"For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on
a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that
can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the
freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led,
like sheep, to the Slaughter."
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Address to the officers of the army, Newburgh, New York.
March 15, 1783
First President of the United States (1789–97), commander in chief of the
Continental army in the American Revolution and called the Father of His
Country. He was born on Feb. 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, VA. Born to a
wealthy family Washington began his career as a surveyor and later was
appointed to his first public office, surveyor of Culpeper Co. Later, after
his half-brother, Lawrence Washington, died, George inherited part of his
estate and took over some of Lawrence’s duties as adjutant of the colony. As
district adjutant, he became Major Washington at the age of 20 and was
ordered to train the militia in the quarter assigned to him. Washington
first gained attention at the end of the French and Indian War and by the
end was named commander in chief of the Virginia Militia. Washington married
in 1759 and settled at his Mt. Vernon estate. He was a member of the house
of burgesses and a delegate to the Continental Congress. After the American
Revolution began Washington was named commander in chief of the Continental
forces. After the war ended he retired from the army and returned to Mt.
Vernon. Unhappy with the current government, he joined the movement
dedicated to reorganizing it. After a new government was organized,
Washington was unanimously chosen the first President and took office on
April 30, 1789. He was again unanimously reelected to a second term in 1793,
but weary of the political life refused a third term. He retired to his
estate in Mt. Vernon and later died on Dec. 14, 1799.