Early in 2016, radio host Glenn Beck endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, equating him to a modern-day George Washington. Not long after, James Carville, a political adviser to President Bill Clinton, argued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might be the most qualified presidential candidate since George Washington. Clearly, Washington’s name still carries weight in American politics.
In fact, few figures in American history are as celebrated as President George Washington. As the nation’s first president and the commander in chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, Washington earned the title “The Father of His Country.” When historical figures achieve such iconic status, though, it becomes harder to separate facts from myth.
Therefore, InsideGov decided to find 25 essential facts about Washington. Each fact is represented by a numerical value, which we’ve listed from smallest to largest. From Virginia farmer to U.S. president, here is Washington’s life by the numbers.
Washington ran unopposed for president in 1789 and 1792. The other candidates on the ballot were essentially competing for the position of vice president.
1 National Bank
As the first Secretary of the Treasury and one of Washington’s closest advisers, Alexander Hamilton played a pivotal role in establishing the American financial system. Chief among his goals was creating the Bank of the United States.
… on the U.S. Constitution. Because he was president of the Constitutional Convention, Washington was allowed to be the first delegate to sign the Constitution in 1787.
Although Washington had no biological children, he adopted two children from his wife, Martha’s, previous marriage.
Martha had a total of four children with her first husband, but two of them died before she married Washington in 1759.
2 Cabinet Members
… who would go on to become president: Vice President John Adams and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.
Washington only vetoed two congressional bills throughout his presidency. In both cases, Congress failed to override his vetoes.
Among all presidents, Washington consistently comes in as one of the top commanders in chief in U.S. history. His average historical ranking, based on 18 comprehensive surveys, is 2.7.
… added to the Union during Washington’s presidency. These states included North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Kentucky and Tennessee.
The amount of time General Washington and his troops camped at Valley Forge, from December 1777 to June 1778.
6 feet, 2 inches
Washington’s height, making him one of the tallest presidents in U.S. history.
7 Years, 41 Weeks
The length of Washington’s presidency. At the end of his second term, Washington decided to step down from the position, setting an important historical precedent.
10 Constitutional Amendments
… ratified during Washington’s presidency, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Congress initially approved 12 amendments, but only 10 received the required two-thirds majority of state ratification.
… nominated to the Supreme Court. As the first president, Washington had the unprecedented task of filling the entire Supreme Court. One justice candidate withdrew and another was rejected.
The highest inflation rate during Washington’s presidency.
Before the American Revolution, Washington gained political experience in the Virginia House of Burgesses. He served as a burgess for 15 years.
The approximate length of the Battle of Jumonville Glen (also known as the Jumonville affair), in which Lieutenant Colonel Washington and Mingo Chief Tanacharison ambushed a party of French soldiers. Washington, who was 22 years old at the time, had unknowingly ignited the French and Indian War.
21 Years Old
Washington’s age when he was sent on his first major diplomatic mission by Virginia Lieutenant Governor Robert Dinwiddie. Washington delivered an ultimatum to the French forces in the Ohio Valley, requesting them to leave the area.
The Excise Whiskey Tax passed in the House by a 35 to 21 majority, the first tax imposed on a domestic product. The tax sparked outrage on the frontier and resulted in the Whiskey Rebellion in 1791.
The number of years George and Martha Washington were married.
57 Years, 9 Weeks
Washington’s age at his inauguration.
In both of Washington’s presidential elections, he received 100 percent of the Electoral College votes.
The number of African-American slaves living at Mount Vernon by the end of Washington’s life.
The estimated size of the Native American force — led by Little Turtle, Blue Jacket and Buckongahelas — that destroyed the first U.S. army in St. Clair’s Defeat. Of the 1,400 U.S. troops, over 900 were killed or suffered casualties. The battle, part of the Northwest Indian War, remains one of the worst military disasters in U.S. history.
The number of French and Continental troops Washington led in the Battle of Yorktown. After surrounding their army, Washington forced the British to surrender, ending the Revolutionary War.
Washington’s estimated net worth (in 2010 dollars and adjusted for inflation), making him one of the richest presidents in U.S. history. Washington’s wealth primarily came from his extensive land holdings.