THE ANGER OF GEORGE WASHINGTON—A CABINET MEETING. Ron Chernow in his biography of Alexander Hamilton tells about a cabinet meeting in which George Washington lost his temper. At the meeting, Henry Knox mentioned a satirical broadside called “The Funeral Dirge of George Washington, in which Washington was guillotined—just as Louis XVI had been. Chernow quotes Jefferson’s description of the scene:

“The President was much inflamed; got into one of those passions when he cannot command himself; ran on much on the personal abuse which has been bestowed on him; defied any man on earth to produce one single act of his since he had been in the government which was not done on the purest motives; …that he had rather be on his farm than to be made EMPEROR OF THE world [sic in original]; and yet they were charging him with wanting to be a king….that he could see in this nothing but an imprudent design to insult him.”

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