Presidents before George Washington?
by Roger W Hancock, PoetPatriot.com
(Auburn, Washington in the Good Ol' U.S.of A.)
George Washington was America's first official 'Head of State'. Having been the Commander of the Revolutionary Armies he was America's first 'war hero'. Some colonial communities began celebrating Washington's Birthday as early as 1777. Washington's prominence as a war hero and becoming the 'first' president 13 years later led to his being named 'Father of our country.' However, George Washington was not America's first 'president'.
George Washington was the first President under the United States Constitution. Washington did not become president until 1789 after the Constitution was ratified. There were nearly 13 years from 1776 to 1789 that the United States existed before George Washington was elected President. During that time beginning with the Declaration of Independence there were 13 men who served as President of the Continental Congress.
At the time the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Hancock was President of the Continental Congress. Some might say John Hancock was the first President, since he was presiding at the time Independence was declared. The Articles of Confederation was ratified in 1777 when Henry Laurens was president of the Continental Congress. Others might say that Laurens was first president, having presided over the adoption of America's first document defining the national government. Still others say that Peyton Randolph was the first president having presided as the first president of the 2nd Continental Congress that convened to address the possibility of Independence from the English Crown and then later drafted and ratified the Declaration of Independence. All in all, America had four "first presidents." However the "first Presidents," those presiding over the Continental Congress were more like 'Chairmen' as opposed to being a "Head of State." They had little power other than when the Continental Congress granted it.
To read about the first Presidents before George Washington, go to TimeLines of the Early American Presidency - www.PoetPatriot.com/timeline/tmlnpres1.htm