This Week's Story

George Washington becomes a marked leader.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

The Makings of a Leader

“President Washington, you caught my attention when I was in the fourth grade. I was reading about the French and Indian War of the 1750’s.  I could not believe how foolish the English were to use European fighting strategies against the French and Indians.   You disagreed with the English general in charge.

“I read also about how you became famous in the Revolutionary War as Commander-in-chief of Americans fighting for freedom from England.  What were some of your earlier experiences that helped you to become a leader?”

“My formal education was brief, only eight years, because my father died.  I learned to keep excellent financial records and to write clearly.  As a teenager I helped manage our large family farm and I worked as an assistant surveyor.

“My family believed in hard work, service, and God.  Work was challenging and I liked it. We lived on the edge of the wilderness and I learned to be independent.  By the time I was 18, I had purchased 1,500 acres.

“I had a passion for horses all my life, which helped me in the military.”

“Was God important to you?”

“Yes, although I did not speak often about my faith.   My mother encouraged me to pray privately.  The Bible was part of my education and life.”

“When did you go into the military?”

“I was 21, with no previous military experience. I did have much practical experience in the wilderness.  I applied for a commission and was put in charge of training militia.  I began pouring over books about tactics and military affairs.”

“Did you have any early unusual military experiences?”

“When I was 23, I joined the English Major General Braddock in the French and Indian War, which you referred to.  I warned the general, ‘The enemy does not fight as you are ordering your troops to fight.  The French and Indian style of fighting includes informal positions, like hiding behind trees. Each soldier is often fighting for himself and doing his own thinking.

“In contrast, Braddock’s English soldiers were wearing bright red coats.  He kept them in lines, giving them orders, and telling them when to fire.  They made great targets.

“My soldiers and I joined in the battle that the general ordered.  The English soldiers ran when we were attacked unexpectedly.  We were well-armed, but no match for the enemy’s fighting style.  The general was wounded and died three days later.  Four bullets went through my coat. Two of my horses were shot from under me, but I was not wounded.

“Fifteen years later I was exploring wilderness territory in the Western Reserve.  A band of Indians came to us with an interpreter.  Their leader was an old honored chief, who wished to speak with me.  He had been in the battle I described to you. In the battle he had given orders to his warriors to shoot me. He told me, ‘I am a chief and ruler over my tribes. I have traveled a long and weary path, that I might see the young warrior of the great battle.  It was on the day when the white man’s blood mixed with the streams of our forest, that I first beheld this chief.  I called to my young men and said, ‘Mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe—he hath an Indian’s wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do—himself alone is exposed.  Quick let your aim be certain, and he dies.’ Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for Him, knew not how to miss…..Twas all in vain; a power mightier far than we shielded him from harm.’"

As the chief spoke, I realized that I had much for which to be grateful.”

“Oh, thank you, President Washington. That’s quite a story!”

This is Barbara Steiner speaking for “This Week’s Story.”

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I am seventeen and I can't imagine being eighteen and having bought 1500 acres.  Before this, I always thought of George Washington as a strong leader of battle, but I didn't realize how intelligent he was.   from Ashley

Aslhley, well said! I can only imagine how hard George had to work to pay for that much land. This story is very inspiring!   Leah

God took his experiences as a kid running a farm and mapping out boundaries to equip him for being a great leader who knew how to survive in the wilderness.   from Caleb

Dear Caleb,

I liked this story of George Washington!  It is a great example of dedication and determination to serve family and country.  Leah

It surprised me when the Indian chief complemented George Washington on his fighting skills.  The chief also spoke about how there was a greater power that helped George in battle.   from Liz

Dear Liz,

I believe George was protected because of his long-standing faith in God.  Leah

I think it was marvelous how after all those years General Washington met the Indian chief.  General Washington learned he had been protected by God.   from Fatima

Dear Fatima,

I like the fact that the Indian Chief recognized a mightier power.   Leah

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