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8 Presidents of the U.S. Before George Washington

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June 4, 2009

Who was the first president of the United States? All of us say “George Washington.” But it’s wrong at least technically. Washington was not inaugurated until April 30, 1789. And yet, the United States continually had functioning governments from as early as September 5, 1774 and operated as a confederated nation from as early as July 4, 1776. During that nearly fifteen year interval we got many presidents but we never heard about them. So here following brief biographies profile these "forgotten presidentsBefore “George Washington.”

1.    John Hanson (1721-1783): 

John Hanson (April 14, 1721 – November 22, 1783) was a merchant and public official from Maryland during the era of the American Revolution. After serving in a variety of roles for the Patriot cause in Maryland, in 1779. Hanson was elected as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He signed the Articles of Confederation in 1781 after Maryland finally joined the other states in ratifying them. In November 1781, he became the first President of Congress to be elected under the terms of the Articles of Confederation. For this reason, Hanson was later promoted as having been the first President of the United States, one of several myths about him.



2.    Elias Boudinot (1740–1821)  :

8 presidents before george washington

Elias Boudinot (1740–1821) was a lawyer and statesman from Elizabeth, New Jersey who was a delegate to the Continental Congress and a U.S. Congressman for New Jersey. He also served as President of the Continental Congress from 1782 to 1783 and Director of the United States Mint from 1795 until 1805.



3. Thomas Mifflin:(1744-1800):

8 presidents before george washington

 Thomas Mifflin (January 10, 1744 – January 20, 1800) was an American merchant and politician from Philadelphia at Pennsylvania. He was a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, a member of the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly, a Continental Congressman from Pennsylvania, fifth President of the U.S. Congress under the Articles of Confederation, and a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He served as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, President of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council and the first Governor of Pennsylvania.

4. Richard Henry Lee:(1732-1794):

8 presidents before george washington

Richard Henry Lee (January 20, 1732 – June 19, 1794) was an American statesman from Virginia best known for the motion in the Second Continental Congress calling for the colonies' independence from Great Britain. His famous resolution of June 1776 led to the United States Declaration of Independence, which Lee signed. He also served a one-year term as the President of the Continental Congress, and was a U.S. Senator from Virginia from 1789 to 1792, serving during part of that time as one of the first Presidents pro tempore.




5.John Hancock:(1737-1793):

8 presidents before george washington

John Hancock (January 23, 1737 – October 8, 1793) was a merchant, statesman, and prominent Patriot of the American Revolution. He served as president of the Second Continental Congress and was the first governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He is remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence, so much so that "John Hancock" became, in the United States, a synonym for signature.



6.Nathaniel Gorham:(1738-1796):

8 presidents before george washington

Nathaniel Gorham (May 27, 1738 – June 11, 1796) was the eighth President of the United States in Congress assembled, under the Articles of Confederation. He served from June 1786 to November 13, 1786. He was preceded in office by John Hancock and succeeded by Arthur St. Clair. He took part in public affairs at the beginning of the American Revolution, was a member of the Massachusetts General Court (Legislature) from 1771 until 1775, a delegate to the Provincial congress from 1774 until 1775, and a member of the Board of War from 1778 until its dissolution in 1781. In 1779 he served in the State constitutional convention. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1782 until 1783, and also from 1785 until 1787. Gorham also served a term as judge of the Middlesex County, Massachusetts Court of Common Pleas.

7. Arthur St. Clair:(1734-1818):

8 presidents before george washington

Arthur St. Clair (March 23, 1737– August 31, 1818) was an American soldier and politician.  During the American Revolutionary War, he rose to the rank of major general in the Continental Army, but lost his command after a controversial retreat. After the war, he was elected to the Confederation Congress, where he served a term as president and was appointed governor of the Northwest Territory. Disputes with Native Americans over land treaties resulted in the Northwest Indian War. In 1791, General St. Clair led an expedition against the natives that resulted in the worst defeat the United States Army would ever suffer at the hands of Native Americans. Although an investigation exonerated him, St. Clair resigned his army commission. He continued to serve as territorial governor until 1802, when he retired to Pennsylvania. Although once very wealthy, he died in poverty.


8. Cyrus Griffin(1736-1796):

8 presidents before george washington

Cyrus Griffin (July 16, 1749 – December 14, 1810) was a lawyer and judge who served as the last President of the Continental Congress, holding office from January 22, 1788, to November 2, 1788. He resigned after the ratification of the United States Constitution rendered the old Congress obsolete.He served as President of Congress from January to November 1788, a mostly ceremonial position with no real authority.Some amateur historians later promoted Griffin and other Presidents of Congress as the original "Presidents of the United States", but the offices are unrelated.Griffin was president of the Supreme Court of the Admiralty from its creation until its abolition, was commissioner to the Creek nation in 1789, and was judge of the United States District Court for the District of Virginia from December 1789, until his death (in Yorktown, Virginia) on December 14, 1810. want more here