View Poll Results: What type was George Washington?

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  • ILE (ENTp)

    0 0%
  • SEI (ISFp)

    0 0%
  • ESE (ESFj)

    0 0%
  • LII (INTj)

    0 0%
  • SLE (ESTp)

    0 0%
  • IEI (INFp)

    0 0%
  • EIE (ENFj)

    0 0%
  • LSI (ISTj)

    0 0%
  • SEE (ESFp)

    0 0%
  • ILI (INTp)

    0 0%
  • LIE (ENTj)

    0 0%
  • ESI (ISFj)

    3 60.00%
  • IEE (ENFp)

    0 0%
  • SLI (ISTp)

    0 0%
  • LSE (ESTj)

    2 40.00%
  • EII (INFj)

    0 0%
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Thread: George Washington

  1. #41
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    god, he does look like an ISTp.
    6w5 sx
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    sloan - rcuei

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSonic
    "Are you suggesting he was Intuitive?"

    No, I'm suggesting it's unlikely that he was ESTj.
    Well, after ESTJ, ISTJ and ISFJ don't make any more sense since they are even less resistant to that kind of stuff than ESTJ... so the only other option would be ENTJ if it was unlikely he was ESTJ... (though it still doesn't seem unlikely to me)...
    MAYBE I'LL BREAK DOWN!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by vague
    Rocky's posts are as enjoyable as having wisdom teeth removed.

  3. #43
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    Lsi?

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    At first I thought the presentation of that video is so bad it's almost satirical. Then he did the karate kick, and the humour wasn't that funny.

    I think he could be an LSI. Why not LSE though?

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    Pretty sure he was ISFj.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    Pretty sure he was ISFj.
    Yeah.
    , LIE, ENTj logical subtype, 8w9 sx/sp
    Quote Originally Posted by implied
    gah you're like the shittiest ENTj ever!

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    Why ESI?

  8. #48
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    Default Some ESI quotes from George Washington

    These are some quotes by George Washington which I believe collectively stress strong Fi/Se and indicate Te/Ni valuing, and also convey an attitude of suspicion toward beta Fe.

    ---

    A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.

    Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.

    Experience teaches us that it is much easier to prevent an enemy from posting themselves than it is to dislodge them after they have got possession.

    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth.

    Friendship is a plant of slow growth and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.

    Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.

    Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.

    I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.

    I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country.

    I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.

    I walk on untrodden ground. There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn into precedent.

    If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.

    It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.

    It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.

    Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.

    Lenience will operate with greater force, in some instances than rigor. It is therefore my first wish to have all of my conduct distinguished by it.

    Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.

    Let your heart feel for the afflictions and distress of everyone, and let your hand give in proportion to your purse.

    My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.

    My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.

    Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.

    Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.

    The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.

    The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.

    The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good.

    There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate, upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

    To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.

    Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.

    We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.

    Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.

  9. #49
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    Wow, these are like his personal commandments.

  10. #50
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    I like how the quotes are in alphabetical order.
    INFj

    9w1 sp/sx

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by tereg View Post
    I like how the quotes are in alphabetical order.
    I went through a quote site that arranged them that way, picking out the ones I liked as I read them.

  12. #52
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    good stuff

  13. #53
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    Obvious ESTj is too obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    ... His mind was great and powerful, without being of the very first order; his penetration strong, though not so acute as that of a Newton, Bacon, or Locke; and as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion. Hence the common remark of his officers, of the advantage he derived from councils of war, where hearing all suggestions, he selected whatever was best; and certainly no general ever planned his battle more judiciously. But if deranged during the course of the action, if any member of his plan was dislocated by sudden circumstances, he was slow in readjustment. The consequence was that he often failed in the field, and rarely against an enemy in station, as at Boston and York. He was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest unconcern. Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed.

  14. #54
    Enlightened Hedonist Subteigh's Avatar
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    It is likely that a dominant type would write a work such as his 'Rules of Civility'?:

    ( http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12029/pg12029.html )

    The descriptions of him really do not describe him as any way extroverted in the classical sense either.

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    http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib..._Arnold_1.html

    I think he would have benefitted more from the company of an LIE than an EII. I think he had good use of Fi. So I would say ESI > LSE. I wonder what type Benedict Arnold was. That would be an interesting relationship to study.
    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek.
    But first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.
    You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... cow... on the roof of a cotton house. And, oh, so many startlements.
    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the ob-stacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward.
    Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation
    .


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pukq_XJmM-k

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    It is likely that a dominant type would write a work such as his 'Rules of Civility'?:

    ( http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12029/pg12029.html )

    The descriptions of him really do not describe him as any way extroverted in the classical sense either.
    I could see Director Abbie writing such a manual, seeing that she has made remarks to people getting too lewd in chat before. Neither does she appear extraverted in the classical sense. Yet there is little disagreement on her type as leading.

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    This reminds me of what seems to be a trend. In the game of thrones thread, some people argue Sean Bean as LSE or ESI. Washington is argued LSE or ESI. Then there was Rick from Walking Dead. I think some people argued SLI/LSE for Rick, whereas others ESI. I think there's a tendency to type ESI-Se types as LSE. At least, it looks that way.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by silke View Post
    I could see Director Abbie writing such a manual, seeing that she has made remarks to people getting too lewd in chat before. Neither does she appear extraverted in the classical sense. Yet there is little disagreement on her type as leading.
    Typing by a third party of uncertain type is a weak strategy. Even so, has Abbie written something so extensively comparable? Can it be said to have been written as a representation of her underlying psychology, rather than because of upbringing, e.g. motivated by the culture of a particular religion or ethos?

    When I read about Washington's own path in regards religion or relations towards other people, he followed his own path: an analysis of his behaviour in these areas is likely to be far more productive than comparing him broad brushstrokes to some young person whose flavour of their personality has not been expressed for an extensive period of time.

