WASHINGTON, George, (1732 - 1799)


Oil on canvas, John Vanderlyn, 1834, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives

WASHINGTON, George, (granduncle of George Corbin Washington), a Delegate from Virginia and first President of the United States; born at “Wakefield,” near Popes Creek, Westmoreland County, Va., February 22, 1732; raised in Westmoreland County, Fairfax County and King George County; attended local schools and engaged in land surveying; appointed adjutant general of a military district in Virginia with the rank of major in 1752; in November 1753 was sent by Lieutenant Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, to conduct business with the French Army in the Ohio Valley; in 1754 was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel and served in the French and Indian war, becoming aide-de-camp to General Braddock in 1755; appointed as commander in chief of Virginia forces in 1755; resigned his commission in December 1758 and returned to the management of his estate at Mount Vernon in 1759; served as a justice of the peace 1760-1774, and as a member of the Virginia house of burgesses 1758-1774; delegate to the Williamsburg convention of August 1774; Member of the First and Second Continental Congresses in 1774 and 1775; unanimously chosen June 15, 1775, as commander in chief of all the forces raised or to be raised; commanded the Continental armies throughout the war for independence; resigned his commission December 23, 1783, and returned to private life at Mount Vernon; was delegate to, and president of, the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and signed the Constitution; unanimously elected as the first President of the United States, being inaugurated April 30, 1789, in New York City; unanimously reelected in 1792 and served until March 3, 1797, declining a renomination; again appointed as lieutenant general and commander of the United States Army July 3, 1798, and served until his death on December 14, 1799, in Mount Vernon, Va.; interment in the vault at Mount Vernon.


Bibliography

Ellis, Joseph J. His Excellency, George Washington. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2004; Washington, George. Writings. [Selected by John H. Rhodehamel]. New York: Library of America, 1997.