The Life of George Washington, Vol. 1 (of 5)

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In his will George Washington bequeathed to his favorite nephew,Bushrod Washington, his personal letters, private papers and secretdocuments accumulated during a lifetime of service to his country.When the bequest became known, many of the literary men of the countrywere proposed for the commission to write the authorized life of ourFirst President.Bushrod Washington's choice fell upon John Marshall, Chief Justice ofthe Supreme Court. To him he handed over all the precious papers lefthim by his distinguished relative. George Washington and Marshall'sfather, Thomas Marshall, were boyhood companions, so John Marshallknew "the Father of His Country" as a neighbor and friend from hisearliest youth, and served under him in the Revolution.If it be true that it takes a great man to interpret the life of agreat man then Bushrod Washington made no mistake in the selection ofa biographer. For Marshall, under the influence of Washington, came tobe nearly as great a man as the character whose life and achievementsheld his deepest thought for nearly a quarter of a century. Certainlyhis services to his country rank close to Washington's. Marshall'ssympathetic understanding of his subject, his first-hand knowledge ofevents with his remarkable powers of expression qualified him toproduce the masterpiece that has come down to us.
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