George Washington is one of the most honored and most remembered men America has
ever produced. And America has produced many persons of honour.
Born in February 22, 1732, George Washington was the son of a
Virginian landowner whose grandfather was born in England.
Though born in a family of wealthy origin, Washington's
childhood was not a very smooth sailing. The misleading myth
about Washington has been that he was born with a gold spoon in
Washington's life long consideration for the others lasted to
the end. In fact he could not start to school until 8 and had
to leave at 14, just to go to work and earn.
Washington had a youth of toil which hardened the muscles of
his character and his body. He was a devoted sportsman. He
could clear the tallest fence without rising in the stirrups
and shoot his musket straight to the mark with one hand.
Obviously in his youth Washington found his inclinations
strongly bent to arms.
He was made of the same clay as most Americans who have won
high leadership and like them, he cut his teeth on the crust of
poverty. Only four of five Presidents came from poorer homes
than the first President. He was in fact the only President in
the first forty years who was without college.
Washington initially could not display his military skill as a
campaigner. But he was well known for his passion for arms. He
was made the commander-in-chief when the American War of
Independence peaked, especially following the incidents in
Lexington and Concord.
The Revolution was not won by the sword of Washington, but by
his indomitable character, The character which was slowly built
up by poverty and struggle which had given him from the start
the leadership over men who talked more, and who knew more.
As epr historans, the most significant battle he won was his
last battle at Yorktown. Washington was very considerate to
others. He freed all his slaves in his will. He pensioned
Nelson, his war horse, who never again wore a saddle. His
liberal charity cost him so much that it was a serious drain on
his official pay.
No President has been more bitterly criticized than this first
one. Yet, he retained the confidence of the country to the
last. His life came to an end in December 14, 1799. The love
for Washington was so passionate that people, at the
inauguration of his successor, followed him to the street
leaving the new President all but deserted.
The nations are united, as in no other instance, in honoring
the memory of Washington. Poet Lord Byron ranked him only "Next
to the Divinity". The tribute paid in Congress at the time of
his death by Light Horse Harry, remains the most
" First in war, first in
peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."