219 Facts About George Washington


George Washington was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

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George Washington has been called the "Father of the Nation" for his manifold leadership in the formative days of the country.

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George Washington was later elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and was named a delegate to the Continental Congress where he was appointed Commanding General of the Continental Army.

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George Washington resigned his commission after the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783.

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George Washington played an indispensable role in adopting and ratifying the Constitution of the United States, which was a replacement of the original constitution, the Articles of Confederation.

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George Washington was then twice elected president by the Electoral College unanimously.

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George Washington set enduring precedents for the office of president, including the title "Mr President", and swearing the Oath of Office on the Bible.

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George Washington was a slave owner who had a complicated relationship with slavery.

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George Washington's will said that one of his slaves, William Lee, should be freed upon his death and that the other 123 slaves must work for his wife and be freed on her death.

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George Washington's freed them during her lifetime to remove the incentive for hastening her death.

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George Washington endeavored to assimilate Native Americans into the Anglo-American culture.

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George Washington was a member of the Anglican Church and the Freemasons, and he urged broad religious freedom in his roles as general and president.

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In 1976, George Washington was posthumously promoted to the rank of General of the Armies of the United States, the highest rank in the United States Army.

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George Washington family was a wealthy Virginia planter family that had made its fortune through land speculation and the cultivation of tobacco.

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George Washington's father was a justice of the peace and a prominent public figure who had four additional children from his first marriage to Jane Butler.

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George Washington learned mathematics, trigonometry, and land surveying and became a talented draftsman and map-maker.

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George Washington often visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax.

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George Washington subsequently familiarized himself with the frontier region, and though he resigned from the job in 1750, he continued to do surveys west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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In 1751, George Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence to Barbados, hoping the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis.

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George Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him and left his face slightly scarred.

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Lawrence died in 1752, and George Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow Anne; he inherited it outright after her death in 1761.

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George Washington had sent George to demand French forces to vacate land that was being claimed by the British.

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George Washington was appointed to make peace with the Iroquois Confederacy, and to gather further intelligence about the French forces.

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George Washington met with Half-King Tanacharison, and other Iroquois chiefs, at Logstown, and gathered information about the numbers and locations of the French forts, as well as intelligence concerning individuals taken prisoner by the French.

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George Washington was given the nickname Conotocaurius by Tanacharison.

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George Washington delivered the British demand to vacate to the French commander Saint-Pierre, but the French refused to leave.

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George Washington completed the precarious mission in 77 days, in difficult winter conditions, achieving a measure of distinction when his report was published in Virginia and in London.

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George Washington blamed his translator for not communicating the French intentions.

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In 1755, George Washington served voluntarily as an aide to General Edward Braddock, who led a British expedition to expel the French from Fort Duquesne and the Ohio Country.

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George Washington clashed over seniority almost immediately, this time with John Dagworthy, another captain of superior royal rank, who commanded a detachment of Marylanders at the regiment's headquarters in Fort Cumberland.

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George Washington disagreed with General John Forbes' tactics and chosen route.

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The French abandoned the fort and the valley before the assault was launched; George Washington saw only a friendly fire incident which left 14 dead and 26 injured.

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The war lasted another four years, and George Washington resigned his commission and returned to Mount Vernon.

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The destructive competition George Washington witnessed among colonial politicians fostered his later support of a strong central government.

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George Washington became one of Virginia's wealthiest men, which increased his social standing.

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At George Washington's urging, Governor Lord Botetourt fulfilled Dinwiddie's 1754 promise of land bounties to all-volunteer militia during the French and Indian War.

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In late 1770, George Washington inspected the lands in the Ohio and Great Kanawha regions, and he engaged surveyor William Crawford to subdivide it.

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George Washington defused the situation, including ordering officers from the Virginia Regiment to stand down.

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George Washington plied the voters with beer, brandy, and other beverages, although he was absent while serving on the Forbes Expedition.

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George Washington won the election with roughly 40 percent of the vote, defeating three other candidates with the help of several local supporters.

