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Rediscovering George Washington
Washington: Father of His Country The Washington Collection
Washington in the Classroom About the Program
Timeline: George Washington's Life Milestones
Multimedia Room Search the Site
Early Life, Marriage, and Death
Early Military Career
Revolutionary War

Amidst growing dissatisfaction with Articles of Confederation, Washington corresponds with James Madison and others to consider how the federal government might be formally strengthened.
May-September, presides at Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
April 14, secretary of Congress, Charles Thomson arrives at Mount Vernon to inform Washington of his election to the presidency. Washington accepts.

April 30, Washington is inaugurated in New York City. He delivers his famous First Inaugural Address; makes nominations and appointments to fill new offices; works with Congress in formation of new departments; assists Congress in adoption of amendments that become Bill of Rights.

October 3, Washington proclaims the first National Day of Thanksgiving.
June, Washington supports plan by which federal government assumes and funds Revolutionary War debts of states. Congress chooses Philadelphia as interim capital of the United States. To assuage Virginia, foremost opponent of assumption, Congress selects site on Potomac River for permanent capital, to be occupied in ten years time. July 16, Washington signs bill.

August 18, Washington writes to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, addressing them as equal citizens, and praising the principle of religious liberty as key to free, constitutional government.
November 4, General Arthur St. Clair is decisively defeated near Wabash River by a smaller force of confederated Indians led by Miami Indian, Little Turtle.
February 13, electoral votes counted and Washington is unanimously re-elected to the presidency; John Adams elected vice-president.
July-August, The Whiskey Rebellion. Displeased by an excise on Whiskey, imposed by the federal government to pay of the Revolutionary War debts, farmers on the Western frontier rose in rebellion against the tax. Raising a force of over twelve thousand troops and dispatching commissioners to western Pennsylvania, Washington successfully suppressed the rebellion and was able to "convince these people and the world of the moderation & the firmness" of the government.

August 20, General Anthony Wayne defeats Indian nations of Wabash and Maumee Rivers at Fallen Timbers (near present-day Toledo, Ohio). British, still occupying frontier forts, begin to slacken in support of Indian allies.
March 3, Congress approves and Washington thereafter signs Treaty of San Lorenzo, which opens Mississippi River to American navigation and sets boundary between United States and Florida at 31st parallel.

August 3, General Anthony Wayne concludes treaty of Greenville, by which Indian nations of Ohio River cede lands in present-day Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan.

August 18, Washington signs Jay's Treaty with Great Britain, which forces the British to evacuate western forts as stipulated in the Paris peace treaty of 1783. The treaty stabilizes American-British relations until the War of 1812.
September, Washington arranges publication of his Farewell Address, which appears in the Philadelphia American Daily Advertiser September 19, the day of his departure from that city for Mount Vernon.

October-December, he attends to government matters in Washington, the new federal city.
July, in wake of the XYZ affair and deteriorating relations with the new government of France, Washington accepts nominal command of American armies preparing for the impending conflict. War, however, is averted by the Adams administration.