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George Washington, The First Great American

Source: The story of George Washington and the creation of the Continental Army, the fight against the British in the American Revolution, and his presidency is an American tale of greatness. Every American should know it. Here is but a brief view of it. Washington the Commander in Chief and President While much is known of Washington’s life as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army (huge startup success) and ultimately President of the United States, not very much has been written about his exploits until he attained those positions.  Here is the picture that America has in its minds eye of Washington, our first President. Washington was 43 years old when he accepted the call of his countrymen to form an army to lead the colonial rebellion against the British.  Life expectancy in the Colonies was less than 40 years at that time.   Washington would live to be 67 years old. Here is the famous Peale portrait of Washington painted after the end of the Revolution, a man in his early 50s but a robust man who had commanded an army in the field for a long time and had campaigned vigorously to defeat the most powerful army in the world. He embraced a strategy of offereing battle under favorable terms and otherwise not risking the destruction of his army preferring to withdraw and live to fight another day. He was the architect of this ultimately successful strategy. Washington the entrepreneurial surveyor and land developer By age 16 — remember life expectancy was less than 40 years old — Washington had taken up the trade of surveying as a means of creating income to purchase land.  All of his life, he would be a land developer and speculator. He learned to survey and to draw plats of land — subdivision we would call it today. As the frontier pressed ever westward, the King would grant land ownership to individuals and companies — sometimes deputizing his representatives in the Colonies to do this for him.  This original ownership by royal grant was the beginning of the chain of title that would ultimately become the land ownership system in the United States until today.  Many titles trace their origin to these original land grants. These land grants were “patented” by creating a survey which identified these lands with a metes and bounds descriptions.  This land patent was then filed of record and the chain of title had its first link.  This is what Washington did at age 16. The land grantees would then further subdivide their large land grants into smaller plots of farm land, timber land and sell them off to others.  Washington would make these drawings, superimpose the surveys on the ground by marking trees and file these records also.  This was the land development business in the colonies and how the King forced settlement to move ever westward. Washington — who had inherited a bit of wealth from his father — used almost all of his surveying earnings to buy land.  He also sought out patents.  He received and bought approximately 20,000 acres of land for his service in the French and Indian War (called the Seven Years War on the European continent). Washington would also add value by acquiring timber land, logging it and then clearing it for farmland.  He bought swamp land and constructed canals to drain the swamps and to create extremely fertile farmland. Washington the young officer Washington had been named the military adjutant of a big section of Virginia and had raised a regiment — the Virginia Regiment — to fight in the French and Indian War.  He was appointed the Colonel of that regiment.  Quite an attainment for such a young man. A little known fact is that Washington actually struck the first blow against the French in North America and was arguably the man who started the French and Indian War in North America. By the age of 25, he had learned how to raise an army and to train it and to campaign it.  He was very cool under fire but from a purely military perspective this was not a hugely successful undertaking other than the personal training and development of Washington.  Perhaps the most important thing he learned had to do with the capabilities of militia troops v regulars and the logistics of supporting an army in combat a long way from their support base.  These lessons would be critical to his success in the Revolution. He was rewarded for his service in the French and Indian War and his command of the Virginia Regiment with a grant of 15,000 acres.  He subsequently purchased other wartime grants and accumulated a total of approximately 20,000 acres bringing his holdings to approximately 25,000 acres at the time of the Revolution. He was a very successful land developer and speculator. Washington the farmer Washington held much of his land in the form of operating plantations and farms.  He had substantial plantations and farms through inheritance and marriage. He had tenant farmers who grew tobacco on a “share” basis.  He himself grew tobacco, wheat and other crops. As a grower of wheat, he quickly learned of the additional value of milling one’s wheat into flour.  He quickly vertically integrated this milling process and wheat became an excellent cash crop. His plantations raised cows, pigs, horses and other farm animals. While Washington routinely imported goods from England, he had an eye on self-sufficiency and when the British taxation issues that lead to the American Revolution were visited upon the Colonies, Washington was able to insulate his enterprises from the necessity to depend on imports. Washington’s plantations also felled timber and operated a saw mill.  He quarried stone for building projects.  He built a schooner for both lumber transport, general shipping on the Colonial coast and for fishing.  He had a considerable fishing operation which salted fish and exported it to the Caribbean. Washington the slave owner Slavery was a repugnant reality of Washington’s times and Washington was a substantial slave owner.  Slavery is such an abhorrent and horrific degradation of humanity as to make the Big Red Car choke.  It is nothing to be proud of but it will be reported as it happened.  Ugh! Washington owned slaves as a means of working his plantations and to leverage their labor to create value.  He was a man of his times. He is noted for having a man servant who was a slave and who was at his side for his entire life.  If you look very closely at the famous Washington Crossing the Delaware picture, you can see his man servant directly behind Washington. Washington was no more enlightened than other slave owners.  