Me: Thank you for agreeing to this interview sir, it is truly an honor. May I begin by asking where you were born and if you could please tell us a little bit about your family?
Washington: I was born on our Pope’s Creek Estate in Westmoreland County, Virginia. My mother is my father’s second wife and I am their first born. I had nine siblings but unfortunately the Lord saw it fit to take three of them before their time on this earth had fully blossomed. I was fortunate to know my father for 11 years before he also passed away and I thank the Lord for that opportunity.
Me: Those deaths must have been really hard on you.
Washington: Yes they were, but I have always believed that all thing happen for a purpose, and I am sure that forever mourning their deaths is not what my father and my siblings would have desired of me. Instead, I celebrate the time that they had in this world and the difference they made in the lives of those they touched. I was also blessed to have family and friends to get me through those hard times. My brother Lawrence became like a parent to me after the demise of our father and his father-in-law William Fairfax also played a large role in molding me into the man you see standing before you. As you can see, the almighty may have taken my father to be with him but he provided me with two capable replacements in return and thus I was never lacking.
Me: Your strength is inspiring. May I ask what business your family was in? Because according to my records, you appear to be the first Washington to venture into the game of politics.
Washington: (Laughing) Ah yes, not many predicted this path for me when I was young lad. My father, God rest his soul, was a slave owner and a farmer of tobacco. I can say he had enterprising spirit within him and he liked to try new things for he later also tried his luck in the iron mining business.
Me: You had a previous stint in the military; tell me, how did you come about this line of work?
Washington: Well after my father’s demise, I unfortunately could not follow in the steps of my older brothers and cross the seas for an education from Appleby School in England. Thus alternative choices had to be sought elsewhere nearer home. Funnily enough, I was to join the Royal Navy on my 15th birthday but our poor mother could not bear to see her son taken through such rigorous experiences! Little did she know that my path would still cross with the military’s later on.
Me: So you joined the Royal Navy later on after all?
Washington: Alas no, my dear brother Lawrence assisted me in getting a job as an official surveyor for Culpeper County and my involvement with the military only occurred after he had breathed his last on this earth. (Pauses) Lawrence was a good man. He held a position in the militia as Adjutant General and his true value was revealed when they divvied this position into four parts after his death. Few people can say that they did the work of four men but my brother is one of them. I was appointed to occupy one of these four positions and thus my stint in the military began as a district adjutant with the ranking of major in the Virginia militia.
Me: I am truly impressed! You seem to have risen past all the adversities that life has thrown your way and beaten a path to success through sheer effort and will if I may say so.
Washington: Your compliments flatter an old soul, but I would be lying if I simply accepted them without mentioning the fact that my progress would have not been possible had it not been for the support of my late brother Lawrence who was like a father to me. I would have never come to the notice of the then Governor Dinwiddie had it not been for him and my appointment would have never taken place.
Me: Nevertheless, I am amazed that modesty is still a trait you manage to maintain.
Washington: (Laughter) My position makes me a servant of the people of this noble country and is modesty not one of the traits expected in a servant? If life has taught me one thing, that no man is better than another, for in the end we all the point of our demise and we are all judged by the same God who favors not rank nor position but the goodness of a man’s heart.
Me: I will bear your words of wisdom in mind sir. During your stint in the military what would you say was your most memorable moment?
Washington: When one joins an army during time of war, one can say that every moment is memorable as one learns to appreciate the gift of life and enjoy every day as if it were your last. However, if I was to pick one I would have to say it was my experience during the French and Indian war. As you may well know there was a period where I was captured by the French at Fort Necessity and there was a time I felt I was either going to die or be imprisoned for the rest of my life. When they allowed my troops and I to return home, I can say that was the single most joyous moment of my life.
Me: Ah yes, I am aware of that period. The French accused you of assassinating one of their leading commanders Joseph Coulon de Jumonville during battle. I must say it caused quite a commotion.
Washington: Yes it did, and it saddens me that they would think me capable of such a heinous act. Assassination does not belong in the field of war and is an act of cowardice. I had met Jumonville before and I had no personal vendetta against him so I had no reason to kill the man.
Me: Can you tell us what happened?
Washington: For the sake of my fellow soldiers, all I can reveal is that he was injured during battle and that he did not die by my hand and that is the truth. However, I feel that the French should also be truthful on their part for we all know that Jumonville and his men were not in Virginia on what they termed as a diplomatic mission.
Me: Can you expound on that please sir?
Washington: I would rather not, there is no need to bring up a hatchet buried a long time ago.
Me: Alright, moving on there was another moment in your military career that I personally think displayed your leadership abilities in a great light.
Washington: And which is that?
Me: The Braddock Expedition.
Washington: My heart still mourns for the soldiers we lost on that ill fated expedition, General Edward Braddock was a brave man and he showed a fighting up to his death. The Battle of the Monongahela will never be forgotten and neither will the brave souls who lost their lives to it.
Me: My sources tell me that you were responsible for rounding up the surviving troops to make an organized retreat while everyone else fled in disarray.
Washington: That is not true, there were a number of soldiers who should tremendous valor on the battle field and without their help I would not have managed to get the troops together. It would be a travesty should their great bravery go unmentioned in the telling of the story. I am but one man and there are certain things that a single man cannot do on his own.
Me: Once again your modesty knows no bounds.
Washington: Thank you. I pray it may remain so till my dying day.
Me: You had retired from your Virginia Regiment commission at some point, I believe it was in the month of December in the year 1758.
Washington: Yes, I had grown tired of military life and the fighting that was involved on occasions that were too frequent for my taste and after defending Virginia’s frontier for a long time I felt it was time for to take a break from the violence and rest. I dare say I would not have returned to the military were it not for the revolution.
Me: Now that the war against the British is over, what are your plans?
Washington: Well I have just been elected to be the president of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. I was actually planning to retire before I was convinced to attend the convention and the election came as a surprise, but now that I am in this position I will endeavor myself to serve the independent people of our great country to my best efforts and together with my fellow delegates come up with a constitution that will be the backbone of this great nation.
Me: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk with me.
Washington: You are most welcome kind sir and the best of luck to you in your future endeavors.
Me: And to you.
- Ferling, John E. (2009). The Ascent of George Washington: The Hidden Political Genius
of an American Icon. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
- Grizzard, Frank E., Jr. (2005). George!: A Guide to All Things Washington. Buena Vista,
Va: Mariner Pub.