In Moby Dick, beginning of chapter 10, I read about the resemblance of Queequeg's head to George Washington's:
It may seem ridiculous, but it reminded me of General Washington's head, as seen in the popular busts of him.
Now to this European, George Washington is better known as first President of the United States of America than as general. So why is he called General here?
I searched for Washington's bust on Google Images and I found he is not always represented in a uniform.
So these are the options I could think of:
- It's just me: Washington is more famous as general than as president
- It's Europe vs USA: for Americans, Washington is more famous as general than as president
- It's now vs then: in 1850s, Washington used to be more famous as general than as president