Who was George Washington? (1732 – 1799)

George Washington was born in Virginia on February 22, 1732.  He was appointed County Surveyor at the age of 17 and joined the British Army at 21. Washington was a Virginia Delegate to the First Continental Congress, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, President of the Constitutional Convention and unanimously elected first President of the United States.  Washington died at his Mt. Vernon home at the age of 67 on December 14, 1799.  Washington’s Birthday was set aside as a Federal holiday in 1885 in honor of America’s First President.

Here is Thomas Jefferson’s description of Washington: “He was incapable of fear, meeting personal dangers with the calmest unconcern. Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw a doubt, but, when once decided, going through with his purpose whatever obstacles opposed. His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, & a great man.

… [It] may truly be said that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great, and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have merited from man an everlasting remembrance.  For his was the singular destiny & merit of leading the armies of his country successfully thro’ an arduous war for the establishment of it’s independence, of conducting it’s councils thro’ the birth of a government, new in it’s forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly train, and of scrupulously obeying the laws, thro’ the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example.”  Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Walter Jones, January 2, 1814

James Still (Feb 2017)


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