On December 26, 1799, Colonel Henry (Lighthorse Harry) Lee eulogized George Washington by saying he was “a citizen, first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”
Lee was right. Washington was America’s most beloved figure.
Washington was a Virginian, born on Feb. 22, 1732. He was the only president to be elected unanimously. And, he was the only president who was inaugurated in two different cities: New York and Philadelphia.
After the Revolutionary War, Washington could have become King, but he had a different vision of America. Instead of taking power, he disbanded the Army and resigned as Commander-in-Chief.
On April 16, 1789, while traveling to his first inauguration, he wrote “About 10 O’clock I bade adieu to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity, and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensations than I have words to express, set out for New York in company with Mr. Thompson, and Colonel Humphries, with the best dispositions to render service to my country in obedience to its call, but with less hope of answering its expectations.”