George Washington
Served 1791-1795, 1795-1797

George Washington, the first President of the United States, was born February 22, 1732, near Pope’s Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia, on the Washington family farm.

When he was young, Washington wanted to be a sailor, but his mother would not let him go to sea, so he became a surveyor. He joined the British army to fight the French and Indian War (1754-1763) and rose to become a general. He commanded the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and fought so hard for America’s freedom from the British that everyone wanted him to become America’s first President.

Next PageGeorge married Martha Dandridge Curtis on January 6, 1759, at her home in Virginia. Martha was a widow with two children, whom George adopted. They loved their home at Mount Vernon in Virginia so much that they lived there practically their whole life together, but while he was President, he ran the government first from New York City and then from Philadelphia.

Washington’s terms were from 1789 to 1793 and from 1793 to 1797. His Vice President was John Adams, and they both belonged to the Federalist Political Party. Before Washington took office, 11 states had already accepted the Constitution. During his terms, North Carolina (12), Rhode Island (13), Vermont (14), Kentucky (15), and Tennessee (16) joined the Union. He earned the nickname “The Father of our Country.”

In 1796, near the end of his second term, after Washington declined a third term, he wrote an essay, widely published under the title “Washington’s Farewell Address” but never publicly orated, where he cautioned future American leaders to “be wary of foreign entanglements.” After his term ended March 3, 1797, Washington retired to Mount Vernon, where he died on December 14, 1799.

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