Ok, I am interested in politics, but don’t feel I’m an expert. I love to look at history, and this past weekend found out some interesting things about the father of our country. I was reading in the Wall Street Journal. There was an article about possible election fraud, and it talked about some election fraud history in America. I learned that George Washington actually offered alcohol for votes. The article also states that James Madison lost for not offering alcohol. Votes have been for sale in America since 1757, when George Washington bought alcohol for every voter in his district, Baumgartner says.
Now it was so interesting to me that I mentioned it to my brother in law. He immediately called the Wall Street Journal biased, and said it was just tearing down Washington’s legacy, and he did not believe it was credible. He even compared it to anti-mormon attacks, and called it revisionist history. I found this stance interesting, because I have been accused of thinking poorly of Brigham Young.
So, I did a little more research. Did you know that George Washington was the largest whiskey producer in America? Now to be fair, America was much smaller back then, it was before the revolution in 1776, the Word of Wisdom was unknown, and there was no Constitution, Bill of Rights, or any real democracy, so things were much different then, than they are today. So, I’m willing to cut some slack.
I found it interesting that George Washington owned slaves. In his will, he directed that his slaves be freed and educated. Now while I would have preferred Washington did this before he died, I am glad that he had the foresight to free and educate his slaves. There’s an interesting link about Washington and slavery here. He correctly predicted that the slavery issue would tear the nation apart, which happened about 70 years later.
What do you make of this information? Does it lessen your appreciation for Mr Washington, or make him a more real person? Is this anti-Washington information that should be suppressed? Do you think less of him? For me, I still revere Washington, but I think he probably shouldn’t have offered alcohol for votes, and he should have released his slaves sooner. (For the record, I revere Brigham Young, but wish he had handled the priesthood ban differently.)