Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana on February 26, 1891 · Page 2
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February 26, 1891

Logansport Pharos-Tribune from Logansport, Indiana · Page 2

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Thursday, February 26, 1891
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5!^^f^^^ 9EOKGE AS AN ATHLETE. AH "Who Love Sports Should Celebrate February -22. ' "• Tarhaps Everybody Doesn't Know Th»t tie father of HU Country Was the Stronjreiit Man Wlio Has Fl£«red Prominently In History. [COPYRIGHT, 1S91.1 On the 22d of February I always •**nake it a point to pause and reflect ' -that George Washington was a much 1>etter man than I am. It is g-ood to -set apart a day for such a purpose, and it is fortunate that we have a man like George, whose character removes the element of doubt from onr reflections. We see so few men nowadays who are better than ourselves. And George will do as a subject of meditation for any sort of man. Why, •WASHINGTON IX UUSTIXG COSTUME. T ev«n John L. Sullivan could spend hours in thanksgiving- that he was born too late to encounter the right hand of the ^-JTather of His Country. I have recently toen reading up the subject of Washington as an athlete, and I have come to the conclusion that no men should more reverently observe his birthday •than those who.find their delight in the cultivation of big muscles and in the ^performance of feats of strength and I" endurance. £ He was called the strongest-man in Sf the Continental army, and'among those ? patriots .were some of the.biggest men ^ that ever trod the earth, whose muscles , liad been trained by every sort of eser- Ss. else. It will be remembered- that Jja- 3r fayette, when .he saw a body of Vir* ,finia troops march up to his relief, ex•eJaimed: "I have been reinforced by an JL army of giants." Yet among those \ .giants there was not one who claimed i 1 tsnperiority over the sinewy Commander- f 'to-Chief. | Washington was a heavy weight. He •5- was «bc feet and one inch in height, and two hundred and ten pounds in condition. It may be added ]that he was never out of it except when <UL His weight never went above. ; twc g, H lrandred and twenty. Even his seden- Vtaiy life as President of the United States, with its banquets, late hours, j «nd other luxuries not consistent with -}thc rules of strict training did not put ^Jdm in bad trim physically. He waa ^.•one of those men who did not grow fat launder any provocation. His fine (physique was in a great measure a gift t'lfrom nature, a matter of inheritance ]A.j»nd circumstance. His father was a if Tory strong man, who used to shoot l j]*wans on the Potomac, holding his f owl- &ng*piece out at arm's length like a "ipistoL This weapon was so big and jheavy that few men could fire it at all "{Hwiihont a rest. George inherited not \ionly the gun, but the strength to use it. f)His muscular powers were brought to ^ perfection by plenty of outdoor exer- "n«ise during his youth. As a school boy fifteen he was well grown and the j^Tbest all-round athlete in those parts. •His 'bulky frame did not handicap him ln those sports requiring pure agility; Qtodeed, it was in these that he most rjnotably excelled. He was the local ^(champion at running and at high broad ping, as well as at wrestling and \ | fj WASHUfGTON PUTTING THE BAH- Jpitchmg the bar, a sport something like |tha modern game of putting the shot. SAnother game at which he appears to jjjave had no equals was tHrowing Atones. Of course it is impossible to ^oompare his recorded feats in this department of -athletics with the only -analogous sport of to-day—throwing the 'tase-ball—and yet he must have had a .good deal of spring in his arm to have :«aet a pebble from the bed of the stream io the top of the Natural Bridge; or Saaother across the Rappahannock river «t the lower ford at Fredericksburg. It •to said that nobody else ever performed *his latter feat, though Washington's (record is thirty yards more than the jlridth of the stream. l\Jto school he learned fencing and be«»me at least as good as his teacher, the' (5*|jjMonbtible,Van Braam. It is a great pity that boxing was not then popular, I for Washington was built just right for | It His reach was something enormous £ bad his hand of unusual strength and Washington's legs were so strong and his footing sb sure that be was invincible as-a wrestler There is no .record that he was ever thrown by anybody after he had. gotten his'•growth.