Mason Locke Weems

(1305 words)
  • Richard J. Ring (Brown University)

Mason Locke Weems was an itinerant bookseller, publisher's agent, Episcopalian cleric, and a writer who became famous primarily for his biography of George Washington, in which the first appearance of the story of young Washington and the cherry tree occurred. “Parson” Weems, as he is commonly known, was educated in Maryland and in England, and at different times prepared for careers in medicine and the Anglican church. Aside from his work on Washington, which was first published in 1800, he produced biographies of General Francis Marion (the “Swamp Fox”) in 1809, Benjamin Franklin (1818), and William Penn (1822). His other works include moralistic tracts reproving drunkenness, adultery, duelling and gambling, as well as …

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Ring, Richard J.. "Mason Locke Weems". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 October 2004
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]