By: Katya Zemtsova

9D, school 17

supervisor: Beletskaya S. A.



9 Ĕ







1. Name

2. Physical Description

3. Personality

4. Ancestors

5. Father

6. Mother

7. Siblings

8. Collateral relatives

9. Children

10. Birth

11. Childhood

12. Education

13. Religion

14. Recreation

15. Early romance

A) Betsy Fauntleroy

B) Mary Philipse

C) Sally Fairfax

16. Marriage

17. Military Service

18. Career before the presidency

A) French and Indian War, 1754 1763

B) Member of House of Burgesses (1759 1774)

C) Delegate to Continental Congress (1774 1775)

D) Commander of Chief of Continental Army during Revolution (1775


E) President of Constitutional Convention, 1787

19. Election as President, First Term, 1789

20. Election as President, Second Term, 1792





A) Secretary state:

B) Secretary of the treasury

C) Secretary of war

D) Attorney General


A) Presidents

B) Indian Affairs

C) Proclamation of Neutrality, 1793

D) Whiskey Rebellion, 1794

E) Jays. Treaty, 1795

F) Pinckneys Treaty, 1795

G) Farewell Address, 1796

H) Sates Admitted to the Union

I) Constitutional Amendments Ratified


26. Ranking in 1962 historians poll

27. Retirement

28. Death

29. Washingtons praise (speech)

30. Washingtons criticized (speech)

31. Washingtons quote(s) (speech)

NAME: George Washington. He was probably named after George Eskridge, a

lawyer in whose charge Washington's mother had been left when she was


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Washington was a large, powerful manabout 6 feet

2 inches tall, 175 pounds in his prime, up to more than 200 pounds in later

years. Erect in bearing, muscular, broad shouldered, he had large hands and

feet (size 13 shoes), a long face with high cheekbones, a large straight

nose, determined chin, blue-gray eyes beneath heavy brows and dark brown

hair, which on formal occasions he powdered and tied in a queue. His fair

complexion bore the marks of smallpox he contracted as a young man. He lost

his teeth, probably to gum disease, and wore dentures. According to Dr.

Reidar Sognnaes, former dean of the University of California at Los Angeles

School of Dentistry, who has made a detailed study of Washington's

bridgework, he was fitted with numerous sets of dentures, fashioned

variously from lead, ivory, and the teeth of humans, cows, and other

animals, but not from wood, as was popularly believed. Moreover, he was not

completely toothless. Upon his inauguration as president, Washington had

one of his own teeth left to work alongside the dentures. He began wearing

reading glasses during the Revolution. He dressed fashionably.

PERSONALITY: A man of quiet strength, he took few friends into complete

confidence. His critics mistook his dignified reserve for pomposity. Life

for Washington was a serious mission, a job to be tackled soberly,

unremittingly. He had little time for humor. Although basically good-

natured, he wrestled with his temper and sometimes lost. He was a poor

speaker and could become utterly inarticulate without a prepared text. He

preferred to express himself on paper. Still, when he did speak, he was

candid, direct, and looked people squarely in the eye. Biographer Douglas

Southall Freeman conceded that Washington's "ambition for wealth made him

acquisitive and sometimes contentious." Even after Washington had

established himself, Freeman pointed out, "he would insist upon the exact

payment of every farthing due him" and was determined "to get everything

that he honestly could." Yet neither his ambition to succeed nor his

acquisitive nature ever threatened his basic integrity.

ANCESTORS: Through his paternal grandmother, Mildred Warner Washington,

he descended from King Edward III (1312-1377) of England. His great-great-

grandfather the Reverend Lawrence Washington (c. 1602-1653) served as

rector of All Saints, Purleigh Parish, Essex, England, but was fired when

certain Puritan members accused him of being a "common frequenter of

Alehouses, not only himself sitting daily tippling there, but also

encouraging others in that beastly vice." His great-grandfather John

Washington sailed to America about 1656, intending to remain just long

enough to take on a load of tobacco. But shortly after pushing off on the

return trip, his ketch sank. Thus John remained in Virginia, where he met

and married Anne Pope, the president's great-grandmother.

FATHER: Augustine Washington (16947-1743), planter. Known to friends as

Gus, he spent much of his time acquiring and overseeing some 10,000 acres

of land in the Potomac region, running an iron foundry, and tending to

business affairs in England. It was upon returning from one of these

business trips in 1730 that he discovered that his wife, Jane Butler

Washington, had died in his absence. On March 6, 1731, he married Mary

Ball, who gave birth to George Washington 11 months later. Augustine

Washington died when George was 11 years old. > Because business had kept

Mr. Washington away from home so much, George remembered him only vaguely

as a tall, fair, kind man.

MOTHER: Mary Ball Washington (c. 1709-1789). Fatherless at 3 and

orphaned at 12, she was placed, in accordance with the terms of her

mother's will, under the guardianship of George Eskridge, a lawyer.

Washington's relationship with his mother was forever strained. Although

she was by no means poor, she regularly asked for and received money and

goods from George. Still she complained, often to outsiders, that she was

destitute and neglected by her children, much to George's embarrassment. In

1755, while her son was away serving his king in the French and Indian War,

stoically suffering the hardships of camp life, she wrote to him asking for

more butter and a new house servant. Animosity between mother and son

persisted until her death from cancer in the first year of his presidency.

SIBLINGS: By his father's first marriage, George Washington had two

half brothers to live to maturityLawrence Washington, surrogate father to

George after the death of their father, and Augustine "Austin" Washington.

He also had three brothers and one sister to live to maturityMrs. Betty

Lewis; Samuel Washington; John Augustine "Jack" Washington, father of

Supreme Court Justice Bushrod Washington; and Charles Washington, founder

of Charles Town, West "Virginia.

