George Washington

(1732–1799)

George Washington

Anecdote...

Early in the Revolutionary War, Washington sent one of his officers to requisition horses from the local landowners. Calling at an old country mansion the officer was received by the elderly mistress of the house. “Madam, I have come to claim your horses in the name of the government,” he began. “On whose orders?” demanded the woman sternly. “On the orders of General George Washington, commander in chief of the American army,” replied the officer. The old lady smiled. “You go back and tell General George Washington that his mother says he cannot have her horses,” she said.

Biographical Note: 

George Washington was a U.S. general and statesman, first president of the United States (1789-97). As a young man Washington gained a high military reputation in the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). While a member of Virginia’s House of Burgesses (1759-74), he became an implacable enemy of British rule, and on the outbreak of war with Britain was appointed commander in chief of the American forces. Overcoming lack of equipment, discipline, and even food, Washington welded together his army through years of indecisive victories and costly defeats until he was able, with French aid, to force the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown (1781). He presided over the Constitutional Convention (1787) and was unanimously elected president of the Republic after the Constitution had been approved.

More Information: 

Read a short biography of George Washington.

Image Info

Portait of George Washington (above) by Gilbert Stuart, 1796