Historical Archives: General Washington Hints At A 'Bid' For Presidency in 1789

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Historical Archives: General Washington Hints At A 'Bid' For Presidency in 1789

In NEWBURGH, The State of New York this week we learn, that our great General Washington finds him self besett with Affairs of State, in addition to his more accustom'd Affairs, those being of War; and that, although he has yet to Persuade the Red-Coat to relinquish his brutal Possession of the Port of New YORK; Yet General Washington has made Mention, that in less than half a dozen of Years, he him self would Consider, if it be the will of Common Folk to select Him for the Honour, the LEADERSHIP of our fledgling Nation entire. And much Consternation and Speculation did this Inspire, amongst all there assembl'd.

General Washington, for his Part, was involved in the Commission of his Soldierly Dutie; and while conducting the Milit'ry Garrison of certain Harborage and Navigable Passagings vital to Industrie, was also conducting Talks of the very highest Level with sundrie Officers, these being of the rather Strident and Insistent Opinion that, for the past 7 years' Fighting, they should be finally Paid. And upon our Gen'l Washington's deft Mollification of these same Soldiers of Rank—which Washington secured through an Admixture of Promises, Appeals to their Better Natures, and assurance of a Arse-Tanning as from the Auld Testament were they to abandon their posts—Washington was heard to say that, if He him self could handle the Pack of Jack Asses that made up the Continental Armie, then he was Certain that he could run the Remainder of the Nation as its President. If, he insisted, the People Themselves would vote for him.

Whereupon his Aides de Camp were caught-out, and inquired with much Consternation, if Washington intended to fashion for himself a THRONE and CROWN; and when Washington did insist, that he would not, they were dis-appointed, and further Confused. Whereupon the General explained to them that, were the Common People, or at least those who were Menfolk, owning Land, and Literate, and White of Skin, and not altogether too Common, and possessed of other worthy qualifications; if these same Common People chose him as a President in a well-organized Electoral Contest, then he would see Fit to do his Duty in that office.

We, the Editor-Ship of the ONION NEWS-PAPER find the idea of a former General leading the Nation at the be-hest of its People to be one worthy of great Scorn, and slight Regard, and mayhap, Ridicule; for either the General should come forth Conquering, and take up the Mace and Scepter of a mighty Emperor-King anointed in the Sight of GOD; or he should Retire and Diminish, a contemporarie Cincinnatus, his time in Glorie ended. To do otherwise is not good Government, especially if the People be involved; for they, as our readers will agree, are a great Ass, and cannot be Counted upon to do correctly any Thing, and to suggest other wise brings the foul Scent of Democracie upon us; and we have not spent our Blood and Coin in the defeat of one King, to then go without our Own.