George Washington Facts

Michael Bryan

Michael Bryan

Published: 14 Mar 2021

Modified: 03 May 2021

george washington facts

George Washington was a revolutionary, and we’ve got some George Washington facts to prove it. As one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he displayed the best traits of leadership. What made him a great leader? Let us count the ways. There is much to admire about Washington’s leadership style. He served as the Continental Army’s commander without pay. By the time he returned home to Mount Vernon after serving as the country’s first president, he was nearly bankrupt.

George Washington was a humble leader. He treated others with the highest respect, he believed in his men, and he placed the interest of others before his own. During the Revolutionary War, Washington listened to his war council, a group of soldiers under him, and their advice helped him avoid huge errors. Historians also claim that during the Constitutional Convention over which Washington presided, he rarely said a word other than to intervene and make decisions to break a logjam in the proceedings.

Washington believed in people and he was not after fame. Once, Washington was confronted by soldiers who wanted to overthrow the wartime government and install him as president. He did not agree to it. He made it clear that overthrowing the colonial American government was repulsive to him.

Like other successful leaders, George Washington communicated an inspiring vision, loved people, and gave them a voice. That is his legacy. The sacrifices of George Washington still matter today inside and outside the United States. He walked the talk.

If you like our short discussion of George Washington facts, then you will love what we’ve got in store for you! Know more about him by checking out our comprehensive collection of George Washington facts compiled and listed below.

  1. George Washington is the first President of the United States.
  2. George Washington served the United States as a president from April 30, 1789, to March 4, 1797.
  3. Washington led the Constitutional Convention of 1787, also known as the Philadelphia Convention.
  4. George Washington was only 11 years old when his father died.
  5. On papers, George Washington’s birthday is February 22, 1732.
  1. Augustine Washington was the father of George Washington.
  2. Mary Ball Washington was the mother of George Washington.
  3. Martha Custis Washington is George Washington’s wife.
  4. The vice president under George Washington was John Adams.
  5. George Washington was succeeded by John Adams and he became the second US President from March 4, 1797, to March 4, 1801.
  6. Aside from being a political leader and statesman, George Washington also became a military general.
  7. George Washington directed the Patriot forces to victory in the United States War for Independence.
  8. He tackled the problems of the ineffective central government that existed under the Articles of Confederation during the Philadelphia Convention.
  9. He started his first military training with the Virginia Regiment (provincial troops) during the French and Indian War.
  10. His diverse leadership during the early years of the country earned him the nickname, “Father of His Country.”
  1. George Washington has several nicknames. Some of these are “American Fabius,” “the American Cincinnatus,” and “Town Destroyer.”
  2. George Washington does not have a middle name.
  3. He was named an honorary citizen of France.
  4. He was born in Popes Creek, Virginia, British America.
  5. The Philadelphia Convention helped establish the federal government as well as the US Constitution.
Table of Contents

February 22, 1732 is not the real birthday of George Washington.

George Washington was born on the 11th of February 1731. However, in September 1752, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar. This affected Washington’s date of birth. His actual birthday then became a year and 11 days earlier. Interesting George Washington facts!

Washington is one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The Founding Fathers of the United States, or just the Founding Fathers, were a group of American individuals who united the Thirteen British Colonies, also known as the Thirteen American Colonies. These Founding Fathers spearheaded the war for independence against Great Britain.

The United States' Founding Fathers have seven key leaders.

founding fathers
Source: Pixabay

The United States’ seven key Founding Fathers are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson (the 3rd U.S. President), Benjamin Franklin (the 6th President of Pennsylvania), James Madison (the 4th U.S. President), John Adams (the 2nd President of the United States), John Jay (the 1st Chief Justice of the United States), and Alexander Hamilton (the 1st US Treasury Secretary).

The good relationship between the US and France started during Washington's era.

Thanks to George Washington’s movements, the United States has a consistently great relationship with France. It’s been good since then that the French helped the American colonists in the Revolutionary War.

George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

French engagement in the American Revolutionary War started in 1775. As a rival of the Kingdom of Great Britain, France privately shipped supplies to the Continental Army. George Washington was the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. The Treaty of Alliance between France and the US came out in 1778 which brought even more supplies, money, and weapons to the United States.

