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Copyright © 2012 by Michael A. Shea - All Rights Reserved


“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules.”

 …. “For several months before his death, Washington ... had at times a presentiment of near-approaching death. July 9th he executed his last will and testament. He seems to have communicated his forebodings to Mrs. Washington, who, when she was recovering from a severe illness, wrote to a kinswoman in New Kent, Virginia, September 1799:”

At midsummer the General had a dream so deeply impressed on his mind that he could not shake it off for several days. He dreamed that he and I were sitting in the summer-house, conversing about the happy life we had spent, and looking forward to many more years on the earth, when suddenly there was a great light all around us, and an almost invisible figure of a sweet angel stood by my side and whispered in my ear. I suddenly turned pale and then began to vanish from his sight and he was left alone. I had just risen from the bed when he awoke and told me his dream, saying “You know a contrary result indicated by dreams may be expected. I may soon leave you.” I tried to drive from his mind the sadness that had taken possession of it, by laughing at the absurdity of being disturbed by an idle dream, which, at worst, indicated that I would not be taken from him; but I could not, and it was not until dinner that he recovered any cheerfulness. I found in the library a few days afterwards, some scraps of paper which showed that he had been making a Will, and had copied it. When I was so very sick, lately, I thought of his dream, and concluded my time had come, and that I should be taken first.

     Through his dream, God had given Washington the blessing of knowing that his time on earth was short. He knew God’s voice. He knew the many ways God had communicated with him over the years. Washington also knew that it was no idle dream and immediately set about to get his affairs in order. What saddened him the most was that in honoring God and in service to his country, he had given up almost his entire adult life. He never had a chance to spend time with Martha as he wanted, and to fully enjoy his farm which he loved so much. He felt somewhat cheated out of doing what he really wanted do. Reluctantly, he accepted that even the timing of his own death was God’s will. Whether Washington realized it or not, but in his death God had granted him one of his requests, which was “living (at least for a short time) and dying a private citizen on my own farm.”


     Washington’s death was a shock to the entire nation. ….