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moulding his moral character. Upon a fly-leaf of the volume are written, in bold characters, the names of the two wives of Augustine Washington, the father of our beloved Friend. These were JANE BUTLER and MARY BALL. Their names were written by themselves, the first with ink that retains its original blackness, and the second with a color that has faded to the tint of warm sepia.


Jane Washington


Many Washington


These signatures send the thoughts on busy retrospective errands to the pleasant mansions and broad and fertile plantations of Virginia, when the Old Dominion was as loyal to the second King George of England as to the second King Charles in the days of Berkeley, almost a hundred years before; or when royal governors held vice-regal courts at Williamsburg, the capital of the Commonwealth twenty years after republican Bacon's torch had laid old Jamestown in ashes. Especially do they send the thoughts to the beautiful spot near the Potomac, half way between Pope's and Bridge's Creek, in Westmoreland, where stood a modest mansion, surrounded by the holly and more stately trees of the forest, in which lived Mary, the mother of the great Washington.

In the possession of an old Virginian family may be seen a picture, in which is represented a rampant lion holding a globe in his paw, a helmet and shield, a vizor strong, and coat of mail and other emblems of strength and courage; and for a motto the words, from Ovid, Calumque tueri. On the back of the picture is written:

"The coat of arms of Colonel William Ball, who came from England with his family about the year 1650, and settled at the mouth of Corotoman River, in Lancaster county, Virginia, and died in 1669, leaving two sons, William and Joseph, and one daughter, Hannah, who married Daniel Fox. William left eight sons (and one daughter), five of whom have now (Anno Domini 1779) male issue. Joseph's male issue is extinct. General George Washington is his grandson, by his youngest daughter, Mary." Here we have the Amer ican pedigree of the mother of Washington.

In that modest mansion near the Potomac, of which we have just spoken, a great patriot was born of a mother eightand-twenty years of age, when the popular William Gooch was royal governor of Virginia; and in an old family Bible, in Hanover county, of quarto form, dilapidated by use and age, and covered with striped Virginia cloth, might have been seen, a few years ago, the following record, in the handwriting of the father of that Patriot:

"George Washington, son to Augustine and Mary his wife, was born y 11th day of February, 1731-2, about ten in the morning, and was baptized the 3d of April following; Mr. Beverly Whiting and Captain Christopher Brooks, godfathers, and Mrs. Mildred Gregory godmother."

Almost three hundred years ago Pope Gregory the Thir

teenth ordained that ten days should be added to the tally of all past time since the birth of Jesus, to make up some fractional deficiencies in the calendar; and twenty years after the above record was made, the British government ordered the Gregorian calendar, or new style, as it was called, to be adopted. The deficiency was then eleven days, and these were added. So we date the birth of Washington, and celebrate its anniversary, on the twenty-second instead of the eleventh of February.

Washington's birth-place was a "four-roomed house, with a chimney at each end," perfectly plain outside and in. The

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only approach to ornament was a Dutch-tiled chinney-piece in the best room, covered with rude pictures of Scriptural scenes; but around the mansion there were thrift and abundance. George was the eldest of his mother's six children,

and only his infant years were passed under the roof where he first saw the light; for fire destroyed the house, and his father removed to an estate in Stafford county, near Fredericksburg, and dwelt in an equally plain mansion, pleasantly seated near the north bank of the Rappahannock River.

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Of the birth-place of Washington nothing now remains but a chimney and a few scattered bricks and stones; and around it, where the smiles of highest culture were once seen, there is an aspect of desolation that makes the heart feel sad. Some decayed fig-trees and tangled shrubs and vines, with here and there a pine and cedar sapling, tell, with silent eloquence, of neglect and ruin, and that decay has laid its blighting fingers

upon every work of man there. The vault of the Washington family, wherein many were buried, is so neglected that some of the remains exposed to view have been carried away by plunderers. All around it are stunted trees, shrubs, and briers; and near it may be seen fragments of slabs once set up in commemoration of some of that honored family.

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On the spot where Washington was born, the late George Washington Parke Custis, a grandson of Mrs. Washington, placed a piece of freestone in 1815, with the simple inscription:




"We gathered together," says Mr. Custis, in a published account, "the bricks of the ancient chimney that once formed the hearth around which Washington, in his infancy, had played, and constructed a rude kind of pedestal, on which we

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