GHENT, WV (WVNS)– Our nation’s first president is very well known, but here’s a chance to learn a little more about one of our Founding Fathers.
George Washington played a vital role in the creation of our nation. From leading the Continental Army against the British to becoming the first President of the United States, Washington is well known to Americans. According to mountvernon.org, here are some facts you may not have known this man.
1. Mostly self-educated:
When his father died in 1743, there was very little money left to give an 11-year-old George Washington a formal education. His schooling ended by the time he turned 15, but he still pursued knowledge throughout his life. Being an ardent reader, George was able to improve himself as a soldier, general, and even president. He also corresponded with several authors and friends in both America and Europe, and would regularly exchange agricultural, social, and political ideas. His independent education is a prime example of the importance of books and a hunger for knowledge.
2. Never abused power
Both as a general and as president, Washington never resisted against surrendering power. On December 23, 1783, he visited the Maryland State House in Annapolis and surrendered his military commission to Congress, affirming civilian control of the military. King George III of Britain heard of this act, and reportedly stated that if “He did [this] He would be the greatest man in the world.” Even back when there were no term limits to the presidency, Washington decided to step down after his second term; setting an example and precedent that would last until the mid-twentieth century.
3. Held 50,000 acres of land and promoter of westward expansion:
Washington owned over 50,000 acres of land in western Virginia and modern West Virginia, as well as Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, and Ohio country. Long before Lewis and Clark, Washington believed that expansion to the west could improve the new nation in wealth and to better knit the country. Linking the headwaters of the Ohio and the Potomac, Washington envisioned a continental transportation system would allow Ohio Valley produce flow to Atlantic ports easier.
4. Loved to party:
Though viewed as stoic and even unapproachable, ole George actually loved a good party and enjoyed entertainment and the company of others. He was known for dancing late in the night at balls cotillions, and parties, and he loved theater. He was also known to be a bit of a playboy as well.
5. Unanimously elected president TWICE:
Due to his leadership and character, people viewed Washington as a great candidate for president. His lack of children also removed the fear of an established monarchy as well. In the first election in 1789, he won all ten of the states, and all 132 electoral votes in the 15 states in 1792.
Whether it’s for a school assignment or for impressing your friends, family, or educators, these are some interesting facts to know about good ole George Washington.