Two years ago almost to the day, on January 16, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City reopened the “American Wing” to the public after a decade-long restoration that included recreating the original frame for the “best-known painting in America’s best-known museum”: Washington Crossing the Delaware.
Measuring 12 ft. 5 in. by 21 ft. 3 in., it was painted in 1851 by the German born artist, Emmanuel Leutze, in his studio in Dusseldorf Germany. It entered the Met’s collection in 1897 after a much storied journey of its own, as told in the Met’s booklet: Washington Crossing the Delaware: Restoring an American Masterpiece. Read more
In a letter to an orphaned nephew dated December 5, 1790, George Washington wrote: “A good moral character is the first essential in a man…it is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned, but virtuous.”
Similarly, four other of our most prominent founding fathers echoed this sentiment on various occasions, in various forms, from writings in The Federalist Papers to speeches at state ratifying conventions, saying:
Thomas Jefferson: “…never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you.” Read more