COLLATERAL RELATIVES: Washington was a half first cousin twice removed

of President James Madison, a second cousin seven times removed of Queen

Elizabeth II (1926-) of the United Kingdom, a third cousin twice removed of

Confederate General Robert E. Lee, and an eighth cousin six times removed

of Winston Churchill.

CHILDREN: Washington had no natural children; thus, no direct

descendant of Washington survives. He adopted his wife's two children from

a previous marriage, John Parke Custis and Martha Parke Custis. John's

granddaughter Mary Custis married Robert E. Lee.

BIRTH: Washington was born at the family estate on the south bank of

the Potomac River near the mouth of Pope's Creek, Westmoreland County,

Virginia, at 10 A.M. on February 22, 1732 (Old Style February 11, the date

Washington always celebrated as his birthday; in 1752 England and the

colonies adopted the New Style, or Gregorian, calendar to replace the Old

Style, or Julian, calendar). He was christened on April 5, 1732.

CHILDHOOD: Little is known of Washington's childhood. The legendary

cherry tree incident and his inability to tell lies, of course, sprang

wholly from the imagination of Parson Weems. Clearly the single greatest

influence on young George was his half brother Lawrence, 14 years his

senior. Having lost his father when he was 11, George looked upon Lawrence

as a surrogate father and undoubtedly sought to emulate him. Lawrence

thought a career at sea might suit his little brother and arranged for his

appointment as midshipman in the British navy. George loved the idea.

Together they tried to convince George's mother of the virtues of such

service, but Mary Washington was adamantly opposed. George, then 14, could

have run away to sea, as did many boys of his day, but he reluctantly

respected his mother's wishes and turned down the appointment. At 16 George

moved in with Lawrence at his estate, which he called Mount Vernon, after

Admiral Edward Vernon, commander of British forces in the West Indies while

Captain Lawrence Washington served with the American Regiment there. At

Mount Vernon George honed his surveying skills and looked forward to his

twenty-first birthday, when he was to receive his inheritance from his

father's estatethe Ferry Farm, near Fredericksburg, where the family had

lived from 1738 and where his mother remained until her death; half of a

4,000-acre tract; three lots in Fredericksburg; 10 slaves; and a portion of

his father's personal property.

EDUCATION: Perhaps because she did not want to part with her eldest son

for an extended period, perhaps because she did not want to spend the

money, the widow Washington refused to send George to school in England, as

her late husband had done for his older boys, but instead exposed him to

the irregular education common in colonial Virginia. Just who instructed

George is unknown, but by age 11 he had picked up basic reading, writing,

and mathematical skills. Math was his best subject. Unlike many of the

Founding Fathers, Washington never found time to learn French, then the

language of diplomacy, and did not attend university. He applied his

mathematical mind to surveying, an occupation much in demand in colonial

Virginia, where men's fortunes were reckoned in acres of tobacco rather

than pounds of gold.

RELIGION: Episcopalian. However, religion played only a minor role in

his life. He fashioned a moral code based on his own sense of right and

wrong and adhered to it rigidly. He referred rarely to God or Jesus in his

writings but rather to Providence, a rather amorphous supernatural

substance that controlled men's lives. He strongly believed in fate, a

force so powerful, he maintained, as "not to be resisted by the strongest

efforts of human nature."

RECREATION: Washington learned billiards when young, played cards, and

especially enjoyed the ritual of the fox hunt. In later years, he often

spent evenings reading newspapers aloud to his wife. He walked daily for


EARLY ROMANCE: Washington was somewhat stiff and awkward with girls,

probably often tongue-tied. In his mid-teens he vented his frustration in

such moonish doggerel as, "Ah! woe's me, that I should love and conceal,/

Long have

I wish'd, but never dare reveal,/ Even though severely Loves Pains I

feel." Before he married Martha, Washington's love life was full of


Betsy Fauntleroy. The daughter of a justice and burgess from Richmond

County, Virginia, she was but 16 when she attracted Washington, then 20. He

pressed his suit repeatedly, but, repulsed at every turn, he finally gave


Mary Philipse. During a trip to Boston to straighten out a military

matter in 1756, Washington stopped off in New York and there met Mary

Philipse, 26, daughter of Frederick Philipse, a wealthy landowner. Whether

he was taken with her charms or her 51,000 acres is unknown, but he

remained in the city a week and is said to have proposed. She later married

Roger Morris, and together they were staunch Tories during the American


Sally Fairfax. From the time he met Sarah Gary "Sally" Fairfax as the

18-year-old bride of his friend and neighbor George William Fairfax,

Washington was infatuated with her easy charm, graceful bearing, good

humor, rare beauty, and intelligence. Although the relationship almost

certainly never got beyond flirtation, the two had strong feelings for each

other and corresponded often. In one letter written to her in 1758, at a

time when he was engaged to Martha, he blurted his love, albeit cryptically

lest the note fall into the wrong hands. He confessed he was in love with a

woman well known to her and then continued, "You have drawn me, dear Madam,

or rather I have drawn myself, into an honest confession of a simple Fact.

Misconstrue not my meaning; doubt it not, nor expose it. The world has no

business to know the object of my Love, declared in this manner to you,

when I want to conceal it." As heartbroken as Washington appears to have

been over the hopelessness of the relationship, the anguish might have been

greater had he pressed the affair, for the Fairfaxes would not come to

share Washington's passion for an independent America. In 1773, the year

American resentment over British taxes erupted in the Boston Tea Party,

Sally and George Fairfax left Virginia for England, where they settled

permanently, loyal subjects to the end.

