By: Laura Frantz
This past July I had the privilege of going on tour with The Providence Forum and experiencing historic Philadelphia. Since Valley Forge isn't far, we spent a day there, too. Growing up, my vision of Valley Forge was limited to this image of George Washington praying in the snow. Legend says that a Quaker was walking in the woods and found Washington on his knees. Since Quakers hold to truthfulness as one of their tenets, I tend to believe this did happen. George Washington was a Christian, not a deist, and America's winning of the Revolutionary War was no small miracle.
Washington and his troops stayed at Valley Forge during a very brutal winter. I was here on a scorching summer's day so it was hard to imagine the cold and suffering that took place in 1777-78. This is the actual place he walked, talked, and made critical decisions that affected the course of the war. But he refused to move into this sturdy house until all his men finished building the huts that housed them first. They numbered in the thousands.
the Sabbath. This is the room at the back of the house on the first floor.
the main house. Notice the little oven within the hearth itself,
sometimes called a beehive, for baking bread.
officers had just stepped out of the room. So lifelike!
Love the Revolutionary War uniforms!
conducting the business of war.
Valley Forge, though a very famous historic spot, offers a lingering lesson for today. I found it so moving to hear that this was the very place Washington thought about giving up the fight and surrendering to the British. Several close friends, including a beloved pastor, advised the general to abandon a hopeless effort to win American freedom. Though no war was waged between soldiers at Valley Forge, a fierce inward struggle transpired here. It became a battle of doubt, discouragement, and near defeat. Washington trimuphed in the end but we'll never know what he suffered during his time here. I think about it often now when I'm tempted to give up or give in to something that's troubling me.
Can you name a historic spot that is moving to you or holds a lasting lesson for us today?