George Washington

1st President of the United States

Federalist Party

Vice President John Adams

Born in Westomoreland County, Virginia in 1732, George Washington was a member of both the First and the Second Continental Congresses. During the Revolutionary War, he was named the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, having been nominated for that post by John Adams. Adams believed that Washington was the one man who could unify the northern and southern colonies in the struggle for independence.

Following the war, Washington sought to retire to his home at Mount Vernon. However in 1787, he was elected as a Virginia delegate to the Constitutional Convention called in Philadelphia. Washington, and many others, had become convinced that the weak alliance between the newly independent states formed under the Articles of Confederation needed radical change. Once in Philadelphia, Washington was unanimously elected the convention's president, and in September 1787, the convention completed its work, and the delegates signed their new Constitution. The debate in the states as to whether they should ratify the Constitution, establishing a strong central government, was positively influenced by the widely held notion that Washington would be elected the nation's first president. Nine months after its signing, the Constitution took effect when New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.

On February 4, 1789, Washington was in fact elected our first president. As president, Washington guided the new government as it moved from the concepts expressed in the Constitution into a functioning federal republic, and he firmly established many traditions and precedents which still guide how we as a nation view the presidency. After serving two terms in that office, he refused to seek a third one, believing that two terms were the most that any president should serve.

Even following his presidency, George Washington continued his service to his country, and when war seemed imminent with France in 1798, he was again appointed to lead America's army. Washington died of pneumonia the following year, on December 14, 1799, at his Mount Vernon, Virginia estate. He was 67 years old at the time of his death, and is buried there at Mount Vernon.

The impact that Washington had on the new nation led to his becoming known as the "Father of his Country." The nation has continued to reflect upon his service.  So much so that in 1976 the Congress, during America's Bicentennial, posthumously promoted Washington to the 6-star rank of "General of the Armies," the highest military rank ever bestowed upon any American.

Date of BirthOccupationsWifeChildren
22 Feb 1732
Planter, Surveyor

Martha Dandridge CurtisTwo step
Two adopted
Prior Military
Offices Held
Electoral and Popular Votes
In 1789
Age When First
Virginia Militia

Commander in Chief
Continental Army
Member Virginia
House of Burgesses

Justice Fairfax County Va.

Delegate First and Second Continental Congresses

President Constitutional Convention
Electoral Votes

Popular Vote Unknown
Number of States
When First
When First
Electoral and Popular Votes
In 1792
States Admitted
to Union
While President
Electoral Votes

Popular Vote Unknown
North Carolina
Rhode Island
Offices Held
Other Main
Activities After
President at
Time of Death
Date of Death

General of the Army


John Adams

14 Dec 1799

Q1: George Washington is the only President to have been inaugurated in two different capitol cities for our nation. Which two cities were they? And the answer is...

Q2: George Washington was one of only two Presidents to have also been one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution. Who was the other? And the answer is...

Q3: Which national holiday did George Washington proclaim? And the answer is...

Q4: What distinction does Washington's Second Inaugural Address hold?
And the answer is...

WWW Links Regarding Our First President

Sample the writings of our first president by going to George Washington's Papers, maintained by the University of Virginia...

Or by going to The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress.

Go to the page for George Washington maintained by the
White House Historical Association.

Visit the Mount Vernon Historic Site's pages on
The Home of Our First President, including their extensive
George Washington Biographical Information series.

Read the earliest known biography of the First President available over the Internet. "The Life of George Washington", written by David Ramsay, was published just eight years following Washington's death. The Internet version is brought to you by The Early American Review.

Go to the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory
"Washington, D.C. Sightseeing" website, and visit their page on
George Washington.

Go to Lucidcafe's
George Washington Page.

Read the Inaugural Addresses of each of our presidents by going to the site maintained by the Bartleby Library.

Go to the page for George Washington's birthplace and the related "Education Programs" information page, both maintained by the National Park Service.



The PBS television program The American Experience has provided engaging documentaries on America's presidents in their appropriately named series "The Presidents." See their page on George Washington and learn more about America's first president. 



The Mount Rushmore National Monument was the vision of sculptor John Gutzon Borglum, and stands in the Black Hills of South Dakota on the face of the 6000 foot mountain that bears its name. The carving took place over a fourteen year period from 1927 to 1941.

Borglum is said to have chosen to include George Washington as one of the four Presidents honored because of his central role in establishing the nation.

To see and learn more about this magnificent historic site, go to The Official Mount Rushmore Home Page, maintained by the South Dakota Tourism Bureau, or the National Park Service's Mount Rushmore National Monument Home Page.

Go to the official Washington Monument page, as well as the related pages Little Known Facts About the Washington Monument, and the Washington Monument construction timeline, and the summary page on the 1990s renovation project for the monument maintained by the Washington Post newspaper.

Return to the Chief Executive Club Main Page for fast facts and more about our other presidents.

1998,2000,2009 Thomas J. Lemmer

(This page was last edited on January 30, 2009 by Thomas J. Lemmer)