MARRIAGE: Washington, 26, married Martha Dandridge Custis, 27, a widow

with two children, on January 6, 1759, at her estate, known as the White

House, on the Pamunkey River northwest of Williamsburg. Born in New Kent

County, Virginia, on June 21, 1731, the daughter of John Dandridge, a

planter, and Frances Jones Dandridge, Martha was a rather small, pleasant-

looking woman, practical, with good common sense if not a great intellect.

At 18 she married Daniel Parke Custis, a prominent planter of more than

17,000 acres. By him she had four children, two of whom survived childhood.

Her husband died intestate in 1757, leaving Martha reputedly the wealthiest

marriageable woman in Virginia. It seems likely that Washington had known

Martha and her husband for some time. In March 1758 he visited her at White

House twice; the second time he came away with either an engagement of

marriage or at least her promise to think about his proposal. Their wedding

was a grand affair. The groom appeared in a suit of blue and silver with

red trimming and gold knee buckles. After the Reverend Peter Mossum

pronounced them man and wife, the couple honeymooned at White House for

several weeks before setting up housekeeping at Washington's Mount Vernon.

Their marriage appears to have been a solid one, untroubled by infidelity

or clash of temperament. During the American Revolution she endured

considerable hardship to visit her husband at field headquarters. As the

First Lady, Mrs. Washington hosted many affairs of state at New York and

Philadelphia (the capital was moved to Washington in 1800 under the Adams

administration). After Washington's death in 1799, she grew morose and died

on May 22, 1802.

MILITARY SERVICE: Washington served in the Virginia militia (1752-1754,

1755-1758), rising from major to colonel, and as commander in chief of the

Continental army (1775-1783), with the rank of general. See "Career before

the Presidency."

CAREER BEFORE THE PRESIDENCY: In 1749 Washington accepted his first

appointment, that of surveyor of Culpepper County, Virginia, having gained

much experience in that trade the previous year during an expedition across

the Blue Ridge Mountains on behalf of Lord Fairfax. Two years later he

accompanied his half brother Lawrence to Barbados. Lawrence, dying of

tuberculosis, had hoped to find a cure in the mild climate. Instead, George

came down with a near-fatal dose of smallpox. With the deaths of Lawrence

and Lawrence's daughter in 1752, George inherited Mount Vernon, an estate

that prospered under his management and one that throughout his life served

as welcome refuge from the pressures of public life.

French and Indian War, 1754-1763. In 1752 Washington received his first

military appointment as a major in the Virginia militia. On a mission for

Governor Robert Dinwiddie during October 1753-January 1754, he delivered an

ultimatum to the French at Fort Le Boeuf, demanding their withdrawal from

territory claimed by Britain. The French refused. The French and the Ohio

Company, a group of Virginians anxious to acquire western lands, were

competing for control of the site of present-day Pittsburgh. The French

drove the Ohio Company from the area and at the confluence of the Allegheny

and Monongahela rivers constructed Fort Duquesne. Promoted to lieutenant

colonel in March 1754, Washington oversaw construction of Fort Necessity in

what is now Fayette County, Pennsylvania. However, he was forced to

surrender that outpost to superior French and Indian forces in July 1754, a

humiliating defeat that temporarily gave France control of the entire

region. Later that year, Washington, disgusted with officers beneath his

rank who claimed superiority because they were British regulars, resigned

his commission. He returned to service, however, in 1755 as an aide-de-camp

to General Edward Braddock. In the disastrous engagement at which Braddock

was mortally wounded in July 1755, Washington managed to herd what was left

of the force to orderly retreat, as twice his horse was shot out from under

him. The next month he was promoted to colonel and regimental commander. He

resigned from the militia in December 1758 following his election to the

Virginia House of Burgesses.

Member of House of Burgesses, 1759-1774. In July 1758 Colonel

Washington was elected one of Frederick County's two representatives in the

House of Burgesses. He joined those protesting Britain's colonial policy

and in 1769 emerged a leader of the Association, created at an informal

session of the House of Burgesses, after it had been dissolved by the royal

governor, to consider the most effective means of boycotting British

imports. Washington favored cutting trade sharply but opposed a suspension

of all commerce with Britain. He also did not approve of the Boston Tea

Party of December 1773. But soon thereafter he came to realize that

reconciliation with the mother country was no longer possible. Meanwhile,

in 1770, Washington undertook a nine-week expedition to the Ohio country

where, as compensation for his service in the French and Indian War, he was

to inspect and claim more than 20,000 acres of land for himself and tens of

thousands more for the men who had served under him. He had taken the lead

in pressing the Virginia veterans' claim. I might add, without much

arrogance, he later wrote, that if it had not been for my unremitted

attention to every favorable circumstance, not a single acre of land would

ever have been obtained.

Delegate to Continental Congress, 1774-1775. A member of the Virginia

delegation to the First and Second Continental Congresses, Washington

served on various military preparedness committees and was chairman of the

committee to consider ways to raise arms and ammunition for the impending

Revolution. He voted for measures designed to reconcile differences with

Britain peacefully but realized that such efforts now were futile. John

Adams of Massachusetts, in a speech so effusive in its praise that

Washington rushed in embarrassment from the chamber, urged that Washington

be named commander in chief of the newly authorized Continental army. In

June 1775, delegates unanimously approved the choice of Washington, both

for his military experience and, more pragmatically, to enlist a prominent

Virginian to lead a struggle that heretofore had been spearheaded largely

by northern revolutionaries.

Commander in chief of Continental Army during Revolution, 1775-1783.

