George Washington (The First Pesident of The United States)
“He was indeed, in every since of the words, a wise, a good and great man ... it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly …” Thus did Thomas Jefferson describe his friend George Washington. One of the most modest and unassuming of men, Washington was nevertheless an imposing figure at the ceremony when he assumed command of the Continental Army. He had previously stated, “I do not think myself equal to the command I am honored with,” and when asked to accept the presidency, he wrote that “the acceptance would be attended with more diffidence and reluctance than I ever experienced before …”
Yet in spite of his self-doubt, he inspired an almost unbelievable degree of trust and confidence - enough, for example, to keep a raged underfed army in the field for eight long years to accomplish the victory that would establish a great nation. When divisive argument constantly disrupted the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the very presence of this man helped to hold the meeting together, and people came to link his name directly to the new Constitution.
It was almost taken for granted that he would be elected the first president of the United States, and few were surprised when he was chosen unanimously by the first Electoral College. Washington’s first inauguration took place at Federal Hall in New York City on April 30, 1789. “I walk on untrodden ground,” he said as he began his new duties. “There is scarcely any part of my conduct that may not hereafter be drawn into precedent,” Near the end of his term, he began to plan for retirement, but was persuaded to accept reelection. Finally he retired to his beloved Mount Vernon where, as the most honored American, he died on December 14, 1799.