Washington Said What?
Even in his own time, George Washington was frequently misquoted.
Separate fact from fiction and learn more about the real George Washington.
First American president, commander of the Continental Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, and gentleman planter... learn more about the many varied roles that George Washington excelled in and tremendous legacy that he left for America and the World.
Washington owned hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children. He depended on their labor to build and maintain his household and plantation.
There are many misconceptions surrounding Washington's religious beliefs.
Freemasonry played a role in George Washington's life from the age of 20 when he first became an Entered Apprentice in the Fredericksburg Lodge until the day he died, when a brother in his Alexandria lodge was one of three doctors at his bedside.
While not formally educated like many of his contemporaries, Washington loved to read. By his death, he had more than 1,200 books in his library at Mount Vernon.
The first time George Washington ran for public office, he lost. However, he won his second race and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1758 until 1776.
See all the many places that George Washington visited during his lifetime in our Washington's World Interactive Map.
Before the age of sixteen, George Washington copied out the 110 rules covered in The Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour.
This exercise, now regarded as a formative influence in the development of his character, included guidelines for behavior and general courtesies.
What he lacked in formal schooling, George Washington made up for in physical strength, skill, and ambition. He took part in almost every sport of his day – archery, foxhunting, swimming, wrestling, dancing - and he was also something of a pool shark.
General Washington loved dogs! Learn more about canines on the Mount Vernon estate, yesterday and today.
Prowess on horseback offered young George Washington his clearest path to fame. His long rides as a surveyor, through the forest on foxhunts, and his bayonet drills in the heat of the summer sun prepared him well for his eventual martial feats.