    I have never seen evidence of Washington being ego and to say he is ego because he feels the need to write a guide on "civility" because he is -valuing (and thus an area where he was not strong) seems like a perverse argument. I think it is more likely that he compiled this work at a young age because it was precisely the sort of thing he identified with...I don't think a ego type would see any merit in writing such a work, even for his own use (a brief summary perhaps, amongst many such works...something dashed off amongst other concerns...but this was not the case with Washington). The obvious comparison is with Benjamin Franklin, who extensively churned out pages of positivist advice and proverbs, along the lines of "Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today" and lines about how making enemies is not a constructive thing to do (the overall impression of Franklin is someone who is too busy to care for such things, and who dashes off many such works...but nothing about "civility"...certainly not page after page like Washington). Even Jefferson as a probable type is distinctly different in focus from Washington.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowball View Post
    This reminds me of what seems to be a trend. In the game of thrones thread, some people argue Sean Bean as LSE or ESI. Washington is argued LSE or ESI. Then there was Rick from Walking Dead. I think some people argued SLI/LSE for Rick, whereas others ESI. I think there's a tendency to type ESI-Se types as LSE. At least, it looks that way.
    Or LSE as ESI.

    LSE
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritella View Post
    Over here, we'll put up with (almost) all of your crap. You just have to use the secret phrase: "I don't value it. It's related to <insert random element here>, which is not in my quadra."
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquagraph View Post
    Abbie is so boring and rigid it's awesome instead of boring and rigid. She seems so practical and down-to-the-ground.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subteigh View Post
    It is likely that a dominant type would write a work such as his 'Rules of Civility'?:

    ( http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/12029/pg12029.html )

    The descriptions of him really do not describe him as any way extroverted in the classical sense either.
    I was watching a video of Jeff Daniels discussing his portrayal of George Washington in which he stated that GW had a soft speaking voice and people often had a hard time hearing what he was saying. I have no supporting evidence of this, not even a link to the video, so this is total hearsay. But I am feeling a bit lazy and someone else can look it up.
    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek.
    But first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.
    You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... cow... on the roof of a cotton house. And, oh, so many startlements.
    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the ob-stacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward.
    Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation
    .


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pukq_XJmM-k

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    Quote Originally Posted by Director Abbie View Post
    Or LSE as ESI.
    Maybe, but it's hard to reconcile a well composed use of Fi with a Te leading type. Feeling is supposed to be a neurotic area for a thinker. Rick Grimes character has a Te neuroticism at times on the walking dead; it gets him into trouble and he seems to have a strong need to read people and put all the pieces of their personality together in order to trust them (Ni), which LSEs don't really have. Rick's also pretty much Se creative because he deals with situations as they come and as they are. I don't remember Game of Thrones that well, but Sean Bean seemed very centered around Fi. I think the couple times he made mistakes was with his Te, especially since that's what got him ... accused of treason. Course, I don't know about Washington, but it sounds like he was some kind of Fi introvert, at the very least. SLI is possible too. But then we're suggesting that benefit pairs can appear pretty similar. Not that that's bad, but it's also a common socionics pattern in a lot of threads.


    There's a yahoo question on this where somebody seems to have studied George Washington's personality a bit - https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...4060635AAlomNR

    George Washington was a man who was very passionate but tried not to let his passions show. In this sense he was seen as a quiet man. He was very proud too. The kind of pride we are talking about here is a sense of honor. This was shown in that he would do everything he said he would do. He showed a sense of humility when he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army when he said that he did not feel that he was capable for the task but would take it on with all of his strength.

    Some historians say that this was a false humility and in a sense they are right but it wasn't meant to be disingenuous. It was a sincere attitude of gratefulness for the opportunity to serve. he was trying to convey the fact that he respected Congress's opinion and that he would do his best to live up to their expectations. His conviction about public service his whole life was if you "campaigned" for it or "tooted your own horn" to get the job then that in itself sowed that you were not qualified. He subscribed to the old proverb "Let another man praise you and not your own lips."

    George Washington was not cocky in an outward sense but he did have a great deal of self confidence and would (sometimes rashly) commit himself to plans that were based on this confidence alone in his abilities.

    He was rarely loud but he had a notorious temper that he constantly tried to keep in check. He was successful most of the time but in the heat of battle it could show up big time if someone was not following orders.

    Two examples are the Battle of Kips bay in NY and the battle of Monmouth in New Jersey.

    At Kips Bay in the fall of 1776, the British landed a huge fighting force at Kips Bay on the island of Manhattan. There were many inexperienced soldiers and militia guarding the entrance to the bay. The British Navy opened fire with cannon on there feeble entrenchments and the American soldiers began to retreat in panic. General Washington rode his horse hard to the front lines and cursed and swore up a storm as he saw the retreat. He even drew his sword and was trying to use to flat of it to stop the retreat single handedly. He got to where he was about 100 yards from the advancing enemy when one of his aides convinced him it was unsafe to remain. Very reluctantly, General Washington rode to safety.

    In the battle of Monmouth in June of 1778, one of Washington's most experienced officers, General Charles Lee, who was not convinced Washington's plan for this battle was wise, apparently ordered a full retreat from Battle. Washington was bring up the reserves of the Army when he saw the retreat. When he caught up to General Lee witnesses say that the air turned blue and the leaves shook on the tree as Washington dressed Lee down. One phrase that he reportedly used was that he called Lee a "Damn Poltroon". He was livid and then he ordered the troops to advance again and they were very successful in battle that day.

    Washington was NOT loud (except when his temper got the best of him). Those who just had occasional contact thought him to be cold and aloof. This was mostly caused by his attempts to always exhibit self control.

    When Washington was in a "party"atmosphere he was a very charming man who loved to sit a talk for hours about farming and other things. He was also one of the best dancers of the day and he did not hesitate to dance with any lady who wished (and most of them did). When he was in a situation where he could relax and not have to worry about protocol he was very fun to be around.

    I always liked Washington. I've always felt leaders should be like him, but I guess I demand a lot when it comes to leadership. Some people believe all it takes to make a leader is to get people to do what you want them to; I've never understood how someone like that could be called a leader when they are only thinking about themselves. But a lot of times a pretty play on people's sensibilities is all that's required to get mass groups of people to do what someone wants them to. You think they'd want to find someone to represent them, rather than let a leader choose what they will represent.

