• On April 30, 1789, George Washington, stood on the
balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York
and took his oath of office as the first President of the United
• From1759 to the beginning of the American revolution
George Washington served in the Virginia House of
• In 1775 George Washington was one of the Virginia
delegates that was elected Commander in Chief of the
• Washington had less than three years of retirement at Mount
Vernon because he died of a throat infection December 14,
1799. For months the Nation was sad.
• Because the Nation under its Articles of Confederation was
not functioning well, George Washington became a prime
mover in the steps leading toward the Constitutional
Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. When the new
Constitution was ratified, the Electoral College unanimously
elected George Washington President.
• George Washington pursued two intertwined interests:
military arts and western expansion. At 16 he helped survey
Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax.
Commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1754, he fought the
first skirmishes of what grew into the French and Indian
War. The next year, as an aide to Gen. Edward
Braddock, he escaped injury although four bullets ripped his
coat and two horses were shot from under him.
• He realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British. He
reported to Congress, "we should on all Occasions avoid a general
Action, or put anything to the Risqué, unless compelled by a
necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn." Ensuing battles
saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly. Finally in 1781
with the aid of French allies--he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at
• The French and Indian War had begun. The French
counter attacked and drove Washington and his men back to
his post at Great Meadows After a full day, Washington
surrendered and was soon released and returned to
Williamsburg, promising not to build another fort on the Ohio
River. Though a little embarrassed at being captured, he was
grateful to receive the thanks from the House of Burgesses and
see his name in the London gazettes.
• George Washington was given the honorary rank of colonel
and joined British General Edward Braddock’s army in
Virginia in 1755.
• The marriage also brought Martha’s two young children,
John (Jacky) and Martha (Patsy) ages six and four
respectively. Washington lavished great affection on both of
them and was heartbroken when Patsy died just before the
Revolution. Jacky died during the Revolution.
• In New York George Washington committed a military blunder
by occupying an untenable position in Brooklyn, although he saved his
army by skillfully retreating from Manhattan into Westchester
County and through New Jersey into Pennsylvania. In the last
months of 1776, desperately short of men and supplies, George
Washington almost despaired. He had lost New York City to the
• In May 1787, George Washington headed the Virginia
delegation to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and
was unanimously elected presiding officer. His presence lent prestige to
the proceedings, and although he made few direct contributions, he
generally supported the advocates of a strong central government.
After the new Constitution was submitted to the states for ratification
and became legally operative, he was unanimously elected president.
• After the war Washington returned to Mount Vernon, which had declined
in his absence. Although he became president of the Society of the Cincinnati,
an organization of former Revolutionary War officers, he avoided
involvement in Virginia politics. Preferring to concentrate on restoring
Mount Vernon, he added a greenhouse, a mill, an icehouse, and new land to
the estate. He experimented with crop rotation, bred hunting dogs and horses,
investigated the development of Potomac River navigation, undertook various
commercial ventures, and traveled west to examine his land holdings near the
Ohio River. His diary notes a steady stream of visitors, native and foreign;
Mount Vernon, like its owner, had already become a national institution.
• George Washington also was among the first prominent
Americans to openly support resistance to England's new
policies of taxation and strict regulation of the colonial economy
(the Navigation Acts) beginning in the early 1770s.
• In October 1781, Washington's troops, assisted by the
French Navy, defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown. By the
next spring the British government was ready to end
• After the war George Washington quelled a potentially
disastrous bid by some of his officers to declare him king. He
then returned to Mount Vernon and the genteel life of a
tobacco planter only to be called out of retirement to preside at the
Constitutional Convention in 1787.
• George Washington was quit a snazzy dancer He was the
first president to dance. But that’s not the only first thing he
did he was also the first interior designer.
• Washington died on December 14, 1799, at his home,
Mt. Vernon in Fairfax County, Virginia. After his
death the nation's capital was moved from Philadelphia to a
location on the border of Virginia and Maryland near
Washington's home, and was named Washington district of
Columbia in his honor.
• George Washington did not infringe upon the policy making
powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. But the
determination of foreign policy became preponderantly a
Presidential concern. When the French Revolution led to a
huge war between France and England, George
Washington refused to accept entirely the recommendations of
either his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was a
pro-French, or his Secretary of the Treasury Alexander
Hamilton, who was a pro-British.
• He pursued two intertwined interests: military arts and western
expansion. At 16 he helped survey Shenandoah lands for
Thomas, Lord Fairfax.
• George Washington has the distinction of being the only
president to be elected unanimously by the electoral college.
• The nation's capital was located in Philadelphia during
Washington's presidency making him the only president who
didn't live in Washington, D.C. during his presidency.
• Washington had one remaining tooth at the time of his
inauguration. During his lifetime he wore dentures made of
human (some his own), cow, or hippopotamus teeth, ivory, or
lead, but he never wore wooden teeth.
• George Washington stood for “No taxation without
Representation”. When he became president he listened to the
• After the war George Washington desperately wanted to go
home and live a quiet life, but Americans wanted no one else to
lead them. No other person was seriously considered.
America's first presidential campaign was really its citizens
efforts to convince George Washington to accept the office.
• When George Washington became ill right before he died he
was very quite and he kept apologizing to his servants.