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George Washington rarely spoke in his early legislative career, but he became a prominent critic of Britain's taxation policy and mercantilist policies towards the American colonies starting in the 1760s.

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George Washington took time for leisure with fox hunting, fishing, dances, theater, cards, backgammon, and billiards.

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George Washington soon was counted among the political and social elite in Virginia.

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George Washington became more politically active in 1769, presenting legislation in the Virginia Assembly to establish an embargo on goods from Great Britain.

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George Washington canceled all business activity and remained with Martha every night for three months.

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George Washington played a central role before and during the American Revolution.

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George Washington believed the Stamp Act of 1765 was an "Act of Oppression", and he celebrated its repeal the following year.

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George Washington himself was a prosperous land speculator, and in 1767, he encouraged "adventures" to acquire backcountry western lands.

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Parliament sought to punish Massachusetts colonists for their role in the Boston Tea Party in 1774 by passing the Coercive Acts, which George Washington referred to as "an invasion of our rights and privileges".

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George Washington said Americans must not submit to acts of tyranny since "custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves, as the blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway".

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George Washington was chosen over John Hancock because of his military experience and the belief that a Virginian would better unite the colonies.

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George Washington was considered an incisive leader who kept his "ambition in check".

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George Washington was unanimously elected commander in chief by Congress the next day.

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George Washington was impressed by Colonel Benedict Arnold and gave him responsibility for launching an invasion of Canada.

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George Washington engaged French and Indian War compatriot Brigadier General Daniel Morgan.

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At the start of the war, George Washington opposed the recruiting of blacks, both free and enslaved, into the Continental Army.

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George Washington ordered his officers to identify the skills of recruits to ensure military effectiveness, while removing incompetent officers.

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George Washington petitioned Gage, his former superior, to release captured Patriot officers from prison and treat them humanely.

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George Washington reluctantly agreed to secure the Dorchester Heights, 100 feet above Boston, in an attempt to force the British out of the city.

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George Washington ordered variolation against smallpox to great effect, as he did later in Morristown, New Jersey.

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George Washington refrained from exerting military authority in Boston, leaving civilian matters in the hands of local authorities.

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Benedict Arnold, passed over for its command, went to Boston and convinced General George Washington to send a supporting force to Quebec City under his command.

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George Washington ordered his occupying forces to treat civilians and their property with respect, to avoid the abuses which Bostonian citizens suffered at the hands of British troops during their occupation.

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George Washington retreated, instructing General William Heath to acquisition river craft in the area.

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George Washington declined, demanding to be addressed with diplomatic protocol, as general and fellow belligerent, not as a "rebel", lest his men are hanged as such if captured.

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George Washington was responsible for delaying the retreat, though he blamed Congress and General Greene.

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George Washington was disappointed that many New Jersey residents were Loyalists or skeptical about the prospect of independence.

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The force was to then split, with George Washington taking the Pennington Road and General Sullivan traveling south on the river's edge.

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George Washington first ordered a 60-mile search for Durham boats to transport his army, and he ordered the destruction of vessels that could be used by the British.

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George Washington's men followed across the ice-obstructed river in sleet and snow from McConkey's Ferry, with 40 men per vessel.

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Once Knox arrived, George Washington proceeded to Trenton to take only his troops against the Hessians, rather than risk being spotted returning his army to Pennsylvania.

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At sunrise, George Washington, aided by Major General Knox and artillery, led his men in a surprise attack on an unsuspecting Rall.

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American Generals Hugh Mercer and John Cadwalader were being driven back by the British when Mercer was mortally wounded, then George Washington arrived and led the men in a counterattack which advanced to within 30 yards of the British line.

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George Washington's troops charged, the British surrendered in less than an hour, and 194 soldiers laid down their arms.

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George Washington's depleted Continental Army took up winter headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey while disrupting British supply lines and expelling them from parts of New Jersey.

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George Washington later said the British could have successfully counterattacked his encampment before his troops were dug in.

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The victories at Trenton and Princeton by George Washington revived Patriot morale and changed the course of the war.

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Strategically, George Washington's victories were pivotal for the Revolution and quashed the British strategy of showing overwhelming force followed by offering generous terms.

