George Washington was the very first President of the United States (1789–1797) and one of its ‘Founding Fathers’. He helped to write the United States Constitution, which is still the law in America today.

George Washington
George Washington

He was known as the ‘Father of his country’. He was an effective President who was good at organising things and who discussed problems with other people before making decisions

George Washington was born in 1732. His father died when he was 11 years old. He had a very basic education and his mother could not afford to send him to college, so he left school at the age of 15.

He joined the US Army and was a Major by the time he was 20, rising to become a Lieutenant Colonel, then Colonel and finally a Major General

He led the US Army; he was brave in battle and a good leader.

He played an important part in the American Revolution, when the American colonists won their independence from British rule.

George Washington was the great–great–great–grandson of a Huguenot named Nicholas Martiau (1591–1657). Martiau was born near the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle in France. He left France to come to England and he was mentioned in the register of the famous Huguenot church of Threadneedle Street, London in 1615.

In 1619, Nicholas was naturalised English. A year later he left England on a ship called the Francis Bonaventure and arrived in Virginia. He built a fence around the Jamestown Fort and this helped the settlers to survive a Native American uprising in 1622.

When George Washington married, his wife wore a dress of yellow brocade, silver bodice & silver petticoat. The dress was made in Spitalfields by the Huguenot silkweavers.

There have been 43 US Presidents, and 21 of them have Huguenot ancestors!

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