J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Mrs. General Washington

This image comes courtesy of the Library of Congress. The New York Public Library states that it appeared in the 1 Apr 1783 issue of The Rambler’s Magazine; or, The annals of gallantry, glee, pleasure, and the bon ton; calculated for the entertainment of the polite world; and to furnish the man of pleasure with a most delicious banquet of amorous, Bacchanalian, whimsical, humorous, theatrical and polite entertainment. What we today call a “men’s magazine.” So of course it showed George Washington in a dress.

1 comment:

John Johnson said...

The British Museum's website has some additional information about the cartoon. Apparently the cartoon was published with an article which claimed that Mrs. Washington had died and on her deathbed she'd admitted that George Washington was actually a woman.

She knew this when she married him but stayed married out of a sense of refined friendship.

That makes me suspect that the reason the Frenchman is saying "mon Amy" instead of "mon ami" is to highlight this (presumably they're saying Amy was Washington's name?).