With a poorly trained, undisciplined force comprised of short-term militia,

General Washington took to the field against crack British regulars and

Hessian mercenaries. In March 1776 he thrilled New Englanders by flushing

the redcoats from Boston, but his loss of New York City and other setbacks

later that year dispelled any hope of a quick American victory. Sagging

American morale got a boost when Washington slipped across the Delaware

River to New Jersey and defeated superior enemy forces at Trenton (December

1776) and Princeton (January 1777). But humiliating defeats at Brandywine

(September 1777) and Germantown (October 1777) and the subsequent loss of

Philadelphia undermined Washington's prestige in Congress. Richard Henry

Lee, Benjamin Rush, and others conspired to remove Washington and replace

him with General Horatio Gates, who had defeated General John Burgoyne at

the Battle of Saratoga (October 1777). Washington's congressional

supporters rallied to quash the so-called Conway Cabal. Prospects for

victory seemed bleak as Washington settled his men into winter quarters at

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, in December 1777.

"To see men without clothes to cover their nakedness," Washington wrote

in tribute to the men who suffered with him at Valley Forge, "without

blankets to lay on, without shoes, by which their marches might be traced

by the blood from their feet, and almost as often without provisions as

with; marching through frost and snow, and at Christmas taking up their

winter quarters within a day's march of the enemy, without a house or hut

to cover them till they could be built, and submitting to it without a

murmur, is a mark of patience and obedience which in my opinion can scarce

be paralleled." Of course, some did grumble and loudly. "No pay! no

clothes! no provisions! no rum!" some chanted. But remarkably there was no

mass desertion, no mutiny. Patriotism, to be sure, sustained many, but no

more so than did confidence in Washington's ability to see them through

safely. With the snow-clogged roads impassable to supply wagons, the men

stayed alive on such fare as pepper pot soup, a thin tripe broth flavored

with a handful of peppercorns. Many died there that winter. Those that

survived drew fresh hope with the greening of spring and the news,

announced to them by General Washington in May 1778, that France had

recognized the independence of America. Also encouraging was the arrival of

Baron Friedrich von Steuben, who, at Washington's direction, drilled the

debilitated Valley Forge survivors into crack troops. Washington's men

broke camp in June 1778, a revitalized army that, with aid from France,

took the war to the British and in October 1781 boxed in General Charles

Cornwallis at Yorktown, thus forcing the surrender of British forces.

General Washington imposed strict, but not punitive, surrender terms:

All weapons and military supplies must be given up; all booty must be

returned, but the enemy soldiers could keep their personal effects and the

officers could retain their sidearms. British doctors were allowed to tend

to their own sick and wounded. Cornwallis accepted, but instead of

personally leading his troops to the mutually agreed-upon point of

surrender on October 19, 1781, he sent his deputy Brigadier Charles O'Hara.

As he made his way along the road flanked by American and French forces,

O'Hara came face to face with Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau, the

latter decked out in lavish military regalia. O'Hara mistook Rochambeau for

the senior commander, but the French officer quickly pointed to Washington,

and O'Hara, probably somewhat embarrassed, turned to the American.

Unwilling to deal with a man of lesser rank, Washington directed O'Hara to

submit the sword of capitulation to his aide General Benjamin Lincoln. In

his victory dispatch to Congress, Washington wrote with obvious pride,

Sir, I have the Honor to inform Congress, that a Reduction of the British

Army under the Command of Lord Cornwallis, is most happily effected. The

unremitting Ardor which actuated every Officer and Soldier in the combined

Army in this Occasion, has principally led to this Important Event, at an

earlier period than my most sanguine Hope had induced me to expect. In

November 1783, two months after the formal peace treaty was signed,

Washington resigned his commission and returned home to the neglected

fields of Mount Vernon.

President of Constitutional Convention, 1787. Washington, a Virginia

delegate, was unanimously elected president of the convention. He was among

those favoring a strong federal government. After the convention he

promoted ratification of the Constitution in Virginia. According to the

notes of Abraham Baldwin, a Georgia delegate, which were discovered only

recently and made public in 1987, Washington said privately that he did not

expect the Constitution to last more than 20 years.

ELECTION AS PRESIDENT, FIRST TERM, 1789: Washington, a Federalist, was

the obvious choice for the first president of the United States. A proven

leader whose popularity transcended the conflict between Federalists and

those opposed to a strong central government, the man most responsible for

winning independence, a modest country squire with a winsome aversion to

the limelight, he so dominated the political landscape that not 1 of the 69

electors voted against him. Thus, he carried all 10 statesConnecticut,

Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey,

Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia. (Neither North Carolina nor Rhode

Island had ratified the Constitution yet. New York was unable to decide in

time which electors to send.) Washington was the only president elected by

a unanimous electoral vote. John Adams of Massachusetts, having received

the second-largest number of votes, 34, was elected vice president.

election as president, second term, 1792: Despite the growing strength

of Democratic-Republicans, Washington continued to enjoy virtually

universal support. Again he won the vote of every elector, 132, and thus

carried all 15 statesConnecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland,

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina,

Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. John

Adams of Massachusetts received the second-highest number of votes, 77, and

thus again became vice president.

INAUGURAL ADDRESS (FIRST): New York City, April 30, 1789. ". . . When I

was first honored with a call into the service of my country, then on the

eve of an arduous struggle for its liberties, the light in which I

contemplated my duty required that I should renounce every pecuniary

compensation. From this resolution I have in no instance departed; and

being still under the impressions which produced it, I must decline as

inapplicable to myself any share in the personal emoluments which may be

indispensably included in a permanent provision for the executive

department, and must accordingly pray that the pecuniary estimates for the

station in which I am placed may during my continuance in it be limited to

such actual expenditures as the public good may be thought to require. ..."

