Fall 2020 George Washington Prize
When rebellion broke out in the American colonies, British royals—including King George III and Lord Frederick North—moved quickly. Their actions would change the course of history.
While the Underground Railroad helped enslaved black people escape north, another version ran in reverse, sending free men, women, and children back into bondage.
The British are often cast as the tyrannical power in the Revolutionary War. But American patriots could also be ruthless in demanding fealty to their cause, as many Quaker families learned while attempting to remain neutral.
At the end of the War for Independence, Philadelphia nationalists, together with disgruntled officers in the Continental Army at Newburgh, began a plot to challenge congress' authority. But can we really call it a conspiracy?
Denigrated as "crude," "illiterate," "self-centered," and "slovenly," Mary Washington had the singular destiny to have a son whose potential for being idealized seems to have been even greater than that for motherhood.
Following Washington's death in 1799, cultural and intellectual agents in early America began to transform the first president into a national symbol through books, poems, and artwork.