  22. #62
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    bump

  23. #63
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    Reading biographies about him I've changed my mind and decided that if the choice is between ESI and LSE, LSE is more likely. He was a practical and active man with little time for introspection. I don't think that is necessarily contrary to the ESI mindset, but I now appreciate the case for LSE.

    One biography I read remarked (and gave) numerous instances where people acquainted with him spoke highly of him only to later change their opinion to merely that of grudging respect, and that he had few close confidantes. That seemed possibly characteristic of a LSE, but again, that is perhaps a subjective impression.

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    (All quotations from: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow)
    Nathanael Greene - a possible LSE? (mere speculation):
    Always touted as Washington’s favorite general, Greene met an untimely death after the war, robbing Washington of an influential political ally.
    IN MARCH 1793 Gilbert Stuart crossed the North Atlantic for the express purpose of painting President George Washington, the supreme prize of the age for any ambitious portrait artist. Though born in Rhode Island and reared in New-port, Stuart had escaped to the cosmopolitan charms of London during the war and spent eighteen years producing portraits of British and Irish grandees. Overly fond of liquor, prodigal in his spending habits, and with a giant brood of children to support, Stuart had landed in the Marshalsea Prison in Dublin, most likely for debt, just as Washington was being sworn in as first president of the United States in 1789.

    For the impulsive, unreliable Stuart, who left a trail of incomplete paintings and irate clients in his wake, George Washington emerged as the savior who would rescue him from insistent creditors. “When I can net a sum sufficient to take me to America, I shall be off to my native soil,” he confided eagerly to a friend. “There I expect to make a fortune by Washington alone. I calculate upon making a plurality of his portraits . . . and if I should be fortunate, I will repay my English and Irish creditors.”1 In a self-portrait daubed years earlier, Stuart presented himself as a restless soul, with tousled reddish-brown hair, keen blue eyes, a strongly marked nose, and a pugnacious chin. This harried, disheveled man was scarcely the sort to appeal to the immaculately formal George Washington.

    Once installed in New York, Stuart mapped out a path to Washington with the thoroughness of a military campaign. He stalked Washington’s trusted friend Chief Justice John Jay and rendered a brilliant portrait of him, seated in the full majesty of his judicial robes. Shortly afterward Stuart had in hand the treasured letter of introduction from Jay to President Washington that would unlock the doors of the executive residence in Philadelphia, then the temporary capital.

    As a portraitist, the garrulous Stuart had perfected a technique to penetrate his subjects’ defenses. He would disarm them with a steady stream of personal anecdotes and irreverent wit, hoping that this glib patter would coax them into self-revelation. In the taciturn George Washington, a man of granite self-control and a stranger to spontaneity, Gilbert Stuart met his match. From boyhood, Washington had struggled to master and conceal his deep emotions. When the wife of the British ambassador later told him that his face showed pleasure at his forthcoming departure from the presidency, Washington grew indignant: “You are wrong. My countenance never yet betrayed my feelings!”2 He tried to govern his tongue as much as his face: “With me it has always been a maxim rather to let my designs appear from my works than by my expressions.”3

    When Washington swept into his first session with Stuart, the artist was awe-struck by the tall, commanding president. Predictably, the more Stuart tried to pry open his secretive personality, the tighter the president clamped it shut. Stuart’s opening gambit backfired. “Now, sir,” Stuart instructed his sitter, “you must let me forget that you are General Washington and that I am Stuart, the painter.” To which Washington retorted drily that Mr. Stuart need not forget “who he is or who General Washington is.”4

    A master at sizing people up, Washington must have cringed at Stuart’s facile bonhomie, not to mention his drinking, snuff taking, and ceaseless chatter. With Washington, trust had to be earned slowly, and he balked at instant familiarity with people. Instead of opening up with Stuart, he retreated behind his stolid mask. The scourge of artists, Washington knew how to turn himself into an impenetrable monument long before an obelisk arose in his honor in the nation’s capital.

    As Washington sought to maintain his defenses, Stuart made the brilliant decision to capture the subtle interplay between his outward calm and his intense hidden emotions, a tension that defined the man. He spied the extraordinary force of personality lurking behind an extremely restrained facade. The mouth might be compressed, the parchment skin drawn tight over ungainly dentures, but Washington’s eyes still blazed from his craggy face. In the enduring image that Stuart captured and that ended up on the one-dollar bill—a magnificent statement of Washington’s moral stature and sublime, visionary nature—he also recorded something hard and suspicious in the wary eyes with their penetrating gaze and hooded lids.

    With the swift insight of artistic genius, Stuart grew convinced that Washington was not the placid and composed figure he presented to the world. In the words of a mutual acquaintance, Stuart had insisted that “there are features in [Washington’s] face totally different from what he ever observed in that of any other human being; the sockets of the eyes, for instance, are larger than he ever met with before, and the upper part of the nose broader. All his features, [Stuart] observed, were indicative of the strongest and most ungovernable passions, and had he been born in the forests, it was his opinion that [Washington] would have been the fiercest man among the savage tribes.” The acquaintance confirmed that Washington’s intimates thought him “by nature a man of fierce and irritable disposition, but that, like Socrates, his judgment and great self-command have always made him appear a man of a different cast in the eyes of the world.”5

    Although many contemporaries were fooled by Washington’s aura of cool command, those who knew him best shared Stuart’s view of a sensitive, complex figure, full of pent-up passion. “His temper was naturally high-toned [that is, high-strung], but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it,” wrote Thomas Jefferson. “If ever, however, it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in wrath.”6 John Adams concurred. “He had great self-command . . . but to preserve so much equanimity as he did required a great capacity. Whenever he lost his temper, as he did sometimes, either love or fear in those about him induced them to conceal his weakness from the world.”7 Gouverneur Morris agreed that Washington had “the tumultuous passions which accompany greatness and frequently tarnish its luster. With them was his first contest, and his first victory was over himself . . . Yet those who have seen him strongly moved will bear witness that his wrath was terrible. They have seen, boiling in his bosom, passion almost too mighty for man.”8

    So adept was Washington at masking these turbulent emotions behind his fabled reserve that he ranks as the most famously elusive figure in American history, a remote, enigmatic personage more revered than truly loved. He seems to lack the folksy appeal of an Abraham Lincoln, the robust vigor of a Teddy Roosevelt, or the charming finesse of a Franklin Roosevelt. In fact, George Washington has receded so much in our collective memory that he has become an impossibly stiff and inflexible figure, composed of too much marble to be quite human. How this seemingly dull, phlegmatic man, in a stupendous act of nation building, presided over the victorious Continental Army and forged the office of the presidency is a mystery to most Americans. Something essential about Washington has been lost to posterity, making him seem a worthy but plodding man who somehow stumbled into greatness.

