George Washington was the first president of America. However, many readers wondered were there 8 presidents before George Washington? If yes, who were they? Read this article to find out.
George Washington was known as the Father of the Nation. The Electoral College elected him twice for the role of President. He supported the end of slavery and freed many slaves that were assigned to him. People, including various ministers in the government, gave him a lot of backlash for doing so. But he stood by his beliefs. Before his death, he even asked his wife to free as many slaves as possible as it was his last wish. He is now celebrated as a deeply respected figure and a holiday i.e. the President’s day devoted in his name.
How many Presidents were there before George Washington?
George Washington is regarded as the first President of the United States of America, but there were indeed eight presidents before George Washington, known as the Continental Congress. The newly independent America operated under the Articles of Confederation before the US Constitution that we know today was established. (See How Did the Americans Win the Revolutionary War?)
1. John Hanson
During the American Revolution, John Hanson was a Maryland public official as well as a merchant. He signed the Article of Confederation after he applied for a patriotic role in 1781. Born on 14th April 1721, he was born in the province of Maryland. Hanson was president for only about a year, as he retired soon after. During the Revolutionary War, he was instrumental in raising troops for the Continental Army. He passed away on 15th November in 1783. He was the first of the 8 presidents before George Washington.
2. Elias Boudinot
Elias Boudinot was born in Philadelphia on 2 May 1740. He studied at Princeton, New Jersey before he studied law as a legal apprentice at home. He was a famous lawyer and played a big part during the Revolution. He was involved in the formulation of The Treaty of Paris, along with his good friend, Benjamin Franklin. In 1783, representatives of both countries assembled, formally ending the Revolutionary War. From 1789 to 1795, he was a member of the First Congress, which was established under the Constitution. He was appointed as the Director of the United States Mint in 1795 and removed after 10 years in 1805. (See What is the difference between a Senator and a Governor, and which is higher in rank?)
3. Thomas Mifflin
Thomas Mifflin was also born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was one of the founding fathers during the Revolutionary War. He was from a soldier’s background and stood at the forefront during the battle. Mifflin worked with the Continental Army as a major, rather than being part of the Continental Confederation. He was elected to the post of General because of his knowledge and tactics used during the Battle of Princeton as well as the Battle of Triton. He was also a part of a college that was responsible for training young adults to join the military.
4. Richard Henry
Henry belonged to the Lee family and was born on January 20th, 1732 in Virginia. His parents were Hannah Lee and Thomas Lee, who had a background in the military. Before his father passed away, Thomas was the governor of Virginia, and Richard followed in his footsteps. Richard became the fourth president of the Continental Confederation and is best known for proposing the resolution for independence. However, Henry passed away on June 19th, 1794, at the age of 62.
5. John Hancock
Another one of the eight presidents before George Washington was John Hancock. He was born according to both, the new and old date systems. His old date system would mean he was born on January 12th, 1736, whereas the new system makes him a year younger. John Hancock was elected as the fifth president of the Continental Confederation. During the thirteen colonies, Hancock was the wealthiest man alive, as he inherited the merchant business from his uncle. The British accused him of smuggling under Liberty, although those charges were dropped later. (See 6 Most Liberal Cities in the United States)
6. Nathaniel Gorham
Gorham was elected to the Confederate States of America’s National Congress in 1782-1783 and again in 1785. He was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, and worked as a merchant’s apprentice in New London, Connecticut, due to lack of early schooling. He served as the presiding officer of the Continental Congress for six months after being a delegate from Massachusetts. He was also a signer of the United States Constitution and a member of the Constitutional Convention Committee of Detail. Gorham died of apoplexy in Charlestown in 1796. He was one of the 8 presidents before George Washington.
7. Arthur St. Clair
Arthur St. Clair was born in Scotland in 1737. He was involved in the French and Indian War. In 1800, Arthur was the governor of what would eventually become Ohio. Jane Aitken printed a narrative regarding Arthur St. Clair and the Indians during his time as the Governor of the Northwest Territory. Although he was a part of the British Empire, he was engaged more with the American Revolutionary War. He passed away at an age of 80 on 31st August 1818. (See How the States got their Shapes)
8. Cyrus Griffin
Cyrus Griffin was a late addition to the Continental Confederation and the American Revolution. He was born on July 20, 1948, and passed away on December 14, 1810. This meant he was the last president of the Continental Confederation before George Washington was elected as the first true President of the United States of America. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1778 after serving two years as a Virginia state representative. His service on the court paved the foundation for the creation of the national judicial system.