INAUGURAL ADDRESS (SECOND): Philadelphia, March 4, 1793. (This was the

shortest inaugural address, just 135 words.) "Fellow Citizens: I am again

called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its

Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall

endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor,

and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united


"Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the

Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take,

and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of

the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the

injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be

subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present

solemn ceremony."

VICE PRESIDENT: John Adams (1735-1826), of Massachusetts, served 1789-

1797. See "John Adams, 2d President."


Secretary of State. (1) Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), of Virginia,

served 1790-1793. See "Thomas Jefferson, 3d President," "Career before the

Presidency." (2) Edmund Jennings Randolph (1753-1813), of Virginia, served

1794-1795. Author of the Randolph (or Virginia) plan, favoring the large

states, at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Transferred from attorney

general, he remained aloof of the struggle between Jefferson and Alexander

Hamilton. Denounced by supporters of both, he was largely ineffective and

was forced to resign amid unfounded charges that he had misused his office

for private gain. (3) Timothy Pickering (1745-1829), of Massachusetts,

served 1795-1800. Transferred from war secretary, he was a staunch

Hamiltonian and stayed on in the Adams administration.

Secretary of the Treasury. (1) Alexander Hamilton (c. 1755-1804), of

New York, served 1789-1795. President Washington's closest advisor, he was

a great admirer of British institutions and a master of power politics. He

saw his role in the government as that of prime minister. His influence

went beyond economics to include foreign affairs, legal matters, and long-

range social planning. He advocated and helped create a strong central

government at the expense of states' rights. He put the infant nation on

sound financial footing by levying taxes to retire the national debt and

promoted the creation of a national bank. He also advocated tariffs to

insulate fledgling American manufacturing from foreign competition.

Hamilton's vision of America's future encompassed the evolution from a

largely agrarian society to an industrial giant, a national transportation

program to facilitate commerce and blur regional differences, a strong

permanent national defense, and a sound, conservative monetary system. Even

after resigning his post, he kept his hands on the controls of power.

Washington continued to consult him. Hamilton's successor, Oliver Wolcott,

and others in the cabinet took his advice. He even helped draft

Washington's Farewell address. The foremost conservative leader of his day,

he was anathema to Thomas Jefferson and his supporters. (2) Oliver Wolcott

(1760-1833), of Connecticut, served 1795-1800. A lawyer and Hamilton

supporter, he stayed on in the Adams administration.

Secretary of War. (1) Henry Knox (1750-1806), of Massachusetts, served

1789-1794. Chief of artillery and close adviser to General Washington

during the Revolution and war secretary under the Articles of

Confederation, he was a natural choice for this post. He pressed for a

strong navy. Fort Knox was named after him. (2) Timothy Pickering (1745-

1829), of Massachusetts, served January-December, 1795. A lawyer and

veteran of the Revolution, he strengthened the navy. He resigned to serve

as secretary of state. (3) James McHenry (1753-1816), of Maryland, served

1796-1800. He had served as a surgeon during the Revolution and was a

prisoner of war. He stayed on in the Adams administration. Fort McHenry at

Baltimore was named after him.

Attorney General. (1) Edmund Jennings Randolph (1753-1813), of

Virginia, served 1789-1794. He helped draft President Washington's

proclamation of neutrality. Washington disregarded his opinion that a

national bank was unconstitutional. He resigned to become secretary of

state. (2) William Bradford (1755-1795), of Pennsylvania, served 1794-1795.

He was a state supreme court justice at the time of his appointment. (3)

Charles Lee (1758-1815), of Virginia, served 1795-1801. He was a brother of

Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee. He urged, unsuccessfully, that the United

States abandon its policy of neutrality and declare war on France. He

stayed on in the Adams administration.

ADMINISTRATION: April 30, 1789-March 3, 1797.

Precedents. "Many things which appear of little importance in

themselves and at the beginning," President Washington observed, "may have

great and durable consequences from their having been established at the

commencement of a new general government."10 With this in mind, then, he

proceeded cautiously, pragmatically, acting only when it seemed necessary

to flesh out the bare-bones framework of government described so sparingly

in the Constitution: (1) In relying on department heads for advice, much as

he had used his war council during the Revolution, he set the pattern for

future presidents to consult regularly with their cabinet. (2) Because

Congress did not challenge his appointments, largely out of respect for him

personally rather than out of principle, the custom evolved that the chief

executive generally has the right to choose his own cabinet. Congress, even

when controlled by the opposition party, usually routinely confirms such

presidential appointments. (3) How long should a president serve? The

Constitution did not then say. Washington nearly set the precedent of a

single term, for he had originally decided to retire in 1793, but remained

for a second term when it became clear that the nonpartisan government he

had so carefully fostered was about to fragment. Thus he set the two-term

standard that lasted until 1940. (4) When John Jay resigned as chief

justice, Washington went outside the bench for a successor rather than to

elevate one of the sitting justices to the top position, as many had

expected him to do. In disregarding seniority as a necessary qualification

to lead the Supreme Court, Washington established the precedent that has

enabled his successors to draw from a much more diverse and younger talent

pool than that of a handful of aging incumbent jurists.

Indian Affairs. In 1791 President Washington dispatched forces under

General Arthur St. Clair to subdue the Indians who had been resisting white

settlement of the Northwest Territory. St. Clair failed, having been routed

by Miami Chief Little Turtle on the Wabash River. Washington then turned to

Revolutionary War veteran "Mad" Anthony Wayne, who before launching the

expedition spent many months training regular troops in Indian warfare. He

marched boldly into the region, constructed a chain of forts, and on August

20, 1794, crushed the Indians under Little Turtle in the Battle of Fallen

Timbers near present-day Toledo, Ohio. Under the terms of the Treaty of

Greenville (1795), the defeated tribes ceded disputed portions of the

Northwest Territory to the United States and moved west. Through diplomacy,

President Washington tried with limited success to make peace with the

Creeks and other tribes in the South. In 1792 the president entertained the

tribal leaders of the Six Nations confederation, including Seneca Chief Red

Jacket, whom Washington presented with a silver medal, a token that the

Indian treasured the rest of his life. Red Jacket, who had led his warriors

against Washington's army during the Revolution, rallied to the American

cause during the War of 1812.

