The First President

Today we celebrate President’s day and what better day to consider the question of who was our first president?

George Washington is widely considered to be our first president but it can be argued that he was actually the 17th.

The first Continental Congress met in 1774 and the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, but old George didn’t become President until 1789. So, who was in charge between 1774 and 1789?

When the first Continental Congress convened on September 5th, 1774, they elected Peyton Randolph as President and, each time they met, they selected a new President for the session.

Here’s a list of the first 16 Presidents and the year they were elected:

  1. Peyton Randolph 1774
  2. Henry Middleton 1774
  3. Payton Randolph 1775
  4. John Hancock 1775
  5. Henry Laurens 1777
  6. John Jay 1778
  7. Samuel Huntington 1779
  8. Thomas McKean 1781
  9. John Hanson 1781
  10. Elias Boudinot 1782
  11. Thomas Mifflin 1783
  12. Richard Henry Lee 1784
  13. John Hancock 1785
  14. Nathaniel Gorham 1786
  15. Arthur St. Clair 1787
  16. Cyrus Griffin 1788

The Constitution of the United States was adopted on September 17th, 1787, and George Washington became the first President to serve a four-year term, under the Constitution, beginning in 1789.

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