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George Washington's supporters resisted, and the matter was finally dropped after much deliberation.

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George Washington was concerned with Howe's movements during the Saratoga campaign to the north, and he was aware that Burgoyne was moving south toward Saratoga from Quebec.

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George Washington took some risks to support Gates' army, sending reinforcements north with Generals Benedict Arnold, his most aggressive field commander, and Benjamin Lincoln.

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George Washington was forced to retreat to Saratoga and ultimately surrendered after the Battles of Saratoga.

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George Washington made repeated petitions to the Continental Congress for provisions.

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George Washington promoted Von Steuben to Major General and made him chief of staff.

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George Washington relieved Lee and achieved a draw after an expansive battle.

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George Washington became "America's first spymaster" by designing an espionage system against the British.

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George Washington had disregarded incidents of disloyalty by Benedict Arnold, who had distinguished himself in many battles.

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George Washington'storians have noted as possible reasons for Arnold's defection to be his anger at losing promotions to junior officers, or repeated slights from Congress.

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George Washington was deeply in debt, profiteering from the war, and disappointed by Washington's lack of support during his eventual court-martial.

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George Washington recalled the commanders positioned under Arnold at key points around the fort to prevent any complicity, but he did not suspect Arnold's wife Peggy.

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George Washington assumed personal command at West Point and reorganized its defenses.

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Andre's trial for espionage ended in a death sentence, and George Washington offered to return him to the British in exchange for Arnold, but Clinton refused.

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French naval forces then landed, led by Admiral Grasse, and George Washington encouraged Rochambeau to move his fleet south to launch a joint land and naval attack on Arnold's troops.

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George Washington initially hoped to bring the fight to New York, drawing off British forces from Virginia and ending the war there, but Rochambeau advised Grasse that Cornwallis in Virginia was the better target.

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George Washington made a feint towards Clinton in New York, then headed south to Virginia.

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Not well experienced in siege warfare, George Washington often referred to the judgment of General Rochambeau and used his advice about how to proceed; however, Rochambeau never challenged George Washington's authority as the battle's commanding officer.

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George Washington wanted Lippincott himself to be executed but was rebuffed.

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George Washington advised Congress to keep a standing army, create a "national militia" of separate state units, and establish a navy and a national military academy.

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George Washington served in this capacity for the remainder of his life.

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George Washington arrived on Christmas Eve, delighted to be "free of the bustle of a camp and the busy scenes of public life".

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George Washington reactivated his interests in the Great Dismal Swamp and Potomac canal projects begun before the war, though neither paid him any dividends, and he undertook a 34-day, 680-mile trip to check on his land holdings in the Ohio Country.

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George Washington oversaw the completion of the remodeling work at Mount Vernon, which transformed his residence into the mansion that survives to this day—although his financial situation was not strong.

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George Washington's estate recorded its eleventh year running at a deficit in 1787, and there was little prospect of improvement.

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George Washington undertook a new landscaping plan and succeeded in cultivating a range of fast-growing trees and shrubs that were native to North America.

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George Washington began breeding mules after having been gifted a Spanish jack by King Charles III of Spain in 1784.

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George Washington believed the nation was on the verge of "anarchy and confusion", was vulnerable to foreign intervention, and that a national constitution would unify the states under a strong central government.

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Benjamin Franklin nominated George Washington to preside over the convention, and he was unanimously elected to serve as president general.

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George Washington won the majority of every state's electoral votes; John Adams received the next highest number of votes and therefore became vice president.

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George Washington read a speech in the Senate Chamber, asking "that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations—and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, consecrate the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States".

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George Washington had planned to resign after his first term, but the political strife in the nation convinced him he should remain in office.

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George Washington was an able administrator and a judge of talent and character, and he regularly talked with department heads to get their advice.

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George Washington tolerated opposing views, despite fears that a democratic system would lead to political violence, and he conducted a smooth transition of power to his successor.

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George Washington remained non-partisan throughout his presidency and opposed the divisiveness of political parties, but he favored a strong central government, was sympathetic to a Federalist form of government, and leery of the Republican opposition.