He was however insistent upon his slaves being trained as craftsmen — brickmakers, bricklayers, carpenters, painters, fishers, sawyers, quarrymen — and artisans as they could then assist in the building process.  This was not a common practice in those days. Washington said that his experience with the ownership, care and feeding of his slaves was instrumental in his ability to raise, train and sustain an army. Washington the financier Washington had a great head for numbers and understood finance as it existed in colonial times.  He made careful use of appropriate debt and “factored” his crops with a firm in England.  He constantly used leverage to allow him to operate with a bit of long term vision.  When he saw the unhappiness brewing with England, he slowly paid off his debts in England. Washington leveraged the value of his land by using tenant farmers on a share basis.  He bore the risks of the crop and got a bigger share as a result. He sold land on credit.  He managed those credit arrangements.  He was a willing lender and while he was attentive to his affairs, there is no evidence that he ever pressed harder for payment than his debtor could realistically perform.  He was very pragmatic. Washington the administrator Washington was a man who rose early in order to manage his accounts.  While he used overseers to run his plantations, he often kept the books for his plantations, real estate and household.  At any given time, he knew his financial position accurately. As the Commander in Chief and the startup CEO of the Continental Army this propensity for precise paperwork and keeping it straight by simply working his ass off would contribute to his ability to manage such a huge enterprise.  He was an extraordinary administrator. He was a networker before the advent of LinkedIn and he was a relentless correspondent — no email in those days, ya’ll.  His writings provide an insight into his brain and soul.  While he was never a natural orator — remember you had Patrick Henry around in those days — he was an excellent writer.  He wrote with clarity, sincerity and emotion. Washington the politician Washington was elected and appointed to high office.  He routinely stood for and was elected to the House of Burgesses of Virginia.  Every time the Royal Governor got poked by King George, the House of Burgesses was disbanded and had to stand for re-election as a means of the King and the Governor expressing their displeasure. The Continental Congress was an outgrowth of the Colonial legislative bodies coming together because they had been individually disbanded. One does not think of Washington as an elected political leader but he was, in fact, quite adept at campaigning and getting elected.  Even as a fairly young man, his personal qualities were obvious and he was a natural leader.  He never lost an election. He was not a particularly impressive legislator and his speaking skills were not noteworthy.  What was noteworthy was his enormous confidence, goodness and excellent judgment.  He was close mouthed but no major decision was ever made without finding his position on the matter. Washington the risk taker Your friends will remark upon your ambition.  Your detractors will see avariciousness in the same glance.  Washington was ambitious and was prepared to work to attain his ends.  He was not without his detractors. His willingness to go into the Indian infested frontier to survey, his purchase of unproved but promising land tracts, his military exploits, his willingness to enter the political process, his fishing ventures based on building a schooner, his startup enterprises in milling — all paint a picture of a man who was willing to take measured risks to achieve his desired objectives. At the beginning of the Revolution, Washington was one of the wealthiest men in the Colonies.  This willingness to risk his wealth was an inspiration to others.  If this man would risk all that he had and had built, how could other rebels risk less?  There is no evidence that Washington ever took counsel of his fears.  He was supremely confident and had been prepared for this challenge by his 43 years of risk taking. In his military exploits this risk taking took the form of daring which informed his strategy at critical junctions in the war.  Washington’s decision to attack Trenton — perhaps the critical battle of the Revolution which showed the world that the Continentals could hang with and bloody the British regulars and their mercenaries — in a complex nighttime amphibious double envelopment stands as one of the greatest feats of arms in the history of warfare. Washington was a guy who could stare a risk down and make it roll over and ask for its Momma. Washington the stud Washington had the gift of physical presence.  He was taller than six feet and was a robust looking young man. He was often spoken of as the best horseman in North America — WOW!  The best damn horseman in a society in which the only means of transportation was a horse between your legs. In several battles — enroute to Princeton from Trenton as an example — he would routinely jump fences and arrive at the critical point of attack on horseback.  This was a skill that was not possessed by many other general officers of that war.  The propensity and ability of Washington to be at the point of attack and to personally influence the outcome was the hallmark of his leadership. Washington traveled well and thought nothing of spending a month or two on the frontier chasing a land deal or reconning a new real estate opportunity.  He traveled to the islands when his brother was taken ill. He married the most desirable (and richest) woman in the Colonies and kept her in a splendor that was royal. All of the above is intended to let us know the man who at age 43 would create a pretty damn good startup — the United States of America.  From that point in history forward, it is easy to find examples of his goodness, integrity, brilliance, leadership, management and other personal traits that propelled him and the United States forward.  He could have been our King had he only nodded when asked. So where did all that goodness and talent come from?  It came from his entrepreneurial endeavors as a young man and the preparation such endeavors provided for his later success.  America was created by an American entrepreneur — just like you, Old Sport.  Just like you. So get out there and bite the ass off a bear, entrepreneur genius. But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.  [Bonus question — what was George Washington’s middle name?]         Share this:EmailTweetShare on TumblrPrint Related Source:

