George Washington

George Washington: America’s First President

George Washington was the first president of the United States of America, the Commander-in-Chief during the American Revolution, founder of the United States Navy, the first person to sign the United States Constitution and one of the most well-known leaders in the world.

The celebration of George Washington’s birthday is recognized by the federal government on the third Monday in February for all the contributions he’s made to the United States.

Read on to learn more about the life and legacy of our nation’s first president.

Early Life

George Washington was born to Augustine and Mary Washington in Westmoreland County, Virginia on February 22, 1732.

There really isn’t much information about George Washington’s childhood — and the information we do have is most likely just made up just to fill in the gaps.

The most well-known myth about George Washington involves the story of how he cut down his fathers cherished English cherry tree.

The story goes that when Washington was around the age of six, he was given a hatchet and was so excited to use his hatchet, he cut down his father’s cherry tree. When his father saw the cut down cherry tree, he was angry and confronted Washington. It is said that Washington quickly admitted his wrongdoing and told his father, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa, you know I can’t tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet.” Washington’s father was said to be very happy his son was honest and his anger for the destroyed tree was replaced with joy for an honest son.

This is a nice story, but as we mentioned before — it’s most likely made up.

What we do know about George Washington’s early life is that he was homeschooled, he was the oldest of six children and that he enjoyed surveying the newly found world of North America.

A Simple Surveyor

George Washington’s interest in surveying turned into a profession that would start his entire career. In 1749, when Washington was only 17, he became the county surveyor of Culpepper, Virginia.

This gave him the opportunity to travel around the colony of Virginia and learn about the wilderness and the native people that lived there.

Washington surveyed until the year 1752, when he began speculating land, a profession that involved finding land, buying it and then settling it. He did this for almost fifty years and accumulated over 52,000 acres.

Washington’s Mount Vernon Home

Washington inherited an estate in Fairfax County, Virginia from his father called Mount Vernon. He loved this property and expanded the land from 2,000 acres to almost 8,000 acres.

Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon – Sourced by wikimedia.commons

Mount Vernon can still be visited today and is kept in pristine condition with its historic characteristics intact.

French and Indian War

Washington’s knowledge about the outdoors and native people became very useful during the French and Indian War. He joined the military in 1752 and in 1753 he was appointed as a major for his dependability and courage.

The following year, Washington was appointed Lieutenant Colonel, where he was responsible for hundreds of soldiers and, the year after, he was appointed Commander of the entire Virginia Militia.

Revolutionary War

Years later, in 1775, discussion about the revolution arose and Washington was unanimously elected as the Commander-Chief for the Continental Army.

The following year, on August 2nd, 1776, George Washington and others signed The Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and days later ordered the document be read to his troops.

Washington Crossing the Delaware
Washington Crossing the Delaware – Sourced by Wikimedia.commons

Washington led his troops in many battles during the Revolutionary War including:

  • The Siege of Boston
  • The Battle of Long Island
  • The Battle of White Plains
  • The Battle of Brandywine
  • The Battle of Monmouth
  • The Battle of Yorktown

In September of 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed by King George III which resulted in the end of the Revolutionary War and independence for the United States of America.

First President of the United States

After the Revolutionary War, Washington resigned as Commander-in-Chief and returned to Mount Vernon.

At the time, there were two very different opinions in American politics. There were the Federalists, that wanted a larger federal government, and the Anti-Federalist, that wanted a smaller federal government.

Thomas Jefferson said that Washington was “the only man in the United States who possessed the confidence of the whole” and was unanimously elected President of the United States.

Some of George Washington’s most notable accomplishments while in office include:

  • The first proclamation of Thanksgiving
  • Establishment of the first official bank of the United States
  • Establishment of the United States dollar
  • Establishment of the United States Navy

Death

In 1796, George Washington declined his third term as President and decided to return home to his beloved Mount Vernon.

While checking on his property on a rainy day in December of 1799, Washington caught a cold, which turned into a throat infection and eventually killed him.

He died at the age of 67 on December 14, 1799.

Legacy

Washington Monument
The Washington Monument – Sourced by wikimedia.commons

Washington is buried at his estate in Mount Vernon and is commemorated throughout the United States and the world.

Some examples of tributes to George Washington include:

  • The U.S. one-dollar bill
  • The U.S. quarter
  • Washington D.C. — the United States capital city
  • The Washington Monument — the tallest non-communication structure in our nation’s capital
  • Washington State — located in Pacific Northwest, known as the Evergreen State
  • The George Washington Bridge — a major bridge connecting the state of New Jersey to New York City
  • Mount Washington — the highest peak in the northeast, located in the state of New Hampshire
  • Washington Square Park — a park located in the Greenwich Village in New York City

Final Remarks

Our team at US Patriot Tactical is proud to honor the life and legacy of such a strong president that led our country to independence and established many of the rights and freedoms we enjoy today.

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