« ZurückWeiter »
brothers, true Cavaliers, who could not brook the rule of Cromwell, the self-styled Lord Protector of England. They left their beautiful residence of Cave Castle, north of the Humber, in Yorkshire, and sought more freedom of life in the virgin soil of the New World. And in later years the representatives of the Washingtons and Fairfaxes, who were neighbors and friends in Virginia, found themselves, in political positions, opposed to those of their ancestors; that of the former being the great leader of a republican army, and of the latter a most loyal adherent of the crown.
The Washingtons who first came to America seem not to have been possessed of much wealth. They brought with them no family plate as evidences of it; for the heiress of the family had given her hand and fortune to an English baronet, the master of the fine estate of Studley Royal, where now the
eldest son of the late Earl of Ripon
resides. It is believed that there is CW 16 only one relic of the old Washington
family in this country, and that is a small bronze mortar, having the letters “C. W.” (the initials of CIMON WASHINGTON) and the date, “1664,"
cast upon it. That mortar is in Independence Hall, in Philadelphia.
The Northamptonshire family, from whom George Washington was descended, wore the motto seen upon his bookplate - EXITUS ACTA PROBAT: “The end justifies the means;" and it was borne and heeded by the line from generation to generation, until the most illustrious of them all had achieved the greatest ends by the most justifiable means.
The annexed engraving is from an impression of General Washington's seal, bearing his family arms, attached to the death-warrant of a soldier executed at Morristown, in 1780. Below it is an engraving of the face of his seal-ring, which also bears his arms and motto; and also of two watch-seals which he wore together in early life. Upon each of the last two is engraved his monogram, one of them being a fac-simile of his written initials. One of these was lost by Washington himself on the bloody field of Monongahela, where Braddock was defeated in 1755; and the other by his nephew, in Virginia, more than twenty-five years ago. Both were found in the year 1854, and restored to the Washington family.*
Of all the volumes in the Mount Vernon library which contain Washington's bookplate none appears more interesting than Sir Matthew IIale's Contemplations, Moral and Divine, printed at the beginning of the last century. It is well worn by frequent use; for it was from that volume that Washington's mother drew many of those great maxims which she instilled into the mind of her WASHINGTON'S son, and which had a powerful influence in
* This statement is made on the authority of Charles J. Bushnell, Esq., of New York, whose investigations in numismatic science and kindred subjects have been careful and extensive. The engravings of the seals are copied, his permission, from a work of his now in preparation for the press.
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.
知 Many Påshington
FAC-SIMILE OF SIGNATURES.
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 American 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 yo 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 Thirteenth 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
only approach to ornament was a Dutch-tiled chi nney-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,