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American EnchantmentRituals of the People in the Post-Revolutionary World$
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Michelle Sizemore

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190627539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190627539.001.0001

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George Washington vs. The Phantom

George Washington vs. The Phantom

Rival Sovereigns and Long Eighteenth-Century Insurrection

Chapter:
(p.43) 2 George Washington vs. The Phantom
Source:
American Enchantment
Author(s):

Michelle Sizemore

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190627539.003.0003

This chapter examines two competing forms of sovereign representation against the backdrop of the Whiskey Rebellion. In the new federal republic, George Washington served as a unifying symbol of the people in the centuries-long tradition of the monarch, but the very rituals of Washington’s office and also those of the rebels, such as tar-and-feathering, call attention to the first president’s limitations as symbol of the body politic. Rather than a static substance, the people are a protean force, a circumstance that prompts new forms of representation in Mason Locke Weems’s Life of Washington (1800), Hugh Henry Brackenridge’s Modern Chivalry (1797), and other works.

Keywords:   George Washington, Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Mason Locke Weems, tar-and-feathering, Whiskey Rebellion

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