Josiah, age 12

by Josiah Durand
(Ñuble, CHILE)

First In The Hearts Of His Countrymen

On February 22, 1732, the greatest American hero was born. His name was George Washington. The son of a rather well-to-do gentleman farmer, George had wonderful manners since his father taught him early in life. Perhaps it was because of this that later, not only was George Washington Commander-in-chief of United States of America but he also became the first President.

George Washington's early life was filled with sorrow and adventure. He had six brothers and sisters, two of which were half-brothers. When George was only eleven his beloved father died and nine years later his much-loved older brother died. George lived in sadness but because of that he learned to bear sorrow. On November 6, 1752 George Washington was appointed Major in the Virginia militia and on January 6, 1759 he married Martha Custis. However, the interesting adventures of George Washington's life were only beginning.

The Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were the first military engagements of the American Revolutionary War, began on April 19, 1775. On June 16, George Washington was elected Commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. One year later the amazing Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. General Washington and his soldiers fought bravely and suffered throughout the war, especially one winter at Valley Forge. However, all the battles were worth the effort and finally, on October 17, 1781, the American Revolutionary War ended because the British had surrendered.

On February 4, 1789, following the approval of the United States Constitution, George Washington was elected the first President with John Adams as Vice President of the United States of America. Unfortunately Alexander Hamilton, who created the first National Bank, was appointed Secretary of the Treasury and with his plan the United States owed over $11,000,000 in foreign and domestic debt plus interest. Despite the debt, Washington was able to unite the country and avoid war in Europe. Naturally President Washington was re-elected but after eight years, in March 1797, he nobly retired from being the President.

On December 14, 1799 George Washington died after catching a cold while out riding on a rainy day. Sadly the world no longer had one of its greatest heroes but it still has his example. George Washington was a calm man who refused to be called king and rather than be president longer retired and worked as a gentleman farmer. Sorrow was part of his life yet it was strangely mixed with adventure. Much beloved even to this day, George Washington truly was, "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

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