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George Washington

(1732-1799), First President of the USA

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 22 portraits
Born in Virginia, at the time a colony of Britain, Washington was the son of a planter. Despite a formal education lasting only a few years, he taught himself planting and land surveying by reading books and watching others. In 1759 he married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow with large land holdings and many slaves. In his youth he spent time as a soldier and politician. He was Commander-in-Chief of the American forces during the War of Independence, presided over the Philadelphia Convention that drafted the United States Constitution in 1787 and became the first President of the United States, 1789-97. He established many of the ideals and principles of republicanism on which America has since been governed.

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