George Washington, Kneeling while most others stood
I will not take the time to quote any of this testimony, save that given by General [Charles] Porterfield [who apparently also said that when John McClung "prayed before a battle, victory was sure to perch upon the American banners"], one of his aides, who says:
'General Washington was a pious man, a member of the Episcopal Church. I saw him myself on his knees receive the Lord's Supper at Philadelphia. As brigade inspector I often waited on Washington in the army, and going once, without warning, to his headquarters, I found him on his knees at the morning devotions."
Kneeling in prayer was an unusual attitude of devotion in those days, except for the communicant.
You may recall the fact that at the opening of the Continental Congress in Carpenter's Hall, opened with prayers by the Rev. Dr. Duche, the rector of St. Peter's Church, it was remarked that "Washington knelt while most of the members stood..."
[SOURCE: Rev. Herbert Burk in his "Washington the Churchman" sermon on Washington's Birthday, 1903, as printed in Valley Forge Address by Theodore Roosevelt in 1909].
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