General George Washington was Password Protected

On President’s Day, I’m reminded of my ancestor, William E. Warrington, a combat veteran of the Revolutionary War credited with saving George Washington’s life when he caught a man, a presumed friend of the Revolution, trying to poison General Washington’s drink. William enlisted in the Continental Army in 1776 at the age of 25. In 1777 he was transferred to General George Washington’s elite corps of security guards, the Commander-in-Chief Guards. He understood the importance of this duty and strictly followed security protocols – no exceptions. He served at Valley Forge, the battles of Brandywine Delaware, Germantown Pennsylvania, and Morristown and Trenton New Jersey.

Conditions permitting, Martha Washington would accompany her husband to his headquarters. Sergeant Warrington was frequently on sentinel duty, only permitting those with the correct password to enter the General’s Headquarters. On one occasion, Martha Washington attempted to enter but did not know the password. She pleaded. William stood firm. Finally, he sent word to the General of the situation and George Washington stepped outside and whispered the password in his wife’s ear. WIlliam again requested the password and Martha, now able to provide it, was allowed to enter.

William E. Warrington lived to be 99 years old. (Lucky me…good genes!) He is buried at Mill Creek Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio.











Learning about your family history can be surprising. What does it tell you about yourself? DNA ancestry is one aspect of your story. Your DNA has the interesting characteristic of being both individual and familial. It is also personal and private, and like Sergeant Warrington, we are serious about protecting your privacy and keeping your information secure.


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