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The Foundation Was Established

Psalm 12:6-7 “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

It has long been asserted by those in the best position to know, that General Washington insisted on being baptized by Chaplain Gano.

George Washington’s Baptism - The Direct Evidence

Old Paths Baptist Mission © 2011 Richard St.James

God In American History

George Washington's Baptism

By L.C. Barnes - Richard St.James, Editor

Research performed by Richard St.James at William Jewell College Library in Liberty, Missouri, March 21, 2008
The following is intended by this editor to be a copy [except for spelling update and/or conversion corrections] of the Bulletin of William Jewell College, Series No. 24, September 15, 1926, No. 1, By L.C. Barnes, "Entered April 2, 1909, at Liberty, Missouri, as second-class Matter under Act of Congress of July 16, 1894."

The John Gano Evidence of George Washington’s Religion

The Direct Evidence

1. In the first of the three lines of transmission there are two testimonies, as follows:
Georgetown, Ky.
Aug. 16, 1889

“I am the grandson of Rev. John Gano, now in my eighty-third year, and the brother of Mrs. Margaret Ewing. I was raised from my fifth year to manhood by Mrs. Margaret Hubbell (nee Gano), I have heard her say that her father baptized (immersed) General Washington.

S. F. (?) Gano, M.D.
Subscribed and sworn to in my presence this 16th day of August, 1889.
Stephen Gano Long
Notary Public
State of Kentucky.”

To whom it may concern: I, Margaret Ewing (nee Gano) aged 90 years last May, being of sound mind and memory, make this statement: I have often heard my aunt Margaret Hubbell (nee Gano), the eldest daughter of Rev. John Gano, say that her father told her that be baptized General George Washington, at Valley Forge, to the best of my recollection. She, Mrs. Hubbell, also said that General Washington, for prudent reasons did not desire that his baptism should be made public. Rev, John Gano was a Chaplain in the Revolutionary War and an intimate personal friend of General Washington.

Margaret Ewing
Subscribed and sworn to in my presence this 10th day of August, 1889.
Stephen G, Long Notary Public
State of Kentucky”

These testimonies were obtained for the present writer, in 1889, by the courteous aid of Rev. R. M. Dudley, D, D., President of Georgetown College, Kentucky. The fact that they have lain 37 years unpublished is but an illustration of how easily “perishable the remembrance” of such a fact might be, even in the hands of one who had taken a real interest in preserving it.

This two-fold testimony seems to make it certain that Chaplain John Gano told his eldest daughter that he baptized General George Washington. There is no known reason for doubting the competence or the veracity of any of the links in this evidence. In fact, there is only one link between the witnesses and the man who performed the service. Such evidence is not to be whiffed away. It is either to be accepted or disproved. If disproved, it must be by something more substantial than conjectural hypotheses.

But it does not stand alone. The testimony in the second independent line was originally printed in some paper, the name of which is not known. It was reprinted in the “Watchman” of Boston 1889. It contains two or three slight errors, or rather slips, to be noted in the reading, which have however no bearing on the point in question. The incidental facts of geography and of personal history introduced have been carefully and fully verified and found correct. The statement reads:

“Being requested by my brother, Joseph W. D. Creath of Texas, who is now at my house, I make the following statement of facts: In 1810 Daniel Benedict [It must have been as late as 1818, and was David instead of Daniel Benedict.] the author of the history of the American Baptists, staid at my father’s house in Mecklenburg County, Virginia, some ten days, during which time I distributed his history, to which my father obtained a number of subscribers; and while he was at my father’s house he gave my mother the life of Doctor John Gano, who, he told mother, was Chaplain to General Washington’s army during the revolutionary war and that he, Gano, immersed Washington during the war privately, and that Washington did not wish it known; and this statement he, Benedict, received from his father-in-law Stephen Gano of Rhode Island, and he received it from his father who moved from the Eastern states and settled in Town Fork, in Fayette County, Ky., near Lexington, and had the care of the Baptist church there; and my uncle, Jacob Creath, Sr., succeeded him in the pastorate of said church, as he told me and as I believe he did and as I heard others say, I saw and read the life of Gano which Benedict gave to my mother, and I beard her often relate what Benedict told her respecting the baptism of Washington by Doctor Gano, who died in Kentucky.

Jacob Creath
Palmyra, Mo. August 11, 1874.”

The only reason known for hesitation as to this statement is the wonder that David Benedict, the Baptist historian, should have told this in Virginia and not, so far as is recorded, elsewhere. That his common reticence on the subject should have been broken at this one point only, could not be effectually denied, however, unless one knew all the outward and psychological conditions of the case. Exceptional action is not unnatural. To Miss Maria Benedict, living in Providence, R. I., in 1889, the daughter of David Benedict, the account of her father’s statement seemed reasonable and trustworthy. That Stephen Gano, who had been a surgeon in Washington’s army and was like his General a devoted member of the Masonic Fraternity, and who believed in private baptism, should not have published the matter to the world is only what we should expect. The line of evidence, therefore, reaching back to Chaplain Gano, through David Benedict and Stephen Gano, is especially strong. Could anything but a fact have run that gauntlet and survived?

