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Edison junior presents Memorial Day talk on George Washington

By Norwalk Reflector staff • May 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM

MILAN —  On Memorial Day, James Anderson, a junior at Edison High School, presented a brief “Chautauqua- esque” talk titled “General Washington’s Finest Hour: How Washington Saved the Revolution from a Military Coup.”

The talk was followed by a period for questions and answers. The presentation took place on the Milan village square before the Milan Memorial Day parade. There also was a table with colonial-era games for children.

Anderson’s presentation, in which he appeared in costume as Gen. Washington, focused on the military crisis known as “The Newburgh Conspiracy.”

Having gone several years without pay for their services and feeling taken for granted by Congress, the officers under Washington’s command in Newburgh, N.Y., gathered as the Revolutionary War drew to a close in 1783. They discussed a plan for marching the Continental Army to Philadelphia to confront and, perhaps, overthrow the government.

“The Continental Army had sacrificed and suffered through eight long years of war, and throughout that time, they were poorly paid, when paid at all, and poorly provisioned,” Anderson said. “As the war came to a close, they were worried that Congress would continue to neglect them.”

In his talk, the student discussed how Washington confronted and averted the crisis.

“General Washington’s Finest Hour” is a project that Anderson has been working on for his College Credit Plus U.S. government and politics class through Bowling Green State University, taught by EHS social studies teacher Joseph Collins.

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