The following is a list of quotations misattributed to George Washington that have been sent to the Mount Vernon library in recent years. This list will continue to grow as research staff at Mount Vernon become aware of other misattributed or false statements that have been cited as belonging to Washington. When available, an example of this misquote is provided in context, including published books, speeches and periodicals. If you have a quote whose veracity or accuracy you would like library staff to investigate, please send an email to the encyclopedia's editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Father, I Cannot Tell a Lie: I Cut the Tree, John C. McRae, Publisher, 1867.
"Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go. Bring me the Book." Example: http://tinyurl.com/bzw6ya5
Unknown Artist, G. Washington in his Last Illness, 1800.
"I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so much of the St. foin seed, and that of the India Hemp. Make the most you can of both, by sowing them again in drills. . . Let the ground be well prepared, and the Seed (St. loin) be sown in April. The Hemp may be sown any where. "
George Washington to William Pearce, 24 February 1794
This appears to be a misquote from a prominent Founder, though not George Washington. The actual quotation, which reads "It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing," is from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Martha Jefferson on May 5, 1787.
"Let none but Americans stand watch this night." or "Put none but Americans on watch this night."
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive how the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." For example, http://tinyurl.com/cq8ecde
Washington Taking Command of the American Army at Cambridge, Mass., 1775. Lithograph by Currier and Ives, 1876.