Contrary to popular belief, George Washington was not the first president of the United States. He is the first historically accepted president, but not the absolute first. There were actually 14 presidents before George Washington, but they were all appointed before the current US constitution. The latter seven of which were appointed under the Articles of Confederation, and each for only a one year term. At the time, most people identified their state and local governments as having priority over the newly formed national government. It is most likely for this reason, that most people have never heard of most of these great men.

Here is a list of the first 14 presidents listed in order by the date they took office:

In addition to this list, I have also have a photocopy of an article from an old newspaper that started with John "Swede" Hanson as the "first" president since the Articles of Confederation did not begin until 1781.

The above information is based on my readings of online texts from historians, and is factual to the best of my knowledge. Comments/Corrections/Documentation welcome!

This was an essay I wrote for a History assignment pertaining to political precedents made by George Washington

When George Washington became the first president of the United States, he had an example to set for those to follow. Not everything necessary for his ideal presidency was spelled out in the Constitutional Convention; so therefore, he needed to take some issues into his own hands. A few of these things would be respect and organization for the office, the creation of the Cabinet, and leaving the Senate to do what it chose to as much as possible.

Being the first to take such a high position, Washington needed to establish respect and integrity for presidents to come. Obviously, respect wasn’t something that could be written into the Constitution, so Washington took pride in earning it. It was also necessary to break away from the association of executive power with inept monarchs. He acted in the dignified manner that was so common of him, but with a few additions. He was seen riding a white horse with a leopard skin saddlecloth, or in a private coach with six cream-colored horses pulling it. His new home, a New York mansion, was guarded by several levees. Organization was also something important during Washington’s presidency. After the Constitutional Convention rectified the error of not having an executive power, it called for the president to share certain powers with the Senate. This relationship was not clearly defined, so it was up to Washington to do so.

The second necessary thing that was added while Washington was president was the early Cabinet. In the Constitution, no executive departments were created (except for the Treasury). One of the first acts of this period called for the establishment of the Treasury, State and War departments. Thomas Jefferson became Secretary of the State, Alexander Hamilton became Secretary of the Treasury, and Henry Knox became Secretary of War. In addition to these positions, the offices of attorney general and postmaster general were created. At first, these people were not regarded as a collective team. They were thought of merely as assistants to the president, and were trusted to have responsibility to direct matters within their own areas. They were also to make decisions while the president was temporarily absent. The final major thing that Washington established was a lack of presidential interference in the legislative branch. He only made general suggestions for legislation to the Senate, and refrained from disclosing his views on topics being discussed by Congress at the time. Though he was issued the power to veto, he only used it twice during the course of his presidency. This was because he believed it was his job to administer laws, not to make them. Even though he established the authority and independence of executive action (as allowed in the Constitution), he didn’t take an active part in creating public policy by means of legislation.

In conclusion, when Washington took the office of president, he had his work cut out for him. Being the first in his position, it was his duty to establish things that the Constitution lacked, could not give, or that he felt were right. These, in his opinion, were respect and organization for the office of the president, a Cabinet of assistants working in their specific departments, and minimal interference in the creation of legislature.

DataTracer does indeed speak the truth, but I would like to clarify Washingtons' position in the scheme of the US Government structure.

Washington was the first President elected under the statutes of ratified The Constitution of the United States of America. As it was, those elected before Washington where not 'Presidents' in the same manner as he, nor did the United States of America exist under the ratified Constitution when the otheres were in power. Technically they were "presidents", but not "The President" of todays office.

...oh yes, and I simply cannot believe that no-one has mentioned the most important part of all about The Man:

George Washington had Wooden Teeth!

Washington was elected by the unanimous vote of the Electoral College. He was inaugurated on April 30th, 1789 at Federal Hall on the corner of Wall and Broad Streets, New York City. Before leaving Mount Vernon for the ceremonies, he had written a letter expressing doubts about both his suitability fro the position and the sucess of the Republic. But he did believe he possesd certain qualifications for the office, for he wrote, "Integrity and firmness are all I can promise."

Regardless of political affiliation, the Congress and the people had confidence in Washington. They had different ideas of what should be done, but there was no factiontrying to wreck the Reupblic. Those who had ooposed ratification of the Constitution were not working to establish the government. They hadn't changed their minds, even though they accepted the fact that the Constitution was the government. They were willing that changes to make it more to their liking be achieved by peaceful, legal procedures, not by trying to destroy by violence what had been establisehd by fair elections. This sort of political maturity was remarkable. How different from the experience of several new nations created since World War I!

Serving Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Charlottesville, Washington, D.C. or Newport News and intermediate points

Amtrak train number: 50

Predecessor railroad train numbers: Chesapeake and Ohio 1-21-41 and 2-22-42

The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad traced its history to the founding of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company in 1785 by George Washington. To honor its founder, the railroad's flagship train between the East and Midwest was named for him. The C&O's George Washington ran in several sections, originating in both Washington, D.C., and Newport News in the east and running to Louisville, or Cincinnati, where through cars went via New York Central trains to St. Louis as well as Chicago via Indianapolis. (The Chesapeake and Ohio had a route between Cincinnati and Hammond, Indiana via Muncie that was a freight-only line.)

By the time Amtrak's takeover of passenger train service on May 1, 1971, the through cars were gone, as was the section that ran to Louisville. Passengers for Chicago had to connect in Cincinnati to the James Whitcomb Riley through Indianapolis.

On July 12, 1971, the George Washington and the James Whitcomb Riley were combined into one train, with through cars available for service from Boston, carrying the George Washington name eastbound only. Within a couple of years, the George Washington name was dropped.

Condensed historical timetables:

   READ DOWN                             READ UP
(1956)  (1972)                       (1972)  (1956)
 3:15P   ----- Dp Newport News    Ar  2:25P  10:10A
 6:01P   -----   Washington           1:20P   8:10A
 8:30P   -----    Charlottesville    10:25A   5:40A
 9:25A   -----    Cincinnati         11:25P   5:45P
10:45A   -----    Indianapolis        8:45P   2:05P
 2:50P   ----- Ar Chicago         Dp  3:40P   9:50A

The Amtrak Train Names Project

Medical scholars still debate the exact level of negligence and culpability of the three separate doctors, who in the span of just twelve hours, drained the dying George Washington of five pints of blood. Washington was actually suffering from some form of a throat infection, the swelling of which was choking off his air supply, but each doctor believed that Washington needed to shed more blood. Although one younger doctor suggested performing a tracheotomy to ease Washington's breathing, such a new and unusual surgery was actually considered to be more barbaric than bloodletting. We'll never know if Washington's throat infection was enough to kill the man independent of his massive blood loss, but it is safe to say that at the very least, the doctors' reverence for phlebotomy kept them from treating the swelling and infection in a more direct manner

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