The adventures through a letter from John Adams to Benjamin Rush, November 11, 1807, continues!

Washington was proceeded by favourable Anecdotes. The English had used him ill, in the Expedition of Braddock. They had not done Justice to his Bravery and good Council. They had exaggerated and misrepresented his defeat and Capitulation: which interested the Pride as well as compassion of Americans in his favour. President Davis had drawn his Horroscope by calling him “that Heroic youth, Col. Washington.[”] Mr Lynch of South Carolina told me before We met in Congress in 1774 that “Colonel Washington had made the most eloquentt speech that ever had been Spoken upon the Controversy with England, viz That if the English Should Attack the People of Boston, he would raise a thousand Men at his own expence and march at their head to New England to their Aid.” Several other favourable Stories proceeded his appearance in Congress and in the Army. 8 He possessed the Gift of Silence. This I esteem as one of the most prescious Talents. 


And I have to link everyone to this post I found on the Boston 1775 blog while digging around the subject. I love that the author found 3 separate occasions where Adams writes about this rumor of “the most eloquent Speech at the Virginia Convention that ever was made” that he learned from South Carolina delegate, Thomas Lynch. Washington myth-making was big and it started early.

↓ Transcript
Panel 1:
John Adams giving air-quotes: "Another of Washington's "talents" is that everywhere he goes, he's preceded by favorable anecdotes."

Panel 2:
Adams: "I once heard a rumor Washington promised to "raise a thousand men at his own expense" if England attacked."

Panel 3:
Adams: "There's no proof of it, and yet it was described to me as the "most eloquent speech that ever had been spoken.""
From behind John Adams, a mysterious Virginian figure appears.

Panel 4:
Thomas Jefferson, seeing Washington: "But consider his most precious talent, the gift of silence."
Adams: "He's behind me, isn't he?"