"Lieutenant Colonel Humphreys was a minor Connecticut poet and an aide-de-camp to George Washington during the Revolution. For 18 months in 1787-88 he lived with the Washingtons at Mount Vernon. During that time he began an "authorized" biography which the general himself corrected and annotated. Only part of the work has previously been published—in 1789, anonymously. The whole was assembled from parts found in three repositories. It's a curious work, with much detail on the French and Indian War but only a page or two on the American Revolution. Washington's "Remarks" are priceless, and the long conversations with Humphreys about the presidency in 1789 are reproduced here. The book belongs on all Washington shelves."
"Humphreys had an opportunity to know Washington's private opinions better than any other person who wrote an account of his early career. Humphrey's interpretation of events may therefore reflect Washington's perceptions of his role in history more faithfully than any other eighteenth-century sources, including Washington's own letters."
—Journal of Southern History
This biography of George Washington--the only one authorized by the general himself--was written by his close friend and military aide David Humphreys. It offers a rare, intimate glimpse of Washington's life, from his birth in 1732 until his assumption of the presidency in 1789. After reviewing a portion of the manuscript, he added a section of "Remarks," which reveals a personal side that he seldom exposed in his letters or other writings.
In a remarkable feat of historical detective work, Rosemarie Zagarri assembled manuscripts from three separate archives to reconstruct and publish the complete biography along with Washington's "Remarks."