Distorting American History
One of the most disturbing trends of the last fifty years has been the distortion of historical record surrounding the founding fathers. Their deep devotion to an Almighty God has been stripped away, replaced by avarice, political greed, and power struggles. Modern writers mistake enthusiasm or passion for dominance; they mistake confidence (in one’s purpose) for arrogance, and intellect for aristocratic snobbery. A classic example is the 1966 work by Holmes Alexander entitled, Washington and Lee – A Study in the Will to Win. The author makes no attempt to square Washington’s enthusiasm to win the Revolution with his belief that he was fighting for a just and worthy cause, that a free country was worth fighting for. In this book, it’s all about personal accolades and power glory. “The ruling passion of Washington’s character was for accomplishment. All of his passions were for the purpose of making money–lots of money–and he prosecuted this single purpose with all his energy,” declares Alexander in Chapter One. The book becomes an increasingly insulting tirade belittling any man with unwavering purpose. So where is the truth about this man, our first President? As I’ve often said, turn to the first-hand accounts, to those who lived with the man. These sources include many personal letters written between Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. The letters between Adams and Washington are on display at Mount Vernon, at Valley Forge, in the Congress Hall of Philadelphia, and are still available through printed sources. What does John Adams, a personal friend and first-hand observer of the man, have to say about Washington? Adams called him “modest and virtuous, the amiable, generous and brave, of whom we stand united with God.” Adams repeatedly proclaims Washington a man of God, modest, and humble. One has only to read the actual accounts of witnesses to get these first-hand reports: “We have seen him kneeling both day and night before an open Bible, which seems to be his daily practice” (Reverend at Christ Church of Valley Forge; read from letters obtained through the Smithsonian); “That must be our last vision of him, kneeling in his library in prayer, his Bible open before him, and his hands clasped in prayer.” (Philadelphia Historical Society/account from nephew).