Since Dec 1, 1997

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"Henry Woodman in his "History of Valley Forge," 1850, has this to say; "I have heard it said, that Washington used often to retire to solitary places, and on one of these occasions he was discovered by Isaac Potts engaged in vocal prayer. This circumstance is noticed by Weems with some comments. How far this account is correct I am not prepared to say. But I have heard the circumstances related and the spot was pointed out to me several years before I saw the account published." It should be noted that Woodman was born in the old camp ground 1795. He states that during his youth his father, a veteran of the Revolution and of Valley Forge, frequently walked over the camp site with the son, relating incidents of camp life and pointing out locations."

In 1918, the Valley Forge Park Commission refused a request by a patriotic organization for permission to erect a monument or marker on the spot where it was claimed Washington was seen kneeling in prayer. The Commission's report reviewed its examination of the thousands of pages of correspondence and diaries of the Commander-in-Chief and his staff; generals of divisions and brigades; officers and privates of regiments; the Congressional Committee who were at the camp; manuscripts in the Library of Congress and other institutions where Revolutionary matter is preserved. It concluded by observing "in none of these were found a single paragraph that will substantiate the tradition of the 'Prayer at Valley Forge.'"

The official war against faith and traditions has a long history.