Watercolor over graphite on paper; 12 × 16.5 cm (4.7 × 6.5 in). Private Collection.
Maria Cosway, 1785
In a land where horsemanship was often men’s touchiest point of pride, Jefferson had to admit he never saw Washington’s like for grace and control in the saddle. A froniter runner and Indian wrestler — his friend George Mercer described his frame as
padded with well-developed muscles — Washington had by 1774 refined mere energy down to a grace of least movement, the higher athleticism of the dance. And he danced well.