George Washington: Sermons & Orations.

"A great man is fallen": Sammelband collection of sermons and orations upon the occassion of the death of General George Washington; with his last will and testament

George Washington: Sermons & Orations.


Item Number: 81241

Boston: John Kneeland, 1746-1804.

Sammelband collection of thirteen sermons, orations and memorials addressed by some of the leading historical and clerical figures in mid-eighteenth century Boston, with particular focus on sermons preached on the occasion of the death of the first president of the United States, George Washington with his Last Testament and Will included. Contents include both printed text and hand-written script, including: The Last Will & Testament of General George Washington(1800), Extract of a Sermon Preach’d at the South Church in Boston by the Reverend Mr. Thomas Prince(1746), A Sermon Occasioned by the Death of George Washington by Samuel West, Pastor of the Church of in Hollis Street, Boston(1796), A Defence of the Legislature of Massachusetts or the Rights of New England Vindicated(1804), and An Oration of the Sublime Virtues of General George Washington(1800). Octavo, bound in full period calf, gilt titles to the spine, morocco spine label. Period bookplate from the library of William Peters Reeves, Westboro, Mass., Sept. 1908. In very good condition. An exceptional collection.


"The father of his country" and the first president of the United States, General George Washington died on December 14th, 1799 and was buried at Mount Vernon in Virginia. In his Last Will and Testament, written only months before his death, Washington left explicit directions for the emancipation of each of his 123 slaves, to be carried out after the death of his wife Martha. Legislature was passed in Virginia toward the end of the American Revolution in 1782 making it legal for slave holders to emancipate their slaves without an special action by the government. In his will, Washington left a detailed slave census as well as stipulations regarding the treatment of the emancipated slaves who were sick and elderly, orphaned children, and the binding of children to masters and mistresses who would provide them with an education. Upon his death, memorial processions were held in every major city and thousands wore mourning clothes for months; Martha Washington was known to have worn a mourning cloak for over a year. 

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