Who, again, was the first President of the United States?
It was quite a surprise to see the headlines in a Lodge newsletter, saying that John Hanson was the first President of the United States.
Hanson, not known to be a Mason, was an American patriot. He was elected to the Provincial Legislature of Maryland in 1775, and since then in 1777 became a member of Congress, where he distinguished himself as a brilliant administrator. Then, he was elected as the first President in 1781.WHAT?
The new country was actually founded on March 1, 1781, with the adoption of the Articles of Confederation, and John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress, which included George Washington.
Six other Presidents followed john Hanson, with each serving a one-year term. Why don’t we hear of the first seven Presidents? It is quite simple--- the Articles of Confederation did not 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 today as the Constitution.
George Washington was the first President of the United States under the Constitution we follow today. His term as President was from 1789 to 1797.
But John Hanson accomplished much in his one year in office. Almost immediately, the troops who fought in the Revolutionary War demanded to be paid. There were no funds for salaries. The soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and put George Washington on the throne as a monarch. Hanson calmed the troops and held the country together.
Other accomplishments by President Hanson included ordering all foreign troops off American soil, removal of all foreign flags, establishing the Great Seal of the United states (still in use), created the first treasury Department, the first Secretary of State, the first Foreign Affairs Department and declaring the fourth Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving Day.
Hanson and the other six Presidents under the Articles of Confederation are forgotten in history. Today, we proudly proclaim Brother George Washington as the first President and Father of our Country.
R\ W\ Jay Austin