George Washington was a renowned soldier and political figure who is regarded as the Father of our nation and one of the most well-known individuals in American history. Major General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s eulogy, which was given in his honor, made the words “to the memory of the man, first in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen” immortal. One of the most well-known addresses in American history is that farewell address. Numerous truths and myths have developed over time in relation to our nation’s first president. Here are some George Washington facts about the man his friends and wife referred to as “General” that could surprise you.
1. George Washington Didn’t Have a Middle Name.
You hardly need one with a name like George Washington, do you?
2. George Washington Wasn’t Born on February 22, 1732, as Some Belief.
Washington was really born on February 11, 1731, but his birthdate was pushed by 11 days when the colonies transitioned from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. His birth year was changed to 1732 since his birthday happened after the old New Year’s Day date but before the new one.
3. George Washington Had Actual Hair Throughout.
He powdered it, which is why it seems white.
4. France Granted George Washington Honorary Citizenship.
This award was given to the ideal American in 1792.
5. George Washington Served as Commander-In-Chief While He Was Not President, Though He Did Not Do Much.
Even though he was no longer president in 1798, when there were increasing concerns about a French invasion, Washington was named (by John Adams) commander-in-chief of the American troops. This appears to have been a recruiting strategy given how well-known Washington was.
Since he was already rather senior, he was only involved in advising roles. But he thought he ought to have been more active. In spite of being the commander in chief, he expressed frustration in this letter that he wasn’t given much information about the state of the military.
6. He Will Always Hold the Highest Position in The American Military.
Washington received the highest rank in the American military—ever—posthumously in 1976.
Air Force Magazine reports: That Washington was a lieutenant general at the time of his death. The three-star rating, however, did not seem appropriate given what he had accomplished as the decades went by. After all, Washington accomplished more than simply outfighting the British. Along the way, he created the guidelines for how American troops should organize themselves, act, and interact with civilian authority. Almost all of his significant choices created precedents. He served as both the nation’s and the military’s father.
In order to elevate Washington to the position of General of the United States Armies, a statute was created. He will never be surpassed.
7. George Washington Received a Substantial Income.
The Christian Science Monitor states that in 1789, Washington’s pay as president represented 2% of the whole U.S. budget.
8. But He Continued to Experience Cash Flow Issues.
Actually, Washington had to take out a loan to pay for his own first inauguration.
9. He Was Among the Presidents with The Worst Health Records.
Washington endured a long number of illnesses during his life, including epiglottitis, diphtheria, tuberculosis, smallpox, dysentery, malaria, quinsy (tonsillitis), carbuncle, diarrhea, dysentery, and dysentery.
10. He Might or Might Not Have Passed Away as A Result of Medical Error.
Washington received four rounds of bloodletting on the day of his death, December 14, 1799, which resulted in the removal of 5 pints of blood from his body. It seemed to have turned out to be too much. The New York Times reported in 1999:
“Albin Rawlins, a bloodletter and one of his overseers, was called on the fatal day in Washington. It was exposed by Washington. The overseer brought a lancet and cut something. Don’t be terrified, Washington urged. In a porcelain bleeding bowl that day, Rawlins extracted 12 ounces of blood, followed by 18 ounces, another 18 ounces, and a final 32 ounces. The patient improved marginally and was able to swallow after the fourth bloodletting.
Even though his condition worsened by around 10 p.m., he was still alert enough to whisper his secretary, Col. Tobias Lear, the funeral orders. Dr. James Craik, a 69-year-old Edinburgh-trained surgeon who had fought beside Washington in the French and Indian Wars, shut Washington’s eyelids at 10:20 p.m. Dr. Gustavus Richard Brown, 52, another medical professional with training in Edinburgh, was also present. The 37-year-old coroner and third doctor, Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick, halted the time in Washington’s bedroom at that precise moment.”
11. It’s Possible that George Washington Was Sterile.
Washington didn’t have any biological children. Washington was said to be infertile in 2007 by John K. Amory of the University of Washington School of Medicine. The following list of potential causes for Washington’s infertility is provided by Armory, including an illness brought on by his tuberculosis:
Two-thirds of World War II troops with tuberculous pleurisy went on to develop chronic organ tuberculosis within five years of their initial infection, according to classic studies. Twenty percent of these people have a testicular or epididymal infection, which frequently leads to infertility.
12. The Capitol Was Almost Used to Bury Washington’s Remains.
Despite repeated requests from Congress, Washington’s family insisted that he be buried at Mount Vernon. In the Capitol, they intended to bury his remains next to a marble statue.
13. He Was Not a Devout Man.
According to Edward Lengel, author of the memoir Inventing George Washington, who spoke with NPR in 2011, “He was a man of high morals. He was an extremely moral man who carefully considered everything he did.
He doesn’t, however, resemble the image we have of an evangelical Christian or someone who adhered to a specific ideology and read his Bible every day. On the one hand, we can say that he was not an atheist, but on the other, we can also argue that he was not a devoted Christian.”
What about the tale of his prostrating himself in the snow at Valley Forge in order to pray? That’s a story that [early Washington biographer] Parson Weems cooked up, according to Lengel.
Washington would go to church, but he would not partake in communion. Barry Schwartz, a biographer, claims that Washington “Because he was not a Christian himself, his practice of Christianity was limited and shallow. He was a devoted Deist in the liberal tradition of his day, as many of the clerics who knew him suspected.”
14. He Didn’t Ever Remove that Cherry Tree.
The cherry tree tale was made up by Parson Weems, who published a myth-filled biography of Washington soon after his passing. The Life of Washington, according to the Mount Vernon Digital Encyclopedia, is “the source of many enduring falsehoods about Washington.”
15. He Frequently Wrote Letters.
Although we don’t have a precise figure, the best guesses place the number of letters he wrote between 18,000 and 20,000. It would take you between 50 and 55 years to write that many letters if you wrote one every day.