Consider George Washington’s character as revealed by his reprimand of a servant for his acquiescence to the British when they threatened to burn down Mount Vernon and lay the general’s estate in ruins. Here’s what David Ramsey had to say in his book, The Life of George Washington:
While the British were in the Potomac, they sent a flag on shore to Mount Vernon, (his private estate) requiring a supply of fresh provisions. Refusals of such demands were often followed by burning the houses and other property near the river. To prevent this catastrophe, the person intrusted with the management of the estate, went on board with the flag, and carrying a supply of provisions, requested that the buildings and improvements might be spared.
For this he received a severe reprimand in a letter to him, in which the General observed — “That it would have been a less painful circumstance to me to have heard, that, in consequence of your non-compliance with the request of the British, they had burnt my house, and laid my plantation in ruins. You ought to have considered yourself as my representative, and should have reflected on the bad example of communicating with the enemy, and making a voluntary offer of refreshment to them, with a view to prevent a conflagration.”