Proclamation of Neutrality, 1793. In the war between France, on one

side, and Britain, Austria, Prussia, Sardinia, and the Netherlands, on the

other, President Washington in 1793 declared the United States to be

"friendly and impartial toward the belligerent powers." Although he avoided

using the word neutrality, his intention was clear. Critics denounced the

proclamation as reneging on the U.S. commitment to its first ally, France.

However, it kept the nation out of a war it was ill-prepared to fight. The

French minister to the United States, Edmond Genet, pointedly ignoring

Washington's policy, fomented pro-French sentiment among Americans and

arranged for American privateers to harass British shipsactivities that

prompted President Washington to demand his recall.

Whiskey Rebellion, 1794. To help pay off the national debt and put the

nation on a sound economic basis, President Washington approved an excise

tax on liquor. Pennsylvania farmers, who regularly converted their corn

crop to alcohol to avoid the prohibitive cost of transporting grain long

distances to market, refused to pay it. On Hamilton's advice, Washington

ordered 15,000 militia to the area and personally inspected troops in the

field. This show of strength crushed this first real challenge to federal


Jay'5 Treaty, 1795. Washington was roundly criticized by Jeffersonians

for this treaty with Great Britain. To forestall further conflict with the

former mother country and impel Britain to withdraw its forces from

outposts in the Northwest Territory, as it had promised under the terms of

the Treaty of Paris concluding the American Revolution, Washington

relinquished the U.S. right to neutrality on the seas. Any American ship

suspected of carrying contraband to the shores of Britain's enemies was

subject to search and seizure by the British navy. And Britain regarded as

contraband virtually any useful product, including foodstuffs. Moreover,

Jay's Treaty failed to resolve one of the key disputes standing in the way

of rapprochement with Britainimpressment. Britain's policy of "once an

Englishman, always an Englishman" meant that even after renouncing

allegiance to the crown and becoming a duly naturalized U.S. citizen, a

British immigrant was not safe from the king's reach. If while searching an

American ship for contraband, the British spotted one of their own among

the crew, they routinely dragged him off and pressed him into the Royal

Navy. But for all this, and despite the added strain on relations with

France in the wake of Jay's Treaty, the pact did postpone the inevitable

conflict with Britain until 1812, when America was better prepared

militarily. After the Senate ratified the treaty, the House asked the

president to release all pertinent papers relating to its negotiation.

Washington refused on the constitutional ground that only the upper chamber

had approval rights over treaties. He thereby set the precedent for future

presidents to resist such congressional petitions.

Pinckney's Treaty, 1795. Under its terms, Washington normalized

relations with Spain by establishing the boundary between the United States

and Spanish Florida at the thirty-first parallel. Even more importantly for

the future of American commerce, the pact granted U.S. vessels free access

to the entire length of the Mississippi River and to the port of New

Orleans for the purpose of export.

In other acts of lasting importance, President Washington signed into

law bills creating or providing for:

1789 Oaths of allegiance to be sworn by federal and state officials

First tariffs to protect domestic manufacturers

Department of State and War and the Treasury

Office of postmaster general

Supreme Court, circuit and federal district courts, and position of

attorney general (Judiciary Act). Washington, of course,


all the first judges to these courts.

1790 First federal census

Patent and copyright protection

Removal of the capital to Philadelphia in December 1790 and to


10 years later

1791 Bank of the United States

1792 Presidential succession, which placed the president pro tempore of


Senate and the Speaker of the House next behind the vice

president in

line of succession to the presidency

U.S. Mint of Philadelphia

1795 Naturalization law, which lengthened residency requirement from

two to

five years

Farewell Address, 1796 President Washington announced his retirement in

his celebrated Farewell Address, a pronouncement that was printed in the

Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser on September 17, 1796, but never was

delivered orally. In it he warned against the evils of political parties

and entangling alliances abroad. Throughout his term he had tried to

prevent the rise of partisanship, but he had succeeded only in postponing

such division by serving a second term. The Federalists under Hamilton and

Adams and the Democratic-Republicans under Jefferson joined battle soon

after he announced his retirement. Washington's warning to remain aloof

from European struggles Was better heeded. "The great rule of conduct for

us in regard to foreign nations," he advised, "is, in extending our

commercial relations to have with them as little political connection as

possible. So far as we have already formed engagements let them be

fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop." Isolationism remained

the dominant feature in American foreign policy for the next 100 years.

States Admitted to the Union. Vermont (1791), Kentucky (1792),

Tennessee (1796).

Constitutional Amendments Ratified. Bill of Rights (first 10

amendments, 1791): (1) Freedom of religion, of speech, of the press, to

assemble and petition for redress of grievances. (2) Right to bear arms.

(3) Restrictions on quartering soldiers in private homes. (4) Freedom from

unreasonable search and seizure. (5)Ban on double jeopardy and self-

incrimination; guarantees due process of law. (6) Right to speedy and

public trial. (7) Right to trial by jury. (8) Ban on excessive bail or

fines or cruel and unusual punishment. (9) Natural rights unspecified in

the Constitution to remain unabridged. (10) Individual states or the people

retain all powers not specifically delegated to the federal government or

denied to states by the Constitution. Eleventh Amendment (1795): A citizen

from one state cannot sue another state.

SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENTS: (1) John Jay (1745-1829), of New York,

served as chief justice 1789-1795. As the first chief justice, he

established court procedure. While on the bench he negotiated Jay's Treaty

(see "Administration"). He resigned to serve as governor of New York. (2)

John Rutledge (1739-1800), of South Carolina, served as associate justice

1789-1791. His appointment as chief justice in 1795 was rejected by the

Senate. (3) William Gushing (1732-1810), of Massachusetts, served as

associate justice 1789-1810. He was the only Supreme Court justice to

persist in wearing the formal wig popular among British jurists. (4) James

Wilson (1742-1798), of Pennsylvania, served as associate justice 1789-1798.

A Scottish immigrant, he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Speaking for the Court in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), he ruled that a

citizen of one state was entitled to sue another state, a decision so

unpopular that it prompted passage of the Eleventh Amendment (1795),

specifically nullifying it. (5) John Blah- (1732-1800), of Virginia, served

as associate justice 1789-1796. A friend of Washingtonthey had served

together as Virginia delegates to the Constitutional Conventionhe brought

to the bench many years of experience on Virginia state courts. (6) James

Iredell (1751-1799), of North Carolina, served as associate justice 1790-

1799. An English immigrant, he was at 38 the youngest member of the

original Supreme Court. His lone dissent in Chisholm v. Georgia (1793)

formed the basis of the Eleventh Amendment (1795). (7) Thomas Johnson (1732-

1819), of Maryland, served as associate justice 1791-1793. A friend of

Washington since the Revolution, he served as the first governor of

Maryland and chief judge of the state's General Court. He resigned from the

Supreme Court for health reasons. (8) William Paterson (1745-1806), of New

Jersey, served as associate justice 1793-1806. He helped draft the

Judiciary Act of 1789 creating the federal court system. In Van Home's

Lessee v. Dorrance (1795) he established the Court's authority to strike

down as unconstitutional a duly enacted state law, a precedent that

anticipated judicial review of federal laws. (9) Samuel Chase (1741-1811),

of Maryland, served as associate justice 1796-1811. Irascible and acid

tongued, his gratuitous attacks on President Jefferson in 1803 led the

House to impeach him, but the Senate fell four votes short of the two-

thirds necessary for conviction. He was the only Supreme Court justice to

be impeached. Speaking for a unanimous Court in Ware v. Hilton (1796), he

established the supremacy of national treaties over state laws. (10) Oliver

Ellsworth (1745-1807), of Connecticut, served as chief justice 1796-1800.

He was the principal architect of the Judiciary Act of 1789, creating the

federal court system. In United States v. La Vengeance (1796), he spoke for

the majority in extending federal authority to all inland rivers and lakes.

RANKING IN 1962 HISTORIANS POLL: Washington ranked second of 31

presidents and second of 5 "great" presidents. He ranked above Franklin

Roosevelt and below Lincoln.

RETIREMENT: March 4, 1797-December 14, 1799. Washington, 65, returned

to Mount Vernon to oversee much-needed repairs. He played host, often

reluctantly, to an endless parade of visitors, many longtime friends,

others perfect strangers there just to ogle the former president and his

family. Briefed on affairs of state by War Secretary McHenry and others, he

maintained a keen interest in the course of the country. With tensions

between the United States and France threatening to erupt into war in the

wake of the XYZ Affair (see "John Adams, 2d President," "Administration"),

Washington was commissioned lieutenant general and commander in chief of

American forces on July 4, 1798, the only former president to hold such a

post. He accepted the commission on the condition that he would take to the

field only in case of invasion and that he had approval rights over the

composition of the general staff. He promised the cause "all the blood that

remains in my veins." Fortunately the undeclared "Quasi-War" that followed

was limited to naval encounters and Washington's services were not

required. In his last year Washington faced a liquidity crisis: Money owed

him from the sale or rental of real estate was past due at a time when his

taxes and entertainment bills were climbing. As a result, at age 67 he was

compelled for the first time in his life to borrow money from a bank.

DEATH: December 14, 1799, after 10 P.M., Mount Vernon, Virginia. On the

morning of December 12, Washington set out on horseback around the

plantation. With temperatures hovering around freezing, it began to snow;

this turned to sleet, then rain, and back to snow by the time Washington

returned indoors five hours later. Still in his cold, wet clothes, he

tended to some correspondence and ate dinner. Next morning he awoke with a

sore throat, and later in the day his voice grew hoarse. About 2 A.M. on

December 14 he awoke suddenly with severe chills and was having trouble

breathing and speaking. Three doctors attended himhis personal physician

and longtime friend Dr. James Craik and consultants Drs. Gustavus Richard

Brown and Elisha Cullen Dick. They diagnosed his condition as inflammatory

quinsy. The patient was bled on four separate occasions, a standard

practice of the period. Washington tried to swallow a concoction of

molasses, vinegar, and butter to soothe his raw throat but could not get it

down. He was able to take a little calomel and tartar emetic and to inhale

vinegar vapor, but his pulse remained weak throughout the day. The

physicians raised blisters on his throat and lower limbs as a counter-

irritant and applied a poultice, but neither was effective. Finally,

Washington told his doctors to give up and about 10 P.M. spoke weakly to

Tobias Lear, his fide, "I am just going. Have me decently buried and do not

let my body be put into a vault in less than two days after I am dead. Do

you understand me?" "Yes, sir," replied Lear. "'Tis well,"12 said

Washington. These were his last words. Soon thereafter he died while taking

his own pulse. After a lock of his hair was removed, his body was placed

in a mahogany coffin bearing the Latin inscriptions Surge Ad Judicium and

Gloria Deo. The funeral services, con ducted by the Reverend Thomas Davis

on December 18, were far from the simple ceremony Washington had requested.

