Imatge de l'autor

M. L. Weems (1759–1825)

Autor/a de The Life of Washington

15+ obres 228 Membres 4 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Crèdit de la imatge: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Obres de M. L. Weems

The Life of Washington (1800) 138 exemplars

Obres associades

Library of Southern Literature, Vol. XIII: Washington-Young (1909) — Col·laborador — 6 exemplars


Coneixement comú

Data de naixement
Data de defunció
Llocs de residència
Herring Bay, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, USA
Episcopal priest
book printer
Episcopal Church



This volume, originally printed in 1800, was found at garage sale was missing Washington Fly Leaf portrait, title page, dedication to Martha Washington, first 4 pages of biography (to page 6) by me in circa 1967. Many years later, Ernest R Tufft discovered the volume and was able to determine the original source at UC Berkeley, and replace these missing pages on acid-free paper from the original photo images. Then, the volume was restored using original coverboards and binding. According to Wikipedia, Author Parson Weems was the source of apocryphal stories about Washington, however, this copy precedes the tale of the cherry tree with was in 1809 edition.… (més)
atufft | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 10, 2019 |
Picked up after reading several accounts of the Revolutionary War in South Carolina. Principal author and first person voice is Peter Horry, a colonel in Marion’s “regiment” (although nominally a brigadier general, Francis Marion never seems to have commanded a unit of more than 300 troops); second author is Mason “Parson” Weems, famous as a collector of George Washington apocrypha. The work is typical Early American hagiography; the valiant patriots fight bravely and honorably against the craven and cruel British and Tories. (Hoory/Weems do cite a couple of cases where Marion’s troops looted or killed prisoners – but they always repented abjectly when admonished by Marion – and a case of a British major who prevented his troops from looting a widow – but making clear that this was the exception and not the rule). The language is breathtakingly florid; here’s Horry’s account of a meeting with Marion, while building a fort in Charleston harbor:

“Friendship was gay within my heart, and thenceforth all nature put on her loveliest aspects. The island of sand no longer seemed a dreary waste. Brighter rolled the blue waves of ocean beneath the golden beam, and sweeter murmured the billows on their sandy beach. My heart rejoiced with the playful fishes, as they leaped with high wantoning in the air, or with sudden flounce, returned again, wild darting through their lucid element.”

Well, I suppose you had to be there.

Underneath the exuberant prose, however, it a fairly decent manual on how to conduct partisan, or guerilla, or asymmetric warfare. As discussed in Partisans and Redcoats (reviewed earlier), the British essentially had the war won after the capture of Charleston in 1780; there were no Continental troops in South Carolina, all militia had been paroled, and every town had a British garrison. Horry/Weems concede if the British had behaved with moderate indulgence from the point there would have been no further American resistance in South Carolina. Not bad for both the actual history and for an example of hero-worship in the early US.
… (més)
setnahkt | Dec 26, 2017 |
If you have ever encountered the legendary anecdote concerning the youthful George Washington - who "could not tell a lie," and thus confessed to chopping down the cherry tree - and wondered where it came from, then look no further. Parson Weems' "biography" of George Washington, first distributed as a pamphlet in 1800, seems to the modern eye to be more in the way of historical fiction than legitimate history. Full of apocryphal stories that historians have long discounted, Weems' work was wildly popular in the nineteenth century, when adulation of the "Father of Our Nation" was rampant.

But in spite of its historical "fabrications", The Life of Washington still has value as an example of the nineteenth-century mythologizing of American history, and should be of interest to scholars of that period. I myself might never have stumbled across this book if it had not been assigned reading for a college course I took on the intellectual history of nineteenth-century America. (Thank you, Professor Ponce de Leon!) I’m glad that I did, as founding-father “worship” seems once again to be in vogue, making this nineteenth-century hagiography rather interesting.
… (més)
AbigailAdams26 | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jun 25, 2013 |
I thank you for the pamphlet you were so kind as to send to me which I have read with great satisfaction.

(TJ to Mason Locke Weems; December 13, 1804)
ThomasJefferson | Sep 30, 2007 |


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