Read about John Hanson... This will also the answer the question about who was the first president, and who ran the country before Gen Washington...Here is some additional info below on this.
From The File
A "Black" Man, A Moor, John Hanson
Was the First President of the United States!
was really the 8th President of the United States!
George Washington was not the first President of the
United States. In fact, the first President of the
United States was one John Hanson. Don't go checking
the encyclopedia for this guy's name - he is one of
those great men that are lost to history. If you're
extremely lucky, you may actually find a brief mention
of his name.
The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781
with the adoption of The Articles of Confederation.
This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776,
but not agreed upon by Congress until November 15,
1777. Maryland refused to sign this document until
Virginia and New York ceded their western lands
(Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too
much power in the new government from such large
amounts of land).
Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was
needed to run the country. John Hanson was chosen
unanimously by Congress (which included George
Washington). In fact, all the other potential
candidates refused to run against him, as he was a
major player in the revolution and an extremely
influential member of Congress.
As the first President, Hanson had quite the shoes to
fill. No one had ever been President and the role was
poorly defined. His actions in office would set
precedent for all future Presidents.
He took office just as the Revolutionary War ended.
Almost immediately, the troops demanded to be paid. As
would be expected after any long war, there were no
funds to meet the salaries. As a result, the soldiers
threatened to overthrow the new government and put
Washington on the throne as a monarch.
All the members of Congress ran for their lives,
leaving Hanson as the only guy left running the
government. He somehow managed to calm the troops down
and hold the country together. If he had failed, the
government would have fallen almost immediately and
everyone would have been bowing to King Washington. In
fact, Hanson sent 800 pounds of sterling siliver by
his brother Samuel Hanson to George Wasington to
provide the troops with shoes.
Hanson, as President, ordered all foreign troops off
American soil, as well as the removal of all foreign
flags. This was quite the feat, considering the fact
that so many European countries had a stake in the
United States since the days following Columbus.
Hanson established the Great Seal of the United
States, which all Presidents have since been required
to use on all official documents.
President Hanson also established the first Treasury
Department, the first Secretary of War, and the first
Foreign Affairs Department.
Lastly, he declared that the fourth Thursday of every
November was to be Thanksgiving Day, which is still
The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President
to serve a one year term during any three year period,
so Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in such
Six other presidents were elected after him - Elias
Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry
Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair
(1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788) - all prior to
Washington taking office.
So what happened?
Why don't we ever hear about the first seven
Presidents of the United States?
It's quite simple - The Articles of Confederation
didn't work well. The individual states had too much
power and nothing could be agreed upon.
A new doctrine needed to be written - something we
know as the Constitution.
And that leads us to the end of our story.
George Washington was definitely not the first
President of the United States. He was the first
President of the United States under the Constitution
we follow today.
And the first seven Presidents are forgotten in