American Enterprise Institute
The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, known as the American Enterprise Institute, is a Washington, D. C.-based conservative think tank that researches government, politics and social welfare. AEI is an independent nonprofit organization supported by grants and contributions from foundations and individuals. Founded in 1938, AEI's stated mission is "to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, open debate". AEI is associated with conservatism and neoconservatism, although it is non-partisan. Arthur C. Brooks has served as president of AEI since January 2009. AEI current scholars and fellows include Kevin Hassett, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Michael Barone, Nicholas Eberstadt, Jonah Goldberg, Phil Gramm, Glenn Hubbard, Frederick Kagan, Leon Kass, Jon Kyl, Charles Murray, Norman Ornstein, Mark J. Perry, Danielle Pletka, Michael Rubin, Gary Schmitt, Christina Hoff Sommers, Jim Talent, Peter J. Wallison, Michael R. Strain, Bill Lenner, W. Bradford Wilcox.
Former AEI scholars or affiliates notably include President Gerald Ford, William J. Baroody Jr. William J. Baroody Sr. Robert Bork, Arthur F. Burns, Ronald Coase, Dinesh D'Souza, Alfred de Grazia, Christopher DeMuth, Martin Feldstein, Milton Friedman, David Frum, Reuel Marc Gerecht, David Gergen, Newt Gingrich, James K. Glassman, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Irving Kristol, Michael Ledeen, Seymour Martin Lipset, John Lott, James C. Miller III, Joshua Muravchik, Michael Novak, Richard Perle, Roscoe Pound, Laurence Silberman, Antonin Scalia, Ben Wattenberg, James Q. Wilson; some AEI staff members are considered to be among the leading architects of the Bush administration's public and foreign policy. More than twenty staff members served either in a Bush administration policy post or on one of the government's many panels and commissions. Among the prominent former government officials now affiliated with AEI are: AEI Board of Trustees member Dick Cheney, vice president of the United States under George W. Bush.
AEI describes itself as nonpartisan and its website includes a statement on political advocacy: "Legal requirements aside, AEI has important reasons of its own for abstaining from any form of policy advocacy as an institution... AEI takes no institutional positions on policy issues or on any other issues." This distinguishes AEI from other think tanks, such as The Heritage Foundation and the Center for American Progress. Although the institute is cited as a right-leaning counterpart to the left-leaning Brookings Institution, the two entities have collaborated. From 1998 to 2008, they co-sponsored the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, in 2006 they launched the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project. In 2015, a working group consisting of members from both institutions coauthored a report entitled Opportunity and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream. AEI is the most prominent think tank associated with American neoconservatism, in both the domestic and international policy arenas.
Irving Kristol considered to be one of the founding fathers of neoconservatism, was a senior fellow at AEI and many prominent neoconservatives—including Jeane Kirkpatrick, Ben Wattenberg, Joshua Muravchik—spent the bulk of their careers at AEI. AEI staff member Norman J. Ornstein, a self-identified centrist, criticizes commentators who label him a "neocon" and says that "the intellectual openness and lack of orthodoxy at AEI exceeds what I have seen on any college campus... ven though my writings have ticked off conservative ideologues and business interests—especially my deep involvement in campaign finance reform—I have never once been told,'You can't say that' or'You better be careful'". AEI staff have taken strong stances against agricultural subsidies. A 2007 document authored by Bruce Gardner claimed that "There is no need for farm subsidies, it would not hurt anyone if we eliminated them". According to the 2011 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, AEI is number 17 in the "Top Thirty Worldwide Think Tanks" and number 10 in the "Top Fifty United States Think Tanks".
