General George Washington's willing relinquishment of military authority after the War of Independence shocked the world, but it set him on a path toward greater political success as he presided over the Constitutional Convention and then became the first president of the United States. This book presents a lively collection of contemporary letters, poems, addresses, and newspaper reports dating from Washington's farewell orders to the Continental Army in 1783 to his retirement from the executive office. Here we see Washington as he stood before and was addressed by the nation—praised by politicians, advised by foreigners, and lionized by citizens. In Washington's own letters and addresses we also glimpse the canny side of Washington, a man who was careful with his public image and was a shrewd gamesman in the political arena.
"The editors have discovered contemporary poetry and published commentary that have never been reprinted. The adulation of Washington may stun some readers.... [John] Kaminski and [Jill Adair] McCaughan have produced an appealing and thought-provoking work which demonstrates that by 1787 most free Americans truly loved George Washington."—New York History