Custom Search

Interesting Facts about George Washington as a child

The first thing we learn as a child about George Washington is he chopped down a cherry tree and coined the phrase "I can not tell a lie" However this is a lie in itself, America's first president never chopped down a cherry tree, and truth be known, he never even said this phrase. This little story was actually told in a book, The Life of Washington (1800), written by a man named; Mason Locke Weems, AKA Parson Weems.

In the book, Parson Weems writes: " The following anecdote is a case in point. It is too valuable to be lost, and too true to be doubted; for it was communicated to me by the same excellent lady to whom I am indebted for the last. "When George," she said, "was about six years old, he was made the wealthy master of a hatchet! Of which, like most little boys, he was immoderately fond, and was constantly going about chopping everything that came in his way. One day, in the garden, where he often amused himself hacking his mother's pea-sticks, he unluckily tried the edge of his hatchet on the body of a beautiful young English cherry-tree, which he barked so terribly, that I don't believe the tree ever got the better of it. The next morning the old gentleman, finding out what had befallen his tree, which, by the way, was a great favourite, came into the house; and with much warmth asked for the mischievous author, declaring at the same time, that he would not have taken five guineas for his tree. Nobody could tell him anything about it. Presently George and his hatchet made their appearance. "George," said his father, "do you know who killed that beautiful little cherry tree yonder in the garden? " This was a tough question; and George staggered under it for a moment; but quickly recovered himself: and looking at his father, with the sweet face of youth brightened with the inexpressible charm of all-conquering truth, he bravely cried out, "I can not tell a lie, Pa; you know I can't tell a lie. I did cut it with my hatchet." "Run to my arms, you dearest boy," cried his father in transports, "run to my arms; glad am I, George, that you killed my tree; for you have paid me for it a thousand fold. Such an act of heroism in my son is more worth than a thousand trees, though blossomed with silver, and their fruits of purest gold."

Another childhood fact about George Washington is his Arithmetic skills. It is said that Washington's math skills are so great that he became a Land Surveyor at the age of 17. His schooling only lasted 8 years, and ended when he was 15. George Washington was the only President that had no college training, however he was very intellectual, in much of the things he did, and studied about on his own.

Interesting Facts about George Washington in the Military

George Washington portrait by Gilbert StuartWashington was appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army on June 19, 1775 during the American Revolution. He led a group of soldiers against a far superior army to victory resulting in independence.

While Washington lost more battles than he won, he still ranks as a great general. His greatness lay less in his battlefield brilliance he committed some major strategic blunders than in his ability to hold his ragged army intact for more than eight years, keeping the flame of revolution alive.

The Battle of Trenton, New Jersey was one of the turning points of the American Revolutionary War. Having lost New York to the British at the Battle of Long Island in the summer, George Washington was desperate to turn things around. After a long march through the snow, Washington led his troops across the partially frozen Delaware river on Christmas Day of 1776 to defeat the Hessian mercenaries and restore the fortunes of the American patriots. The victory of the Battle of Trenton encouraged the Americans to push ahead in the fight for independence. Even though this was a great victory for them, they could not yet move on. They were forced to withdraw because of the many prisoners they held captive, to strengthen their troops for future battles, and because they did not have any provisions to with which to journey.

Interesting Facts about George Washington as the President

The most interesting fact about George Washington, that most people do not know, is that he never ran a campaign to become president. Instead he was unanimously elected both times, receiving all of the electoral votes. He desired no pay as President, but Congress allotted an annual budget of $25,000 for the Executive Branch, from which all salaries of staff and Cabinet members, as well as expenses, would be paid. He added "So help me God" on to the Presidential Oath of Office at his inauguration and its been done that way ever since.

Washington's Farewell Address (issued as a public letter in 1796) was one of the most influential statements of any President. Written primarily by Washington himself, with the help from Hamilton, it gave advice on the necessity and importance of a national union, the value of the Constitution and the rule of law, the evils of political parties, and the proper virtues of a free nation. He called morality "a necessary spring of popular government". He said, "Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Biography | Presidential History