After the Revolutionary War, General George Washington hoped to live as a wealthy gentleman farmer in Virginia. But his sense of duty to his country was so great that instead he went on to serve his country as the first president of the United States in 1789. All in all, he spent 50 years in public service.  After his first term as president, Washington was unanimously re-elected for a second term. Retiring in 1796, it seemed Washington might finally be able to relax on his estate in Mount Vernon. But in 1798, when war with France seemed near, Washington again accepted command of American forces. He died the next year. His eulogy reads, “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.”