Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Presidents' Day

Presidents' Day

To-day is the 279th Birthday of George Washington, first President of the United States of America. In honour of him, and all his successors, the third Monday of February is celebrated in the US as Presidents' Day.

I spent a whole afternoon trying to capture the likeness of GW but failed miserably. I've about 20 sheets of papers scattered on the office floor around me as I write, where my attempts look like my Polish grandmother at best (not too far off then!) and Joe Pesci at worst. So I thought, sod it, I'll draw the great man's birthplace instead.

George Washington, the third son of Augustine Washington, was born on the 22d of February, 1732, near the banks of the Potomac, in the county of Westmoreland, in Virginia. His father first married Miss Butler, who died in 1728; leaving two sons, Lawrence and Augustine. In 1730, he married a second time, to Miss Mary Ball, by whom he had four sons - George, John, Samuel and Charles; and one daughter, Betty, who married Colonel Fielding Lewis, of Fredericksburg.

His great grandfather, John Washington, a gentleman of a respectable family, had emigrated from the north of England about the year 1657, and settled on the place where Mr. Washington was born.

I have shown the Washington homestead in the Autumn (or Fall) of 1732. Augustine and Mary Washington are just around the corner, out of sight, walking along the road that runs along the banks of the Potomac on their way back to 'Wakefield', their house. Mary holds her baby George in her arms while his older brothers scrabble about the river bank looking for mushrooms and animal tracks.

Happy Birthday George! And a Happy Presidents' Day to all the Septic Tanks (as we say in rhyming slang) for yesterday!

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