A Shocking Sneak Peek Behind the Secret Private Life of George Washington
The First President of the USA, George Washington, had a controversial and secretive private life that was shrouded in much mystery throughout his term as President. Before becoming President of America, Washington was a military general in the War of Independence and a founding father of the state who prided himself on taking over America to turn it into the country that we know it as today. Despite being regarded as a hero by many Americans, Washington’s behaviours were surrounded in badly-concealed controversy throughout his life, which gave him a kind of double-character. On the one hand, George Washington was regarded as a virtuous hero and founder of the “land of the free,” but on the other hand, he was dogged by rumours of being unfaithful, including claims that he fathered a slave’s son and wrote racy love letters to a married woman. Despite being intensely private throughout his rule as President of the USA, sources have unveiled some interesting facts about him that you may have never heard of before. Here, we will delve in and try to uncover what the real George Washington was genuinely like.
Did Smallpox Make Him Sterile?
Something that was unusual for George Washington is the fact that he never had any biological children of his own. One theory to explain this was that he was sterile. This theory was formed after the former President contracted smallpox in Barbados and was so sick that he nearly died from it, which made him infertile. On the contrary, it is also speculated that the busy President simply did not want children of his own, which seemingly contradicts the next fact that we’ll tell you…
He Was a Step-Father
Despite his aversion to wanting his own children, it may surprise you to know that Washington had two step-children after his marriage to Martha Dandridge Curtis. Martha’s children were born in a previous marriage of hers, and Washington was said to have accepted them as his own. Unfortunately, both children died at relatively young ages- one from epilepsy at 17, and the other from a sudden illness at 27.
He Was Guilty of Being Unfaithful
At 27 years old, George Washington was engaged to a woman named Martha Dandridge Curtis, who he ended up marrying. Controversially, during this marriage, it was revealed that Washington had been found guilty of writing extremely raunchy love letters to another woman- who was married to one of his close friends! In one of the letters, Washington wrote: “I feel the force of her amiable beauties” and claimed he loved her over his wife. Controversial! Click next to hear about another controversial claim made about the love-life President…
He May Have Fathered a Child With an Enslaved Woman
According to reports, Washington was accused of fathering a son with an enslaved woman who was considered his “personal sleep partner”. The woman was named Venus Ford, who became pregnant and birthed a son who apparently looked extremely like George Washington. While these rumours were rife during his time as President, historians have doubted that this happened due to lack of evidence.
Martha Hated Being First Lady
Surprisingly, George Washington’s wife, Martha, was not happy to hear that her husband was elected President of the United States of America. Alongside thinking her husband was too old for the role, Martha despised the formalities of Presidential life, and harshly critiqued the formal dress, weekly social affairs and fancy receptions that went along with the role. Click next to hear something horrifying about the President…
He Was a Slave Owner
Something spine-chilling about history is that even the first President of the USA partook in the brutal practise of slave ownership, keeping hundreds of African slaves captive on his land. During his time as a slave owner, reports say that many of his captive slaves attempted to flee his land, and many were injured and killed trying to do so.
He Dabbled in Distillery and Hemp Farming
If he was alive now, George Washington would probably be considered a hipster for the fact that he distilled his own whiskey and grew his own hemp! Interestingly, Washington’s whiskey distilling business was extremely successful and was one of the largest whiskey producers in the USA during its time in business. In terms of hemp production, Washington’s crops were used to make ropes, clothes, nets and cloth, and were not for smoking! He also dabbled in some animal farming, as you’ll learn in the next slide…
He Was The First American To Breed Mules
One of the most bizarre facts about George Washington is that he is responsible for many of the Mules in existence in America. After receiving a donkey as a gift from Spain in the 1700s, Washington bred it with a horse, which over the years resulted in the breeding of 63 mules. According to Washington, the breeding of the mules was done in an attempt to revolutionise farming and make a stronger and more resilient farm animal than the horse was.
He Was The Highest Ranking Official In The US Army
Something interesting about George Washington is that no other person will ever rank higher in the US Army than he did. After retiring from the army, he was awarded a “lieutenant general” title, but as the years went on the military decided that this wasn’t enough. During his time in the military, he organised the entire framework for how the American Army and its soldiers worked, which resulted in him being awarded the title of General of the Armies of the United States, the highest-ranking title to ever exist. This title came with extreme wealth, too…
He Was Extremely Wealthy
George Washington gave himself quite a hefty salary during his time as President of the US, which amounted to 2% of the overall budget for the country! As well as this, many people speculated that he married his wife for money rather than love, as Martha came from an extremely high-profile, wealthy family. Interestingly, despite being surrounded by so much wealth, he was plagued by financial problems and even had to borrow money to attend his inauguration! There’s so much to George Washinton that we’ll never know about, as he was an extremely private man during his time as President of the United States. From what we do know, we can see that he was a world-class leader, who also had his faults and downfalls throughout his life, as so many of us do.
Sources: insidehook.com, pbs.org, timezone.com, prologue.blogs.archives.gov, thinglink.com, virginiahistory.org, history.com, americanwhiskeymuseum.com, wideopenpets.com, nj.gov, marshu.com