Learning History: 7 fascinating facts about the United States’ first three presidents

George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson have gone down in history as the United States’ first three presidents. But what do we know about these founding fathers?

Did you know, for example, that Thomas Jefferson started a home winemaking business during his presidency? Or that he almost became vice president instead of VP candidate? And do you know who gave him the nickname ‘Tomato’? These seven fascinating facts will help you get to know America’s first three presidents better.

1) George Washington

The first president of the United States was also its first farmer. He grew crops such as wheat, rye, barley, corn, flax, and potatoes on his Virginia estate. He also reared cattle, sheep, and swine. But his main occupation was being a plantation owner. George Washington grew tobacco on his Virginia plantation. At the time, this was a very profitable enterprise.

Each year, Washington made around 2,000 pounds of tobacco. Of this, he gave away about 600 pounds as part of his business. The rest he sold for more than 6,000 pounds. George Washington used a percentage of his income to help those in need. He also provided money to his relatives and the families of his deceased business partners.

Washington was a gifted farm manager. He had a large crew of employees, including black slaves. At the time, slavery was common on plantations. Many Northern farmers also owned slaves. But Washington refused to purchase slaves in his later years. He did this to set an example for other planters.

He also refused to hire slave traders. Instead, he bought the slaves their freedom. Washington inherited his slaves from his wife’s property. He also acquired slaves when their masters died and left them to him in their wills.

2) John Adams

John Adams was the first vice president of the United States. As such, he was the first person to be given the title of ‘vice president. He was also the first person to be called ‘Mr. Vice President. Adams’ first job was as a lawyer. After he became a lawyer, he worked as a diplomat for the United States.

He also served in the Massachusetts State House. He was a member of the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War. Adams served as the second president of the United States. He was also the first president to live in the White House. President Adams and his wife Abigail were the first presidential couple to live in the White House.

A gifted writer, Adams is best known for his history of the American Revolution. He also wrote a book called ‘The Rights of the People. It was a critique of the governmental system used by the French. This helped him become the first U.S. ambassador to France.

3) Thomas Jefferson

One of the Founding Fathers and the third president of the United States. Jefferson was a statesman, diplomat, scientist, musician, and architect. He was also a farmer, philosopher, inventor and explorer. He spoke nine languages and could read in 11 languages. Jefferson had a photographic memory and could add large columns of numbers in his head.

He introduced ‘daylight savings time in the USA. Jefferson’s ‘daylight savings time was a one-hour difference from the standard time. He thought that the extra hour of daylight could be used for education.

Jefferson was a winemaker and a home brewer. He planted vineyards at his Virginia home, Monticello. He experimented with many types of grapes. Jefferson pressed and fermented his grape juice to produce wine. He also fermented apple juice to make apple cider.

4) Interesting Facts about the United States First Three Presidents

– George Washington was a Founding Father and the first president of the United States. He was born into a wealthy family on February 22, 1732.

– George Washington became a surveyor at age 16. He was given the job of surveying the border between Maryland and Virginia. In 1753, Washington was sent to the Ohio Valley to survey the land. He discovered how quickly the French were expanding their territory there.

– Washington became a revolutionary leader during the American Revolution. He is best known for leading the Continental Army against the British. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the American forces in 1775.

– In 1789, Washington was elected as the first President of the United States. He served two terms as President (from 1789 to 1797). He is often referred to as the ‘Father of his country.

– John Adams was a Founding Father. He was the second president of the United States. He was born on October 30, 1735.

5) A Founding Father who loved wine (and beer)

One of the Founding Fathers who loved wine was Thomas Jefferson. He was also a home brewer. As such, he used apples and barley to produce beer. But Jefferson’s favorite drink was wine. He loved French wines so much that he planted a vineyard in his home, Monticello.

Jefferson also imported wine from Europe. He shipped an average of 12,000 bottles of wine each year during his presidency. This wine was sold by the government to offset the presidential salary.

6) A Founding Father with a bad stutter

One of the Founding Fathers who had a stutter was John Adams. His stutter was so bad that he gave up trying to practice law. Instead, he chose a career in politics. Adams served as the second president of the United States. He was also a diplomat. His stutter held him back in these professions. Today, Adams would have received treatment for his stutter.

During his lifetime, however, his stutter was considered a weakness. Adams’ stutter also helped him in one situation. It happened during the Revolutionary War. Adams and two other men were on a mission to persuade a group of Massachusetts farmers to join their cause. When they got there, they were taken prisoner by the British.

7) The president who was almost VP instead of vice president

One of the Founding Fathers who was almost vice president instead of vice president was John Adams. This almost happened because Thomas Jefferson had a bad relationship with Adams. He and Adams had been friends and colleagues. But in 1789, they became political enemies.

Adams wanted Jefferson to be vice president. Jefferson wanted to be president. As such, they both refused to be vice presidents. This left the presidency open to other candidates. For eight ballots, no one was able to secure a majority of votes. Many people had been expecting Adams to win because of his popularity in Massachusetts.

However, he had many enemies in the House of Representatives. This left Jefferson with a chance to become president. After eight ballots, Jefferson’s votes had increased so much that he was only one short of a majority. At this point, Alexander Hamilton and his Federalist Party decided to support Jefferson.