Famous Sayings #137 — ‘I Cannot Tell a Lie’

February 17, 2019

I cannot tell a lie. It was I who chopped down the cherry tree.

Augustine Washington, George Washington, cherry tree, I cannot tell a lie
John C. McRae after a painting by G. G. White [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Tomorrow is Presidents’ Day (officially named George Washington’s Birthday), so I wanted to use a quote associated with the first president of the United States. The above quote is often attributed to Washington, but it is a misquote of dialogue from a very familiar story.

The story of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree and admitting it (while saying, “I cannot tell a lie”) is well known to many Americans. However, many historians believe that the story was fictionalized. There is proof that cherry trees existed on the farm was George Washington lived when he was 6 years old, but no proof that the incident happened.

Continue reading “Famous Sayings #137 — ‘I Cannot Tell a Lie’”