What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Did George Washington really exist?

Hang on one cotton picking moment, or at least enough time for you to read through this post before continuing your President's Day festivities. The above question is a perfectly serious one and, although many have been indoctrinated by our “history, “government” and “civic” teachers to unflinchingly believe the opposite, there really isn't that much evidence for the so-called “First President's” existence.

I know, that was a lot of quotation marks for one paragraph, but keep tracking with me.

George Washington is a very popular man in today's economy. His Google rating is 168 million (168 million and one once this page gets indexed), which is more than Jesus Christ and Muslim prophet Mohammed combined. If old George were still alive today he would have trademarked his name and would be making a mint on sponsorships. His name recognition would be so strong and his heroism so unquestioned that he could be elected to any political office without even lifting a finger.


Washington has attained a position of virtuous prominence so puissant that students are marched through his etiquette guide as if it were scripture and told of his many luminary deeds, like being shot six times during a fight with Indians. His size is described as unnaturally large, several heads above anyone else and his strength, as the history books tell it, is paralleled only by today's juicing weight lifters. His physical characteristics are impeccable; the man is flawless.

But what if we are being scammed? What if, for the last two hundred odd years of American existence, the noble Washington of Valley Forge lore was just a legend intended to inspire weary colonists when it looked as if the war was a lost cause? What if history has been fooled by an elaborate hoax and we now celebrate a man who never existed and whose birthday, in remembrance of which federal employees take today off from work, is a total fabrication?


Let's start with the “Cherry Tree” episode, in which young George chopped down his father's prize Prunus Avium and then refused to lie about his actions. Despite the fact that young George held a (little) hatchet and his father was unarmed, Washington supposedly repented his sin veraciously. Now how likely is that? How many six year olds would own up to their mistakes immediately in front of a steamed parent? How many six year olds have the strength to cut down a large cherry tree? How many six year olds have a little hatchet?

And then there is Martha the supposed wife of George Washington. Despite the fact that we have no photographic evidence of her existence and the paintings that claim to portray her always vary in some key feature (compare this, this and this), we insist on believing in her existence. Anyone could have written the letters she allegedly shared with her contemporaries and her children could easily have been mothered by another. History paints Martha as a quiet saint, but so much of her life must be assumed and pieced together from Washington's “writings” that there is no way we can really know anything about her. If anything, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington is an argument for the hoax theory.

The testimonial evidence collected by historical clubs in Virginia is some of the strongest evidence cited by Washington believers. But these letters and census papers are so easy to fake and usually contain more hearsay than actual testimony.

If Dan Rather could fake Bush's National Guard documents, than Washington's contemporaries could fake those letters.

Consider Mount Vernon, arguably the only physical evidence of Washington's existence. The 5,000 acre estate has been well maintained since Washington's supposed “death” in 1799, but the property has brought the federal government significant revenues as millions of visitors, guided by the hoaxed life of a fake hero, make pilgrimage to the rustic property. Each year, through entry fees and concession stand revenues, Mount Vernon ushers financial resources to the equivalent of 1,257 taxpayers (FCN guesstimate) into treasury coffers.

The Washington scam is very profitable, indeed.

Mount Vernon, as a place, does nothing to support the existence of George Washington. No where did he make a distinctive mark or do something with the land that no other man could have done. Sure, the walls are a disgusting green and blue color, but the First President doesn't have a corner on eccentricity. Anyway, saying that a man's home is proof of his existence is paramount to saying that his used toothbrush proves he once had teeth. Anyone can make a home; anyone can use a toothbrush.

As far as testimonial evidence is concerned, to date, no live person has stepped forward claiming to have actually met George Washington. If someone actually knew the guy and could recount a conversation with him, don't you think he would be doing a perpetual talk show circuit?

Have any of you ever seen George Washington? Maybe a member of the faithful FCN few has first person proof of the man's life. Have you ever touched the man or do you blindly believe the word of your history textbook without really pursuing the truth? Have you actually researched the claims of those who believe in George or do you take their assertions for granted?

As Americans, we are given two options: 1) Believe that Washington really existed without sufficient evidence to prove that as fact or 2) Refuse to believe he really exists until the evidence satisfies the burden of proof.

Here at FCN, we are in the latter camp. You guys can go on gnostically believing in the “American Hero” who did the impossible during the Revolutionary War and was so humble that he rejected a position as king of America or you can see the light and reject baseless stories until they are proven true. You can allow yourself to wear the blinders of revisionist history or step out into the light and realize the truth.

