Washington did not know his journal would be published, and indeed, it was done so quickly he had hardly time to make any edits. It was an instant best-seller, with it being quoted in popular society and periodicals of the time. It brought the young surveyor much praise and set him on a road towards the Presidency.
As for content, it’s interesting to read about his trip. Traveling in the cold winter (before global warming), with snow piled high and rivers layered with ice, it’s a testament to his determination that he and his companions survived. He isn’t one for descriptions of nature, but he was a keen observer of human nature and was honest about his concerns and difficulties. He paid particular attention to the Native Americans he meet, to his relationship with them – and theirs to the French. It is evident he was concerned about the Native Americans being swayed too much to side with the French and understood their importance to the colonies.
This pamphlet, and my edition in particular, as a fine addition to any patriot’s library, and it’s perfect for any American history buff.
Year Published: 1753 (This edition printed in 1959)
Date Finished: 7-28-2016