Friday, September 22, 2017

At Mount Vernon

Washington's Home in Mount Vernon.
       The period between the close of the French and Indian War and the outbreak of the Revolution brought to Washington some of the happiest years of his life. In January, 1759, he married Mrs. Martha Custis, an attractive and wealthy young widow with two children, John and Martha Parke Custis. The management of his own and his wife's property provided an outlet for his business instincts, and he entered whole-heartedly into the public affairs of Virginia colony as a delegate to the House of Burgesses, to which he had been elected before his marriage. These duties, with those of a good churchman and a hospitable colonial gentleman, rounded out a life completely wholesome and happy. The Mount Vernon mansion was always filled to over- flowing during the hunting season, but none of its inmates enjoyed the pleasures of the chase more than the master himself.
       As relations grew strained between the colonies and the mother country, Washington for a long time hoped that an agreement might be reached without resort to war, and he was very guarded in his utterances. In 1769, however, he drew up a nonimportation agreement which was adopted by the House of Burgesses, and from that time on he refused to permit any of the banned articles to be brought into his house.
       As a member of the provincial convention, held in August, 1774, at Williamsburg, he vigorously upheld the right of the colonies to govern themselves, and, moved by reports about the effects of the Boston Port Bill, exclaimed in an impassioned speech, "I will raise a thousand men and march with them, at their head, for the relief of Boston." Virginia sent him as one of its six delegates to the First Continental Congress, and in this and the succeeding Congress, held in 1775, he was clearly one of the commanding figures, though he let others make the speeches.
Washington's Grave in Mount Vernon.

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