George Washington

1st President George Washington, 1789-17971st President George Washington, 1789-17971st President George Washington, 1789-17971st President George Washington, 1789-17971st President George Washington, 1789-1797

1st President George Washington, 1789-1797

1st President of the United States
April 30, 1789 to March 3, 1797

Full Name: George Washington
Nickname: "Father of His Country"

Born: February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia
Died: December 14, 1799, at Mount Vernon, Virginia
Age at Death: 67
Cause of Death: Epiglottitis
Last Words: “‘Tis well.”

Father: Augustine Washington (1694-1743)
Mother: Mary Ball Washington (1708-1789)
Full Siblings: Betty Washington (1733-1797); Samuel Washington (1734-1781); John Augustine Washington (1736-1787); Mildred Washington (1737-1740); Charles Washington (1738-1799)
Half-Siblings: Butler Washington (1716-1716); Lawrence Washington (1718-1752); Augustine Washington, Jr. (1720-1762); Jane Washington (1722-1734)
Birth Order: First of six full siblings. Sixth of eleven full and half-siblings.

Married: Martha Dandridge Custis (1732-1802), on January 6, 1759
Children: John "Jack" Parke Custis (adopted) (1754-81); Martha "Patsy" Custis (adopted) (1756-1773)
Pets: American Foxhounds (Sweetlips, Scentwell, Vulcan); Blank and Tan Coonhounds (Drunkard, Taster, Tipler, Tipsy); Greyhound (Cornwallis); Horses (Nelson, Blueskin); Andalusian Donkey; Parrot (Snipe)

Religion: Episcopalian
Education: No formal education
Occupation: Planter, Soldier
Political Party: None
Other Government Positions:

  • Member of Virginia House of Burgesses, 1759-74
  • Member of Continental Congress, 1774-75
  • Chairman of the Constitutional Convention, 1787-88

Presidential Salary: $25,000/year (refused by Washington)

Vice President: John Adams (1789-97)


Secretary of State
John Jay (1789-90)
Thomas Jefferson (1790-93)
Edmund Randolph (1794-95)
Timothy Pickering (1795-97)
Secretary of the Treasury
Alexander Hamilton (1789-95)
Oliver Wolcott, Jr. (1795-97)
Secretary of War
Henry Knox (1789-94)
Timothy Pickering (1795-96)
James McHenry (1796-97)
Attorney General
Edmund Randolph (1790-94)
William Bradford (1794-95)
Charles Lee (1795-97)

Supreme Court Justices:
John Jay, Chief (1789-1795)
John Rutledge (1790-1791)
William Cushing (1790-1810)
James Wilson (1789-1798)
John Blair (1790-1795)
James Iredell (1790-1799)
Thomas Johnson (1792-1793)
William Paterson (1793-1806)
John Rutledge, Chief (1795)
Samuel Chase (1796-1811)
Oliver Ellsworth, Chief (1796-1800)

