Ohio History Journal

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The many-sidedness of Washington presents an unfailing

field of study in his character and career. His varied accomplish-

ments, in each of which he was facile princeps, again and again

quicken our interest in and increase our admiration for the fore-

most figure in American annals. So glorious was he in the "pomp

and circumstance" of the War of Independence, and so wise and

potent was he in the arena of our national awakening, that we are

apt to think of him merely as a soldier and a statesman.

He was far more. He was eminent as a "man of affairs."

He was not a college-bred man, but he was trained in the "school

of life" and in its broad curriculum he came in contact with

many phases of effort calculated to peculiarly prepare him for

the work of his manhood. The qualities displayed in the spheres

of soldiery and statesmanship were discovered and developed

in his early experiences in the frontier wilderness. Washington

was a graduate of the forest. His first tutors in the art of war-

fare were the tribesmen of the backwoods of the Ohio Valley.

The school of his diplomacy was his unique service, while yet

a lad, in the romantic and picturesque plays made by England and

France for racial supremacy in the Northwest. The loci of these

ambassadorial contests were chiefly on the banks of the Ohio.

Thus Washington's introduction to events military and political

was on the advance line of western civilization.

Undoubtedly Washington received much of the breadth of

his views and the keenness of his vision from his life amid the

rugged mountains, the ample plains and the sweeping rivers of

the primeval West. He was pre-eminently an expansionist. As

a boy he looked down from the heights of the Alleghany range

and beheld the empire of the Ohio Valley and the glories thereof.

Long before the Revolution and years after he looked to pos-

sibilities of the vast domain bounded by the Great Lakes, "the

* The substance of this article appeared in the Ohio Magazine for

February, 1907.