As in the case of his career as commander-in-chief, Washington’s most important act as president was his giving up the office. The significance of his retirement from the presidency is easily overlooked today, but his contemporaries knew what it meant. Most people assumed that Washington might be president as long as he lived, that he would be a kind of elected monarch like the king of Poland. Hence his retirement from the presidency enhanced his moral authority and set a precedent for future presidents.
Continental Army general, won the Battles of Saratoga; 1727—1806.
Slave of Thomas Jefferson; 1765—1801.
Slave of Thomas Jefferson; 1776—1830.
House slave of Thomas Jefferson; mother of at least six of his children; 1773—1836.
Lawyer, orator, Virginia governor; 1736—99.
Lawyer, architect, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia governor, diplomat, third President, founder of the University of Virginia; 1743—1826.
Personal attendant to Martha Washington; c. 1773—1848.
Slave of Thomas Jefferson, they grew up together; 1743—1800.
Diplomat to France, Continental congressman; 1740—92.
Continental Army general, formerly a British officer; 1732—82.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)