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American National Biography

George Washington

US Presidents

George Washington was the first President of the United States. Upon his death in December 1799, Jefferson wrote, "His was the singular destiny and merit of leading the armies of his country successfully through an arduous war for the establishment of its independence, of conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its forms and principles, until it settled down into a quiet and orderly train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes no other example." And as Henry Lee said in his celebrated eulogy before Congress, Washington had been "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.

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