99-042 (George Washington)
Distributed October 25, 1999
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Glenn Hare

JCB Library marks the 200th anniversary of Washington’s death

Washington: The Man, the Facts, the Myth, an exhibition honoring the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s death, is on display in the John Carter Brown Library through Jan. 15, 2000. The exhibition’s 66 artifacts provide first-hand accounts of one of the most accomplished men of the 18th century.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — In recognition of the 200th anniversary of the death of George Washington (Dec. 14, 1799), the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University is exhibiting Washington: The Man, the Facts, the Myth through Jan. 15, 2000.

The exhibition, which features 66 artifacts, including manuscripts, printed material and historic images spanning the life, career, death and posthumous fame of Washington, attempts to provide a series of first-hand glimpses into the life of one of the most accomplished men of the 18th century.

Editors: A digital photograph of an engraved portrait of the Washington family printed in 1798 is available from the Brown University News Service. Call (401) 863-2476 for more information.

The exhibit begins with a book written by an English Parliament committee member that attacks Lawrence Washington, George’s grandfather, for being an immoral clergyman. “The book is likely part of the reason the Washingtons came to America,” said reference librarian Richard Ring.

Other interesting items include published journals the young Lt. Washington wrote during his three trips into the Ohio Country in the early 1750s, while fighting the French and their Indian allies.

Among the documents representing the period of the Revolutionary War are several French accounts offering positive propaganda for the war effort. These artifacts are set against a Washington correspondence to Lt. Col. Joseph Reed which illustrate the difficulties the Americans were having against the British.

Of local Rhode Island interest are orders for supplies – fourteen muskets and six boxes of candles – sent by Washington to Providence merchants John and Nicholas Brown in 1776.

A portion of Washington: The Man, the facts, the Myth focuses on a selection of biographies that were written in Washington’s later years and immediately following his death.

“In addition, the exhibition features several of the estimated 250 sermons and eulogies about Washington printed in America in 1800,” said Ring.

As evidence of Washington’s fame abroad, the exhibition showcases a poem commissioned by Napoleon in honor of the general’s death.

The John Carter Brown Library, an independent center for advanced research in history and the humanities in the Americas, is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. The library is located on The College Green.