Fun Presidents Day Weekend Fact: Washington Was a Bald Eagle's Worst Nightmare

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He killed five of them in one outing, according to his journals.

It's a fun little tidbit included in Ron Chernow's biography of our first president, published in 2010. Washington was a reserved man not disposed to the colorful outbursts of wit and wisdom his revolutionary compatriots were. But the guy was a fucking beast of a man.

When he wrote tailors in London about his pants, he said shit like: "These breeches must be roomy in the seat." He flogged poachers "severely." And when he was in a killing mood?

From Chernow:

"'Hunting again,' (Washington) wrote in March 1768, "and catched a fox with a bobbed tail and cut ears after 7 hours chase in which most of the dogs were worsted.' A month earlier, he recorded that he had killed five mallards and five bald eagles in one day."

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Washington's majestic quarry
To be fair to old George, back in the day even the most nature-inclined souls saw nothing wrong with pumping some rounds into God's creatures. John James Audubon himself was a crack shot in the marshes.

Still, as Chernow puts it, Washington killing five bald eagles in a day "is a curious triumph for the Father of our Country."

 
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