George Washington (1732-1799)

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George Washington (February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799) led America's Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. He served two four-year terms from 1789 to 1797. Washington served as the first American Chancellor of the College of William and Mary from 1788 to 1799.

George Washington on the College of William and Mary

In a letter dated 7 January 1773, from George Washington of Mt. Vernon to Rev. Jonathan Boucher (tutor to John Parke Custis, Washington's step-son) regarding Washington's suggestions for where Custis should attend college. It includes the following comments about William and Mary:

"...I cannot think William and Mary College a desirable place to send Jack Custis to -- the in-attention of the Masters, added to the number of Hollidays is the subject of general complaint... These considerations, added to a desire of withdrawing the mind of my ward as much as possible from the objects which seem at present to have engrossed too much of his attention...I hate, I think, determined to send him to the Philadelphia College, which from the best information I have been able to get...stands equally fair with any other, and being nearer is more agreeable to his mother..."

The original letter is available in the Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library.

George Washington Material in the Special Collections Research Center

George Washington material in the Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library.