Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical Society, Ric

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Smithsonian Institution, Washing

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas; 25 x 35 in. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical S

by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863—1930)

Oil on canvas; 30 x 24 in. One of the 78 scenes from American history by Ferris titled The Pageant of a Nation. Virginia Historical S

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.

Garry Wills
Inventing America: Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence (1978)