The First President of the United States

Items of historical significance.

Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Southern Dad » Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:35 am

Decypher wrote:So who were the eight and when did they serve?


Winchester wrote:
Southern Dad wrote:Ever hear of President John Hanson? Most haven't. John Hanson was unanimously chosen by our congress, including George Washington to be the first president. He took office as the Revolutionary War ended. During his short term, he faced a possible overthrow of the government by our own troops. The congress ran for their lives leaving the new president to figure it out. It seems that we hadn't paid our military and didn't have the funds available to do it. He ordered all foreign soldiers out of the USA, established the Great Seal which is still used to this day and demanded the removal of all foreign flags. He established the Department of the Treasury, set Thanksgiving Day and set up a Foreign Affairs Department. He had a busy year in office.

There were eight Presidents to serve before George Washington. Just an interesting fact to share.


My history teacher sucked (well actually he didn't but the text books did). I'm embarrassed to say I've never heard of John Hanson or the 7 other people before George Washington or if I did I forgot about them.


John Hanson (1781-82)
Elias Boudinot (1782-83)
Thomas Mifflin (1783-84)
Richard Henry Lee (1784-85)
John Hancock (1785-86)
Nathan Gorman (1786-87)
Arthur St. Clair (1787-88)
Cyrus Griffin (1788-89)
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Decypher » Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:59 am

Presumably that's the John Hancock of the flamboyant signature. Any interesting stuff on the other guys?
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Southern Dad » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:23 am

Decypher wrote:Presumably that's the John Hancock of the flamboyant signature. Any interesting stuff on the other guys?


John Hanson (1781-82)
He owned slaves, yet may have been a moor. He accomplished a lot during his term in office as President. Probably the most of any of the eight. Twice he was put in the position of unifier to try and keep our nation whole. John Adams was unhappy with the idea of nationhood and wanted Maryland to stand alone. They were even raising up an army. He was also the final signature on the Articles of Confederation.

Elias Boudinot (1782-83)
He was a lawyer by occupation. He was later appointed at Director of the Mint by President George Washington.

Thomas Mifflin (1783-84)
He was a merchant and major general in the army. He accepted General George Washington's resignation.

Richard Henry Lee (1784-85)
under Lee, the Congress established the dollar as the currency of the USA. He also wasn't paid for his time in office but did have his housing expenses covered.

John Hancock (1785-86)
He was a merchant and a smuggler. Nobel professions at that time. He was later elected Governor of Massachusetts with over 90% of the vote.

Nathan Gorman (1786-87)
He was a merchant. Not much written about his time in office.

Arthur St. Clair (1787-88)
He was President when the Northwest Territories Ordinance was passed and after leaving office became Governor of the Northwest Territories (Ohio). Thomas Jefferson had him fired from that position.

Cyrus Griffin (1788-89)
A lawyer and judge. President George Washington used a recess appointment to put him on the United States District Court for the District of Virginia.
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Philly » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:05 am

propaganda. For quite some time there have been pseudo-historians out there trying to push this premise to sell books.
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Saz » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:49 am

Southern Dad wrote:
Saz wrote:No, he wasn't. President of the united states is a position created by the constitution.


Okay, so rather than discuss the first eight Presidents, I've got an idea... Let's dick around and say they weren't presidents even though they were given that title by our government. Pardon me from trying to spark a little interesting conversation about something from history.


They were not given the title of President of the United States. They were given the title of President of Congress. Saying these guy's are the first presidents is like saying Robespierre is the first president of France. It's interesting nonetheless but like Philly said, a bunch of historians have been trying to elevate these guys to something they are not in an attempt to sell more books. It's revisionist history.
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Southern Dad » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:55 am

Saz wrote:They were not given the title of President of the United States. They were given the title of President of Congress. Saying these guy's are the first presidents is like saying Robespierre is the first president of France. It's interesting nonetheless but like Philly said, a bunch of historians have been trying to elevate these guys to something they are not in an attempt to sell more books. It's revisionist history.


I disagree. The actions that John Hanson took were not the actions that a Speaker of the House would have been charged with handling. They were presidential. Establishing the Department of the Treasury and appointing a secretary of it? Unifying the country? Avoiding a revolt by our unpaid troops? Call it what you want but that isn't exactly powers that John Boehner has.
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Philly » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:58 am

Southern Dad wrote:
Saz wrote:The actions that John Hanson took were not the actions that a Speaker of the House would have been charged with handling..

This much is true. John Hanson's role was significantly less important than a Speaker of the House.
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Saz » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:59 am

Southern Dad wrote:
Saz wrote:They were not given the title of President of the United States. They were given the title of President of Congress. Saying these guy's are the first presidents is like saying Robespierre is the first president of France. It's interesting nonetheless but like Philly said, a bunch of historians have been trying to elevate these guys to something they are not in an attempt to sell more books. It's revisionist history.


I disagree. The actions that John Hanson took were not the actions that a Speaker of the House would have been charged with handling. They were presidential. Establishing the Department of the Treasury and appointing a secretary of it? Unifying the country? Avoiding a revolt by our unpaid troops? Call it what you want but that isn't exactly powers that John Boehner has.


Yes, because the article of confederation provided for no executive. So the roles usually filled by the executive were delegated to others, some of them to the president of congress. But that does not mean they are president of the united states
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Re: The First President of the United States

Postby Tejada » Wed Feb 11, 2015 12:06 am

Southern Dad wrote:I disagree. The actions that John Hanson took were not the actions that a Speaker of the House would have been charged with handling. They were presidential. Establishing the Department of the Treasury and appointing a secretary of it?



President George Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as the first United States Secretary of the Treasury on September 11, 1789.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_the_Treasury#History

Treasury Department, founded September 2, 1789;
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