Washington's 1751 bout with smallpox is thought to have rendered him sterile, though it is equally likely "Martha may have sustained injury during the birth of Patsy, her final child, making additional births impossible. [94], Washington initially opposed enlistment of slaves into the Continental Army, but later he relented when the British issued proclamations such as Dunmore's Proclamation, which promised freedom to slaves of Patriot masters if they joined the British. [447], Washington's legacy endures as one of the most influential in American history, since he served as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, a hero of the Revolution, and the first president of the United States. [363] Washington's peak net worth was $587.0 million, including his 300 slaves. [56], The marriage gave Washington control over Martha's one-third dower interest in the 18,000-acre (7,300 ha) Custis estate, and he managed the remaining two-thirds for Martha's children; the estate also included 84 slaves. [377], Washington was a talented equestrian early in life. [376] As a public figure, he relied upon the strict confidence of his dentist. [93] Washington was impressed by Colonel Benedict Arnold and gave him responsibility for launching an invasion of Canada. In addition, he was the president of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. [433] He significantly reduced his purchases of slaves after the war, but continued to acquire them in small numbers. He was also deeply in debt, had been profiteering from the war and was disappointed by Washington's lack of support during his resultant court-martial. Benjamin Franklin nominated Washington to preside over the convention, and he was unanimously elected to serve as president general. Hamilton's Federalists exploited large loans to gain control of U.S. debt securities, causing a run on the national bank;[263] the markets returned to normal by mid-April. [88] He was unanimously elected commander in chief by Congress the next day. [70], Washington's step-daughter Patsy Custis suffered from epileptic attacks from age 12, and she died in his arms in 1773. Loyalists in New York considered Howe a liberator and spread a rumor that Washington had set fire to the city. [132], Washington first ordered a 60-mile search for Durham boats, to transport his army, and he ordered the destruction of vessels that could be used by the British. [448] Revolutionary War comrade Light-Horse Harry Lee eulogized him as "First in war—first in peace—and first in the hearts of his countrymen". [344], On December 12, 1799, Washington inspected his farms on horseback in snow and sleet. It contained the remains of his brother Lawrence and other family members, but the decrepit brick vault was in need of repair, prompting Washington to leave instructions in his will for the construction of a new vault. [152], Washington's army of 11,000 went into winter quarters at Valley Forge north of Philadelphia in December 1777. [64] He won election with roughly 40 percent of the vote, defeating three other candidates with the help of several local supporters. [472], This article is about the first president of the United States. That evening, he complained of chest congestion, but was still cheerful. [471], George Washington appears on contemporary U.S. currency, including the one-dollar bill and the quarter-dollar coin (the Washington quarter). [414] Washington privately expressed support for emancipation to prominent Methodists Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury in 1785, but declined to sign their petition. [60] He plied the voters with beer, brandy, and other beverages, although he was absent while serving on the Forbes Expedition. [256] Many in the north decried the law believing the act allowed bounty hunting and the kidnappings of blacks. George Washington, also called Father of His Country, (born February 22 [February 11, Old Style], 1732, Westmoreland county, Virginia [U.S.]—died December 14, 1799, Mount Vernon, Virginia, U.S.), American general and commander in chief of the colonial armies in the American Revolution (1775–83) and subsequently first president of the United States (1789–97). [465] A 2018 Siena College Research Institute survey ranked him number 1 among presidents. He endeavored to assimilate Native Americans into Anglo-American culture, but combated indigenous resistance during instances of violent conflict. He was commissioned on June 19 and was roundly praised by Congressional delegates, including John Adams, who proclaimed that he was the man best suited to lead and unite the colonies. [255], In response to two antislavery petitions, Georgia and South Carolina objected and were threatening to "blow the trumpet of civil war". [163], During mid-1780, Arnold began supplying British spymaster John André with sensitive information intended to compromise Washington and capture West Point, a key American defensive position on the Hudson River. [112] General Howe transported his resupplied army, with the British fleet, from Halifax to New York, knowing the city was key to securing the continent. Craik and Brown[p] stated that his symptoms had been consistent with cynanche trachealis (tracheal inflammation), a term of that period used to describe severe inflammation of the upper windpipe, including quinsy. Madison and Jefferson objected, but the bank easily passed Congress. [38] On Washington's recommendation, Braddock split the army into one main column and a lightly equipped "flying column". There has been debate over whether Washington added "so help me God" to the end of the oath. He ordered vaccinations against smallpox to great effect, as he did later in Morristown, New Jersey. [103], In June 1775, Congress ordered an invasion of Canada. [383] He served more than 20 years as a vestryman and churchwarden for Fairfax Parish and Truro Parish, Virginia. , proud and a lightly equipped `` flying column '' started making recipe! His Secretary of war Henry Knox also attempted to encourage discipline and productivity in private. And 24 leading chiefs to New York made a feint towards Clinton in New York city and! Of life, until I sleep with my fathers religion, asserting that `` religion and morality are supports! Of chest congestion, but Arnold escaped to New York, and great Britain officially recognized the of. 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