Steve Yoch, Greg LaMere
Craig Manson introduced our speaker Steve Yoch, author of the book “Becoming George Washington.”  Steve discussed his infatuation with George Washington and told some interesting stories about his life.  In addition to being the first President, Washington was known as the hero of the French/Indian war and was a tremendous innovator.  As a child his family was not wealthy and he received an 8th grade education, but by the time he died, Mt. Vernon was a larger commercial enterprise than the United States government.
 George Washington is famously known for cutting down a cherry tree then fessing up to it.  This never happened!  In fact, Washington was not close to his father and he passed way when George was 11 years old.  Washington was closer to his ½ brother Lawrence Washington, who was 14 years older than George.  Steve described Washington’s mother as an awful person who chose not attend Washington’s wedding or inauguration.  In fact, Washington volunteered for a position in the military to get away from this mother.  Because of this, Washington earned Lieutenant status by the age of 21 with minimal military experience or training.   It is not well known that Washington essentially caused the French/Indian war when he and a group of soldiers’ slaughtered French diplomats then told his superiors they were spies.  After the slaughter, Washington designed the very poorly designed Fort Necessity and had to surrender to the French when it was attacked.  Washington learned from this and went on to be a great military tactician and leader.
 Steve indicated that despite marrying Martha Curtis Washington, George was in love with Sally Fairfax who he could not have a relationship with because she was married.  George and Sally wrote many letters to each other and all of the letters written by George were saved.  Martha found the letters from Sally to George after his death and burned them.
 It is legend that Washington had wood teeth and wore a wig.  Both are false.  Steve indicated that when he would lose a tooth, it would be replaced with a tooth made from animal bones or with a real tooth from an enslaved person.  Washington did not wear a wig, but rather powdered his hair in his younger years because grey or white hair was a sign of intelligence.