John Hemings

Portrait by Artist to Come

QUICK FACTS
BORN:
1776 at Monticello, Albemarle County, Virginia
  DIED:
c. 1830 at Monticello, Albemarle County, Virginia

           

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Portrait to come. See entry in Wikipedia.

 

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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)