    From a laudable desire to venerate Washington, we have sanded down the rough edges of his personality and made him difficult to grasp. He joined in this conspiracy to make himself unknowable. Where other founders gloried in their displays of intellect, Washington’s strategy was the opposite: the less people knew about him, the more he thought he could accomplish. Opacity was his means of enhancing his power and influencing events. Where Franklin, Hamilton, or Adams always sparkled in print or in person, the laconic Washington had no need to flaunt his virtues or fill conversational silences. Instead, he wanted the public to know him as a public man, concerned with the public weal and transcending egotistical needs.

    Washington’s lifelong struggle to control his emotions speaks to the issue of how he exercised leadership as a politician, a soldier, a planter, and even a slave-holder. People felt the inner force of his nature, even if they didn’t exactly hear it or see it; they sensed his moods without being told. In studying his life, one is struck not only by his colossal temper but by his softer emotions: this man of deep feelings was sensitive to the delicate nuances of relationships and prone to tears as well as temper. He learned how to exploit his bottled-up emotions to exert his will and inspire and motivate people. If he aroused universal admiration, it was often accompanied by a touch of fear and anxiety. His contemporaries admired him not because he was a plaster saint or an empty uniform but because they sensed his unseen power. As the Washington scholar W. W. Abbot noted, “An important element in Washington’s leadership both as a military commander and as President was his dignified, even forbidding, demeanor, his aloofness, the distance he consciously set and maintained between himself and nearly all the rest of the world.”9
    AFTER HIS WOUNDING CONFRONTATIONS with the haughty agents of British imperial power—Dinwiddie, Shirley, and Loudoun—Washington could only have concluded that his dreams of a military career would always be foiled by deep-seated prejudice against colonial officers and that it made more sense to become an independent planter. While posted to the frontier in the summer of 1757, he daydreamed about Mount Vernon and compiled shopping lists of luxury goods to be shipped from London. Though he had never been to England, he tried to imitate the style of an English country gentleman, instructing Richard Washington that “whatever goods you may send me, where the prices are not absolutely limited, you will let them be fashionable, neat, and good in their several kinds.”1 The young man’s social ambitions seemed boundless. He ordered a marble chimneypiece with a landscape painting above the mantel and “fine crimson and yellow papers” for the walls.2 Such rich colors for wallpaper were then thought very fashionable. Though mahogany was an expensive imported wood, Washington opted for a mahogany bedstead and dining table and a dozen mahogany chairs. To entertain in regal style, he ordered a complete set of fine china, damask tablecloths and napkins, and silver cutlery whose handles bore the Washington crest—a griffin poised above a crown, set above an ornamental shield with three stars, the whole emblazoned with the Latin motto Exitus Acta Probat (“The outcome justifies the deed”). 3 In his purchases, Washington instinctively trod the fine line between showiness and austerity, defining a characteristic style of understated elegance.

    Mount Vernon would be George Washington’s personality writ large, the cherished image he wished to project to the world. Had the estate not possessed profound personal meaning for him, he would never have lavished so much time and money on its improvement. It was Washington’s fervent attachment to Mount Vernon, its rural beauties and tranquil pleasures, that made his later absences from home so exquisitely painful. He believed in the infinite perfectibility of Mount Vernon, as if it were a canvas that he could constantly retouch and expand. There he reigned supreme and felt secure as nowhere else.

    In December 1757 he made his first additions to the property, buying two hundred acres at nearby Dogue Run and another three hundred acres on Little Hunting Creek. This proved the first wave of an expansion that would ultimately culminate in an eight-thousand-acre estate, divided into five separate farms. Since few professional architects existed at the time, Washington followed the custom of other Virginia planters and acted as his own architect. He worked from British architectural manuals, coupled with his own observation of buildings in Williamsburg and Annapolis. Drawing on popular classical elements, he melded ideas from various places and devised a synthesis uniquely his own.

    In 1758 Washington doubled the size of the main house and began to convert Lawrence’s farmhouse into an imposing mansion. He could have swept away the old foundations and started anew, making the house more symmetrical and architecturally satisfying. Instead, he built on top of earlier incarnations. Whether this stemmed from economy or family reverence is not known. But where Lawrence, a naval officer, had placed the entrance on the east side of the house, facing the water, George, an army officer and a western surveyor, switched the entrance to the west side, presenting an arresting view for visitors arriving by horse or carriage. First glimpsed from afar, the house would impress travelers with its grandeur. At this point, however, it was still boxy and unadorned and devoid of the elements that later distinguished it: the cupola, the piazza with the long colonnade, the formal pediment above the entrance. In a geometric pattern likely copied from Belvoir, Washington laid out a pair of rectangular gardens with brick walls in front of the house, allowing visitors to experience his magnificent grounds before alighting at his door. Washington also fleshed out the upstairs, making it a full floor, reworked most of the ground-floor rooms, and added a half-story attic, resulting in eight full rooms in all.

    In 1758 Washington’s aspirations still outstripped his means, and he resorted to ruses to make his abode seem more opulent. Unable to afford a stone house, he employed a method known as rusticated boards that created the illusion of a stone exterior. First plain pine boards were cut and beveled in a way that mimicked stone blocks. Then white sand from the Chesapeake Bay was mingled with white paint, which lent the painted wood the rough, granular surface of stone. In many respects, Mount Vernon is a masterpiece of trompe l’oeil. Washington used another sleight of hand on his study walls, a technique called “graining” that transformed cheap, locally available woods, such as southern yellow pine or tulip poplar, into something resembling expensive imported hardwoods, such as mahogany or black walnut.

