December 14, 1799
He caught a chill riding horseback several hours in the snow while inspecting his Mount Vernon farm.
The next morning it developed into “acute laryngitis” and the doctors were called in.
Their response was to bleed him heavily four times, a process of cutting one’s arm to let the “bad blood” out.
They also had him gargle with a mixture of molasses, vinegar, and butter.
Despite the doctors’ best efforts, they could not save former President George Washington and he died DECEMBER 14, 1799, at the age of sixty-seven.
George Washington said:
Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go
I should have been glad, had it pleased God, to die a little easier, but I doubt not it is for my good.
George Washington, at about 11:00 PM, uttered his last words:
Father of mercies, take me unto thyself.
On Washington’s tomb at Mount Vernon is engraved:
I am the Resurrection and the Life; sayeth the Lord. He that believeth in Me, though he were dead yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.
The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., which is 555 feet tall, has engraved on its metal cap the Latin phrase “Laus Deo,” which means “Praise be to God.”
Three years earlier, President George Washington delivered his Farewell Address, September 19, 1796, giving this warning:
And of fatal tendency … to put, in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party;—often a small but artful and enterprising minority …
They are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men
will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People and to usurp for the themselves the reins of Government;
destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion …
But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism …
Disorders and miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an Individual …
(who) turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty …
The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism …
But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.
The precedent (of usurpation) must always greatly overbalance in permanent evil any partial or transient benefit which the use can at any time yield.
Less than 40 years after Washington’s death, President Andrew Jackson remarked in his Farewell Address, 1837:
Washington … seemed to be … the voice of prophecy, foretelling events and warning us of the evil to come …
There have always been those amongst us who wish to enlarge the powers of the General Government … to overstep the boundaries marked out for it by the Constitution …
Government … passed from the hands of the many to the hands of the few, and this organized money power from its secret conclave would have dictated the choice of your highest officers and compelled you to make peace or war, as best suited their own wishes …
It is from within, among yourselves—from cupidity (excessive desire), from corruption, from disappointed ambition and inordinate thirst for power—that factions will be formed and liberty endangered.
President George Washington wrote to Bishop John Carroll, March 15, 1790:
May the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.
Poet Robert Frost wrote:
I often say of George Washington that he was one of the few men in the whole history of the worlds who was not carried away by power.
Benjamin Franklin, serving as an ambassador of the new United States, attended a dinner of foreign dignitaries at Versailles, France. The minister of Great Britain proposed a toast to King George III, likening him to the sun. The French minister, in like kind, proposed a toast to King Louis XVI, comparing him with the moon. Benjamin Franklin stood up and toasted:
George Washington, Commander of the American armies, who, like Joshua of old, commanded the sun and the moon to stand still, and they obeyed him.