1st President (1789-1797)
Born: February 22, 1732
Died: December 14, 1799
Vice President: John Adams
Political Party: None
Next President: John Adams
Most people recognize the name George Washington as the first president of the United States and they also
recognize the name of his first lady Martha Washington. It does not take long to find images of Washington as he is
on the American quarter, the American one dollar bill and is also a popular image used in American advertising. He
was a reluctant but efficient general and a reluctant but excellent first president. He was a military man who
served in the French and Indian War and often acted as an American aide to British generals in his early years. The
country has named a state and the nation’s capitol after him and he is immortalized in monuments and paintings as
the first great American.
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Augustine and Mary Ball
Washington. Washington’s parents were unusual for their time in that Mary Ball was Augustine’s second wife.
Washington’s family tree can be traced all the way back to 1657 when John Washington, a direct descendant of George
Washington, first emigrated to America. Augustine Washington died when George Washington was only 11 years old.
Throughout his life, George Washington has nine siblings but three has passed away at very early ages. George
Washington had five brothers and one sister that lived on into adulthood.
George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759. George was 27 years old and Martha was 28
years old at the time of the marriage. The couple would remain together until George’s death in December 1799.
George and Martha Washington never had children of their own, but the couple raised Martha’s two children from a
previous marriage and then, later in their lives, the couple also raised two of their grandchildren as well.
Many stories and myths have grown up around George Washington’s name. It is said that he was so strong that he
threw a silver dollar across the Potomac River. That story was not true, but Washington did manage to throw heavy
rock 215-feet in the air on to the top of a stone ledge. There is also a story about George Washington cutting down
a cherry tree and then admitting to it in a sign of true honesty. That myth was started by a man named Parson Weems
and is believed to have been taken from a series of mythological tales about Washington that was circulating around
England at the time. To this day, the cherry tree story remains a myth that cannot be confirmed or denied.
Notable George Washington Quotes
"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be
alone than in bad company."
"I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan
adopted for the abolition of slavery."
"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible."
"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they
deserve a place of honor with all that's good."
The Only President to...
George Washington was the only president to win the election with a unanimous vote in the
George Washington was the only president to not live in Washington, D.C. In fact
Washington, D.C. was not even the nations capital until after John Adams was elected president.
Interesting George Washington Facts
As a young man, Washington had red hair. As he grew older, he powdered his hair rather than wear
a wig as was popular at the time.
At the age of 10, Washington inherited 10 slaves. By the time of his death, there were 316
slaves either owned or managed by him on his plantation at Mount Vernon. In his early ages, Washington appeared to
have no reservations about the institution of slavery but as he grew older his attitude towards slavery began to
By 1786 he admitted privately to friends that he wished to no longer own slaves but the laws in
Virginia at the time made it difficult to emancipate a slave and to sell them would require the break-up of the
slave families which he refused to do. During his later years, he often wrote of his desire to find a plan for the
gradual abolition of slavery and also realized that the issue of slavery could at some point bring about the
breakup of the Union.