AEI grew out of the American Enterprise Association, founded in 1938 by a group of New York businessmen led by Lewis H. Brown. AEA's original mission was to promote a "greater public knowledge and understanding of the social and economic advantages accruing to the American people through the maintenance of the system of free, competitive enterprise". AEI's founders included executives from Eli Lilly, General Mills, Bristol-Myers, Chemical Bank and Paine Webber. In 1943, AEA's main offices were moved from New York City to Washington during a time when Congress's portfolio had vastly increased during World War II. AEA opposed the New Deal, aimed to propound classical liberal arguments for limited government. In 1944, AEA convened an Economic Advisory Board to set a high standard for research.
Irving Kristol Award
The Irving Kristol Award is the highest honor conferred by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. The award is given for "notable intellectual or practical contributions to improved public policy and social welfare" and named in honor of Irving Kristol, it replaced the Francis Boyer Award in 2003. The award was named for Kristol as a tribute to his influence on public issues and as an intellectual mentor to several generations of conservatives. According to Christopher DeMuth, "In our sixty years of labors, no one has had a more profound influence on the work of the American Enterprise Institute, or on American political discourse, than Irving Kristol. Combining philosophical depth with intense practicality and constant good cheer, has, as President Bush has put it,'transformed political debate on every subject he approached, from economics to religion, from social welfare to foreign policy.'" The Kristol Award is presented at AEI's Annual Dinner, a gala dinner in Washington, D.
C., well-attended by conservative leaders and is a major event on the Washington social scene. President George W. Bush spoke at the first Kristol Award presentation in 2003. Bush's speech, only days before the commencement of the Iraq War, laid out his promise to launch military action if the United Nations Security Council did not authorize it. Former vice president Dick Cheney and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have presented the award. Kristol Award recipients make news with their speeches. John Howard, who had a few months before been defeated in the Australian elections, criticized his successor as prime minister, Kevin Rudd, over industrial relations and the Iraq War. All recipients are given a token of esteem engraved with a citation for their achievements. List of winners of the Irving Kristol Award
History is the study of the past as it is described in written documents. Events occurring before written record are considered prehistory, it is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, collection, organization and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians. History can refer to the academic discipline which uses a narrative to examine and analyse a sequence of past events, objectively determine the patterns of cause and effect that determine them. Historians sometimes debate the nature of history and its usefulness by discussing the study of the discipline as an end in itself and as a way of providing "perspective" on the problems of the present. Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources, are classified as cultural heritage or legends, because they do not show the "disinterested investigation" required of the discipline of history. Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian is considered within the Western tradition to be the "father of history", along with his contemporary Thucydides, helped form the foundations for the modern study of human history.
Their works continue to be read today, the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals was known to be compiled from as early as 722 BC although only 2nd-century BC texts have survived. Ancient influences have helped spawn variant interpretations of the nature of history which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today; the modern study of history is wide-ranging, includes the study of specific regions and the study of certain topical or thematical elements of historical investigation. History is taught as part of primary and secondary education, the academic study of history is a major discipline in university studies; the word history comes from the Ancient Greek ἱστορία, meaning'inquiry','knowledge from inquiry', or'judge'. It was in that sense; the ancestor word ἵστωρ is attested early on in Homeric Hymns, the Athenian ephebes' oath, in Boiotic inscriptions.
The Greek word was borrowed into Classical Latin as historia, meaning "investigation, research, description, written account of past events, writing of history, historical narrative, recorded knowledge of past events, narrative". History was borrowed from Latin into Old English as stær, but this word fell out of use in the late Old English period. Meanwhile, as Latin became Old French, historia developed into forms such as istorie and historie, with new developments in the meaning: "account of the events of a person's life, account of events as relevant to a group of people or people in general, dramatic or pictorial representation of historical events, body of knowledge relative to human evolution, narrative of real or imaginary events, story", it was from Anglo-Norman that history was borrowed into Middle English, this time the loan stuck. It appears in the 13th-century Ancrene Wisse, but seems to have become a common word in the late 14th century, with an early attestation appearing in John Gower's Confessio Amantis of the 1390s: "I finde in a bok compiled | To this matiere an old histoire, | The which comth nou to mi memoire".
