George Washington was born at his father's plantation on Pope's Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia on February 22, 1732.
For nearly 20 years Washington helped shape the birth of a nation. He served as commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, as president of the convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution, and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States. As President, Washington successfully solved many problems, transforming the "plan" of the Constitution into a "working" government.
The following description of Washington was written after his death by another founding father, Thomas Jefferson:
"His mind was great and powerful ... as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion ...
"Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw doubt, but, when once decided, going through his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed.
"His integrity was the most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known ...
"He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good and a great man ... On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect ... it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great ..."
One of his officers, Henry Lee, summed up contemporary public opinion of Washington:
"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
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