Notable Events:
  • 1789
    • The Judiciary Act specified the number of Federal courts and judges.
  • 1790
    • Supreme Court met for the first time with John Jay as the Chief Justice.
  • 1791
  • 1792
    • Post Office established by Congress as a separate entity.
    • New York Stock Exchange organized.
    • Coins are minted by the government as enacted by the Coinage Act.
  • 1793
  • 1794
    • Whiskey Rebellion over excise tax in western Pennsylvania. Federal troops called to suppress the armed rebellion.
  • 1795
    • The Jay Treaty ratified. British troops required to withdraw from the U.S.
    • Pinckney's Treaty with Spain opened navigation on Mississippi River.
    • Washington posed for Stuart's portrait, which is now on the one dollar bill.
  • 1796
Internet Biographies:
George Washington -- from The Presidents of the United States of America
Compiled by the White House.
George Washington -- from Encyclopædia Britannica
Comprehensive biography written by Historian Allan Nevins and Professor Emeritus Henry Graff. Includes additional media.
George Washington -- from The American President
From the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, in addition to information on the Presidents themselves, they have first lady and cabinet member biographies, listings of presidential staff and advisers, and timelines detailing significant events in the lives of each administration.
The Apotheosis of George Washington -- by Laura Dove, Lisa Guernsey, Scott Atkins and Adriana Rissetto
Very interesting examination of George Washington's elevation to divine status through history.
A Biography of George Washington 1732-1799 -- from From Revolution to Reconstruction
Text copied from National Archives and Records Administration The Founding Fathers' Page as part of a larger hypertext on American history.
George Washington -- from the Mount Vernon Ladies Association
Not just a biography, this site includes information about his thoughts on slavery and religion, farming, his famous quotes, and even his dentures.
The Life of George Washington -- by David Ramsay
Published eight years after Washington's death, this volume covers Washington's life in thirteen chapters. D.E. Vitale is the archivist in charge of this project.
The Surprising George Washington -- from the National Archives and Records Administration
Richard Norton Smith's article from the Quarterly of the National Archives (Spring 1994, vol. 26, no. 1) examines Washington's characteristics and his treatment as a historical figure. More than a typical biography. Also includes links to some images.
George Washington on the Frontier -- from The Fort Edwards Foundation
Biography covering Col. Washington's time at Fort Edwards (1748-1758). Includes text of Washington's account of the Battle of Fort Necessity.
Historical Documents:
Papers of George Washington
This resource, collected by the University of Virginia and the Mount Vernon Ladies Association, contains historical context to some of the documents and letters written by Washington. Unfortunately, most of the text of these documents are not online.
Letter from Washington to John Hancock (1776)
First Inaugural Address (1789)
Second Inaugural Address (1793)
The Proclamation of Neutrality (1793)
Farewell Address (1796)
George Washington Digital Collections - from the Library of Congress


Other Internet Resources:
The Best Biographies of George Washington
In 2012, Stephen Floyd started his search for the best biography of each president. He usually has reviews of multiple biographies for each president.
George Washington Memorial Parkway
This parkway preserves the scenery along the Potomac River, from Mount Vernon, through the nation's capital, to Great Falls on the Potomac. From the National Parks Service.
George Washington's Ferry Farm
Washington's home from the age of six until his early thirties. Located in Stafford County, Virginia.
Health and Medical History of George Washington
Medical background of each president with references. Compiled by John Sotos, MD.
Moland House
"The Moland House - George Washington's headquarters on August 10, 1777, where the Marquis de Lafayette joined the American Revolution, the American Flag was said to have first flown over American troops here, and several other historic generals joined the American Revolution." Located in Warwick Township, Pennsylvania, the history and fight for preservation of this site are explained.
Mount Rushmore
Located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt stand 60 feet tall. From the National Parks Service.
Mount Vernon
A complete guide to Washington's Virginia plantation.
Sulgrave Manor
The Sulgrave, England ancestral home of the Washington family. Family history and tour information available.
Valley Forge
History, nature, educational resources, and vistor information. From the National Parks Service.
Washington Monument
Quick facts, history and a tour of this landmark from the National Park Service.
Washington's Birthplace
Tourist information about this 538 acre National Park can be found from the National Park Service.
Points of Interest:

3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121

2 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20024

1400 N Outer Line Dr, King of Prussia, PA 19406

Additional Facts:
  • Believing that shaking hands was beneath a president, Washington bowed to his visitors.
  • Washington has the distinction of being the only president to be elected unanimously by the electoral college.
  • 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.
  • Many places are named after Washington including the nation's capital, the state, 31 counties and 17 communities.
  • The six white horses in Washington's stables had their teeth brushed every morning on Washington's orders.
  • The nation's capital was located in New York City and Philadelphia during Washington's administration making him the only president who didn't live in Washington, D.C. during his presidency.
  • Washington was the first president to have his likeness on a coin and a stamp.
  • On his only trip outside of the country, Washington contracted smallpox while in Barbados. He was able to recover while also building an immunity to future exposure.
  • Washington's second inaugural address was the shortest ever delivered - it took less than two minutes to recite the 135 words.

“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.”

“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.”

“Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”

“Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.”

Next President: John Adams