France had a massive debt after the Revolutionary War.

As commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, it would be very hard for George Washington and the country as a whole to win in the Revolutionary War without the help of France.

But on the flipside, France acquired more than 1 billion livres (the former currency of France) in debt by participating in the war. This crippled the country’s finances. Unfortunately, the alliance of France and the US eventually turned sour, leading to the undeclared naval war from 1798 to 1800 between the two countries.

George Washington used the Fabian strategy during the American Revolutionary War.

After using the Fabian strategy during the American Revolutionary War, Washington earned the nickname, “American Fabius.” The Fabian military strategy avoids frontal assaults (a direct full-force attack to the front line of the enemy). It also avoids pitched battles (a strategy in which both sides choose the fighting location and time) as tactics to wear down the enemy in the battle of attrition as well as spinning confusion. These are George Washington facts that show that he’s a master tactician.

George Washington was often compared to Cincinnatus.

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus is a man who led the Romans to victory over the Aequians. When this happened, the people wanted to make Cincinnatus the king but Cincinnatus turned it down and returned to his farm.

“The American Cincinnatus” George Washington is not just famous for being the first U.S. President, Washington is also famous for his refusal to accept extra political honors for his achievements.

George Washington served the military as a general without a salary.

Washington was a keen businessman and entrepreneur before he joined the military. He left his business to serve the military as a general. He was not given a salary.

George Washington's net worth was cut in half after the American Revolutionary War.

The irregular inflation rate when Washington became a general had severely depreciated the value of the continental dollar. After the war, George Washington’s net worth was cut roughly into half from where he started. If we compare it to the value of today, the five-star general earned about $17,000 per month.

The hair of George Washington is not a wig but a real one.

Although most of the people that belonged to higher society wore wigs, George Washington preferred to keep his hair. In those days, the expensive and rare wigs were white. Because of this, people would put white powder on their wigs to make themselves look posh. Washington would do that too to his natural hair. Now you know why his hair is white in all his famous portraits.

George Washington used to own slaves.

When George Washington’s father died, he inherited around 10 slaves and bought several more before he got married. When George Washington married his wife in his 20s, he bought even more slaves and spent some time in Mount Vernon.

Washington's wife, Martha Custis, was first married to Daniel Parke Custis.

Martha Custis Washington’s first husband is Daniel Parke Custis. Martha and Daniel Custis had four children. By the age of 25, she became a widow. Daniel Custis was an American planter and politician who suffered a heart attack at age 45 and died on July 8, 1757.

The "Father of His Country" had no biological children.

George Washington and Martha Washington did not have any children. Nevertheless, the couple raised Martha Washington’s two children from Daniel Parke Custis. As mentioned above, Martha initially had four children, unfortunately, only two survived adulthood.

Martha Washington's first husband is one of the wealthiest men in Virginia.

Martha Washington’s first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, owned more than 250 slaves. This made him one of the wealthiest and largest slaveowners in the colony of Virginia. Moreover, the Custis properties include farms and plantations totaling approximately 7,000 hectares or 17,297 acres. These were transferred to Washington’s hands upon his marriage to Martha in 1759.

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George Washington shifted from growing tobacco to grains.

wheat field
Source: Pixabay

George Washington was growing tobacco as a crop on his farms until 1766, where he later realized it wasn’t a sustainable endeavor. He shifted to grains such as wheat which was more in demand in the 1760s. Washington saw himself as a farmer first and dedicated his early life to the development of American agriculture.

George Washington has the "rich to more riches" story.

George Washington’s great-grandfather, John Washington, immigrated from Sulgrave, England to the English colony of Virginia in 1656. The Washington family accumulated its wealth in land speculation and investing. When his father died, he inherited the Ferry Farm, a plantation near Fredericksburg, Virginia, and grew the business with the help of her mother.

George Washington's father was a justice of the peace.

George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington was a justice of the Peace and a well-known public figure. Augustine Washington had a wife before he married Washington’s mother. He married Jane Butler in 1715 and then married Mary Ball (George Washington’s mother) in 1731 after Jane Butler died in 1729.

