George Washington was appointed commander in chief of the Continental army on June 15, 1775. He had previously gained some military renown during the French and Indian War, particularly for his service with the British under the command of General Edward Braddock. Washington was one of the few colonials with active duty military experience with the British army, which was one of the main reasons Congress turned to him to command the Continental army.
Washington was idolized by many colonial Americans almost from the moment he was appointed. Wherever he went, he was toasted and dined and applauded for his wisdom and leadership in the Revolutionary War effort. His birthday quickly became a time for public celebrations all over the country.
Washington took his role as commander in chief seriously. He fretted about whether he was up to the challenge or not. He worried when his men suffered because of lack of supplies, and he continually urged the Continental Congress to make the army more capable of success by properly supplying them.
But Washington’s worries did not translate into threats of a military takeover. Most Americans perceived George Washington to be an honorable man, and this proved to be true. He always followed the orders of the civilian government, even when they ordered him to defend Philadelphia in a battle he knew he could not win. Washington became revered during his service as commander in chief because he worked so hard to make American independence a reality. To many people, he seemed to be almost perfect.
The good opinions of George Washington are expressed in several selections here. First is an essay that praises his bravery and urges Americans to follow his good leadership. The essay is followed by an acrostic poem that praises his wise leadership and declares that it was God’s blessing and prov-