By Mark Wachtler
Baltimore. (ONN) It’s curious that nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever heard of the men considered by some to be the fathers of our country and the nation’s first Presidents. If you thought it was George Washington, you’ll be interested to know he was actually the 11th President and one of three men considered at the time to be the fathers of our country. The others were Samuel Huntington and John Hanson - America’s other first official Presidents.
Samuel Huntington, the first person elected President in America in 1779.
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Birth of America - 1776, 1787 or 1788?
The confusion over who America’s first President is comes from the same confusion over when America was born. The vast majority of Americans believe that America was created in 1776 and George Washington was our nation’s first President. Both of those facts actually aren’t facts and are instead opinions. They’re patriotic folklore because the truth isn’t as widely agreed upon as most of us think.
In reality, 1776 is the year representatives of the 13 colonies declared in writing, and with the full authority of their respective state legislatures, that they were officially free from the rule of the British Empire. Ironically, today’s US government has made it illegal to dissolve the ties that bind a people to its government, something insincerely celebrated by our government but outlawed by it at the same time. The country fought the Civil War to overturn that very American human right.
America’s first President - Washington, Hanson or Huntington?
Rather than answer the questions; who was America’s first President and when was the country born, we’ll simply list out the events as they occurred and let you decide:
1776 – Representatives of the 13 colonies assemble for what they term a ‘Continental Congress’. There, they sign and unanimously adopt the Declaration of Independence. The 13 states of the New World are no longer ruled by Great Britain. Their individual states are still official entities. But having created and adopted the Declaration of Independence as an official body of united states, the term ‘Americans’ is widely adopted to name the people of the united states. America, while not recognized by any nations of the world as a country and not functioning with a Constitution, is born.
1779 – The Continental Congress continues to meet while General George Washington and the Continental Army continue to fight the war for independence. The Continental Congress elects its first President - Samuel Huntington.
1781 – The Continental Congress elects its second President – Thomas McKean.
1782 – The Articles of Confederation are adopted and the new nation has an official national government. The first President of the Continental Congress under an official national government is elected – John Hanson.
1783 – The Continental Congress elects its fourth President – Elias Boudinot.
1784 – The Continental Congress elects its fifth President – Thomas Mifflin.
1785 – The Continental Congress elects its sixth President – Richard Henry Lee.
1786 – The Continental Congress elects its seventh President who soon resigns for health reasons – John Hancock.
1786 – The Continental Congress elects its eighth President – Nathaniel Gorhan.
1787 – The Continental Congress drafts the United States Constitution and elects its ninth President – Arthur St. Clair.
1788 – The Continental Congress elects its tenth President – Cyrus Griffin. Each of the united states ratifies the United States Constitution, creating the United States of America.
1789 – The body formerly called the Continental Congress, but hence called the United States Congress, creates the Electoral College made up of a handful of select men. They elect the eleventh President – George Washington.
1792 – America holds its first popular election in which individual citizens elect delegates to the Electoral College. George Washington is re-elected as President.
So, who was America’s first President? Was it Samuel Huntington because he was the first person to hold the title of national President after America’s break from Great Britain? Was it John Hanson because he was the first President elected under an official and adopted Constitution? Or was it George Washington because he was the first President elected under the United States Constitution, America’s current national government? Or because he was the first President elected by popular vote? We’ll let you decide. Either way, at least you know the real history now.
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