GEORGE WASHINGTON: Hero, Demigod
Face of a New Nation
Opening December 1, 2015
“He is gone! The tomb hides all, that the world could scarce contain, and that once was WASHINGTON, except his glory; that is the rich inheritance of his country; and his example; that let us endeavor by delineating to impart to mankind. Virtue will place it in her temple, wisdom in her treasury.”
Fisher Ames delivered these eloquent words in a speech titled,
An Oration on the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington, in 1800 following the death of Washington. Ames was a former congressman from Massachusetts and member of the Governor’s Council. The grief of a nation was conveyed and documented by orators and public figures throughout the new republic. Ames’ words are filled not only with mourning but also with celebration for the “glory” of Washington.
Ames understood that despite George Washington’s myriad accomplishments as a colonial war hero, commander of the Continental Army during the Revolution, and the first President of the United States, his greatest legacy would be his place as celebrated iconic and symbolic father for a country in search of its national identity