A procession of mourners filed between two long rows of soldiers, a band

played appropriate music, guns boomed in tribute from a ship anchored in

the Potomac, and the Masonic order to which Washington belonged sent a

large contingent. His remains were deposited in the family tomb at Mount

Vernon. In his last will and testament, a 42-page document executed in his

own hand in July 1799, Washington provided his widow with the use and

benefit of the estate, valued at more than $500,000, during her lifetime.

He freed his personal servant William with a $30 annuity and ordered the

rest of the slaves freed upon Martha's death. He left his stock in the Bank

of Alexandria to a school for poor and orphaned children and ordered his

stock in the Potomac Company to be applied toward the construction of a

national university. He forgave the debts of his brother Samuel's family

and that of his brother-in-law Bartholomew Dandridge. He also ensured that

his aide Tobias Lear would live rent free for the rest of his life. To

nephew Bushrod Washington he left Mount Vernon, his personal papers, and

his library. His grandchildren Mrs. Nellie Lewis and George Washington

Parke Custis received large, choice tracts. In sundry other bequests, the

gold-headed cane Benjamin Franklin had given him went to his brother

Charles, his writing desk and chair to Doctor Craik, steel pistols taken

from the British during the Revolution to Lafayette, and a sword to each of

five nephews on the assurance that they will never "unsheath them for the

purpose of shedding blood except it be for self-defence, or in defence of

their country and its rights, and in the latter case to keep them

unsheathed, and prefer falling with them in their hands, to the

relinquishment thereof."

WASHINGTON PRAISED: "A gentleman whose skill and experience as an

officer, whose independent fortune, great talents and excellent universal

character would command the approbation of all America and unite the

cordial exertions of all the Colonies better than any other person in the

union."John Adams, in proposing Washington as commander in chief of the

Continental army, 1775.

"You would, at this side of the sea [in Europe], enjoy the great

reputation you have acquired, pure and free from those little shades that

the jealousy and envy of a man's countrymen and contemporaries are ever

endeavouring to cast over living merit. Here you would know, and enjoy,

what posterity will say of Washington. For a thousand leagues have nearly

the same effect with a thousand years. The feeble voice of those grovelling

passions cannot extend so far either in time or distance. At present I

enjoy that pleasure for you, as I frequently hear the old generals of this

martial country [France] (who study the maps of America and mark upon them

all your operations) speak with sincere approbation and great applause of

your conduct; and join in giving you the character of one of the greatest

captains of the age." Benjamin Franklin, 1780.

"More than any other individual, and as much as to one individual was

possible, has he contributed to found this, our wide spreading empire, and

to give to the Western World independence and freedom."John Marshall.

"To the memory of the Man, first in war, first in peace, and first in

the hearts of his countrymen."Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, 1799.

WASHINGTON CRITICIZED: "If ever a nation was debauched by a man, the

American nation has been debauched by Washington. If ever a nation was

deceived by a man, the American nation has been deceived by Washington.

Let his conduct, then, be an example to future ages; let it serve to be a

warning that no man may be an idol."17Philadelphia Atirora, 1796.

"An Anglican monarchical, and aristocratical party has sprung up, whose

avowed object is to draw over us the substance, as they have already done

the forms, of the British government. ... It would give you a fever were I

to name to you the apostates who have gone over to these heresies, men who

were Samsons in the field and Solomons in the council, but who have had

their heads shorn by the harlot England."Thomas Jefferson, in the wake of

Washington's support of Jay's Treaty, 1796.

"You commenced your Presidential career by encouraging and swallowing

the grossest adulation, and you travelled America from one end to the

other, to put yourself in the way of receiving it. You have as many

addresses in your chest as James the II. ... The character which Mr.

Washington has attempted to act in this world, is a sort of non-

describable, camelion-colored thing, called prudence. It is, in many cases,

a substitute for principle, and is so nearly allied to hypocrisy, that it

easily slides into it. ... And as to you, sir, treacherous to private

friendship (for so you have been to me, and that in the day of danger) and

a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you

are an apostate or an imposter, whether you have abandoned good principles,

or whether you ever had any?"Thomas Paine, in an open letter to

Washington, 1796.

WASHINGTON QUOTES: "It is easy to make acquaintances but very difficult

to shake them off, however irksome and unprofitable they are found after we

have once committed ourselves to them. ... Be courteous to all but intimate

with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your

confidence; true friendship is a plant of slow growth."

"As the sword was the last resort for the preservation of our

liberties, so it ought to be the first to be laid aside when those

liberties are firmly established."1776

"Precedents are dangerous things; let the reins of government then be

braced and held with a steady hand, and every violation of the Constitution

be reprehended: if defective let it be amended, but not suffered to be

trampled upon whilst it has an existence."1786

"[Political parties] serve to organize faction, to give it an

artificial and extraordinary force to put, in the place of the delegated

will of the Nation, the will of a party; often a small but artful and

enterprizing minority of the community; and according to the alternate

triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror

of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the

organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels, and

modified by mutual interests. However combinations or associations of the

above description may now and then answer Popular ends, they are likely in

the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning,

ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the

People and to usurp for themselves the reins of Government; destroying

afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust

dominion."1796 (Farewell Address).'


1. Childrens Britanica Presidents of the USA

2. The complete book of U.S. Presidents

3. Americans First President. Focus on the U.S.A.

4. George Washington: Man and Monument. (Cunliffe, Marcus)

5. James T. Flexner. George Washington: A Biography.

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