    Mount Vernon’s history is inseparable from that of its resident slaves, who toiled in its shadows and shaped every inch of it. The mansion renovation absorbed a vast amount of human labor: sixteen thousand bricks were forged for two new chimneys that arose at either end of the house, and slaves scoured nearby woods for the white oak that underlay roof shingles. For more specialized work, Washington typically hired a white craftsman or indentured servant to supervise skilled slaves as assistants. By the late 1750s Washington had assembled an expert team of seven slave carpenters. During the remodeling, overseer Humphrey Knight assured Washington that he didn’t hesitate to apply the lash, if necessary, to these enslaved artisans: “As to the carpenters, I have minded ’em all I posably could and has whipt ’em when I could see a fault.”4 It was a relatively rare example in Mount Vernon annals of an overseer confessing that he whipped slaves, a practice Washington grew to abhor, though he condoned it on rare occasions.

    AS GEORGE WASHINGTON introduced new splendor at Mount Vernon, he needed a wife to complete the pretty scene, and Martha Dandridge Custis made her timely appearance. Their speedy courtship began in mid-March 1758, right after Washington journeyed to Williamsburg to consult Dr. John Amson, who allayed his medical fright by reassuring him that he was recovering from dysentery. Relieved and elated, Washington rode off to nearby New Kent County to stay with his friend Richard Chamberlayne, who introduced him to his neighbor, the widow Custis. Her husband, Daniel Parke Custis, had died the previous July, as had two of her children in early childhood. She now lived with her four-year-old son John Parke (called Jacky) and two-year-old daughter Martha Parke (called Patsy) in baronial splendor on the Pamunkey River at a bucolic mansion known, prophetically enough, as the White House. Family legend suggests a spontaneous romance between George and Martha, but the mutual attraction may well have been anticipated. Though this was their first documented meeting, their social circles must have crisscrossed in the small, clubby world of the Williamsburg elite.

    On leave from the Virginia Regiment, Washington courted Martha with the crisp efficiency of a military man laying down a well-planned siege. He spent that first night at the White House before returning to Williamsburg—he tipped the servants liberally to strengthen his image as a wealthy suitor—and dropped by twice more during the first half of 1758. A brisk competition had already arisen to snare the wealthy widow. A prosperous tobacco planter and widower named Charles Carter, who was nearly twice her age, had grown enamored of the short, attractive woman with the “uncommon sweetness of temper,” as he saw it.5 Carter had sired a dozen offspring in his previous marriage, and Martha, twenty-six, may have been intimidated by the prospect of being stepmother to this numerous brood. Carter faced stiff competition from Washington, a tall, handsome, young military hero with room both in his heart and in his home for a wife and two children. To a solitary, anxious widow, George Washington could only have appeared manly, rock-solid, and utterly fearless.
    We cannot pinpoint the precise moment when George and Martha agreed to wed, but we do know that within weeks of their first meeting, George was transformed into a giddy man of fashion, urgently ordering expensive fabric for what must have been his wedding outfit. He directed his London agent to ship “as much of the best superfine blue cotton velvet as will make a coat, waistcoat, and breeches for a tall man, with a fine silk button to suit it and all other necessary trimmings and linings, together with garters for the breeches.”6 He also ordered six pairs of tony shoes and gloves. A month later he ordered a gold ring from Philadelphia that he doubtless intended to slip on the diminutive widow’s finger. Not to be outdone in brightening up a wardrobe, Martha ordered her London tailor to send her “one genteel suit of clothes for myself to be grave but not to be extrava[ga]nt and not to be mourning.”7 Throwing off her widow’s weeds, she packed off a nightgown to London “to be dyed of fashionable color fit for me to wear.”8 Though such letters may give the unseemly impression of an overly lusty widow, it was then routine, as a matter of economic necessity, for the bereaved to remarry quickly. The prolonged mourning rituals that came with the Victorian era would have seemed like futile self-indulgence in the eighteenth century.

    By marrying Martha Dandridge Custis, Washington swiftly achieved the social advancement for which he had struggled in the military. Almost overnight he was thrust into top-drawer Virginia society and could dispense with the servility that had sometimes marked his dealings with social superiors. Marriage to Martha brought under his control a small kingdom of real estate tended by dark-skinned human beings. She had a bountiful collection of properties, including thousands of acres around Williamsburg, nearly three hundred slaves, and hundreds of head of cattle, hogs, and sheep. The property came, however, with a significant catch. Inasmuch as Daniel Parke Custis had died intestate, English common law decreed that only one-third of his estate could be claimed directly by Martha during her lifetime. She thus owned only eighty-five slaves, referred to as “dower” slaves, who would revert to Jacky Custis after her death. The other two-thirds of the estate were pledged to the financial support of the Custis children. George would serve as custodian of this wealth, entangling him in legal complications for the rest of his life. It’s worth noting that after her husband’s death, the practical Martha hadn’t thrown herself at the mercy of older male financial advisers but had had the pluck and fortitude to handle his business affairs by herself. Whether sending tobacco to England, placing orders with London merchants, or extending loans to neighbors, she gained an invaluable education in plantation management.

    George and Martha Washington formed an oddly matched visual pair: she barely cleared five feet, and her hands and feet were as petite as George’s were famously huge. A portrait of Martha done shortly before Daniel died displays nothing especially soft or alluring to set a young man’s pulse racing. She wears a low-cut, satiny blue dress, shows a shapely figure and bosom, and wears her dark hair pulled back, adorned with pearls. The small head, set on its elongated neck, isn’t especially pretty: the forehead is too low, the hairline receding, the nose too hooked, the mouth too short, the jaw too round. Her hazel eyes are serious and watchful. It is the portrait of a plain, sensible young woman who already seems a trifle matronly. All the same, one suspects that the artist failed to catch the irrepressible warmth and charm that animated her features. The sitter’s soul is smothered by the stiff pose of a woman holding a blossom and staring at the viewer. It should also be said that Martha had the reputation of being a beauty in her youth. “She was at one time one of the most beautiful women in America and today there remains something extremely agreeable and attractive about her,” recounted a Polish nobleman several years before her death.9 From surviving artifacts, such as the purple satin shoes with high heels and silver sequins that she wore on her wedding day, we know that Martha Custis was a stylish young woman and even something of a clotheshorse.

