George Washington – December 24, 1776

Experience the American dream with today’s Patriot of the Past interview. I’m your host, John Gillespie.

It’s Christmas Eve, 1776. I’m with General Washington’s encampment along the Delaware River. The troops are hungry, tired, and very cold. I can see by the campfire red blood in the snow from the feet of the patriots who have no boots,

JG: “General Washington, how can you continue the fight with your men in this condition?”

GW: “John, we must continue, and with God’s help, we will. Today I read Thomas Paine’s stirring article “The Crisis” to my men. It starts with, ‘These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this crisis shrink from the service of his country, but he that stands now deserves the love and thanks of men and women.’

Read more about Thomas Paine and his writings.


John and Jan Gillespie are the founders of the Rawhide Boys’ Ranch; they have fostered 351 teenagers and wrote the book Our 351 Sons; they have also assisted numerous churches in developing youth programs and expanding their total church ministries. After running for U.S. Senate, John founded 1776 American Dream, which exists to demonstrate the vision of our founding fathers and help our generation of youth passionately embrace those values.

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