Legacy of Prowess: West Point and Beyond

As much as any American who came after him, George Washington bought into the myth of Western freedom and limitless national expansion. He had always believed in his own destiny as tied to rivers, mountains, valleys, and wildlife. It was about who he was and what we would became as a nation. He was an outdoorsman, a hunter, an explorer, and a lover, but also a classic romantic enthralled with the vastness of America. Though he wasn’t an eloquent writer, George Washington still contributed in own way to the myth of the great frontier. He spoke openly about his love of the land and how much he cherished the steep, rugged trails and each new encounter. He was as comfortable napping under a large boulder at the confluence of two rivers as he was sleeping on an immense bedstead on a southern plantation.

George Washington astride his gargantuan steed on The Plain at West Point. My favorite equestrian statue of George.


West Point, the United States Military Academy. Built after George’s death, the academy marks a turn in the Hudson River that was fiercely defended by the Continental Army. Today, the school is a preeminent learning institution which combines of love of sportsmanship with an emphasis on military prowess.


General Patton, a distant cousin of George Washington, surveys the landscape in front of West Point’s new library.

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