Although generally known as the “Father of Our Country,” George Washington’s life was filled with a good many strange events not commonly reported or documented in our history books. Apparently having grown tired of overhearing stories about himself told and retold for the past couple of hundred years, President Washington decided to introduce some of his self-generated gossip and rumors about himself
Channeling President Washington just after a very exhausting day of reading, body surfing and playing with the grand children, the following formerly secret gossip about our fist President was revealed to me by our first official “Mr. President”:
1. General Washington was not really a General at all. He was a Private in the Revolutionary Army (a thoroughly disorganized group of renegades, each of whom assigned themselves the rank they wanted.) Mr. Washington chose “Private” because all he really wanted to do was to peel potatoes.
As circumstance would have it, though, he was re-titled “General” after being constantly identified as a “generally unreliable soldier” by most of those who knew him. His ascension to a position of leadership was entirely by default. Even the colonists thought they would lose their struggle with the red-coated forces of old King George and no one of any stature wanted to risk losing it by ‘leading’ the rebels. Thus, General Washington.
2. The Father of Our Country was born with the name George D.C. Launderington. His last name had too many letters to have printed on his Colonial Carriage Driver’s and Slave Owner’s License, so a couple of letters were deducted by changing “Launder” to “Wash.” (I received no information about what his middle initials “D.C.” stood for, but there is some suspicion among scholars of this period that they stood for “Darn Clean.”)
3. The Dollar that George purportedly threw across the Potomac River was actually a paper Dollar bill – a prototype for the ones still in use today – which he folded into the shape of a paper airplane and sent sailing across the river. This is probably more of a challenge to believe than the traditional coin Dollar story as airplanes were not to be invented for many years to come.
Clearly, some of what George was channeling through me is suspect, but I am just the reporter and these are ‘just’ gossipy rumors.
4. All school children in the United States are taught some things about George Washington. One being that he chopped down a cherry tree and then confessed having done so to his father, beginning by saying, “I cannot tell a lie.” Well, he certainly COULD. A couple of times during this metaphysical experience, I heard the soft but determined whining of his wife, Martha Washington, saying something about “… he bit me with those wooden teeth of his and then blamed the dog…”
5. What came to be called the Continental Army, was actually an 18th Century version of what today is called the Salvation Army. When George first signed up as that potato-peeling Private, he thought he was doing so in service to his own salvation. That one actually turned out to be close to what he had hoped. He sure garnered a lot of credit and notoriety in the ensuing years, though we can never be positive about his salvation.
6. Surviving with his Army for a horribly cold winter at Valley Forge. According to George himself, a near total fabrication by those in the business of selling woolen underwear to the Continental soldiers who, heretofore, had had only cottons.
This man, Henry “Fruit-Of-The-Loom” Skivyman, became a major stakeholder in the just beginning military industrial complex that a much later President would caution Americans about as he was leaving office. Underwear meant quite a lot in those days – In the General’s honor, they were originally called Long Georges by the men whose lives they saved at Valley Forge.
Finally, George reminded me that all history is ultimately subjective both in the experience of what actually happened and, to an even greater degree, in the telling of it.
He just wanted the chance to generate some of his very own gossip about these several things – feeling (as best someone who has been dead for a couple of centuries can be expected to feel) that he was perhaps just a mite undeserving of some of the things he had been credited with.
He was unwilling to discuss, through the channeling, the rumor that the Father of our Country was actually a Mother.