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George Washington → Курсова робота


RANKING IN 1962 HISTORIANS POLL: Washington ranked second of 31 presidents and second of 5 \"great\" presidents. He ranked above Franklin Roosevelt and below Lincoln.

RETIREMENT: March 4, 1797-December 14, 1799. Washington, 65, returned to Mount Vernon to oversee much-needed repairs. He played host, often reluctantly, to an endless parade of visitors, many longtime friends, others perfect strangers there just to ogle the former president and his family. Briefed on affairs of state by War Secretary McHenry and others, he maintained a keen interest in the course of the country. With tensions between the United States and France threatening to erupt into war in the wake of the XYZ Affair (see \"John Adams, 2d President,\" \"Administration\"), Washington was commissioned lieutenant general and commander in chief of American forces on July 4, 1798, the only former president to hold such a post. He accepted the commission on the condition that he would take to the field only in case of invasion and that he had approval rights over the composition of the general staff. He promised the cause \"all the blood that remains in my veins.\" Fortunately the undeclared \"Quasi-War\" that followed was limited to naval encounters and Washington\'s services were not required. In his last year Washington faced a liquidity crisis: Money owed him from the sale or rental of real estate was past due at a time when his taxes and entertainment bills were climbing. As a result, at age 67 he was compelled for the first time in his life to borrow money from a bank.

DEATH: December 14, 1799, after 10 P.M., Mount Vernon, Virginia. On the morning of December 12, Washington set out on horseback around the plantation. With temperatures hovering around freezing, it began to snow; this turned to sleet, then rain, and back to snow by the time Washington returned indoors five hours later. Still in his cold, wet clothes, he tended to some correspondence and ate dinner. Next morning he awoke with a sore throat, and later in the day his voice grew hoarse. About 2 A.M. on December 14 he awoke suddenly with severe chills and was having trouble breathing and speaking. Three doctors attended him—his personal physician and longtime friend Dr. James Craik and consultants Drs. Gustavus Richard Brown and Elisha Cullen Dick. They diagnosed his condition as inflammatory quinsy. The patient was bled on four separate occasions, a standard practice of the period. Washington tried to swallow a concoction of molasses, vinegar, and butter to soothe his raw throat but could not get it down. He was able to take a little calomel and tartar emetic and to inhale vinegar vapor, but his pulse remained weak throughout the day. The physicians raised blisters on his throat and lower limbs as a counter-irritant and applied a poultice, but neither was effective. Finally, Washington told his doctors to give up and about 10 P.M. spoke weakly to Tobias Lear, his fide, \"I am just going. Have me decently buried and do not let my body be put into a vault in less than two days after I am dead. Do you understand me?\" \"Yes, sir,\" replied Lear. \"\'Tis well,\"12 said Washington. These were his last words. Soon thereafter he died while taking his own pulse. After a lock of his hair was removed, his body was placed in a mahogany coffin bearing the Latin inscriptions Surge Ad Judicium and Gloria Deo. The funeral services, con ducted by the Reverend Thomas Davis on December 18, were far from the simple ceremony Washington had requested. A procession of mourners filed between two long rows of soldiers, a band played appropriate music, guns boomed in tribute from a ship anchored in the Potomac, and the Masonic order to which Washington belonged sent a large contingent. His remains were deposited in the family tomb at Mount Vernon. In his last will and testament, a 42-page document executed in his own hand in July 1799, Washington provided his widow with the use and benefit of the estate, valued at more than $500,000, during her lifetime. He freed his personal servant William with a $30 annuity and ordered the rest of the slaves freed upon Martha\'s death. He left his stock in the Bank of Alexandria to a school for poor and orphaned children and ordered his stock in the Potomac Company to be applied toward the construction of a national university. He forgave the debts of his brother Samuel\'s family and that of his brother-in-law Bartholomew Dandridge. He also ensured that his aide Tobias Lear would live rent free for the rest of his life. To nephew Bushrod Washington he left Mount Vernon, his personal papers, and his library. His grandchildren Mrs. Nellie Lewis and George Washington Parke Custis received large, choice tracts. In sundry other bequests, the gold-headed cane Benjamin Franklin had given him went to his brother Charles, his writing desk and chair to Doctor Craik, steel pistols taken from the British during the Revolution to Lafayette, and a sword to each of five nephews on the assurance that they will never \"unsheath them for the purpose of shedding blood except it be for self-defence, or in defence of their country and its rights, and in the latter case to keep them unsheathed, and prefer falling with them in their hands, to the relinquishment thereof.\"