September 24, 2010
Droit de Denture
Sometimes a few words can bring a whole era to life. These are from the review in this week’s New Yorker of Ron Chernow’s new biography of George Washington:
The mar to his beauty was his terrible teeth, which were replaced by unsuccessful transplant surgery and by dentures made from ivory and from teeth pulled from the mouths of his slaves.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 24, 2010 09:32 AM
He also gave a written confession to the murder of a French officer. Admittedly a mistake on his part at the time, but nevertheless, backed up by a written confession to murder signed by George Washington himself. He is also alleged by a number of officers of the Army and the Congress that he was virtually he an illiterate and relied upon officers who served with him that he relied on senior officers and aides to write anything attributed to him. Outline in the book, "American Aurora", which contains references to contemporary accounts of of the newspaper, "The Philadelphia Aurora", which were published during the Administration of the President John Adams.
Worth a read, if you haven't already: "An Imperfect God" by Henry Weincek. Deals entirely with the subject of Washington and slavery.