The Journal of Major George Washington (1754)

The Journal of Major George Washington (1754)

The Journal of Major George Washington (1754)

The Journal of Major George Washington (1754)

Excerpt

The first edition of the first book by the first president of the United States is a rarity. Of course, at the time of its publication he was not president, but was a twenty-three year old major in the Virginia militia. In the fall of 1753 Governor Robert Dinwiddie of that colony sent Washington into the Ohio country for the purpose of carrying a protest against the French encroachments into lands claimed by Britain, and of making a reconnaissance of the extent of the French trespasses. Washington found the local French commander at Fort LeBoeuf (now Waterford, Erie County, Pennsylvania), delivered Dinwiddie's dispatch, received a reply and returned to Williamsburg. His rather exciting story of this expedition and the reconnaissance report were written up in the form of a journal and submitted to Dinwiddie, who was so impressed that, apparently somewhat to Washington's dismay, the young major found himself "in print." His introduction is brief but eloquent as to his misgivings about his first brain child.

Bibliographically speaking the book is a collector's item. William Hunter printed it at his press in Williamsburg in 1754, and of that first edition only six copies seem to have survived. The fortunate owners are the John Carter Brown Library, the New York Public Library (Brinley copy), the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Hildeburn copy), the Henry E. Huntington Library (Church copy), the Newberry Library (Ayer copy) and Mr. John H. Scheide (the H. V. Jones copy). Because of the book's rarity, it has been decided that scholars and . . .

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