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George Washington had the task of assembling an executive department and relied on Tobias Lear for advice selecting its officers.

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George Washington appointed fellow Virginian Edmund Randolph as Attorney General, Samuel Osgood as Postmaster General, Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, and Henry Knox as Secretary of War.

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George Washington's cabinet became a consulting and advisory body, not mandated by the Constitution.

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George Washington restricted cabinet discussions to topics of his choosing, without participating in the debate.

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George Washington occasionally requested cabinet opinions in writing and expected department heads to agreeably carry out his decisions.

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George Washington was apolitical and opposed the formation of parties, suspecting that conflict would undermine republicanism.

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George Washington favored Hamilton's agenda and it ultimately went into effect—resulting in bitter controversy.

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George Washington urged them to call a truce for the nation's sake, but they ignored him.

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George Washington reversed his decision to retire after his first term to minimize party strife, but the feud continued after his re-election.

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George Washington remained aloof from congressional attacks on Hamilton, but he did not publicly protect him, either.

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Unlike George Washington, who had reservations about using force, Hamilton had long waited for such a situation and was eager to suppress the rebellion by using federal authority and force.

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Not wanting to involve the federal government if possible, George Washington called on Pennsylvania state officials to take the initiative, but they declined to take military action.

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The federal army was not up to the task, so George Washington invoked the Militia Act of 1792 to summon state militias.

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Governors sent troops, initially commanded by George Washington, who gave the command to Light-Horse Harry Lee to lead them into the rebellious districts.

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Two of the prisoners were condemned to death, but George Washington exercised his Constitutional authority for the first time and pardoned them.

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George Washington justified his action against "certain self-created societies", which he regarded as "subversive organizations" that threatened the national union.

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George Washington did not dispute their right to protest, but he insisted that their dissent must not violate federal law.

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George Washington created a network of new Democratic-Republican Societies promoting France's interests, but Washington denounced them and demanded that the French recall Genet.

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George Washington deliberated, then supported the treaty because it avoided war with Britain, but was disappointed that its provisions favored Britain.

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George Washington mobilized public opinion and secured ratification in the Senate but faced frequent public criticism.

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George Washington hoped the process could be bloodless and that Indian people would give up their lands for a "fair" price and move away.

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The administration regarded powerful tribes as foreign nations, and George Washington even smoked a peace pipe and drank wine with them at the Philadelphia presidential house.

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George Washington made numerous attempts to conciliate them; he equated killing indigenous peoples with killing whites and sought to integrate them into European American culture.

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George Washington invited Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray and 24 leading chiefs to New York to negotiate a treaty and treated them like foreign dignitaries.

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George Washington sent Major General Arthur St Clair from Fort George Washington on an expedition to restore peace in the territory in 1791.

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George Washington was outraged over what he viewed to be excessive Native American brutality and execution of captives, including women and children.

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St Clair resigned his commission, and George Washington replaced him with the Revolutionary War hero General Anthony Wayne.

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Originally, George Washington had planned to retire after his first term, while many Americans could not imagine anyone else taking his place.

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George Washington procured four American ships as privateers to strike at Spanish forces in Florida while organizing militias to strike at other British possessions.

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George Washington signed the Naval Act of 1794 and commissioned the first six federal frigates to combat Barbary pirates.

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George Washington regarded the press as a disuniting, "diabolical" force of falsehoods, sentiments that he expressed in his Farewell Address.

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George Washington did not feel bound to a two-term limit, but his retirement set a significant precedent.

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George Washington is often credited with setting the principle of a two-term presidency, but it was Thomas Jefferson who first refused to run for a third term on political grounds.

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In 1796, George Washington declined to run for a third term of office, believing his death in office would create an image of a lifetime appointment.

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George Washington stressed that national identity was paramount, while a united America would safeguard freedom and prosperity.

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George Washington warned against foreign alliances and their influence in domestic affairs, and bitter partisanship and the dangers of political parties.

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George Washington counseled friendship and commerce with all nations, but advised against involvement in European wars.

