The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolken tells of man’s lust for “the ring of power.” George Washington had that power and twice gave it up.
When King George III asked American-born painter Benjamin West what Washington planned to do now that he had won the war, West replied “They say he will return to his farm.” King George said “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.”
Washington later served as President and again returned to his farm, similar to Roman leader Cincinnatus, who twice led Rome’s Republic to victory in battle then returned to farming.
On SEPTEMBER 19, 1796, the world stood in awe as President George Washington delivered his Farewell Address, stating: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars…Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.”
George Washington ended: “Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle…Morality is a necessary spring of popular government…Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation?”
William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.
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