George Washington was born in Virginia's Westmoreland County on this day in 1732. When his father died in 1743, George moved to Mount Vernon to live with his half brother, later inheriting that estate. He learned surveying, worked in the frontier areas of Virginia until the French and Indian War. His abilities in leading troops earned him the rank of Lieutenant Colonel at the tender age of 22. He served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, then at both the First and Second Constitutional Conventions, the latter of which elected him unanimously as Commander of the Continental Forces in 1775. He went back to Mount Vernon after the war, but was disappointed by the results of the early government and led the Virginia delegation to the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia. When the new constitution was ratified, Washington was unanimously elected as the first President. By all accounts, Washington was brilliant and capable, of good character, and would have much rather spent more years as a Virginia gentleman farmer had the British Colonial government been more reasonable.
Mr. Washington has been quoted so much in history, that it was difficult to find five quotes for this blog post; however, I think I have some that I haven’t used before, my favorite is the last one.
“Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it.”
“It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones.”
“Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.”
“My observation is that whenever one person is found adequate to the discharge of a duty … it is worse executed by two persons, and scarcely done at all if three or more are employed therein.”
“The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.”
All from George Washington, 1732 – 1799