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Dec
10

Washington’s First Election is a loss

By
When:
December 10, 2016 @ 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
2016-12-10T07:00:00-05:00
2016-12-10T19:00:00-05:00
Where:
1840 Courthouse
20 N Loudoun St
Winchester, VA 22601
USA
Cost:
Free

Washington’s First Election is a loss

Compiled by Jim Moyer, 12/10/2016, 4/10/2017, 4/28/2017

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First, a Brief chronology of Washington’s election career:

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George Washington's Political Career Began on this Site Marker

Washington lost

the 10 December 1755 election,

then won the 24 July 1758 election 

and 18 May 1761 elections

to represent Frederick County VA.

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In 1765, a House of Burgesses position became open in Fairfax County,

enabling GW to represent

his hometown area

instead of Frederick County.

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This plaque exists to the left

of the big glass doors of the

1840 Court house.

Click on picture to enlarge.

See plaque’s inscription here.

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Young

That plaque mentions the word twice.

But we’ve seen the WWII movies where someone is called “Pops.”

And he was really only in his 20s.

And our historian, Norman Baker, mentions this.

And he knows.

He was on Iwo Jima.

Anyone who was a year or two in war, or

who had been in real battle once or twice

got the veteran tag, the “look”, the knowledge …

So too was George Washington a veteran.

Having seen how things can really, really go wrong

on a long journey to & back (Journey to Fort LeBeouf)

or in victory (the Battle of Jumonville)

or in defeat  (Fort Necessity July 3, 1754)

or in major horror  ( Braddock’s Defeat July 9, 1755),

you saw “experience” in a man, a tall leader, a veteran.

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INTERNET RESEARCH

Okay its obvious not to trust everything you read.

Including this.

And including Wikipedia.

And we use Wikipedia links OFTEN for one reason, mainly because those links stay intact over a longer time.  Eventually over time errors will be corrected there.

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In this case Wikipedia says this election was in 1757.

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Not correct.

10 December 1755 is the election.

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Wikipedia bases it on a pretty good website called New River Notes, but in this case, the website is wrong.

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And that website bases it on R T Barton.

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The Echo Chamber just for Politics?

No.

The echo chamber is alive and well for repeating an error everywhere and often on ANY subject.

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Robert T Barton’s Story of this election

The story of this loss is written by a Winchester VA born lawyer.

He presented his view  to the Virginia Historical Society,

Tuesday December 22, 1891

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Date and Year of George Washington’s first election

as stated in this little essay are wrong.

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Also, some stories in here are not proven,

such as the allegation that George Washington

lost the December 10, 1755 election because he had

alienated the support of the tippling house keepers.

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See Page 39 of

Garland R. Quarles, author of “George Washington and Winchester VA 1748-1758, A Decade of Preparation for Responsibilities to Come,” 1974, published by Winchester Frederick County Historical Society.

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Quarles states no doubt after this election GW did have problems with the tippling houses.

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And despite that – still won the 24 July 1758 election  and 18 May 1761 elections to represent Frederick County VA.

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Instead, no one knew of GW’s candidacy

on December 10, 1755

and possibly not even GW

because it wasn’t announced until the day of the election.

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And where was George Washington?

He was helping his friends in the election at Fairfax County.

And at THAT polling place, there is a story of GW being

physically shoved and knocked down.

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See Founders Online Footnote:

“A clue to the insult to GW that Stephen refers to may be found in Parson Weems’s Life of Washington. He tells a tale of GW’s being knocked down with a club at the polls by a supporter of William Ellzey, the losing candidate.”

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And why was this election held in December of 1755?

Founders Online Footnote:

“At the end of the session on 8 Nov. 1755, Lt. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie dissolved the Virginia Assembly that had met since 1748. The voters of the colony went to the polls in December to elect members of the House of Burgesses for the new assembly. Elections were not all held on the same day in the various counties, making it possible for Joshua Lewis, and other recruiters, to be on hand at election time at more than one county seat.”

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Back to our Robert T Barton.

He did not have the benefit

of “online” easy access  which exists today

and despite the errors,

this little book has some interesting observations.

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The First Election of Washington to the House of Burgesses,

Paper read before the Virginia Historical Society,

Tuesday December 22, 1891,

by Mr. R.T. Barton

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More on Robert T Barton

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_T._Barton

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List of Robert Thomas Barton’s writings:

http://0-www.worldcat.org.novacat.nova.edu/identities/lccn-n85808133/

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https://web.archive.org/web/20070927142907/http://www.vba.org/history.htm

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https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Page:Encyclopedia_of_Virginia_Biography_volume_5.djvu/211

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ROBERT T BARTON BIO

Confederate Army

He prepared for the study of law and after the required examination was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1865, after a service of several years in the Confederate army, one of six brothers to offer themselves for military service at the beginning of the war, two of these giving up their lives on the field of battle. Robert T. Barton enlisted in the First Virginia Brigade, commanded until his death by General Thomas J. Jackson (“Stonewall”).

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Lawyer

After the war he was admitted to the bar, began practice in Winchester, where he yet continues. He was senior member of the highly rated legal firm, Barton & Boyd, established in 1869 and continuing until 1910. Mr. Barton is a member of the State Bar Association, of which he is an ex-president. He has been admitted to all state and Federal courts of the district, and for more than two-score years has been a familiar and prominent figure in the legal world, not only as a learned and successful practitioner but as the author of standard law works. In 1878 he published “Barton’s Law Practice,” and in 1909 “Virginia–Colonial Decisions.” His practice, always a large one, has always been conducted on the highest plane of legal ethics, while his research and literary ability has enriched the legal literature of his profession. While the law has ever been to him a jealous mistress, he has given considerable of his time and a great deal of his interest to the public service and to public affairs.

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Offices

He served his district in the Virginia legislature from 1883 to 1885. and from 1899 to 1903 he was mayor of Winchester. In 1902 he was elected president of the Farmers’ and Merchants’ National Bank of Winchester, and still continues the honored head of this solid and conservative financial institution.

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Political Party

He is a Democrat in politics, but during the “free silver” heresy remained true to the Cleveland wing of his party. He is an attendant of the Protestant Episcopal church, and of various professional, social and fraternal organizations of high standing.
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Source

Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography, Volume V

http://arlisherring.com/tng/getperson.php?personID=I097266&tree=Herring

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