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Washington's Love For The Poor

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

THE benevolent disposition of Washington was illustrated in a letter which he wrote from his headquarters during the Revolutionary War to the manager of his farms at home. The letter is as follows : " Let the hospitality of the house, with respect to the poor, be kept up. Let no one go hungry away. If any of this kind of people should be in want of corn, supply their necessities, provided it does not encourage them in idleness; and I have no objection to you giving my money in charity, to the amount of forty or fifty pounds a year when you think it well bestowed. What I mean by having no objection is, that it is my desire that it should be done. You are to consider that neither myself nor my wife is now in the way to do these good offices. In all other respects I recommend it to you, and have no doubt of your observing the greatest economy and frugality ; as I suppose you know, that I do not get a farthing for my services here, more than my expenses. It becomes necessary, therefore, for me to be saving at home."

Washington was great as a general and as a statesman ; he was greater still as a man, in his sense of rectitude, in his reverence for God, and love for his fellow men.

The poor we have always with us, and there are perpetual opportunities and reasons for practical benevolence.

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