One reason I choose to blog is to learn new things that I probably would never be exposed to in any other way.
IThe Many Faces of George Washington by Carla Killough McCafferty is a biography of the life of George Washington. However, the more fascinating things I discovered in this book was the telling of the enormous task funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to recreate life size creations of surveyor George at age nineteen, George at age 45 when he was Commander of the American troops during the American Revolution, and the older George as he was inaugurated the first President of the United States at age 57. The foundation established the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center on the grounds of Mount Vernon.
First, I want to bring some unknown facts to light.
- George Washington suffered from small pox as a young man which caused his face to be scarred for the rest of his life.
- He kept a journal from the time he was a young man throughout his life.
- George Washington did not have wooden teeth. His teeth fell out because of gum disease. His upper denture plate was made from hippopotamus ivory with the actual teeth from cattle and horses. His lower denture had a hole in to allow his one tooth that was left to come through the denture. His lower denture was made from human teeth.
- He kept a very rigid schedule, getting up before 5:00 am and going to bed at 9:00 pm.
- Mount Vernon was originally owned by his half brother, Lawrence, who died.
The Mount Vernon’s Ladies Association that owns Mount Vernon and surrounding areas decided that the image of George Washington presented him as a stiff and harsh looking man. Those images through statues, paintings, and busts all portray him as that rough man. After receiving a grant from the Reynolds Foundation, using the new laser techniques available to scientists to re-create true images, groups of scientists, artists, scholars, tailors, taxidermists, and craftspeople of all sorts set out to create a true likeness of George Washington at age nineteen, forty-five, and fifty-seven. The likenesses included more than just a bust of Washington. The re-created figures are life-size, authentic of Washington as a surveyor, general, and president.
The book intertwines the historical perspective along with the scientific reconstruction into an extremely interesting blend of how everything was researched, planned, and executed for authenticity. The process is absolutely amazing and detailed. The re-creation process through actual pictures, the historical documentation, and other denotations add so much to the book.
Visiting the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center enable visitors to learn so much more than just a tour through Mount Vernon.
Author Carla Killogh McClafferty
Imprint Carolrhonda Books
Lerner Publishing Group
Ebook provided via NetGalley from publisher