10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About George Washington

George Washington

The first U.S President, George Washington was an American political figure and military general, born on 22nd February 1732. He is considered to be one of the most iconic figures in the history of American politics. His presidential term in the U.S lasted for 8 years (1789-1797). But isn’t this all that you know about the first US President George Washington? Ever wondered what exactly his life was like? If you wish to know more about his life, here are some interesting lesser-known facts about his life that might surprise you.

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George Washington’s Birthday

Like every piece from the history reads, George Washington’s birthday was not actually on 22nd February but on 11th February 1731. This change happened because of the switch from Georgian Calendar to Julian Calendar. The change in the birth year from 1731 to 1732 was also a result of this.

He Couldn’t Complete His Schooling

George Washington was compelled to leave school at the age of 11. He couldn’t complete his formal schooling because of family circumstances. His mother taught him ho to handle a tobacco farm, and from a very young age, he started working to support his family. He often felt embarrassed because of his informal schooling.

George Washington
Image Source: Collections.artsmia

His Teeth Were Not Made Of Wood

Contrary to popular belief, George Washington’s teeth were not made up of wood. Rather, they were made by an amalgamation of gold, carved animal bone, human teeth (bought from his African American slaves) and ivory. The fake teeth were a matter of great discomfort for him, and it was probably the reason why he rarely smiled. His morning breakfast routine that consisted of hoecakes and syrup used to be cut into pieces to make it easier for him to eat.

The Constitution Of The United States Was Signed By Washington

As a chosen member to preside over the Constitutional Convention, George Washington was the first to sign to the United States Constitution. He didn’t speak much in the convention; however, as the President of the Convention, his name was the first to be added to the governing document.

Washington Never Occupied The White House 

Unlike most of the American Presidents,  George Washington never lived in the White House. Initially, he lived in New York, and then he shifted to Philadelphia. Therefore, he was the only President in American History to have not occupied the White House during his rule.

His Relationship With Slavery

George Washington’s contradictory behaviour towards slavery is considered one of the greatest mysteries of his life. Like every other wealthy landowner’s family, he had enslaved people working on his land. At the age of 11, after his father’s death, he had enslaved people working under him. With time, his views on slavery had changed. He was not comfortable with the idea of enslaving people and making them work. However, this was restricted only to his beliefs, and in practice, he couldn’t uphold any of this.

His Religious Beliefs Were Highly Guarded And Secretive

When it came to George Washington’s religious faiths and beliefs, he was very tight lipped. His actions were always contradictory. While he would encourage people to visit churches and worship to God, he himself wouldn’t attend church for weeks. For years, he served as a church warden but left without taking communion. His writings spoke too much of Providence but there was considerably less mention of God.

He Served As A Father Figure To Many

After marrying Martha Cutis, George Washington became the legal guardian to her two younger children. However, he never had his own children; he served as a father figure to his stepchildren and loved them dearly. He was particularly fond of advising his children on matters right from education to love.

He Was An Animal Lover

George Washington is also known as the “Father of the American Foxhound” and had more than 30 dogs. He selectively bred several hunting dogs. Apart from dogs, he was also fond of mules. Having realized the value of mules for farmers, he created a mule stock that powered American agriculture for years. He kept varieties of birds too.

Animal Lover
Image Source: History.com

 He Was A Survivor

Washington suffered from various severe ailments in his lifetime, diphtheria, malaria, dysentery, smallpox and pneumonia. He survived multiple severe life-threatening situations like burning and massacre of Fort Necessity, four bullets passing close enough. However, he gave in to a cold. It is believed he was suffering from the epiglottis, an infection that was curable through antibiotics, but it was the doctors that apparently tortured him to death because of heavy doses of medicines.

Source: YouTube

Washington was very afraid of being buried alive, so he had asked for his body to not be buried until three days had passed post his death.

Explore: 10 Great Leaders of the World

These were some of the unknown interesting facts about George Washington. His personality was truly iconic and no wonder he serves as a figure of eminence till date. For much such interesting content, stay connected to Leverage Edu. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Quora and LinkedIn

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