It has been interesting to me to research each of our former presidents and try to see their differences in leadership as well as other aspects of their presidency. Of all our former presidents I have read about, one stands out in my mind President George Washington. Schoolchildren early in their lives remember who became the first president of the United States of America.
President Washington was born the oldest of six children to Augustine Washington and his wife Mary Ball on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Washington was born on his fathers plantation on Popes Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
In 1735 Augustine moved the family up the Potomac River. In 1738 they moved again to a plantation on the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was there that George spent most of his childhood. Little is known about his life in his younger days.
A number of myths have arisen about Washington over the years. The tale in which Washington is supposed to have thrown a silver dollar across the Potomac River is impossible. There were no silver dollars at that time. The story in which he confessed to cutting down his fathers cherry tree stands as a reminder that honesty is the best policy.
His formal education was sparse. His father died when George was 11 years of age. His formal education ended when he about the age of 15. He studied surveying and ultimately was appointed as county surveyor for a new county called Culpeper County. He reportedly worked hard as he entered an excellent career at that time. But it wasnt long until Washington was called upon to take a message to French troops that were gathered in the area of what is now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The message was that they leave the area immediately. He also led several campaigns with some losses and some wins.
Following his military stint, Washington returned to Mount Vernon.
On January 6th, 1759, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis. It was her second marriage, his first. She already had two children from her first marriage. The union of Martha and George produced no children. Between 1759 and 1775 Washington strived to improve his beloved Mount Vernon by experimenting with various ways of growing and maintaining crops.
Eventually Washington was elected as a colonial legislator, led the Continental Army in the American Revolution and was elected as the first President of the United States. He is the only U.S. President to have a state named for him and he is the only man ever unanimously elected President.
During his seven-year term of office, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution (Bill of Rights) passed by Congress, the U. S. Supreme Court held its first session; Vermont was admitted into the Union as the 14th state. Further, under his watch Kentucky was admitted into the Union as the 15th state.
It is interesting to note that during his presidency, Tennessee was admitted to the Union in 1796 as the 16th state.
George Washington died at Mount Vernon, Virginia on December 14, 1799. He was eulogized as First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of his countrymen.