George Washington was a great man, but he was not perfect. In 1798, he allowed himself to be swayed by Alexander Hamilton into taking command of the United States Armed Forces. (Washington was concerned about a potential French invasion.)
John Adams was president, and you might imagine how difficult it was for him to give up his role as commander in chief. He resented the fact that members of his cabinet had been working behind the scenes against him, and that Washington allowed himself to be involved in the process. Because of this, historian Joseph Ellis wrote, “… Adams, who believed that holding grudges was a measure of personal integrity, never forgave him….”
John Adams’ reason for maintaining a grudge is a common one. He (and those like him) mistakenly believed that holding a grudge is a badge of honor. Sadly, this idea is mistaken. Holding a grudge is a sign of self-righteousness.