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Apostle of UnionA Political Biography of Edward Everett$
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Matthew Mason

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628608

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628608.001.0001

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Saving Mount Vernon

Saving Mount Vernon

(p.210) 8 Saving Mount Vernon
Apostle of Union

Matthew Mason

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter covers Everett’s work to aid in the purchase of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate to make it a shrine for the Union. It shows how he worked closely with the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union (MVLAU) to raise these funds, largely by delivering an oration called “The Character of Washington” and then turning over all proceeds raised by the performances of this speech to the MVLAU. He gave the speech 131 times in every part of the country. This campaign was not without its critics, but the popular response to Everett’s Unionist gospel both in this speech and in his writings in the late 1850s demonstrated the broad popular appeal of a Union held together by an emotional appeal to a common history.

Keywords:   George Washington, Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union, Women in public life, Memory

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