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He—he blasted ’em with his natural speech. He asked them half-a-dozen times over whether the United States had enough armed ships for any shape or sort of war with any one…He put it to ’em whether, setting ships aside, their country—I reckon he gave ’em good reasons—whether the United States was ready or able to face a new big war … the strong way he laid it all before ’em blasted ’em, and when he’d done it was like a still in the woods after a storm.


This is from “Brother Square Toes” in Rewards and Fairies.

President George Washington is being urged by hotheads – and by the French – to make war against England. He knows the United States is not ready to face a war, and however unpopular it makes him, he ignores the war-mongers.