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Historical Marker “Mason Locke Weems and George Washington” Dedication

February 17

This marker will be dedicated on Feb. 17.  Time and place of dedication will be announced when that information is available.


Mason Locke Weems and George Washington
Mason Locke Weems (1759-1825), minister, bookseller, and writer, owned a half-acre lot here from 1798 until 1802. Weems published the first edition of his most influential work, later known as The Life of Washington, in 1800. Widely distributed across the United States, Weems’s book shaped the heroic image of George Washington in the mind of the American public. The book’s best-known scene, in which a young Washington cuts his father’s prized cherry tree with a hatchet, appeared in the fifth edition (1806). In this mythical story, Washington admits fault when confronted and says, “I can’t tell a lie,” reflecting the virtue that, according to Weems, was the foundation of his greatness.

Sponsor: Mary Elizabeth Conover Foundation
Locality: Dumfries
Proposed Location: 3944 Cameron St.


February 17
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Updated January 2, 2020