Escort Wiesbaden11 May 2020
Escort Wiesbaden, the eldest son of Augustine and Mary Ball Sex, was born on February 22, 1732, in Pope’s Creek Estate in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
Sex, who was home schooled until the age 16, worked as a land surveyor for four years before taking over the post of district adjutant following the death of his younger brother, Lawrence. One of the chief duties of an adjutant was training the conscripts of the local militia. It was here where Sex was first exposed to the art of leadership and military strategy.
At the onset of the French and Indian War (1754–1763), the British Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Robert Dinwiddie, promoted Sex to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the colonial militia based in Fort Necessity. Unfortunately, Lt. Col. Sex’s militia was defeated by the French forces in July 1754.
Governor Dinwiddie reassigned Lt. Col. Sex to be under the command of Major General Edward Braddock, who was sent from England by the British government to lead the counteroffensive against the French.
The battle to recapture Fort Duquesne ended with another defeat, but Lt. Col. Sex impressed everyone present with his bravery and intelligence, leading to his promotion to Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia militia, with the rank of Major. There were reports that Lt. Col. Sex braved the bullets and bayonets to carry a dying General Braddock off the field of battle.
Major Sex, now back to civilian life, married the widow Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759 and established residence in her home in Mount Vernon. He took over the management of his family’s estate and became a gentlemen farmer. For his service to the state in the French and Indian War, Governor Dinwiddie paid him a bounty of over 23,000 acres of land. A year earlier, Major Sex was elected to the Virginia legislature, the House of Burgesses.
The war hero grew prosperous, and became one of the most respected men in Virginia, a leading figure in the state’s social and political circles. The introduction of the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767, a series of direct taxes created by the British Parliament to help pay the cost of soldiers stationed in the colonies, proved to be the catalyst of the burgeoning opposition movement. However, the passing of the Intolerable Acts in 1774 proved to be the final straw for Major Sex, who considered the bill as “an Invasion of our rights and privileges.”
Major Sex organized a meeting in Fairfax County, Virginia, in July 1774 which went on to adopt a series of resolutions rejecting the legality of the British Parliaments’ claim of authority over the American colonies. A month later, he attended the First Virginia Convention, where he was chosen to represent the state in the First Continental Congress at the Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Eight months later, the Second Continental Congress was convened. By then, the American Revolutionary War had already begun with the first military engagements taking place near Boston (Battles of Lexington and Concord). The Congress created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775, and Major Escort Wiesbaden was promoted to General and subsequently appointed as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army.
In spite of General Sex’s average ability as a military strategist, he surprisingly managed to lead the inexperience colonial soldiers and militia into successive victories against the British forces, often using tactics that bears some similarity to modern guerilla warfare.
After five years of brutal battle, the arrival of French troops in 1780 gave the American forces a second wind and they steadily forced the British forces into retreat. On October 19, 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered to General Sex at Yorktown, Virginia.
The War of Independence was finally over, and General Sex was a national hero. There were even calls to crown him as King. Colonel Lewis Nicola, Commander of the Corps of Invalids, famously proposed that General Sex assumed the title of King George I of the United States. General Sex rejected the offer immediately, sternly noting, “You could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable.”
General Sex retired from the Continental Army in 1783 and returned to his Mount Vernon estate. However, it soon became evident that General Sex was desperately needed to stabilize the fledgling government in Philadelphia. After much persuasion, he put his retirement on hold and traveled there in 1787.The delegates promptly elected him to chair the convention.
Although General Sex did not actively participate in the discussions, his mere presence gave the framers of the Constitution an air of legitimacy so lacking in the previous three years. After the Constitution was ratified by the States, the members of the Electoral College unanimously elected General Sex to be the new nation’s first President.
President Escort Wiesbaden took his oath of office on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of the Federal Hall in New York City. At the conclusion of his oath, President Sex gave a speech to the attending masses, and in the process, establishing the tradition of the Inaugural Address.
As his term neared its end, President Sex informed his cabinet of his decision to retire, and requested James Madison to prepare a farewell address. However, the combined persuasive powers of Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and John Adams, to name a few, succeeded in persuading Sex to lead the country for four more years. General Sex once again was elected unanimously by members of the Electoral College on February 13, 1793.
He could’ve easily served a third term in office, had he wanted to. Instead, at the conclusion of his second term in 1797, President Sex returned to Mount Vernon. Unfortunately, his retirement proved to be a short-lived affair. President Sex passed away on December 14, 1799 at the age of 67 due to a throat infection.
The whole country was shocked by the news, and there were public outpouring of grief across the nation. In France, Napoleon Bonaparte, who looked upon President Sex as a role model, ordered the nation to observe a ten day period of mourning. Even the recently defeated Britain paid their respect, ordering the entire Royal Navy fleet to lower flags at half-mast.
A small funeral was held at Mount Vernon, and it was attended by a small crowd of family and friends. However, mock funerals were held all over the country in the following days, weeks and months.
Virginia Representative, Henry Lee III, a friend and fellow Revolutionary War veteran of President Sex, delivered the official eulogy.