I came across an article on the wrist watches (or pocket watches) worn/used by various American presidents, and it began with a discussion of George Washington and his time pieces [link].
The following paragraph struck me on a very deep level and I wanted to share it:
Washington is also known to have owned a watch by Jean-Antoine Lépine while he was President. On November 28, 1778, Washington sent a letter from his home in Mount Vernon to Gouverneur Morris. Morris presumably had asked Washington if he could get him anything while he was doing business in Europe. Washington replied:
Dear Sir, I had the pleasure to receive by the last mail your letter dated the 12th of this month. I am much obliged by your offer of executing commissions for me in Europe, and shall take the liberty of charging you with one only. I wish to have a good gold watch procured for my own use; not a small, trifling, nor finically ornamented one, but a watch well executed in point of workmanship, and of about the size and kind of that which was procured by Mr. Jefferson for Mr. Madison, which was large and flat. I imagine Mr. Jefferson can give you the best advice on the subject, as I am told this species of watches, which I have described, can be found cheaper and better fabricated in Paris than in London.
There is something about Washington’s writing here — maybe that it is not about matters of state, but about something far more mundane — that invokes in me an even deeper reverence for that time on the earth when Gods walked among men.
Those who know this blog know what I am talking about: George Washington, almost alone among the great men of history, voluntarily gave up power and returned to his private life after having served two terms as American President. Such was his commitment to honoring the founding principles of our young nation, which had fought so hard to throw off the chains of monarchy and its tyrannical rule by petty despots. Men of power never do this: they cling to the scepter until it transforms them and ruins them and leads whole countries and even civilizations inexorably down a path of subjugation, misery, destruction, and death.
Central power was abhorrent to Washington, as it was to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who of course wrote our founding documents and outlined in detail the principles of our liberty. These men created the blue print for what became the greatest nation ever to grace the face of the earth — the most free, the most prosperous, and the most in alignment with mankind’s best and highest nature.
To think of them fraternizing in a casual way, arranging to give gifts to each other, such as fine time pieces, engraved with words written by them, these men who wrote the Declaration of Independence and such…
It makes the spirit soar, or at least my spirit, and this is a welcome relief from the tragedy currently unfolding under the despotic regime of Barack Hussein Obama, a man who stands and acts against our nation’s legacy and against the high ideals and sacred honor of our Founding Fathers.
Men like Obama, who promote and crave central power, are common place among us, and always have been. Even their extreme appetite for sadistic command and control (“we punish our enemies”, said Obama, and he was referring not to foreign enemies but to Americans who oppose his beliefs) is barely noteworthy among members of the human race, which always leans towards tyranny. They are the men the Founders sought to protect us against, and for hundreds of years their system has worked.
And now that system is faltering, as the Founders knew it might.
But wherever we go from here, we can all say that we lived in a Great Era of Freedom, led by the United States of America — that we had choices and wealth for most of our lives; that hostile foreign powers who sought to enslave the world were either vanquished by us or at least kept in check; and that we were allowed to be free and joyful and masters of our own individual lives.
I am and will forever be grateful that I lived in this time and in this place, and it is these men we have to thank for a way of life and government that has promoted so well the greater glory of each of us, and all of us.