May 15, 2013
“New York City played an important role in the public life of George Washington, spanning the final five decades of the eighteenth century,” argues Michael D. Hattem, doctoral candidate in history at Yale University. Interestingly, Washington both “suffered his worst military defeat and experienced some of his greatest personal triumphs in New York, including the Continental Army’s triumphant re-entry into the city and his inauguration as the first President of the United States.”
Washington’s first visit to New York City occurred in February 1756 when he was on his way to Boston to discuss his military commission with Britain’s military commander in the colonies and the push toward war with France. Seventeen years later, in 1773, Washington returned to New York City, this time to enroll his stepson Jacky at King’s College. En route to Boston once again, to accept his post as the new head of the Continental Army, Washington made his third visit to New York City in 1775.
New York remained a vitally important location of strategic importance throughout the Revolution and Washington suffered a series of significant military defeats that led to British control of the city. While “Washington longed to recapture New York City and avenge his humiliating defeat…he did not return until the British forces evacuated on November 25, 1783.”
Adam D. Shprintzen, Ph.D.
Editor, Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington
Category: Digital Encyclopedia