The Flight of the Navigator: Charting the Course of George Washington’s Voyage to Barbados

Perhaps it’s not too much to say that editors live for those moments when all the pieces come together and the proverbial mental light bulb goes off. Not long ago when I was examining digital images of the Barbados diary one more time from my laptop at home (this intriguing diary exerts its pull even beyond office hours), I experienced just such an “aha!” moment. A detail long overlooked in the manuscript, so tiny it hardly merited notice, suddenly spoke volumes. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

A Tale of Two Georges

“I cannot tell a lie.” A young George Washington allegedly spoke these words to his father after being caught cutting down a cherry tree, confessing his transgression. While this tale was meant to illustrate young George’s virtues as a worthy hero, it has also been used throughout the years as a moral lesson to American youth. If George Washington could tell the truth in such intimidating circumstances – shouldn’t you?

Barbados Diary Update: Editors Consult with Experts, See Original Manuscript in Washington, DC

Early last week, Washington Papers Assistant Editor Lynn Price and Research Editor Alicia Anderson joined Director Edward G. Lengel at a meeting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC, to discuss the project’s upcoming publication of George Washington’s Barbados diary of 1751–1752.