Some folks need a Washington story, a tale of a strong political leader who valiantly beat the odds, in order to survive and face their own challenges. To even get up in the morning they must believe in the nonsense their culture feeds them. They believe that the moon is made of green cheese, they believe that gullible is not in the dictionary and they believe that George Washington really lived.

As sensitive Americans, we are, and ought to be, extremely sensitive to those who believe in Washington. The belief is made understandable by a culture that accepts it and we should be tolerant and sympathetic of the hoaxed, even if the data are overwhelmingly against them.

As far as today and President's Day celebration goes, maybe we can devote this day to John Adams, the second President. and thus grant the three-day weekend an aura of legitimacy. Although, the evidence for Adam's existence is pretty shaky as well...

19 comments:

Jacqui said...

*ahem*

george washington was the 16th president.

*disappears into the shadows*

asc said...

*I* am proof the George Washington existed. He is my ancestor. If he did not exist, then neither do I.

Anyways, this whole idea of no GW is TERRIBLE!!! Don't you like 3 day weekends?

Tim said...

That's better than Julius Caesar!

Vevy said...

Sooo...who WAS the first president then? You called Adams the second president....:D

Anonymous said...

There would have to be so many people in on the hoax. Who lead the US army's then? If you continue this logic how do you know that any person in history that we have found in history really lived?

Is there anyone who lived at that time that you can quote who said that he never lived?

Kelsey said...

Actually some of your justifications are a little off base. Mount Vernon is privately owned. Thus, the federal gov. really doesn't make that much off it.

Christopher Yerziklewski said...

You must be really low on content to post this. Maybe you can ask those girls to write something again....

Hannah Beth said...

Oh, I agree. Absolutely. But I also don't believe in the internet, Funny Class Notes, or any such pre-enlightened mythological institution. :-)

Sar said...

Hmm...then who is the man in the picture with the question mark on him? Some random fellow off the street? Or random picture off the internet rather...

Banas said...

I've been asking myself this question for ages. It's nice to know other people think kinda like me.

Anonymous said...

..do you really have nothing better to do all day but to write up this stupid essay .. idot

Jason Stowell said...

http://jasonstowell.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

you take your right to free speech to heart dont you? ok you really need to do some research before you post another topic as this. i can get how you would question something you cannot see or talk to...but can you see or talk to the wind? of course not! but its there and its real...just like ole GW. to fake a man, farmer (who introduced the mule to america) president, and general would have to encompass a collaboration that spands 2 continents where every "t" was crossed and every "i" dotted. it is simply impossible to get millions on the same page and everyone report the same story. oh yeah, as for your pictures of martha. of course the last 2 are drawn at completely different time periods and by completely different artists...the painting in color which provides specific detail is by a current artist who used anthropolical data research via regeneration data by those high paid teachers at those really big schools! you probably did this to get your jollies on from reading people rant and rave...but GW was real and if not for him theres no telling where we would be at with this country...probably still speaking with that british accent.

Anonymous said...

oh, i forgot to add...paint was extremely hard to come by during colonial times...so those ugly blues and greens at mt. vernon were considered high dollar and only available to those who could put up the dough to pay for it...and i guess the marquis de lafayette was made up too right? or do u even know who that is?

Anonymous said...

When was the last time any of you heard of a white man with the last name Washington?

Anonymous said...

Pretty lame to call The Father of our Country a myth. Grow up

Chiron Rainbow said...

It is true that he was a fabrication. The portrait is that of an Indian chief -- high cheekbones, downturned mouth, prominent nose -- whom someone painted in contemporary white man's garb. The Washington name proves it: the Ouachita mountains in Arkansas were sacred to the Indians, because what is now Hot Springs, was called Manataka, the Place of Peace. Google it. It was a place where honesty and peace between tribes was celebrated and strictly enforced. All the tribes for miles around went there to worship. Now, say Ouachita slowly like this Wa-she-tah, and you will see where the fake name Washington came from.

Crandall said...

What the hell freaking grow up, George Washington did exist. If he didn't exist then you don't exist. All of this doesn't exist, its just your imagination. Because you weren't really born and supposedly not even George Washington.
He was the first president of the united states and any kindergartener could tell you that.

Anonymous said...

There's so many things wrong with this article I don't even know where to start. Washington never cut down a cherry tree and did not have wooden teeth, those are just childrens stories. And he... You know what, I just realized something. You're an idiot. This is pointless.