What was Washington’s greatest gift to our country? While in Virginia we have been visiting locations associated with George Washington.
Perhaps more words have been written about George Washington than about any other American. Without his monumental effort, our country wouldn’t exist. His gifts to our country have a lot to do with the birth of the country but I think one thing that he did was his biggest gift to the nation. I will put my answer at the end of this post.
Since at best I am an amateur scholar of American history. I am even less informed about how Washington’s personal life helped shape the very foundations of our country. I am going to make this more of an opportunity to share some pictures rather than an interpretive opinion article.
We know that George Washington was born at the Pope’s Creek plantation in Virginia. His great grandfather immigrated from England and the family was wealthy landowners. George Washington Birthplace National Monument now occupies the Pope’s Creek Plantation. Even though an estate house is on the tour, it is not his birthplace. An outline of the foundation for a house was laid out in white stones and that location (according to the sign) was the original house. There is however no evidence that Washington was born in a house associated with that foundation either. The design of the foundation is remarkably like the foundation for a stable also at Pope’s Creek.
Between the time of his birth and becoming known as the father of our country, George Washington did many of the things that the wealthy did as members of Virginia society. This includes getting a job and spending time away from home. As a young adult, Washington was also instrumental in surveying the Shenandoah. Here is a quick link to our visit to the Shenandoah region. Shenandoah River
Washington also spent time in the British military and commanded the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War.
Little Hunting Creek
Washington’s brother renamed Little Hunting Creek to its current name, Mount Vernon. This is the location that we think of as associated with George Washington. Mount Vernon is the plantation that George Washington operated before the Revolutionary War. Mount Vernon was the place where George Washington retired after his public service ended.
On the Plantation
Washington’s Greatest Gift
King George of England understood well that Washington could easily have been the new ruler of the United States. Washington was the single most influential person associated with the creation of the United States. Washington lead a collection of untrained, underpaid, and underfed farmers to defeat the most powerful military in the world to win independence.
Washinton also made provisions to free all his slaves.
Washington’s greatest gift to the country is that after two terms as President of the United States he resigned his office to return to Mount Vernon and be a farmer. His gift was he did his duty and then he resigned and created a system for a peaceful transition of the highest office.
Washingtons greatest gift still endures today.