The third independent line of evidence is through General R. M. Gano of Texas. His affidavit reads as follows:

”Dallas, Texas
March 27, 1891

The tradition in our family of the immersion of George Washington by my great-grandfather near Valley Forge I have heard from my childhood, and never had any knowledge of any one doubting it until my attention was called to the fact, that was due to the fact, partly that General Washington demanded in a quiet way and wished no demonstration made over it, and partly to the fact that it was not according to Baptist usage to immerse any one who was not received into the Baptist church. But the Gano and Ewing and Beal and many other families with whom I have conversed both in Kentucky and in Virginia have the tradition in their Families.

But among all with whom I ever conversed, old uncle Daniel Gano, the oldest son of John Gano, the minister who immersed Washington, knew most.

Said Daniel Gano was a captain of artillery in the Revolutionary War, at which time his father was Chaplain. He died in Scott County, Kentucky, at about the age of 94 years, when I was a youth. I remember his appearance and conversational manner well. But being about a half a century since I cannot recollect exactly what he said about the immersion of General Washington by his father.

But I do remember the impression made upon my mind that he knew more about it than any one I had ever seen. But I cannot say at this remote date that he was an eye witness of the immersion, I have talked with some who were eye witnesses. I have the impression that there were about forty-two witnesses present.

R. M. Gano
State of Texas
County of Dallas

This day personally appeared R. M. Gano, who being duly sworn, said the foregoing was true to the best of his knowledge and belief.
Witness my hand and official seal of office, this 27th day of March, 1891.
S. B. Scott, County Clerk
Dallas, Texas by W. E. Keller

The most doubtful point in this testimony is as to the number of witnesses. Exactly that point Gen. Gano states in a doubtful way. His doubt on this point is therefore confirmatory of the reliability of his memory. A similar remark is true of Margaret Ewing’s way of referring to Valley Forge as the locality. Gen. Gano however refers to Valley Forge without using any mark of less certain recollection in that particular. There is a natural presumption in favor of the vicinity of Morristown or Newberg. But there is no impossibility in its having been at Valley Forge. The place is a matter of no consequence.

If incidental features of the testimony were in much greater doubt than they are, the validity of the evidence as to the main fact would not be thereby shaken. There is no conflict in the testimonies. Three distinct lines of transmission assent that three children of Chaplain Gano, his eldest daughter, his eldest son, and his physician-minister son, the two sons having been fellow-officers with their father in General Washington’s army – that these three children believed that their father baptized Washington.

With two of the children our sworn witnesses have personally talked. By one of these children two of our witnesses were reared from childhood. One of these two witnesses is a physician who may be supposed to know something of the value of evidence. With the daughter of Chaplain Gano he was reared to manhood.

How did time children of the chaplain who were adults at the time in discussion come to believe, so as to instill it into others without a question that their father baptized Washington? The evidence makes the interrogation insistent. How would this answer do, the baptism was a fact?

Next: The Circumstantial Evidence - Part 1  - The John Gano Evidence of George Washington’s Religion


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Men Never Learn From History!

It is a heart problem!

 Men refuse to learn the lessons afforded by the light of HISTORY:

 the recorded historical events which occurred as fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Now, these are the basic truths with which we all must deal with one way or another!

Two Basic Reasons For Our Failing Our History Lesson!

The Removing Of The Anchoring Landmarks
We have steadily almost imperceptibly at times removed one by one the great principles that were part of the formulation of the United States of America.

We have been busy for generations removing the anchoring landmarks that came as a result of the revivals God blessed this country with in its early years by the preaching of the word of GOD.

We have disobeyed the commandment in Proverbs 22:28- Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set.

The Departure from the BIBLE
What was the catalyst or reason for this downward spiral? Are you ready! The eyes of men everywhere had been clouded over with cataracts because of our apostasy or departure from the BIBLE … God’s word (and more exactly including the multiplicity of translations and corruption's to God's written word).
This apostasy began in America in the BIBLE SCHOOLS early in the last century (1901) when Philip Schaff (with other rank liberals who had rot-gut unbelief in God's word within their hearts) colluded with the English RV committee of 1885 (Westcott and Hort) to produce the American Standard Version (ASV), also known as the Rock of Bible Honesty by the scholars, or more accurately, by Bible believers, as a prime example of a new age version of a corrupted bible.

Baptist Heritage

It is to the Baptists ... that we owe primarily ... our religious freedom, and it is Roger Williams [of Rhode Island] in particular, that is the most important contributor of our religious freedom we enjoy in the United States of America.
The Bloody Tenet of Persecution for Cause of Conscience is the primary document, which provided the underlying principles for religious freedom, which in turn gave rise to the then future documents of The Declaration of Independence, The United States Constitution and The Bill Of Rights.