing likenesses of George Washington, Abra-
II. The British Fleet leaving Boston Harbor
III. Group plate of six Presidents; viz., John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madi-
LIVES OF THE PRESIDENTS.
Ancestry of Washington. - His Birth and Childhood. Anecdotes. The Youthful En-
Domestic Habits. Appointed Commander-in-chief. - Expulsion of the British from Boston. - Battles of the Revolution. - Perplexities and Sufferings. Spirit of Self-sacrifice. Alliance with France.-Capture of Cornwallis. -Attacks upon the Character of Washington.—The Tomahawk and Scalping-knife. — Close of the War. - Washington chosen President. His Retirement. Peaceful Life at Mount Vernon. - Sickness and Death.
Two centuries ago, Virginia was almost an unexplored wilder. ness; but, even then, the beautiful realm had obtained much renown from the sketches of chance tourists. The climate, the soil, the rivers, bays, mountains, valleys, all combined to render it one of the most attractive spots upon our globe. Two young brothers, of wealth, intelligence, and high moral principle,-Lawrence and John Washington, -were lured by these attractions to abandon their home in England's crowded isle, and seek their fortunes in this new world. They were both gentlemen. Lawrence was a fine scholar, a graduate of Oxford: John was an accomplished man of business.
After a dreary voyage of four months, they entered that magnificent inland sea, Chesapeake Bay, and from that ascended the beautiful Potomac. It was a scene as of Fairyland, which was spread around them that bright summer morning, when their vessel, propelled by a favoring breeze, glided over the mirrored
waters of that river which the name of Washington was subsequently to render so renowned. The unbroken forest in all its primeval grandeur swept sublimely over hill and valley. The birch canoes of the Indian, paddled by warriors in their picturesque attire of paint and feathers, glided buoyant as bubbles over the waves. Distance lent enchantment to the view of wigwam villages in sunny coves, with boys and girls frolicking on the beach and in the water.
The two brothers had purchased a large tract of land about fifty miles above the mouth of the river, and on its western banks. John built him a house, and married Miss Anne Pope. Years rolled on, of joys and griefs, of smiles and tears, of births and deaths; and the little drama, so trivial, so sublime, of that family life, disappeared, ingulfed in the fathomless sea of the ages. Augustine, the second son of John, who, like his father, was an energetic, wise, good man, remained in the paternal homestead, cultivating its broad acres. Life, if prolonged, is a tragedy always. Augustine's wife, Jane Butler, as lovely in character as she was beautiful in person, died, leaving in the house, darkened with grief, three little motherless children. The disconsolate father, in the course of years, found another mother for his bereaved household.
He was singularly fortunate in his choice. Mary Ball was every thing that husband or child could desire. She was beautiful in person, intelligent, accomplished, energetic and prudent, and a warm-hearted Christian. Augustine and Mary were married on the 6th of March, 1730. On the 22d of February, 1732, they received into their arms their first-born child. Little did they dream, as they bore their babe to the baptismal font and called him George Washington, that that name was to become one of the most memorable in the annals of time. Explain it as we may, there is seldom a great and a good man to be found who has not had a good mother.
In this respect, George Washington was very highly blessed. Both of his parents were patterns for a child to follow. The birthplace of George, though very secluded, was one of the most picturesque spots on the banks of the Potomac. His parents were wealthy for those times, and his home was blessed with all substantial comforts. A beautiful lawn, smooth and green, spread in gentle descent from the door-stone of their one-story cottage
to the pebbly shore of the river, which here spread out into a magnificent breadth of nearly ten miles. On the eastern bank, there extended, as far as the eye could reach, the forest-covered hills and vales of Maryland. A few islands contributed their charm to this view of surpassing loveliness. The smoke of Indian fires curled up from the forest, the flash from the paddle of the Indian canoe glanced over the waves, and occasionally the sails of the white man's ship were seen ascending the stream.
From earliest childhood, George developed a very noble character. He had a vigorous constitution, a fine form, and great bodily strength. In childhood, he was noted for frankness, fearlessness, and moral courage; and yet he was as far removed as possible from manifesting a quarrelsome spirit, or from displaying any of the airs of the bravado. He never tyrannized over others; and none in his peaceful, rural, virtuous home were found to attempt to tyrannize over him. We must not omit the story, though the world has it by heart, of his cutting the cherry-tree. His reply to his indignant father, whose impetuous nature was roused by the outrage, "Father, I cannot tell a lie, I cut the tree," was but the development in boyhood of the character of his manhood. The father was worthy of the child. "Come to my heart," said he, as he embraced him with flooded eyes: "I had rather lose a thousand trees than find falsehood in my son."
Man is born to mourn. After twelve happy years of union with Mary Ball, when George was but ten years of age, Augustine Washington died, leaving George and five other children fatherless. The grief-stricken mother was equal to the task thus imposed upon her. The confidence of her husband in her judgment and maternal love is indicated by the fact, that he left the income of the entire property to her until her children should respectively come of age. Nobly she discharged the task thus imposed upon her. A nation's homage gathers around the memory of the mother of Washington. George never ceased to revere his mother. He attributed to the principles of probity and religion which she instilled into his mind much of his success during the eventful career through which Providence led him.
In the final division of the estate, the oldest son, Lawrence, the