    In the eighteenth century, marriage was regarded more as a practical arrangement than as a vehicle for love, and the Washington marriage may never have been a torrid romance. But that aside, in selecting Martha Dandridge Custis, George Washington chose even better than he knew. She was the perfect foil to his mother: warm and sociable, always fun to be with, and favored with pleasing manners. She would give George the unstinting love and loyalty that Mary had withheld. By offering her husband such selfless devotion, she solidly anchored his life in an enduring marriage. Martha had the cheerfulness to lighten his sometimes somber personality and was the one person who dared to kid her “Old Man,” as she teasingly referred to him. Despite the many people in his eventful life, George Washington lacked a large number of close friends or confidants, and Martha alone could cater to all his emotional needs.

    In every respect, Martha turned out to be an immense social asset to his career. She was the perfect hostess, with a ready smile, overflowing goodwill, and a genuine interest in her guests. With company, she was convivial and welcoming, where George tended to be more cordial and correct, and she worked her influence in a self-effacing style. “His lady is of a hospitable disposition, always good-humored and cheerful, and seems to be actuated by the same motives with himself, but she is rather of a more lively disposition,” observed one visitor to Mount Vernon. “They are to all appearances a happy pair.”10

    Martha never craved wealth or status, perhaps because she already had it; nor did she feed her husband’s ambitions. She was never dazzled by his later fame and never put on airs. Nevertheless she faithfully supported George’s plans and bowed to the exorbitant demands of his career, if not always with unmixed enthusiasm. Direct, plainspoken, and free of frivolity, she lacked the feminine wiles that had so aroused George with Sally Fairfax. Abigail Adams captured Martha Washington perfectly when she said, “Her manners are modest and unassuming, dignified and feminine, not a tincture of hauteur about her.”11 In fact, she remained a bustling, hardworking housewife, occupied with domestic chores until the end of her life, and was fully equal to the administrative demands of Mount Vernon.
    Washington had trained himself to write pithy, meaty letters, with little frivolity or small talk. The letters were always clear, sometimes elegant, often forceful. Even Jefferson, a fluent wordsmith, praised Washington’s correspondence, saying that “he wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and correct style.”28 Because aides drafted most of Washington’s superlative wartime letters, some historians have denied him credit. But Washington oversaw their work, first giving them the gist of messages, then editing drafts until they met his exacting standards. His aides became fine mimics of their boss, and their letters echo one another’s because they were well schooled in Washington’s style. He wanted letters so immaculate that he had them rewritten several times if they contained even small erasures.

    Washington worked in close proximity with aides, who typically slept under the same roof. These scribes labored in a single room, bent over small wooden tables, while the commander kept a small office to the side. As at Mount Vernon, Washington adhered to an unvarying daily routine. Arriving fully dressed, he breakfasted with his aides and parceled out letters to be answered, along with his preferred responses. He then reviewed his troops on horseback and expected to find the letters in finished form by the time of his noonday return.

    The best camaraderie that Washington enjoyed came in the convivial company of his young aides during midafternoon dinners. Up to thirty people attended these affairs, many sitting on walnut camp stools. As much as possible, Washington converted these repasts into little oases of elegant society, a reminder of civilized life at Mount Vernon. The company dined on damask tablecloths and used sparkling silver flatware bearing Washington’s griffin crest, while drinking wine from silver cups. One aide sat beside Washington and helped to serve the food and drinks. These meals could last for hours, with a bountiful table covered by heavy, succulent foods. One amazed French visitor recalled that “the meal was in the English fashion, consisting of eight or ten large [serving] dishes of meat and poultry, with vegetables of several sorts, followed by a second course of pastry, comprised under the two denominations of ‘pies’ and ‘puddings.’”29 There followed abundant platters of apples and nuts. Washington liked to crack nuts as he talked, a habit that he later blamed for his long history of dental trouble.

    At these dinners Washington seemed at his most unbuttoned. If he wasn’t skilled at repartee, he was quite sociable and had no trouble making conversation, enjoying the company of his bright young disciples. A later visitor to Mount Vernon captured Washington’s contradictory personality: “Before strangers, he is generally very reserved and seldom says a word.” On the other hand, “the general with a few glasses of champagne got quite merry and being with his intimate friends laughed and talked a good deal.”30
    INEVITABLY, the private appraisal of Washington by his close subordinates was less glowing than their public eulogies. He was too much of a perfectionist to enjoy an easy rapport with his aides, and his discontent sometimes festered before erupting unexpectedly. By dint of the superlative letters he had drafted and his military acumen, Alexander Hamilton had risen to become Washington’s de facto chief of staff. When Congress decided to create three new positions—ministers of war, finance, and foreign affairs—Hamilton’s name was bandied about as a prospective “superintendent of finance.” Before Robert Morris accepted the post, General Sullivan asked Washington to comment on Hamilton’s financial abilities, and the commander seemed taken aback: “How far Colo. Hamilton, of whom you ask my opinion as a financier, has turned his thoughts to that particular study, I am unable to ans[we]r, because I never entered upon a discussion on this point with him. But this I can venture to advance from a thorough knowledge of him, that there are few men to be found of his age who has a more general knowledge than he possesses and none whose soul is more firmly engaged in the cause or who exceeds him in probity and sterling virtue.”15

