George Washington Biography
Pretty much everybody knows that George Washington was our first President, but how much else do you know about this Founding Father?
The man that would go on to be known as the Father of our Country lived a pretty interesting life, so let’s take the time to explore his life!
George Washington Facts
- Washington is the only president to have a state named after him.
- Washington was the one and the only president who did not reside in the White House.
- The American Revolution was twice rescued by Washington’s courageous deeds.
- Washington actively supported the westward movement and controlled more than 50,000 acres.
- Washington was the first person to ratify the US Constitution.
- President Washington never actually resided in Washington D.C., despite it being named after him.
- Washington is the only president who had slaves and liberated every one of them.
- While touring Barbados, George Washington became ill with smallpox.
George Washington was born in Virginia in 1732. When George was born, Virginia was one of the 13 colonies that were ruled by England. America was not a country yet.
When George was young, he was a very good student. He was especially good at math and spelling.
When he was 16 years old, he left his house to find a job. He got a job as a surveyor. It was his job to measure land and make maps. This helped people know how big the property was and other important facts about it.
Before the War
When George was 20, he joined the Virginia army. He was very brave and soon was put in charge of the whole militia. He was a part of the militia during the start of the French and Indian war.
In one particular battle, he narrowly escaped death when his horse was shot out from under him.
George always dreamed of having a family. On January 6, 1759, George married a woman named Martha Curtis. George and Martha lived on a large farm named Mount Vernon. They never had any children.
George didn’t get to stay with Martha for very long. Soon, he had to rejoin the army to fight the Revolutionary War.
The Revolutionary War
George and other wealthy landowners were unhappy with England because they made lots of rules that the Colonies thought were unfair.
When England refused to change the rules, the Colonies decided to declare their independence. The colonies formed, and George was picked to lead the army.
The Colonial Army had lots of problems. They didn’t have enough supplies and weren’t trained very well. Luckily, George was a great leader. He trained his soldiers and worked to get the supplies that they needed.
George planned to outlast the British Army. The war lasted eight long years, and eventually, England surrendered. This happened in Yorktown on October 17, 1781.
The war was over, and the Colonies had won their independence from England!
Once the war was over, the new country needed a leader. The 57-year-old Washington was unanimously picked to be the country’s first president on April 30, 1789.
He was a very good leader and led the country for two different terms, which lasted eight total years.
During his time as President, George put in place many roles and traditions that our Presidents still follow today.
For instance, it was his choice to only have Presidents serve for a certain amount of time. See our article on the 22nd amendment for more on that.
He said that this would prevent anyone from becoming too powerful, like the King of England was. He also helped form the government and defined what a President should do, as well as who should be his helpers.
George also founded (started) the offices of the Presidential Cabinet.
He served as the first President of the United States for 8 years (from 1789 to 1797).
After the Presidency
When he was done being President, George returned to his home in Virginia, where he lived for several more years. Then in December of 1799, George got a bad cold. This turned into a terrible throat infection.
George Washington died on December 14, 1799 at the age of 67 of a throat infection. He died at his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia.
A Great Man
George Washington is known as the “Father of our Country.” He was a great leader both before, during, and after the Revolutionary War. He helped to make our country what it is today.
He is honored for his role in our nation’s history with many different monuments, with none being more famous than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C, which is also named for him.
Fun Facts About George Washington
George never served as President in Washington, D.C. The capital when he was President was New York City, and then Philadelphia.
Though George was very honest, the story of him and the cherry tree probably never happened.
George had many different sets of dentures throughout his life. They were not made from wood but were rather fashioned from various types of bone.
George owned slaves but gave them all freedom upon his death.