George Washington had nine siblings.

George Washington was the eldest of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. In total, George had four half-siblings: Butler Washington (1716–1716), Lawrence Washington (1718–1752), Augustine Washington Jr. (1720–1762), and Jane Washington (1722–1735).

He also had five full siblings and these are Betty Washington Lewis (1733–1797), Samuel Washington (1734–1781), John Augustine Washington (1736–1787), Charles Washington (1738–1799), and Mildred Washington (1739–1740).

George Washington is the second wealthiest president of all time.

In today’s money, George Washington has a net worth of $600 million. This makes him the second richest president after Donald Trump who has a net worth of around $2.5 billion. Furthermore, Thomas Jefferson takes third place with $240 million, followed by Theodore Roosevelt with $140 million, and Andrew Jackson with $135 million in the fifth spot.

George Washington is one of the tallest presidents of all time.

Abraham Lincoln is the tallest U.S. President at 6 feet and 4 inches. Meanwhile, Lyndon B. Johnson, Donald Trump, and Thomas Jefferson’s heights range between 6 feet 3 1⁄2 inches to 6 feet 2 1⁄2 inches. So how tall is George Washington? Just below that at 6 feet and 2 inches.

George Washington's wife is about five feet tall.

During George Washington’s era, the average eight for European women was only around was around 5 feet and 2 inches. Martha was probably around that height. She was pictured as an attractive and lovely woman with a pleasant personality. In general, Martha was socially adept, determined, sincere, charming, and empathetic.

George Washington became the Commander-in-Chief even if he was no longer the president.

During the term of President John Adams in 1798, he appointed George Washington as Commander-in-Chief to take on the French invasion. He did this to attract more recruits, as George had a large following and immense popularity.

Unfortunately, George was too old at the time, so he had the less strenuous role of an adviser. He eventually got bored and unsatisfied with the job.

George Washington decided to retire in March 1797.

In 1979, George Washington retired and spent the rest of his years taking care of his plantations, distillery, and other businesses in Mount Vernon. During that time he was also appointed as Commander-in-Chief for the French invasion making him restless during his retirement.

George Washington's wealth is in the form of properties and slave ownership.

George Washington may be the second richest U.S. president of all time but almost all of his wealth was in the form of properties and slaves rather than cash. When he was still alive, he purchased lands to push the developments within the new Federal City and he retailed those lands to other smaller investors rather than selling multiple lands to a large investor.

Mount Vernon is an American landmark.

mount vernon

Source: Pixabay

Mount Vernon (the former plantation of George and Martha Washington) is an American landmark located in Fairfax County, Virginia. Today, Mount Vernon is open to the public and accessible by car, boat cruise, bicycles, and public transportation.

George Washington had a sore throat on December 12, 1799.

On the 12th of December 1799, Washington went to his farms on a horse to see if his farms were affected by the ongoing snowstorm. He arrived home soaking wet and late for dinner. Since he had guests waiting for him, he didn’t change his clothes so as not to keep them waiting. The next day, he got a sore throat, but he went out again to mark the trees for cutting even in snowy weather. That night, he experienced tightness in his chest. He was still jolly, though.

He faced his death bed with bravery.

During the deterioration of George Washington’s health, Dr. Elisha Dick suggested a tracheotomy. Unfortunately, doctors were not familiar with the procedure, and they refused. During this specific discussion, George asked the doctors to leave the room except for one doctor, a certain James Craik. In his dying breath, he said the famous words, Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.” 

George Washington died on December 14, 1799.

George Washington died at Mount Vernon on December 14, 1799, at age 67. According to his last will, he wanted to be buried at home. He also ordered to emancipate the enslaved people that he owned following the death of his wife. Martha signed a deed of manumission for George’s slaves right after and they left on January 1, 1801. Martha Washington died on May 22, 1802, three years after George’s death. She contracted a severe fever at the age of 70.

“99% of failures come from people who make excuses.” ― George Washington

Some of the most famous quotes of George Washington are:

  • “99% of failures come from people who make excuses.”
  • “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.”
  • “It is better to be alone than in bad company.”