Re: trusting one's sources

Subject: Re: trusting one's sources
From: John_F_Renish -at- notes -dot- seagate -dot- com
To: techwr-_l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2000 11:11:42 -0700

Lora M Beene wrote:

Now the question of how sure can you be about your source is a valid one.
The have said for years that George Washington cut down an apple tree, but
now they say "new" information says he didn't.

It was a cherry tree and it appeared with several other such
improbabilities in "A History of the Life and Death, Virtues and Exploits
of General George Washington, with Curious Anecdotes equally honourable to
himself and exemplary to his young countrymen" by one Parson Mason L.
Weems, who was trying to inculcate morality in the young of the early 19th
Century. The good parson probably never intended these pious tales to be
taken as literally true, claiming they came from "an aged lady, who was a
distant relative [presumably of Washington]", rather like the FOAF in an
internet legend today. No reputable historian considers Weems's fancies
factual--this source was never considered a valid one.

John_F_Renish -at- notes -dot- seagate -dot- com, San Jose, California, USA
"A collision at sea can ruin your entire day."
--Thucydides (yes, I know it's spurious)

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