". . . His integrity was most pure, his justice
the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives . . . of friendship or
hatred being able to bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense
of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man . . . His heart was not
warm in its affections; but he exactly calculated every man's value and
gave him a solid esteem proportioned to it . . . Although in the circle
of his friends . . . he took a free share in conversation, his
colloquial talents were not above mediocrity, possessing neither
copiousness of ideas, nor fluency of words . . . Yet he wrote readily,
rather diffusely, in an easy and correct style . . . On the whole, his
character was, in its mass, perfect, in nothing bad, in few points
indifferent; and it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune
combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same
constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an
everlasting remembrance. For his was the singular destiny and merit, of
leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war,
for the establishment of its independence; of conducting its councils
through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles,
until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of
scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and
military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example .
. . "
THOMAS JEFFERSON in a letter to Dr.
Walter Jones, January 2, 1814, more
than 14 years after Washington's death.