GW: Kids

Questions — President George

Many people welcomed Washington on his inaugural trip, from Virginia to New York, to become the first president. Crowds gathered in each town to wave at him, and many groups sent him letters of congratulations. One group of women and girls in Trenton, New Jersey, sang the following song:

Welcome, mighty Chief once more!
Welcome to this grateful shore
Now no more mercenary foe
Aims again the fatal blow;
Aims at thee, the fatal blow.

Virgins fair & Matrons grave,
These thy conquering arm did save
Build for thee triumphal bowers
Strew ye fair his way with flowers
Strew your hero's way with flowers.

1. Why would the citizens of Trenton, New Jersey be especially glad to welcome George Washington to their town in 1789? What had he done there several years ago? Check back on Slide 1 for a hint. While you're there, look for clues for the meaning of "mercenary."
2. Thinking about what you've read on the slides so far, why might people have felt that Washington would make a good first president?
3. The typed version of a primary document is called the transcription. When we are transcribing an old letter or diary, we try to copy the original exactly. We put capital letters in wherever they are written, we leave words spelled incorrectly and we include the punctuation exactly as we see it. Looking at the example above, use the original manuscript on the right to find at least three mistakes in the first stanza in the transcription in the yellow box.
4.Why do you think George Washington would have written this song down for himself?