FACT CHECK: Did George Washington Say This Quote About Government?

Aislinn Murphy | Assistant Managing Editor

A post on Facebook claims that former President George Washington once said, “The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”

Verdict: False

The saying does not appear in any of Washington’s writings. His estate at Mount Vernon labels it a “spurious quotation.”

Fact Check:

Washington served as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and later as the nation’s first president. (RELATED: Did George Washington Say, ‘Firearms Stand Next In Importance To The Constitution Itself’?)

Social media users so frequently misattribute sayings to Washington that his estate at Mount Vernon keeps a list of “spurious quotations.” An internet search reveals that this expression appears on that list.

Furthermore, The Daily Caller found no record of the saying in his writings or recorded speeches.

The quote actually comes from William Edgar Borah, a Republican senator from Idaho. According to Mount Vernon, Borah wrote the expression for an article published by Reader’s Digest in 1929.

Aislinn Murphy

Assistant Managing Editor