Did Washington Name Our Country?
Aide's 1776 letter calls it 'United States of America'
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 5, 2013 8:28 AM CDT
This undated file photo shows Gilbert Stuart's 1796 oil on canvas portrait of George Washington on display at Washington's National Portrait Gallery.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – It makes sense that the father of our country would have named it, too—and new evidence suggests that may just be the case. History hasn't quite settled on who coined the term "the United States of America," though in 1998, experts announced that it was Thomas Jefferson (he wrote those words in a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence around June 11, 1776). But a letter written by one of George Washington's top military aides suggests otherwise. The letter from Stephen Moylan to Col. Joseph Reed, dated Jan. 2, 1776, discusses bringing the "full and ample powers from the United States of America" to Europe in search of backing for the revolution.

Days earlier, Moylan had used the phrase "United Colonies" in a document—but that was before the Continental Army learned of an inflammatory speech King George III gave against the colonies, and before the first American flag was unveiled. Washington may well have used the term around that time, and even if he didn't initially utter the phrase himself, Moylan's voice was deeply linked to that of his boss, the Christian Science Monitor notes. It writes, "Whether Washington, Moylan, or even Reed should be credited is somewhat beside the point. In many matters, all three spoke with one voice—the voice of the commander-in-chief of what would become the United States of America."

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Showing 3 of 11 comments
wasntme
Jul 5, 2013 6:14 PM CDT
History is written by the winners for the winners. Keeping that in mind, only then, will you be able to somewhat come to understand the truth of what actually happened. Some extremely bad things done by the winners will be omitted or falsely told as to have no other choice but to do, along with some very good things done by the losers that the winners will claim they did. But for popularity and for ease to teach their children and the uniformed masses, history will be condensed to short rhymes or songs to keep the powerful and wealthy in control.
Disciple_of_Jesus
Jul 5, 2013 4:59 PM CDT
George Washington said of John Hanson; "the founder and father of our country; our first president". Washington was first president of the new government in 1789 due to they were forced to abandon the founding fathers government. 1776 was the start of the US via the Confederacy --- The states were united in a Confederacy ---- read history. 1789 marked the wars in Europe and we had no ally to come to our 'help' aid as we previously had when the states revolted in 1776. TN had already revolted in 1772 was already independant. Read history. The Jesuits/Catholics and Rothschild forced the founding fathers to form a new government; read history. The new constitutional government was based on compromise and change - an age old method to introduce corruption to follow a golden rule - those who have the gold rule. The nation has never been a Christian nation. They claimed to be deist and belief in a god but to have a nation/government with church/state separation. The claim to have Jesus as Lord with Christianity as a national religion has never existed. But; now seemingly there is a national church in DC unter Catholicism - interesting. Regardless; folks should be honest with history. When folks began to be 'burned-out' they wanted to go back to the Confederacy or the founding fathers government causing a civil war that has a lot of muddied history. The Confederacy is "States United" but not as a "Union". No need to argue; just study history and you will see varying opinions.
HMD-SMD-ITY
Jul 5, 2013 1:15 PM CDT
Always love the revisionist history crap. Then again I always loved the Commander McBragg episodes of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. So, if each president since Payton Randolph got just one time machine visit to see the USA at any juncture before the big collapse, what era would they pick from a menu floating in the xenon mist? Lets say they see in the menu Hussein Obama. Washington hits that button and is whisked ahead to today. He listens in on a phone call, "yes, we did pass same sex marriage, we have free health care if you are not a US citizen, and my pet project is to house the entire population of central and south america at the cost of the US treasury." Washington says, "oh hell, get me out of here." He returns and tells his northern states buddies, "well, we had argued to keep slavery out of the constitution but now I say we just won't mention it at all." So its Andrew Jackson's turn and he also chooses Hussein. He arrives about a year ahead of now. D.C. is in a state of emergency, everything is on fire. He is taken below to the situation room and sees Bamster in a situational briefing. He sees him talking on the phone with the Chinese premier. "Yes,... yes sir,.....ok sir. Well the premier says he won't call in the loans right now. He's going to visit tomorrow but tells us that things are going to change and we had better be ready." Jackson quickly goes back to his own time and quickly gets to The Hermitage. He then calls in his staff and says, "Get me more slaves, I now have a mission."