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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Some Amusing History

The news these days is dreary enough.  It is worth looking into history for some wit. Here, from the pen of a long ago governor of Georgia (and a distant relative), George R. Gilmer, in his book, Sketches of Some of the First Settlers of Upper Georgia, of the Cherokees, and the Author (1855), a description of the presence of George Washington and how it affected the famed General "Light Horse" Harry Lee, father of Robert E. Lee. The discussion reports a tale told by Robert Grattan.

He (Grattan) commanded a splendid company of cavalry against the whiskey insurgents of Pennsylvania. His intercourse with General Washington during the time, made the strongest impression upon his excitable nature.

One of the incidents of this service which he used to tell, was of a bet made by Harry Lee, the most impudent of men, that he could tap General Washington on the shoulder, look him in the face, and ask him an impertinent question. How when General Lee went up to the side of General Washington, then standing on the parade ground directing the movements of the army, and placed his hand familiarly on the general’s arm, the great chief turned upon him his stern commanding look, until Lee shrunk away, and paid his bet—the only kind of debts he ever paid.

Perfect tale of the majesty of Washington and a couple of slaps against Harry Lee, who did, indeed leave his family in great debt when he died.

Whiskey Rebellion

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