When God resolved to set his people free from Egyptian bondage he raised up able and mighty men to effect his glorious purposes. These he endowed with wisdom to conceive, genius to plan and energy to execute his noble designs. Their oppressive and heartless task-masters had been increasing their burdens with a relentless severity for years. To mercy they were blind, to reason they turned a deaf ear, complaints they treated with contumely, the judgments from heaven they heeded not.
There is a striking resemblance between the history of the Israelites bursting the chains of slavery riveted upon them by the short-sighted Pharaoh and that of the American Colonies throwing off the yoke of bondage imposed by the British king. Like Moses, Washington led his countrymen through the dreary wilderness of the Revolution and when the journey terminated he planted them upon the promised land of Freedom and Independence. Like Moses he placed his trust in the God of Hosts and relied upon his special aid and direction under all circumstances. Like Moses he was nobly sustained by a band of Sages and Heroes unrivalled in the history of the world.
The pedigree of Gen. Washington, as traced and illustrated by Mr. Mapleson, carries back his descent to William de Hertburn, Lord of the Manor of Washington, in the county of Durham, England. From him descended John Washington of Whitfield in the time of Richard III. and ninth in descent from the said John was George, first President of the United States. The mother of the John Washington who emigrated to Virginia in 1657 and who was great-grandfather to the General, was Eleanor Hastings, daughter and heiress of John Hastings grandson to Francis, second Earl of Huntingdon. She was the descendant, through Lady Huntingdon of George, Duke of Clarence; brother to King Edward IV. and King Richard III. by Isabel Nevil, daughter and heiress of Richard, Earl of Warwick, the King-maker. Washington, therefore, as well as all the descendants of that marriage, are entitled to quarter the arms of Hastings, Pole, Earl of Salisbury, Plantagenet, Scotland, Mortimer, Earl of March, Nevil, Montagu, Beauchamp and Devereaux.
Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, the 22d of February 1732. He lost his father at an early age and leaned on the wisdom of a fond and judicious mother for the exquisite moulding of his youthful mind. He attributed his success in after life to the early training and faithful pruning of his revered mother. Mothers of America! imitate the example of the mother of the illustrious Washington. The prosperity and perpetuity of our UNION depends much upon the training of your sons. Teach them wisdom, virtue, patriotism, love of country, Liberty. Teach them to prize, dearer than life, the sacred boon of FREEDOM that was nobly won and sacredly transmitted to us by the Sages and Heroes of '76.
During his childhood and youth Washington exhibited a strong and inquiring mind. Industry, stability, perseverance, modesty and honesty were early developed in his character and marked his brilliant career through life. He was frank, generous and humane from his childhood. Nothing could induce him to utter a falsehood, practise deceit or disobey his fond mother. He soared above the trifling amusements that so often lead boys and youth astray and prepare them for a useless, often an ignominious existence. He was designed by his great Creator to be a star of the first magnitude on the great theatre of action--the Moses of America. He studied his part thoroughly before he entered upon the stage of public life. When the curtain rose he was prepared for his audience, acquitted himself nobly and retired amidst the grateful plaudits of admiring--reverent millions.