- His triumphs at this sport were innumerable. One of the prettiest of them was the discomfiture of the "strong man of Virginia." I don't remember his .other name, but at any rate he was an athlete of great strength and skill. Washington attended, as a, spectator, a tournament of outdoor sports for the championship of Virginia, where the "strong man" walked away with every thing- in the wrestling line. Nobody else was good enough even to give Kim exercise. He won the final bout so easily that he, wasn't satisfied—didn't feel as if he'd give the crowd an exhibition which was worth their money—so he went romping round the ring, calling upon any body to come in and let him mop up the earth with a new victim. Meanwhile Washington had retired to the shade of a tree and was reading a book; he had no interest in such wrestling as that. But by and by the boaster became so loud that a friend of Washington's came up and said: "George, will you go and Stand that fellow on his head?" Washington reluctantly consented; entered the ring without taking off his coat, and at the first clinch threw the "strong roan" so violently that the judges gave him the bout. The "strong man" was not a bad fellow after all, and instead of going 'round with excuses and complaints, he admitted freely that he never was Charles Wilson Peale, the artist who made a fine portrait of Washington in 1772, tells a story which shows how good a man George was even when all out of training. He was forty years old at this time, and probably hadn't pitched the bar in a long time, and yet he made an exhibition of several young athletes who considered themselves pretty good at this sport, so popular in those days. These young men, of whom Peale was one, were stripped down for exercise, and had made some very good casts when the Colonel (as Washington was then called) appeared among them. He was invited to participate; and the pegs which marked the best records were shown him. With a smile that was doubtless childlike and bland, Washington stepped to the line, took the bar, and proceeded to smash a large hole in the record. "So sooner did the;heavy iron bar feel the grasp of his mighty hand than it had lost the %power of gravitation," says Peale,, "and whizzed through the air, striking the ground far, far beyond our outmost limits." Washington hadn't so much as taken his coat off, and apparently had made very little effort. This was what made BEST THE GUN BABKEL ACROSS IDS AS IF IT HAD BEEN A TWTO. by it so exasperating to be -beaten George. He never seemed to be trying. "When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen," said he, "I'll try again." He has not yet been called upon to do so. He had a wonderfully disconcerted gaze, which would have helped him greatly in the ring if he had ever done much in that way. I am inclined to believe that this overpowering look saved his life many a time in hand-to-hand fights, by unnerving his opponents. This occurred after the peace of '83, and before Washington was called tc the Presidential chair. For some tune he had been annoyed by depredation! on his lands. One day he was walking in the woods near the bank of the river, when he heard a shot near by. He walked in the direction from which the sound had come, and soon saw a burly fellow with a gun. The General gave chase and came up with the poacher just as he was about to shove off from the shore in a little skiff. Washington seized this boat with the grip from which nothing escaped. The poacher threw down his paddle and seizing- his gun cocked it and aimed it directly at Washington's breast. Why he didn't carry out his design and make himself eternally infamous, I am unable to say. Perhaps it was that "spirit protection," which the Indian prophet said would preserve Washington; perhaps it was the catlike quickness of his movements. At any rate, the weapon was wrenched from the poacher's hand; and Washington, putting forth his gigantic strength in a wa.y that must have made the marauder's hair turn gray, bent the gun-barrel across his knee as if it had been a twig. Then, having ruined the gun as a weapon, he seized the poacher and chastized him as if he had been a school boy. It is said that TrumbulTs portrait of Washington (now in the City Hall, New York), gives the best idea of his form. I have often admired the legs, and the rounded forearm which the picture shows so prominently. A good right- hander from such a man ought to leave very little doubt in the mind of the referee. By the way, Washington figured very often in that capacity in hisyoutli. His judgment and fair-mindedness were well known at school and he was called upon whenever there was a close decision. And for this alone I would call •upon all the great army of .those who love honest sports to remember to-day the squarest man on record, and to rejoice that the Father of His Country put the stamp of his approval upon manlv exiircise. HOWARD FIEI.DIS&. .SUfc Lambrequins. .Mantel lambrequins are- now quite generally made of China silk. A scarf, three or even four yards long is simply hemmed at,the -short ends, the entire width being- used of course, and the sides may or may not have fringe or tassels extending the whole length. This is draped according to the shape of the mantel, sometimes the long ends reaching to the floor, and may be held in place by bric-a-brac. It is easily removed when sweeping, day comes, and is far more artistic than the stiff felts and plushes of past seasons unless one wishes to furnish a grand parlor. Care must be taken in selecting the colors of a lambrequin. In a room diversified by a variety of color, a plain silk which harmonizes with paper and carpet and is not too vague in tone, is -a good choice. A plain pongee, lightly painted in chestnut browns, makes a pretty d»apery. With a plain paper, the figured silks are more effective. 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