Washington and his Generals

Every man in that densely-thronged hall looks upon his neighbor with suspicion; for every other man, there is already singled out as the victim of the orange-faced King...


The author deems it necessary to state, once for all, that all the legends given in this chronicle, are derived from substantial fact or oral tradition.


She laid there, motionless as death; the last fierce pulsation which swelled from her heart, had burst the fastening of her robe, and her white bosom gleamed like cold marble, in the morning light.

Here we go again: even in a gushingly reverent portrayal of the American Revolution, George Lippard could not resist infusing his narrative with heaving bosoms. Nonetheless, the author treads dangerous ground who concocts a romance—blending fact and fiction—which the public is all too ready to incorporate into its collective psyche as actual history. Our classrooms, unfortunately, overflow with the results. Then, when an attempt is made to restore some semblance of objectivity, the reaction is fierce, and reverberates from the school board to the state legislature and the governor's office.

Lippard, arguably the Godfather of American pulp fiction and sensationalist technique, found such a recipe in Washington and his Generals (1847), although not quite achieving the commercial success of The Quaker City. While his graphic, melodramatic, evangelistic, imperative style may raise the eyebrow (or challenge the stomach) of today's reader, one should not underestimate his nearly-forgotten influence on our popular culture. My goal, therefore, is to acknowledge the literary significance of this work, and make it freely available, as much for casual reading as for critical analysis.

The text is from this scan, backed up by this scan. Aside from obvious typographical errors, this work has frequent inconsistencies in spelling and capitalization. Where spelling is inconsistent, I usually standardized it in favor of the dominant form, or where a later form clearly supercedes an earlier one. [Unlike in The Quaker City, the spelling of "chesnut" is consistent throughout, and was retained here.] Capitalization was standardized, notably for streets and roads. Use of upper case at the start of each chapter was standardized. Chapter numbers were corrected where they fall out of order.

How to treat the closing Table of Contents was a matter of some debate for me. At first I was inclined to discard it as superfluous, but after reading through it, I decided that it is as much a composition of the author, and indicative of his character, as any other part of the book. Therefore, I decided to preserve it. Because I have adopted the habit of indicating book pages in HTML comments, it was a relatively simple matter to convert them to links. Although I checked the occasional link in the TOC, I did not test them exhaustively.

So here it is: the master HTML version, the home-brew Kindle version, and the actual Amazon publication.

As Squire Musgrave says, "Drink, George! A royal bumper to the health of the bride!"

August 31, 2022

ffred's nearly-forgotten treasures