In honor of Washington’s birthday, as is my usual wont I post my favorite portrait of him by Charles Wilson Peale (1772) in his uniform as Colonel of the First Virginia colonial troops:

Washington_1772

As I’m sure I’ve written before, I have read that the background in this portrait is said to be Jumonville Glen (about 30 miles southeast of what is now Pittsburgh) where, on May 28, 1754, young Lt. Col. Washington, at the head of a force of colonial militia and Indians, got the drop on a band of Frenchmen led by Joseph Coulon de Villiers, Sieur de Jumonville, sent by Montreal to clear British encroachers from the Ohio country, and killed or captured the entire French force, thereby opening the conflict now known (at least by anyone who’s ever actually heard of it) as the French and Indian War.  Despite the fact that Washington himself had to surrender to another French force at Fort Necessity a few days later, I believe he remained pretty darned proud of his initial success.

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