The effect of this "single, immortal, and dubious anecdote," and
others like it, has made this book one of the most influential in
the history of American folklore. Originally published as an
eighty-page pamphlet entitled "The Life and Memorable Actions of
George Washington," it quickly attained immense popularity. In 1806
a so-called fifth edition was published which contained for the
first time the tale of George Washington and the cherry tree; the
book has survived to this day, although largely on the basis of
that episode. This volume follows the text of the ninth (1809)
printing, which included all the famous anecdotes. The first
republication of the book since 1927, it is unique in its detailed
commentary on Weems and other biographers of Washington.
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