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George Washington's Parents: Parenting makes a difference.

Updated on January 14, 2015


Mother, father, sometimes only one,

gardeners and guardians of souls

A tree is known by its fruit.

Parents may be known by their children..

"Parents may be known by their children."

left to right: Demas Jasper, Manolie Jasper, Viola Jasper, Catherine Jasper Butler, Bruce Jasper.
left to right: Demas Jasper, Manolie Jasper, Viola Jasper, Catherine Jasper Butler, Bruce Jasper. | Source

A modern tale....

My wife, a mother to five children, counts her "wealth" in terms of the righteousness of her children (a daughter and twin sons, as well as a stepson and stepdaughter) and her 17 grandchildren.

She knows that while there would be many good things she might do, if she were wealthy, by raising righteous children, she has given the world a gift that no amount of money could buy.

An historical tale....

Mary Bell was born in 1706 in the Virginia colony and at age 24 became the second wife of a Virginia planter named Augustine Washington. Two years later a son George was born, the first of six children, the last one of which died in infancy. Shortly after that loss, she was widowed when Augustine also died.

Mary Washington, now 37 with five small children to raise, the oldest being George age 11, was left to manage her land inheritance until such time as each child was old enough to inherit their own plantation left them in Mary's care by their deceased father..

At age 13 George was called to be a midshipman and would have gone except for his mother's opposition. Like George, all Mary's children achieved success in their own sphere thanks to the same efforts of their mother who displayed exceptional ability to instill sound Christian principles together with the conduct and habits for which George became famed.

Mary died in August of 1789 of breast cancer.

Characteristic of her great faith, Mary on hearing of George's crossing of the Delaware on December 7,1776 and his victory there, had said simply that she had joy that the prospects of the country were brightening.

On being told of George's defeat of Lord Cornwallis, she had replied "Thank God! War will now be ended, and peace, independence and happiness bless our country!"

When told of the honors bestowed on George, she replied that "George appeared to have deserved well of his country for such signal services. But, my good sirs, here is too much flattery!.....Still, George will not forget the lessons I have taught him.....he will not forget himself, though he is the subject of so much praise."

When Lafayette came to her home to pay his respects to her before returning to France, Mary acknowledged his praise of her son and replied simply that "I am not surprised at what George has done, for he was always a good boy."

When President Jackson spoke at the dedication of a monument to Mary on May 7, 1833, he remarked in his speech that Mary's conduct and her principles "were closely interwoven with the destiny of her son" among which he named "unerring judgement, great probity of purpose, high moral principles, perfect self-possession, untiring application, an inquiring mind seeking information from every quarter, and arriving at its conclusion with a full knowledge of the subject.... ." President Jackson added "The power of greatness was there; but had it not been guided and directed by maternal solicitude and judgment, its possessor, instead of presenting to the world examples of virtue, patriotism and wisdom, which will be precious in all succeeding ages, might have been [far less.]"

George Washington went on to preside over the framing of our Constitution and serving two terms as America's first elected president, declining to serve a third term while cautioning Americans about dangers the United States of America still face today. (A link to his cautions is provided at the end of this article.)

What of "political dynasties" today?

In today's America it takes millions of dollars to be elected to Congress in some parts of America. It takes many millions of dollars to be elected to the presidency. Political parties have typically held the mechanisms for raising so much money, but today rich private donors and corporations can even rival the parties in contributing to political campaigns.

One key to raising such enormous funds is "name recognition." If a candidate is a Kennedy, a Bush, or a Clinton, they come with a certain cachet, and often with their own list of donors from previous election cycles.

In 2016 we are likely, as things stand now, to see a third Bush running against a second Clinton with both those candidates having been in the political limelight for many, many years. What would a Mary Washington, or a George Washington, have had to say about that?

"The spirit of party" Washington warns is "A fire not to be quenched; it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into flame, lest, instead of warming it should consume."

As Americans looked at the new 114th Congress in 2015, many expressed a desire to have term limits placed on how long any senator or representative could serve in office without having to return to normal life for a period of time to live under the very laws they themselves enacted.

For that to happen, the very legislators who would be affected would have to put the term limits into law, or allow a constitutional convention to be convened to do so. They are not likely to take either step.

Until they do, much of America's future will depend on how modern parents raise their children to uphold, obey, and defend the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

We owe Mary Washington and righteous parents across America, living and dead, a considerable debt for their dedication, example, and parenting.

History is a journey into the past, to people, places, and events.


§ Rose Kennedy (1890-1995) is quoted thus:

"I look on child rearing not only as a work of love and duty, but as a profession that was as interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world, and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it."


© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.


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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      BlossomSB - This world is not perfect. Aspiring to raise righteous children, and acting to do aspiring parents all we can do, while not interfering with our children's free agency. Having done our best, the rest of life is their test and trials, not ours. The rest of the pain is our wish that we might sacrifice ourselves for them

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      You are always welcome Demas.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      m abdullah javed - Thanks for adding to this Hub.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Yeah exactly Demas. Thanks for the response.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      m abdullah javed - I admit to having to look up "lacunas" (a blank space, a gap, such as in a manuscript.) Needs of societies which could have been filled by loved, nurtured, and well=adjusted children grown to adulthood, will have some lacunas I fear. Well-stated.

      Moms and dads, Do the best you can to keep priorities relevant. Money isn't everything. What we fail to appreciate now will claim much of our attention later.

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      A valid question regarding the future of our new generation Demas. The dearth of full time mothers is going to haveal a very unhealthy impact. It's an accepted fact that the breast fed babies keep good health compared to the ill fed ones, similarly the children grown up in the absence of mother's caring attitude are going to face loads of psychological and cultural problems. The generation of this sort is going to be a great threat for nation's over all development. The way a GDP is maintained for various fronts, the health sector should also get equal attention wherein factors like nourishment of girl child to utmost care of a pregnant woman and providing facilities to training of mothers should occupy the central priority. Without paying attention to this aspect vision of a dream world is a mirage, the advancement and development in every field would reveal there lacunas.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      An interesting hub - how much many of us aspire to raise righteous children, but don't always get there!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      I wonder what the western world is losing in the future, from the lack of full-time mothers in the home, including divorce rates which result in single parent moms working away from home to meet financial needs.

      George's mother worked, but she could work from home to meet her family's needs. Some do today, also, but so many others cannot be there as full-time moms. What future price will we pay for that reality?

    • m abdullah javed profile image

      muhammad abdullah javed 3 years ago

      Great mother and a great son, the lines here reflect the love, affection and caring attitude of a mother and receptiveness and obedience of a son. True, preparing of a historic personality rest upon a historic mother. It is also equally important for the off spring to be more receptive to training and ideas. Thanks Demas for sharing an inspiring hub. Voted up.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 3 years ago

      One cannot underestimate the value of fine parenting. George Washington's mother was indeed a fine example of how to inspire excellence and integrity in our offspring.

      By the way, I enjoyed the pictures of your fine family. Thank you for sharing them with us, and thank you for this inspiring article about our beloved president and his lovely mother.

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Ericdierker - "Behind every famous man....." George had no biological children, and so far no one has claimed to have his DNA to my knowledge. so, he was indeed "always a good boy." His wife Martha shared in the hardships at Valley Forge....but that is another great American woman, and another story.

      George inherited Mount Vernon on the death of his brother from "consumption" a disease which unlike today did not come from eating too much. ; - )

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A great article about a great woman and her son. This was all new to me and I appreciate it. Thank you