Truth or Myth: George Washington Had Wooden Teeth
George Washington is one of the most notable people in American history. During the Revolutionary War, he led the Continental Army. George Washington was one of the founding fathers of the United States of America, and soon after the American Revolution, he became the nation’s first leader and president. George Washington was a man of great prestige and honor, but how much of what we know about him is actually true?
On Feb. 22, 1732, George Washington was born in Virginia to Mary Ball Washington. George was one of ten children born into the aristocratic Washington family, who were known for growing tobacco and preparing timber. Washington attended school at a nearby church, then later went to a boarding school to further his education. His formal education came to an end at the age of 17, when Washington began working as a surveyor licensed by the College of William and Mary. In 1752, George’s elder brother passed away, endowing him with the care of the Mount Vernon estate that his brother owned. This new property came with its fair share of responsibilities, including overseeing the militia in that district. The governor of Virginia noticed Washington’s exceptional work as a surveyor and later appointed him to a position with the Virginia militia. Earning this position launched Washington’s military career into overdrive. He fought bravely during the French and Indian War, when he picked up military tactics he would use later during his time leading the Revolutionary War.
Though Washington is best known for his military service and presidency, there are several other stories that people think of when they recall his life. One of the most popular stories tells of Washington as a young child. The story is that Washington received a hatchet as a gift when he was just six years old. Using the hatchet, Washington caused some damage to one of his father’s favorite cherry trees. When his father discovered what had happened to his tree, he became angry and asked George what had happened. George, being an open and honest person, told his father that he “cannot tell a lie” and that he had cut the tree down. This story is quite famous and led many people to believe that Washington was a very honest person. The cherry tree story is still told today and showcases Washington’s reputation for virtue.
Second only to the cherry tree tale is the myth about Washington having wooden teeth. Many folk tales say that Washington had wooden teeth. While it is true that he had bad teeth, his false teeth were not made of wood. Back in those days, false teeth were made with ivory. Over time, the ivory would become stained, which gave it a grainy appearance similar to wood. The teeth were never actually made of wood, though.
Washington is one of the most notable individuals in America’s history. His story is both unique and interesting and still taught today in the United States. It’s no surprise, then, that he has become a mythical figure in the history of the country. But even the facts are impressive; we hardly need tall tales to have an appreciation for Washington’s life and accomplishments.
- George Washington Biography
- American History: George Washington’s Biography
- George Washington’s Early Life
- Biography of George Washington
- Washington’s Life Before His Presidency
- Washington’s Boyhood
- U.S. Congress: George Washington’s Biography
- George Washington: First President of the United States
Early Military Service
- George Washington’s Early Military Career
- History of Washington’s Military Service
- Washington’s Military Career
- George Washington: The Commander in Chief
- George Washington: America’s First Military Intelligence Director
- George Washington and the American Revolution
- George Washington’s Commandos: Special Ops During the American Revolution
- United States History: The War of Independence
- Winning Independence
- What Made George Washington a Good Military Leader?
The First President
- Primary Documents in American History: George Washington’s First Inaugural Address
- George Washington Elected President
- The White House: George Washington
- America’s Story: George Washington
- George Washington and Executive Power: What Was George Washington’s Legacy to American Consitutionalism and Citizenship?
- President George Washington’s Farewell Address
- Washington’s Farewell
- George Washington: Separating Man From Myth
- George Washington: Man, Myth, Monument
- Early American History Myths You Probably Believe
- George Washington and His Legacy: Myths, Symbols, and Reality
- George Washington and the “So Help Me God” Myth
- Did George Washington Have Wooden Teeth?
- George Washington Didn’t Have Wooden Teeth