    Although Hamilton subscribed to Washington’s values and principles—which was why he could mimic him so expertly in letters—he expressed misgivings about his personality. Hamilton had taken a long and searching look at George Washington. Working in daily contact with a man burdened by multiple cares, Hamilton inevitably was exposed to Washington’s bad-tempered side. A stoic figure who strove to be perfectly composed in public, Washington needed to blow off steam in private, and the proud, sensitive young Hamilton grew weary of dealing with his boss’s varying moods.
    Eventually rumors circulated about the temporary estrangement between the two men. Years later John Adams recalled the episode thus: Hamilton “quitted the army for a long time, as I have heard, in a pet and a miff with Washington.”28 On another occasion, Adams wrote, “those who trumpeted Washington in the highest strains at some times spoke of him at others in the strongest terms of contempt . . . Hamilton, [Timothy] Pickering, and many others have been known to indulge themselves in very contemptuous expressions, but very unjustly and ungratefully.”29 In the spring of 1783 Hamilton opened up in private to James Madison about Washington’s occasionally querulous personality. As Madison recorded in his journal, “Mr. Hamilton said that he knew General Washington intimately and perfectly. That his extreme reserve, mixed sometimes with a degree of asperity of temper, both of which were said to have increased of late, had contributed to the decline of his popularity.”30 At the same time Hamilton regarded Washington as a man of unimpeachable integrity who would “never yield to any dishonorable or disloyal plans.”31
    The visitors’ accounts during these years give many candid glimpses of Washington. Their impressions vary dramatically, suggesting that he reacted quite differently to people—so much so that, at times, he scarcely seemed the same person. He could be merry and convivial or, if he didn’t care for the guests, silent and morose. This mutable personality, reflecting his shifting levels of trust in his listeners, has made it hard for historians to form a coherent sense of his personality. Seldom quotable in person, Washington could never be surprised into confessional statements. But if few visitors came away with treasured table talk, he made his presence powerfully felt.

    A young Scottish visitor, Robert Hunter, left this portrait of Washington’s venerable appearance: “The General is about six foot high, perfectly straight and well made, rather inclined to be lusty. His eyes are full and blue and seem to express an air of gravity.”35 He picked up Washington’s fastidious regard for appearance. When they first met, the general “was neatly dressed in a plain blue coat, white cashmere waistcoat, and black breeches and boots, as he came from his farm.”36 Washington left him briefly with Martha and Fanny, shed his work clothes, then reappeared in more fashionable garb, “with his hair neatly powdered, a clean shirt on, a new plain drab coat, white waistcoat, and white silk stockings.”37 Hunter conjured up a Washington who seemed relaxed after the great labors of war, a man still healthy and vital who could be elegant in the drawing room and energetic in the field. He noted that Washington was talkative with intimates, but that, cherishing his privacy, he was far more guarded and laconic with people he distrusted.
    Washington’s desire to socialize with literary personalities likely arose from his belief that writers crowned those who won fame and ended up in history’s pantheon. In 1788, when he steered Lafayette to the American poet Joel Barlow, then resident in France, Washington described Barlow as “one of those bards who hold the keys of the gate by which patriots, sages, and heroes are admitted to immortality. Such are your ancient bards who are both the priest and doorkeepers to the temple of fame. And these, my dear Marquis, are no vulgar functions.”54 Washington went on to say that military heroes, far from being passive, could groom their own advocates: “In some instances . . . heroes have made poets, and poets heroes. Alexander the Great is said to have been enraptured with the poems of Homer and to have lamented that he had not a rival muse to celebrate his actions.”55 The passage shows Washington’s underlying hunger for posthumous glory and how calculating he could be in gaining it. He ended the letter by lauding the golden ages of arms and arts under Louis XIV and Queen Anne and by expressing the hope that America would not be found “inferior to the rest of the world in the performance of our poets and painters.”56

    For all of Washington’s professions of modesty, the thought of his high destined niche in history was never far from his mind. Few historical figures have so lovingly tended their image. As we have seen, he had issued detailed instructions for preserving his wartime papers. When the wagon train loaded with these bulky papers set out for Mount Vernon in November 1783, he fussed over their transport, telling the lieutenant entrusted with the mission that he shouldn’t cross the Susquehanna or the Potomac by ferry if the winds were too high or any other dangers arose. As if the wagons were encrusted with precious jewels, he delivered this warning: “The wagons should never be without a sentinel over them; always locked and the keys in your possession.”57 He experienced vast relief when the papers showed up safely at his home.
    Thomas Jefferson, the first secretary of state, would dub Washington “the hub of the wheel,” with the department heads arrayed like brilliant spokes around him.8

    In choosing those heads, Washington surrounded himself with a small but decidedly stellar group. With his own renown secure, he had no fear that subordinates would upstage him and never wanted subservient courtiers whom he could overshadow. Aware of his defective education, he felt secure in having the best minds at his disposal. He excelled as a leader precisely because he was able to choose and orchestrate bright, strong personalities. As Gouverneur Morris observed, Washington knew “how best to use the rays” given off by the sparkling geniuses at his command. 9 As the first president, Washington assembled a group of luminaries without equal in American history; his first cabinet more than made up in intellectual fire-power what it lacked in numbers.
    Jefferson, who was slightly taller than Washington but long-limbed and loose-jointed, and his new boss would have stared each other straight in the eye, both towering over Hamilton. A reserved man whose tight lips bespoke a secretive personality, Jefferson had calm eyes that seemed to comprehend everything. Shrinking from open confrontations, he often resorted to indirect, sometimes devious methods of dealing with disagreements. He could show a courtly charm in conversation and was especially seductive in small groups of like-minded listeners, where he became a captivating talker and natural leader. At the same time his mild manner belied his fierce convictions and relentless desire to have his views prevail. The idealism of his writings and his almost utopian faith in the people did not quite prepare his foes for his taste for political intrigue.

