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as the business proceeded. Very characteristically, too, he took pains to call attention to the fact that by his ownership of land he had a personal interest in the enterprise. He looked far beyond his own lands, but he was glad to have his property developed, and with his usual freedom from anything like pretence, he drew attention to the fact of his personal interests.

On his return from his tour in the autumn, he proceeded to bring the matter to public attention and the consideration of the legislature. With this end in view he addressed a long letter to Governor Harrison, in which he laid out his whole scheme. Detroit was to be the objective point, and he indicated the different routes by which inland navigation could thence be obtained, thus opening the Indian trade, and affording an outlet at the same time for the settlers who were sure to pour in when once the fear of British aggression was removed. He dwelt strongly upon the danger of Virginia losing these advantages by the action of other States, and yet at the same time he suggested the methods by which Maryland and Pennsylvania could be brought into the plan. Then he advanced a series of arguments which were purely national in their scope. He insisted on the necessity of binding to the old colonies by strong ties the Western States, which might easily be decoyed away if Spain or England had sense to do it. This point he argued with great force, for it was now no longer a Virginian argument, but an argument for all the States.

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as the business proceeded. Very characteristically, too, he took pains to call attention to the fact that by his ownership of land he had a personal interest in the enterprise. He looked far beyond his own lands, but he was glad to have his property developed, and with his usual freedom from anything like pretence, he drew attention to the fact of his personal interests.

On his return from his tour in the autumn, he proceeded to bring the matter to public attention and the consideration of the legislature. With this end in view he addressed a long letter to Governor Harrison, in which he laid out his whole scheme. Detroit was to be the objective point, and he indicated the different routes by which inland navigation could thence be obtained, thus opening the Indian trade, and affording an outlet at the same time for the settlers who were sure to pour in when once the fear of British aggression was removed. He dwelt strongly upon the danger of Virginia losing these advantages by the action of other States, and yet at the same time he suggested the methods by which Maryland and Pennsylvania could be brought into the plan. Then he advanced a series of arguments which were purely national in their scope. He insisted on the necessity of binding to the old colonies by strong ties the Western States, which might easily be decoyed away if Spain or England had sense to do it. This point he argued with great force, for it was now no longer a Virginian argument, but an argument for all the States.

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The practical result was that the legislature took the question up, more in deference to the writer's wishes and in gratitude for his services, than from any comprehension of what the scheme meant. The companies were duly organized, and the promoter was given a hundred and fifty shares, on the ground that the legislature wished to take every opportunity of testifying their sense of “the unexampled merits of George Washington towards his country.” Washington was much touched and not a little troubled by this action. He had been will ing, as he said, to give up his cherished privacy and repose in order to forward the enterprise. He had gone to Maryland even, and worked to engage that State in the scheme, but he could not bear the idea of taking money for what he regarded as part of a great public policy. “I would wish,” he said, “that every individual who may hear that it was a favorite plan of mine may know also that I had no other motive for promoting it than the advantage of which I conceived it would be productive to the Union, and to this State in particular, by cementing the eastern and western territory together, at the same time that it will give vigor and increase to our commerce, and be a convenience to our citizens.”

“How would this matter be viewed, then, by the eye of the world, and what would be the opinion of it, when it comes to be related that George Washington has received twenty thousand dollars and five thousand pounds sterling of the public money as an interest therein 7” He thought it would make him look like a “pensioner or dependent’’ to accept this gratuity, and he recoiled from the idea. There is something entirely frank and human in the way in which he says “George Washington,” instead of using the first pronoun singular. He always saw facts as they were; he understood the fact called “George Washington’’ as perfectly as any other, and although he wanted retirement and privacy, he had no mock modesty in estimating his own place in the world. At the same time, while he wished to be rid of the kindly gift, he shrank from putting on what he called the appearance of “ostentatious disinterestedness” by refusing it. Finally he took the stock and endowed two charity schools with the dividends. The scheme turned out successfully, and the work still endures, like the early surveys and various other things of a very different kind to which Washington put his hand. In the greater forces which were presently set in motion for the preservation of the future empire, the inland navigation, started in Virginia, dropped out of sight, and became merely one of the rills which fed the mighty river. But it was the only really practical movement possible at the precise moment when it was begun, and it was characteristic of its author, who always found, even in the most discouraging conditions, something that could be done. It might be only a very little something, but still that was better than nothing to the strong

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