portrait of George Washington
Portrait begun by Gilbert Stuart (1755 - 1828), finished by Rembrandt Peale (1778 - 1860)

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Quotes of the Day for 22 February 2003 – George Washington

George Washington was born in Virginia's Westmoreland County on this day in 1732. When his father died in 1743, George moved to Mount Vernon to live with his half brother, eventually inheriting that estate. He learned surveying, working in the western frontier areas of Virginia until the outbreak of the French and Indian War. His natural abilities in leading troops brought him to the rank of lieutenant colonel at the age of 22. After a period managing his estate (and winning the hand of the widow Martha Dandridge Custis) he served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, then as representative to both the First and Second Constitutional Conventions, the latter of which elected him unanimously as commander of the Continental forces in 1775. He tried to go back to Mount Vernon after winning the war, but was disappointed by the results of the early government and led the Virginia delegation to the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia. When the new constitution was ratified, Washington was unanimously electe as the first president. Or the ninth, if you count the eight men who presided over the first US government. By all accounts, Washington was brilliant and capable, of good character, and would have much rather spent many more years as a Virginia gentleman had the British Colonial government been more reasonable.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow grow, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.

Do not conceive that fine clothes make fine men, any more than fine feathers make fine birds. A plain, genteel dress is more admired, obtains more credit in the eyes of the judicious and sensible.

Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free or to be slaves.
     - All from George Washington, 1732 - 1799

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