Clarke, Jonas

Lexington, MA — Completed in 1737 by John Hancock's grandfather, the house is now a museum
On the night of Paul Revere's April 1775 ride John Hancock and Samuel Adams were awakened there with news of the advancing British troops.

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.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)