George Washington Biography
George Washington was one of the most important figures in the history of the United States. His incredible life earned him the nickname "Father of the Country." As a British colonial he served as a soldier, quickly rising through the ranks of the British army during the French and Indian War. As a plantation owner he took a leadership role in his colony, representing Virginia at the Continental Congress. As a general he led a ragtag army of colonial troops to victory over the most powerful army in the world. As a politician, he became the first President of the United States, setting precedents for future presidents to follow. Finally, as a man of integrity, he turned down the opportunity to rule as king in order to preserve the republic and the Constitution.
Interesting Facts About George Washington
At 6'2" he was one of the tallest presidents in the history of the United States. He would have towered over most of the men of his time including his vice-president John Adams who was 5'7".
Washington was the only U.S. President not affiliated with a political party. He tried his best to stay out of party politics during his presidency, but, despite his best efforts, two main political parties developed during his tenure: the Federalist party and the Democratic-Republican Party.
His nephew, Bushrod Washington, became a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Because Washington relinquished command of the Continental Army and did not assume the role of king or dictator, he is sometimes referred to as "Our Cincinnatus." Cincinnatus was a Roman leader who, after leading the Romans to victory in battle, resigned as dictator and returned to his farm.
He loved dogs and bred hound dogs for hunting. His dogs had some interesting names including Drunkard, Tipsy, Sweetlips, and Vulcan.
He built a whiskey distillery at Mount Vernon that produced around 12,000 gallons of whiskey a year.
After Washington died, a law was passed to award him the rank of General of the Armies of the United States. This is the equivalent of a six-star general and is the highest rank possible in the U.S. military.
His face is featured on the $1 bill and the quarter.
One of the first two U.S. postage stamps issued in 1847 featured George Washington (the other featured Benjamin Franklin). Since that time, Washington has appeared on more stamps than all the other presidents combined.
When taking the presidential oath of office at his inauguration, Washington added the phrase "So help me God" to the end of his oath. Subsequent presidents have also used the phrase.
When General Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee gave the eulogy at Washington's funeral he said the famous words "to the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen."
He had red hair as a young man. He did not wear a wig, but powdered his hair white.
Washington was a member of the Freemasons. He became the first Master Freemason at the Masonic Lodge in Alexandria, Virginia.
He had considerable trouble with his teeth throughout his life. Contrary to popular belief, his false teeth were not made of wood, but of ivory, silver, and gold. He also is on record for buying teeth from his slaves that may have been used in his dentures.
He was considered an excellent dancer and a talented horseman.
Washington's legacy lives on throughout the United States including: Washington D.C. (the capital), Washington state, Mount Washington, the Washington Memorial, and his likeness on Mount Rushmore. There are also many cities, counties, schools, bridges, and streets named after Washington.
George Washington Biography Contents
- Overview and Interesting Facts
- Growing Up George Washington
- French and Indian War
- Fort Duquesne
- Married Life and Mount Vernon
- The American Revolution Begins
- Commander in Chief
- Crossing the Delaware
- 1777 and Valley Forge
- Victory in the American Revolution
- End of the War, King Washington, and the Constitutional Convention
- First President of the United States
- The Presidency
- Leaving the Presidency, Retirement, and Death
- George Washington Quotes and Bibliography