Our first and greatest leader, George Washington, was not the most effective speaker of the Founders; that honor would be assigned to Patrick Henry, who turned out to be the greatest orator of the group. Interestingly, Thomas Jefferson, though the Founders’ most gifted writer, loathed public speaking and was in fact an even less effective speaker than was General Washington. Jefferson actually delivered very few speeches in his long public career, in any venue.
The General did not feel quite so negatively about speaking in public, and did in fact deliver numerous speeches, as military commander and as President, some of them quite brilliant.
There was a wonderful example of this when George Washington delivered a crucial speech to an audience that consisted of the rather fed-up soldiers of his army. Mutiny was in the air ...
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