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George Washington stressed the importance of religion, asserting that "religion and morality are indispensable supports" in a republic.

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George Washington vocally supported the Alien and Sedition Acts and convinced Federalist John Marshall to run for Congress to weaken the Jeffersonian hold on Virginia.

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George Washington grew restless in retirement, prompted by tensions with France, and he wrote to Secretary of War James McHenry offering to organize President Adams' army.

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George Washington participated in planning for a provisional army, but he avoided involvement in details.

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George Washington was known to be rich because of the well-known "glorified facade of wealth and grandeur" at Mount Vernon, but nearly all his wealth was in the form of land and slaves rather than ready cash.

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George Washington bought land parcels to spur development around the new Federal City named in his honor, and he sold individual lots to middle-income investors rather than multiple lots to large investors, believing they would more likely commit to making improvements.

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George Washington had a sore throat the next day but was well enough to mark trees for cutting.

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On Saturday, he awoke to an inflamed throat and difficulty breathing, so he ordered estate overseer George Washington Rawlins to remove nearly a pint of his blood; bloodletting was a common practice of the time.

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George Washington's family summoned Doctors James Craik, Gustavus Richard Brown, and Elisha C Dick.

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People worldwide admired George Washington and were saddened by his death, and memorial processions were held in major cities of the United States.

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Accusations have persisted since George Washington's death concerning medical malpractice, with some believing he had been bled to death.

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George Washington was buried in the old George Washington family vault at Mount Vernon, situated on a grassy slope overspread with willow, juniper, cypress, and chestnut trees.

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In 1830, a disgruntled ex-employee of the estate attempted to steal what he thought was George Washington's skull, prompting the construction of a more secure vault.

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Southern opposition was intense, antagonized by an ever-growing rift between North and South; many were concerned that George Washington's remains could end up on "a shore foreign to his native soil" if the country became divided, and George Washington's remains stayed in Mount Vernon.

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George Washington was somewhat reserved in personality, but he generally had a strong presence among others.

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George Washington made speeches and announcements when required, but he was not a noted orator or debater.

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George Washington did not wear a powdered wig; instead he wore his hair curled, powdered and tied in a queue in the fashion of the day.

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George Washington had several sets of false teeth, which he wore during his presidency, made using a variety of materials including both animal and human teeth, but wood was not used despite common lore.

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George Washington collected thoroughbreds at Mount Vernon, and his two favorite horses were Blueskin and Nelson.

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Fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson said George Washington was "the best horseman of his age and the most graceful figure that could be seen on horseback"; he hunted foxes, deer, ducks, and other game.

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George Washington was an excellent dancer and attended the theater frequently.

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George Washington drank in moderation but was morally opposed to excessive drinking, smoking tobacco, gambling, and profanity.

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George Washington served more than 20 years as a vestryman and churchwarden for Fairfax Parish and Truro Parish, Virginia.

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George Washington privately prayed and read the Bible daily, and he publicly encouraged people and the nation to pray.

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George Washington believed in a "wise, inscrutable, and irresistible" Creator God who was active in the Universe, contrary to deistic thought.

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George Washington referred to God by the Enlightenment terms Providence, the Creator, or the Almighty, and as the Divine Author or the Supreme Being.

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George Washington believed in a divine power who watched over battlefields, was involved in the outcome of war, was protecting his life, and was involved in American politics—and specifically in the creation of the United States.

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Chernow has said George Washington "never used his religion as a device for partisan purposes or in official undertakings".

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George Washington frequently quoted from the Bible or paraphrased it, and often referred to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.

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George Washington emphasized religious toleration in a nation with numerous denominations and religions.

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George Washington publicly attended services of different Christian denominations and prohibited anti-Catholic celebrations in the Army.

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George Washington engaged workers at Mount Vernon without regard for religious belief or affiliation.

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George Washington was distinctly rooted in the ideas, values, and modes of thinking of the Enlightenment, but he harbored no contempt of organized Christianity and its clergy, "being no bigot myself to any mode of worship".

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George Washington was attracted to the Masons' dedication to the Enlightenment principles of rationality, reason, and brotherhood.