In Middle English, the meaning of history was "story" in general. The restriction to the meaning "the branch of knowledge that deals with past events. With the Renaissance, older senses of the word were revived, it was in the Greek sense that Francis Bacon used the term in the late 16th century, when he wrote about "Natural History". For him, historia was "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time", that sort of knowledge provided by memory. In an expression of the linguistic synthetic vs. analytic/isolating dichotomy, English like Chinese now designates separate words for human history and storytelling in general. In modern German and most Germanic and Romance languages, which are solidly synthetic and inflected, the same word is still used to mean both'history' and'story'. Historian in the sense of a "researcher of history" is attested from 1531. In all European languages, the substantive history is still used to mean both "what happened with men", "the scholarly study of the happened", the latter sense sometimes distinguished with a capital letter, or the word historiography.
The adjective historical is attested from 1661, historic from 1669. Historians write in the context of their own time, with due regard to the current dominant ideas of how to interpret the past, sometimes write to provide lessons for their own society. In the words of Benedetto Croce, "All history is contemporary history". History is facilitated by the formation of a "true discourse of past" through the production of narrative and analysis of past events relating to the human race; the modern discipline of history is dedicated to the institutional production of this discourse. All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record; the task of histori
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution; the institution moved to Newark in 1747 to the current site nine years and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896. Princeton provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, it offers professional degrees through the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the School of Architecture and the Bendheim Center for Finance. The university has ties with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary and the Westminster Choir College of Rider University. Princeton has the largest endowment per student in the United States. From 2001 to 2018, Princeton University was ranked either first or second among national universities by U.
S. News & World Report, holding the top spot for 16 of those 18 years; as of October 2018, 65 Nobel laureates, 15 Fields Medalists and 13 Turing Award laureates have been affiliated with Princeton University as alumni, faculty members or researchers. In addition, Princeton has been associated with 21 National Medal of Science winners, 5 Abel Prize winners, 5 National Humanities Medal recipients, 209 Rhodes Scholars, 139 Gates Cambridge Scholars and 126 Marshall Scholars. Two U. S. Presidents, twelve U. S. Supreme Court Justices and numerous living billionaires and foreign heads of state are all counted among Princeton's alumni body. Princeton has graduated many prominent members of the U. S. Congress and the U. S. Cabinet, including eight Secretaries of State, three Secretaries of Defense and three of the past five Chairs of the Federal Reserve. New Light Presbyterians founded the College of New Jersey in 1746; the college was the religious capital of Scottish Presbyterian America. In 1754, trustees of the College of New Jersey suggested that, in recognition of Governor Jonathan Belcher's interest, Princeton should be named as Belcher College.
Belcher replied: "What a name that would be!" In 1756, the college moved to New Jersey. Its home in Princeton was Nassau Hall, named for the royal House of Orange-Nassau of William III of England. Following the untimely deaths of Princeton's first five presidents, John Witherspoon became president in 1768 and remained in that office until his death in 1794. During his presidency, Witherspoon shifted the college's focus from training ministers to preparing a new generation for secular leadership in the new American nation. To this end, he solicited investment in the college. Witherspoon's presidency constituted a long period of stability for the college, interrupted by the American Revolution and the Battle of Princeton, during which British soldiers occupied Nassau Hall. In 1812, the eighth president of the College of New Jersey, Ashbel Green, helped establish the Princeton Theological Seminary next door; the plan to extend the theological curriculum met with "enthusiastic approval on the part of the authorities at the College of New Jersey".
Today, Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary maintain separate institutions with ties that include services such as cross-registration and mutual library access. Before the construction of Stanhope Hall in 1803, Nassau Hall was the college's sole building; the cornerstone of the building was laid on September 17, 1754. During the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall, making Princeton the country's capital for four months. Over the centuries and through two redesigns following major fires, Nassau Hall's role shifted from an all-purpose building, comprising office, dormitory and classroom space; the class of 1879 donated twin lion sculptures that flanked the entrance until 1911, when that same class replaced them with tigers. Nassau Hall's bell rang after the hall's construction; the bell was recast and melted again in the fire of 1855. James McCosh took office as the college's president in 1868 and lifted the institution out of a low period, brought about by the American Civil War.