    Washington relied upon younger men during his presidency, much as he had during the war. Jefferson was a decade and Hamilton more than two decades younger. Whatever their later differences, Jefferson started out by venerating Washington; he had once identified Washington, along with Benjamin Franklin and David Rittenhouse, as one of three geniuses America had spawned. “In war we have produced a Washington, whose memory will be adored while liberty shall have votaries, whose name shall triumph over time.”21 He adorned Monticello with a painting of Washington and a plaster bust of him by Houdon. Jefferson always revered Washington’s prudence, integrity, patriotism, and determination. “He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man,” he stated in later years.22 Jefferson claimed that his dealings with President Washington were always amicable and productive. “In the four years of my continuance in the office of secretary of state,” he was to say, “our intercourse was daily, confidential, and cordial.”23

    Nevertheless, as the years progressed, Jefferson’s judgment of Washington grew far more critical. He viewed the president as a tough, unbending man: “George Washington is a hard master, very severe, a hard husband, a hard father, a hard governor.”24 Nor did he see Washington as especially deep or learned: “His time was employed in action chiefly, reading little, and that only in agriculture and English history.”25 He also found Washington leery of other people: “He was naturally distrustful of men and inclined to gloomy apprehensions.”
    In this increasingly dark, conspiratorial atmosphere, Washington received three malicious letters, warning him anonymously of the secret presidential ambitions of Jefferson and of Madison’s treachery: “When you ask the opinion of the S[ecretary] of S [tate], he affects great humility and says he is not a judge of military matters. Behind your back, he reviles with the greatest asperity your military measures and ridicules the idea of employing any regular troops . . . His doctrines are strongly supported by his cunning little friend Madison.”25 In another letter, the poison-pen artist made sure Washington knew of the intrigue behind Freneau’s hiring at the State Department: “I do not believe you know that the National Gazette was established under the immediate patronage of Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Madison, and that Mr. Freneau, the printer of it, is a clerk in the Secretary of State’s office with a salary as interpreter.”26 The object of these men, the author averred, was to make Washington “odious” and “destroy Mr. Hamilton.”27

    At this point Washington sloughed off suspicions about Jefferson, as evidenced by two remarkable meetings they held in February 1792. At the first, Jefferson lobbied to make the postal service part of the State Department rather than Treasury, hoping that would choke the excessive growth of Hamilton’s department. In passing, Jefferson mentioned that if Washington ever retired, he would too. This comment reverberated in Washington’s mind overnight, and at breakfast the next morning, he launched into a frank discussion of his political future. He noted to Jefferson that he had agreed reluctantly to attend the Constitutional Convention and serve as first president. But now, were he to continue longer, it might give room to say that, having tasted the sweets of office, he could not do without them; that he really felt himself growing old, his bodily health less firm, his memory, always bad, becoming worse; and perhaps the other faculties of his mind showing a decay to others of which he was insensible himself; that this apprehension particularly oppressed him; that he found moreover his activity lessened, business therefore more irksome, and tranquillity and retirement become an irresistible passion. That however he felt himself obliged for these reasons to retire from the government, yet he should consider it as unfortunate if that should bring on the retirement of the great officers of the government and that this might produce a shock on the public mind of dangerous consequence.28

    This remarkable burst of candor, as recounted by Jefferson, showed that Washington still trusted the secretary of state. In a private memorandum on the talk, Jefferson disclosed that he himself was “heartily tired” of his job and stayed only from a sense that Hamilton would linger for several years.29 Later Jefferson wrote how much he had hated doing battle with Hamilton in the cabinet, descending “daily into the arena like a gladiator to suffer martyrdom in every conflict.”30 When Washington made plain that he could not contemplate retirement because of “symptoms of dissatisfaction” toward the administration, Jefferson made bold to say that there was only a single source of discontent, the Treasury Department, and “that a system had there been contrived for deluging the states with paper money instead of gold and silver, for withdrawing our citizens from the pursuits of commerce, manufactures, buildings, and other branches of useful industry to occupy themselves and their capitals in a species of gambling.”31 Throwing caution to the wind, Jefferson said Hamilton had suborned congressmen who “feathered their nests with [government] paper” and therefore voted for his system.32 Hamilton’s Report on Manufactures, Jefferson claimed, would destroy any pretense of limited government and enable the government to undertake any measure it liked. Washington must have been shocked as he fathomed the depth of animosity between his two most talented lieutenants. At the same time Madison was slashing away anonymously at Hamilton in the National Gazette, inveighing against “a government operated by corrupt influence, substituting the motive of private interest in place of public duty.”

  25. #65

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    (quote)

    It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion.

    But if deranged during the course of the action, if any member of his plan was dislocated by sudden circumstances, he was slow in readjustment.

    Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed.

    His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred being able to bias his decision.

    His temper was naturally high toned; but reflection and resolution had obtained a firm and habitual ascendency over it. If ever, however, it broke its bonds, he was most tremendous in his wrath.

    In his expenses he was honorable, but exact; liberal in contributions to whatever promised utility; but frowning and unyielding on all visionary projects and all unworthy calls on his charity.

    His heart was not warm in its affections; but he exactly calculated every man's value, and gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it.

    Although in the circle of his friends, where he might be unreserved with safety, he took a free share in conversation, his colloquial talents were not above mediocrity, possessing neither copiousness of ideas, nor fluency of words.

    In public, when called on for a sudden opinion, he was unready, short and embarrassed. Yet he wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and correct style.

    His time was employed in action chiefly, reading little, and that only in agriculture and English history. His correspondence became necessarily extensive, and, with journalizing his agricultural proceedings, occupied most of his leisure hours within doors.

    --

    These appear to be curious and particularly type-related... thought there might be a bit of bias of the writer.

    Based on this, he seems like a Tj type, and probably S too.

    But ISFj typing is also likely based on other sources of him.
    Last edited by Singu; 01-28-2017 at 06:12 PM.

  26. #66
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    Washington is not only the Greatest American, but also among the greatest people in the entirety of human history. Of course, I would much prefer that he remain in my own quadra as an ESI, though I will admit that he had qualities more easily associated with LSE. I will say, however, that his own quotes gives greater evidence for ESI than LSE. Take a look at the personal quotes of LSEs like Cardinal Richelieu and Henry Clay, and you find a lack of any poetic qualities, with more than a hint of terseness:

    If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him. - Richelieu
    I had rather be right than be President. - Clay
    Washington on the other hand, was a wonderful letter-writer and speech-maker, as can be seen by this page: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/George_Washington

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    My wild guess was he was Gamma because he seems so "democratic", and that usually comes from Democratic quadra, but then again Napoleon was apparently SEE, so... (edit: He's now typed as SLE).
    Last edited by Singu; 02-02-2017 at 04:24 AM.

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