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George Washington had high regard for the Masonic Order, but his personal lodge attendance was sporadic.

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George Washington owned and rented enslaved African Americans, and during his lifetime over 577 slaves lived and worked at Mount Vernon.

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George Washington acquired them through inheritance, gaining control of 84 dower slaves upon his marriage to Martha, and purchased at least 71 slaves between 1752 and 1773.

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George Washington's growing disillusionment with the institution was spurred by the principles of the American Revolution and revolutionary friends such as Lafayette and Hamilton.

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George Washington faced growing debts involved with the costs of supporting slaves.

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George Washington held an "engrained sense of racial superiority" towards African Americans but harbored no ill feelings toward them.

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George Washington's slaves received two hours off for meals during the workday and were given time off on Sundays and religious holidays.

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Some accounts report that George Washington opposed flogging but at times sanctioned its use, generally as a last resort, on both men and women slaves.

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George Washington used both reward and punishment to encourage discipline and productivity in his slaves.

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George Washington tried appealing to an individual's sense of pride, gave better blankets and clothing to the "most deserving", and motivated his slaves with cash rewards.

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George Washington believed "watchfulness and admonition" to be often better deterrents against transgressions but would punish those who "will not do their duty by fair means".

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George Washington remained dependent on slave labor to work his farms and negotiated the purchase of more slaves in 1786 and 1787.

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George Washington brought several of his slaves with him and his family to the federal capital during his presidency.

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At Martha's behest, George Washington attempted to capture Ona, using a Treasury agent, but this effort failed.

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George Washington owned 124 slaves, leased 40, and held 153 for his wife's dower interest.

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George Washington supported many slaves who were too young or too old to work, greatly increasing Mount Vernon's slave population and causing the plantation to operate at a loss.

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The next year, George Washington stated his intention not to separate enslaved families as a result of "a change of masters".

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George Washington privately expressed support for emancipation to prominent Methodists Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury in 1785 but declined to sign their petition.

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George Washington significantly reduced his purchases of slaves after the war but continued to acquire them in small numbers.

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In 1788, George Washington declined a suggestion from a leading French abolitionist, Jacques Brissot, to establish an abolitionist society in Virginia, stating that although he supported the idea, the time was not yet right to confront the issue.

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The historian Henry Wiencek believes, based on a remark that appears in the notebook of his biographer David Humphreys, that George Washington considered making a public statement by freeing his slaves on the eve of his presidency in 1789.

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George Washington never responded to any of the antislavery petitions he received, and the subject was not mentioned in either his last address to Congress or his Farewell Address.

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George Washington instructed Lear to find buyers for his land in western Virginia, explaining in a private coda that he was doing so "to liberate a certain species of property which I possess, very repugnantly to my own feelings".

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George Washington said he did not free them immediately because his slaves intermarried with his wife's dower slaves.

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George Washington forbade their sale or transportation out of Virginia.

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George Washington's will provided that old and young freed people be taken care of indefinitely; younger ones were to be taught to read and write and placed in suitable occupations.

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George Washington freed more than 160 slaves, including about 25 he had acquired from his wife's brother Bartholomew Dandridge in payment of a debt.

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George Washington was among the few large slave-holding Virginians during the Revolutionary Era who emancipated their slaves.

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Lee's words became the hallmark by which George Washington's reputation was impressed upon the American memory, with some biographers regarding him as the great exemplar of republicanism.

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George Washington set many precedents for the national government and the presidency in particular, and he was called the "Father of His Country" as early as 1778.

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George Washington became an international symbol for liberation and nationalism as the leader of the first successful revolution against a colonial empire.

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Nonetheless, Washington maintains his place among the highest-ranked U S Presidents, listed second in a 2021 C-SPAN poll.

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Many places and monuments have been named in honor of Washington, most notably the capital of the United States, Washington, D C The state of Washington is the only US state to be named after a president.

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George Washington appears on contemporary U S currency, including the one-dollar bill, the Presidential one-dollar coin and the quarter-dollar coin .

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George Washington has since appeared on many postage issues, more than any other person.

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