During his two decades of service, he overhauled the curriculum, oversaw an expansion of inquiry into the sciences, supervised the addition of a number of buildings in the High Victorian Gothic style to the campus. McCosh Hall is named in his honor. In 1879, the first thesis for a Doctor of Philosophy Ph. D. was submitted by James F. Williamson, Class of 1877. In 1896, the college changed its name from the College of New Jersey to Princeton University to honor the town in which it resides. During this year, the college underwent large expansion and became a university. In 1900, the Graduate School was established. In 1902, Woodrow Wilson, graduate of the Class of 1879, was elected the 13th president of the university. Under Wilson, Princeton introduced the preceptorial system in 1905, a then-unique concept in the US that augmented the standard lecture method of teaching with a more personal form in which small groups of students, or precepts, could interact with a single instructor, or preceptor, in their field of interest.
In 1906, the reservoir Lake Carnegie was created by Andrew Carnegie. A collection of historical photographs of the build
Joseph John Ellis is an American historian whose work focuses on the lives and times of the founders of the United States of America. American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson won a National Book Award and Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for History. Both these books were bestsellers, he received his B. A. from the College of William and Mary, where he was initiated into Theta Delta Chi. He earned his M. A. and Ph. D. from Yale University in 1969. He taught at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Ellis joined the faculty at Mount Holyoke College, he has taught at Williams College and in the Commmonwealth Honors College at the University of Massachusetts. His scholarly work has concentrated on the Founding Fathers of the United States, including biographies of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, the Revolution and the early Federalist years. Ellis served as dean of faculty at Mount Holyoke. For part of 1984, he served as Acting President while President Elizabeth Topham Kennan was on leave.
Ellis was suspended without pay from his endowed chair in 2001. Ellis retired from Mount Holyoke in 2012. Ellis lives in Western Massachusetts and Vermont with his wife Ellen Wilkins Ellis, is the father of three adult sons. Together with histories of the founding of the republic, since 1993 Ellis has written biographies about individual early presidents and, in 2010, a joint biography of John and Abigail Adams. Interested in how men shaped and were shaped by their times, he writes with a novelist's emphasis on character. Ellis is notable as a respected scholar whose work has gained popular success. In 2004, the critic Jonathan Yardley wrote of him: "Ellis doubtless is now the most read scholar of the Revolutionary period, thus the most influential as well -- at least among the general public..." As a result of his research, Ellis believed. His book, Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams, led to a revival of interest in Adams and new appreciation for his achievements. In his book American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, Ellis explored the character and personality of Jefferson, his many contradictions.
He emphasized how important privacy was to him, how the president and statesman preferred to work behind the scenes in politics, through letters and discussions over dinners. Ellis noted Jefferson's success in this style. In relation to one of the major questions about his private life, whether Jefferson had a liaison with his slave Sally Hemings, Ellis suggested that evidence was "inconclusive." His deep analysis of Jefferson's character led him to conclude that the statesman did not have the liaison. Ellis says in the appendix to American Sphinx: Unless the trustees of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation decide to exhume the remains and do DNA testing on Jefferson as well as some of his alleged progeny, it leaves the matter a mystery about which advocates on either side can speculate... This means that for those who demand an answer the only recourse is plausible conjecture, prefaced as it must be with profuse statements about the flimsy and wholly circumstantial character of the evidence.