A Small Change To The Comments

David Steinberg, founder and CEO of Zeta Global, the owner of Disqus, saw my blog post last week expressing a desire to make this blog easier to manage. He reached out, asking how Zeta/Disqus could help. I explained my frustration with the comments here at AVC and he asked the Disqus team to see if they could help. And less than a week later, we have the first result of that assistance. AVC is running an experimental feature that Disqus is working on called “collapsed comments”. One of the things that I find challenging with the comments is when a group of people decide to have a conversation with each other and it results in dozens of replies, one after another. I don’t want to stop them from doing that, but I also don’t want that conversation to take up a ton of space on the page. It is also the case that it is often in those rapid reply discussions where the flames come out. So we are going to collapse the replies on multiple reply conversations here at AVC and it has been live since late yesterday. It looks like this: Behind that “Show More Replies” link are sixteen more comments, taking up four pages of screen real estate. I am not saying that those conversations aren’t valuable. They are and people can still dive into them. But they are not longer going to be the primary thing people see when they wade into the comments here at AVC. I think that is a good thing and a small step to making it a bit easier to manage the comments here.

One died in lorry car collision

   In an accident between a lorry and a car that occurred in the wee hours this morning, car owner A S Arun (44) resident of Halligattu near Ponnampet, died on the spot. He was the son of Acchiyanda Subhash (Bose).  Early in the morning, he had come to his father-in-law's house in Cherambane to take labourers to Halligattu. The accident occurred on the main road turn, while returning from Cherambane with the labourers. The local residents collected information regarding the victim from the labourers and informed his relatives about the accident. Learning about the accident Arun's parents rushed to the spot and filed a complaint at Napoklu police station. The police have taken action based on the complaint. The labourers in the car suffered small bruises and are undergoing treatment at the district government hospital.    The local residents who swarmed the accident spot were seen expressing concern. The police after arriving at the spot, cleared the road of the vehicles that met with the accident and helped the movement of the traffic in Bhagamandala-Madikeri road. The relatives of the victim, were inconsolable near the spot and near the mortuary.    The accident occurred when the victim, Arun, who had left the labourers at his father-in-law Ganesh's house to work, was taking them back to Halligattu. The mishap took place at 7 AM when Arun, in his Alto car (KA12 Z 4346) was taking back the labourers, Ramesh, Manju, Kavita and Mamatha to Halligattu. At around 7 AM, a lorry (KA 14 B 2416) carrying honey from Teerthahalli to Bhagamandla and the car which Arun was driving had a head-on collision.  Due to the impact Arun's head, chest and other parts were severely wounded and he died on the spot.    A case was registered and the station officer Nanjundaswamy and the staff have taken action against the lorry driver, Abdul Razaak. The body of the victim was handed over to his relatives after conducting the post-mortem at the district government hospital. Later the mortal remains was taken to Halligattu for the funeral. The deceased has left behind his parents, wife, a son and a daughter.   A complaint has been filed at Napoklu police station, and the police will take further action.(This article is translated by xklsv internet media pvt. Ltd, from; the Shakthi Daily is not liable for any errors in translation.)

A government project to evacuate silt from Harangi

   The government has planned to clear Harangi dam of silt, so, with the help of Cauvery Irrigation Corporation. A private firm is conducting the survey. The state government has allocated Rs 75 crore to revive Harangi watershed area and the river basins. Mangalore's Geo Marine has taken up the contract. The experts, in their report submitted to the government, had said that, due to  the heavy rains and landslides silt had been deposited in Harangi watershed region.   The officers and the Geo Marine officials, using rafting boat examined Kootupole, Hattihole and areas through which Madapur river flows. A team of eight members from Geo Marine along with Cauvery Irrigation Corporation officials visting Harangi, Garagandur, Herur, Harangi backwater region, places around Madapur since four days and have studied the areas in detail. They have completed hydrographical survey through a boat at the Harangi dam where water was stored, informed Harangi dam section officer Nagaraju.  In other areas survey process is being carried out using drones.  The executive engineer of Harangi irrigation department, Rajegowda, has provided the required information around Harangi dam area, to the studying team. It is learnt that the survey process will end by 25th of this month and then the report will be submitted to the government.(This article is translated by xklsv internet media pvt. Ltd, from; the Shakthi Daily is not liable for any errors in translation.)

Kumbaaragadige village is like Somalia in Kodagu

   Though India attained independence 73 years back, Kodagu district Somwarpet taluk's Kumbaaragadige village people are still living like the people of Somalia in huts without basic amenities, which is a matter of shame to our administrative system.    The village is 37 kms away from the district captial. Madikeri and 24 kms away from Somwarpet taluk centre. The hamlet comes under Garvale GP limits and belongs to Sunticoppa hobli. There are 44 houses in this village and the residents are very poor. They grow paddy and vegetables, and sell the excess vegetables to traders in Somwarpet, Sunticoppa and Madapura, at half the price, once in 10 days and return home, in rarely run government buses buying household items.  Here, there are absolutely no facilities to admit old people, children and pregnant women to hospital if they fall sick. Most of them will not turn toward the towns. The representatives and the local GP have completely failed in providing  proper houses to these people. (This article is translated by xklsv internet media pvt. Ltd, from; the Shakthi Daily is not liable for any errors in translation.)