Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Harry M. Ward

Second Advisor

Dr. John L. Gordon

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Barry Westin


Thirty-two men were members of General George Washington's military "family" during the Revolutionary War, serving as his aides-de-camp and military secretaries. Washington personally selected these men, applying high selection criteria regarding their education, intellectual ability, and writing skills. Representing the American gentry, the gentlemen of the family had influential political, military, or family connections. Washington's family usually consisted of six to eight aides and secretaries who typically served about sixteen months. Those who survived the Revolution became prominent leaders of the new nation, serving as Cabinet officers, executive branch officials, senators, congressmen, governors, and mayors. The thesis provides a narrative chronology of the staffing of Washington's family, a description of their duties and responsibilities, an analysis of the interpersonal relationships between the general and his aides, and an assessment of the career impact of their association with Washington. The Appendix contains comprehensive biographical profiles of the aides and secretaries.

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