In that spirit, which we might call the spirit of responsible speculation, after five years mulling over the huge cache of evidence that does exist on the thought and character of the historical Jefferson, I have concluded that the likelihood of a liaison with Sally Hemings is remote. On November 5, 1998, Dr. Eugene Foster and his team published the results of Y-DNA analysis of Jefferson male-line descendants and descendants of others reputed to be associated with him. Foster reported that DNA results showed a match between the Jefferson male line and the descendant of Eston Hemings. Given that and other historical evidence, they concluded that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Eston and of Sally Hemings' other children; the study showed no match between the Carr line, named by two of Jefferson's grandchildren as the father of Hemings' children, the Eston Hemings descendant, disproving the major alternative to Thomas Jefferson as father. In interviews on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer in November 1998 and Frontline's Jefferson's Blood in 2000, Ellis made public statements about his change of opinion following the DNA studies, saying he believed that Jefferson had a long-term relationship with Sally Hemings.
In His Excellency: George Washington, Ellis sought to penetrate myth and examine Washington during three major periods of his life. Ellis described how Washington's experiences in earlier leadership contributed to his actions and development as president. Ellis wrote that "we do not need another epic, but rather a fresh portrait focused on Washington's character", which the critic Jonathan Yardley said he had achieved. In June 2001 the Boston Globe revealed that Ellis had misled his students in lectures and to the media about his role in the Vietnam War years. Ellis issued a public apology in August 2001. In the ensuing controversy, Mount Holyoke suspended him without pay for a yea
Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America is a 1989 book by David Hackett Fischer that details the folkways of four groups of people who moved from distinct regions of Great Britain to the United States. The argument is that the culture of each of the groups persisted, to provide the basis for the modern United States. Fischer explains "the origins and stability of a social system which for two centuries has remained stubbornly democratic in its politics, capitalist in its economy, libertarian in its laws and individualist in its society and pluralistic in its culture." Fischer describes Albion's Seed as a modified Teutonic germ theory within the framework of the Frontier Thesis and the migration model. The four migrations are discussed in the four main chapters of the book: East Anglia and the Netherlands to MassachusettsThe Exodus of the English Puritans The South of England to VirginiaThe Cavaliers and Indentured Servants North Midlands to the Delaware ValleyThe Friends' Migration Borderlands to the BackcountryThe Flight from North Britain Fischer includes satellite peoples such as Welsh, Irish, French, Italians and a treatise on enslaved Africans in South Carolina.
Fischer covers voting patterns and dialects of speech in four regions that span from their Atlantic colonial base to the Pacific. Fischer remarks on his own connective feelings between the Chesapeake and Southern England in Albion's Seed but attempts to flesh that out in Bound Away: Virginia and the Westward Movement, a corollary of his work in the book. Fischer states that the book's purpose is to examine the complex cultural processes at work within the four folkways during the time period. Albion's Seed argues, "The legacy of four British folkways in early America remains the most powerful determinant of a voluntary society in the United States." The term "folkways" was conceived of by William Graham Sumner, a 19th-century American sociologist. Sumner's treatise Folkways: A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Customs and Morals posits: The folkways are habits of the individual and customs of the society which arise from efforts to satisfy needs, they become regulative for succeeding generations and take on the character of a social force.
They arise no one how. They grow as if by the play of internal life energy, they can be modified, but only by the purposeful efforts of men. In time they lose power and die, or are transformed. While they are in vigor they largely control individual and social undertakings, they produce and nourish ideas of world philosophy and life policy, yet they are not material. They belong to a superorganic system of relations and institutional arrangements. Fischer describes his modified application of the folkways concept as "the normative structure of values and meanings that exist in any culture," which rise from social and intellectual origins. More Fischer's definition of folkways are that they "are highly persistent, but they are never static. Where they have acquired the status of a tradition they are not very old. Folkways are in the process of creation in our own time." Each of the four distinct folkways is comparatively described and defined in the following terms: Speech Ways: "Conventional patterns of written and spoken language.
