Boston Revolutionary

Signer of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President; 1735—1826.
Political philosopher, Boston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1722—1803.
Boston merchant, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1737—93.
Lawyer, politician, Boston revolutionary; 1725—83.
Artisan, Boston revolutionary, militia soldier, foundryman; 1735—1818.
Boston doctor, revolutionary, militia general; died at the Battle of Bunker Hill; 1741—75.
Playwright, historian, sister of James Otis, Jr
, wife of James Warren; 1728—1814.

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)