Saturday, April 21, 2018

My replica of George Washington's Inaugural Sword


George Washington appeared on the balcony of the Federal Building wearing a brown suit and wearing his inaugural sword. At six feet three inches tall he made an impressive figure when the average man was five feet six. His speech showed his modesty as he said he had retired to his farm and had hoped to stay retired.
I have one of 1,000 full size replica copies made in 1974 of his inaugural sword that I inherited from my dad, plus the matching ceremonial silver dagger. Actually these belong to my sons but the sword and dagger are still at my house. The sword is 34 inches in length, made in London, and has a sterling silver hilt and is an exact replica and it could, as the paperwork says "if necessary, be used advantageously in combat." My copy is a strong metal sword made in the traditional way by the Wilkinson Company. The original sword was presented by Washington to his nephew and remained in the family until 1889, when it was obtained by the Washington Association of New Jersey. The original is on display at Washington's Headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey where he spent the winter of 1779.
Here is a description of events at the inauguration of our first President: "George Washington even stooped over and kissed the Bible when he was sworn in as President. Then he led everyone present across the street (in New York City, our capital in 1789) where they participated in a two hour prayer service at St. Paul's Chapel, which still stands a block away from where the World Trade Center stood." From "The Book that Made America" by Jerry Newcombe.
What a handsome and meaningful sword and the detail on it is amazing which makes it a work of art in my view. The same company that made the original sword made this replica, and  that company was founded in 1772. Hurray for Wilkinson Company of Great Britain, and thanks to my dad for passing the sword and dagger along to me, and eventually to my sons whenever they want them.

17 comments:

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Very nice. Thank you for the history lesson. Very interesting.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

How interesting you have a replica sword, Terra. George Washington was certainly a gentleman and a statesman. I must read more about this sword. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. Living in Virginia we certainly are proud of the heritage he left. ♥

Lark said...

That's cool!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting - I learnt a lot from this Terra

Mari said...

This was both educational and interesting! It's great that you have that sword in your family.

Blondie's Journal said...

Very interesting, Terra. My husband is a history buff, especially with presidents, war, and religion. I'll have to have him read this. The sword is definitely an 'ice breaker' at parties! I'm bad...:(

I've missed you! Blogging is so hard lately. I hope I can get on a better roll while I recuperate in the next few weeks. I'm definitely going to check out the book you recommended in your last post While it's good to identify with characters, I also like to read about people I'd love to emulate, be like as I age.

Your painting project sounds like it went well, what else are you up to?

Thanks so much for your visit, my friend!

Jane x

Linda said...

How special!!!

Hootin' Anni said...

How impressive!

Olga Hebert said...

Your father passed on both a sword and interesting history. How precious to have this.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

How wonderful that the replicas are still made in England.

Betsy said...

It is such an honor to have a sword like that in your family Terra. I had no idea George Washington was that tall. I love the detail about him kissing the Bible and then attending a church service. And yet people still claim that the church has absolutely no place in the founding of our country. If they know any history at all they would never believe that. Thank you for the wonderful information you shared with us today.
Blessings, Betsy

Kim Standard said...

My how things have changed, we no longer wear swords! It is a nice sword. Washington kissed the Bible, thats a neat fact

Frozen Moments | Aritha said...

Very special to read about it. New things for me.

John Gray said...

How wonderful! Remember me? Xxx

Pondside said...

I am glad you're still blogging! Thank you for coming by my blog to let me know.
We lived near Philadelphia for nearly four years, starting in 1975, so we were there for all of the excitement and festivity of the Bicentennial. What a time that was! We lived withing walking distance of Valley Forge, and I have a plate to commemorate the house that Washington stayed in when he was there. Lovely memories!

Pamela M. Steiner said...

What a treasure! Love the history behind this...very special indeed. Thank you for sharing it with us. I know your sons will treasure them also. Wow!!!

Red Rose Alley said...

That is a cool replica sword, Terra. I'm glad it belongs to your family now. Historic items are so interesting to me. : )

Happy May days!

~Sheri