Building Ways: "Prevailing forms of vernacular architecture and high architecture, which tend to be related to one another." Family Ways: "The structure and function of the household and family, both in ideal and actuality." Marriage Ways: "Ideas of the marriage-bond, cultural processes of courtship and divorce." Gender Ways: "Customs that regulate social relations between men and women." Sex Ways: "Conventional sexual attitudes and acts, the treatment of sexual deviance." Child-Rearing Ways: "Ideas of child nature and customs of child nurture." Naming Ways: "Onomastic customs including favoured forenames and the descent of names within the family." Age Ways: "Attitudes towards age, experiences of aging and age relationships." Death Ways: "Attitudes towards death, mortality rituals, mortuary customs and mourning practices." Religious Ways: "Patterns of religious worship, theology and church architecture." Magic Ways: "Normative beliefs and practices concerning the supernatural." Learning Ways: "Attitudes toward literacy and learning, conventional patterns of education."
Food Ways: "Patterns of diet, cooking, eating and fasting." Dress Ways: "Customs of dress and personal adornment." Sport Ways: "Attitudes toward recreation and leisure. Work Ways: "Work ethics and work experiences. Time Ways: "Attitudes toward the use of time, customary methods of time keeping, the conventional rhythms of life." Wealth Ways: "Attitudes towards wealth and patterns of its distribution." Rank Ways: "The rules by which rank is assigned, the roles which rank entails, the relations between different ranks." Social Ways: "Conventional patterns of migration, settlement and affiliation." Order Ways: "Ideas of order, ordering i
George Washington was an American political leader, military general and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. He led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War of Independence, he presided at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 which established the new federal government, he has been called the "Father of His Country" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the new nation. Washington received his initial military training and command with the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress, where he was appointed Commanding General of the nation's Continental Army. Washington allied with France, in the defeat of the British at Yorktown. Once victory for the United States was in hand in 1783, Washington resigned his commission. Washington played a key role in the adoption and ratification of the Constitution and was elected president by the Electoral College in the first two elections.
He implemented a strong, well-financed national government while remaining impartial in a fierce rivalry between cabinet members Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. During the French Revolution, he proclaimed a policy of neutrality while sanctioning the Jay Treaty, he set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "President of the United States", his Farewell Address is regarded as a pre-eminent statement on republicanism. Washington utilized slave labor and trading African American slaves, but he became troubled with the institution of slavery and freed them in his 1799 will, he was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, he urged tolerance for all religions in his roles as general and president. Upon his death, he was eulogized as "first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen." He has been memorialized by monuments, geographical locations and currency, many scholars and polls rank him among the top American presidents. Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.
George Washington was born February 22, 1732 at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County and was the first of six children of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. His father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had three additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler; the family moved to Little Hunting Creek to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia. When Augustine died in 1743, Washington inherited ten slaves. Washington did not have the formal education that his older brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics and surveying, he was talented in draftsmanship and map-making. By early adulthood, he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision."Washington visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax, which fueled ambition for the lifestyle of the planter aristocracy. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.
He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of Mary. He resigned from the job in 1750 and had bought 1,500 acres in the Valley, he owned 2,315 acres by 1752. In 1751, Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping that the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face scarred. Lawrence died in 1752, Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow. Lawrence's service as adjutant general of the Virginia militia inspired Washington to seek a commission, Virginia's Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie appointed him as a major in December 1752 and as commander of one of the four militia districts; the British and French were competing for control of the Ohio Valley at the time, the British building forts along the Ohio River and the French doing between Lake Erie and the Ohio River. In October 1753, Dinwiddie appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.
Dinwiddie appointed him to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy and to gather intelligence about the French forces. Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison and other Iroquois chiefs at Logstown to secure their promise of support against the French, his party reached the Ohio River in November, they were intercepted by a French patrol and escorted to Fort Le Boeuf where Washington was received in a friendly manner. He delivered the British demand to vacate to French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave. Saint-Pierre gave Washington his official answer in a sealed envelope after a few days' delay, he gave Washington's party food and extra winter clothing for the trip back to Virginia. Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days in difficult winter conditions and achieved a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and London. In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia R