How Did George Washington Die? 8 Facts You Should Know

October 28, 2020 | Last updated: October 29, 2020

George Washington is easily recognizable as America’s first president. There is so much rich history about George Washington, but today we want to look at his death. How did George Washington die? Was it painful? Was there a chance of saving his life?

All these are questions that we will try to answer here. Below are 8 facts about George Washington’s death you should know.

1. Died on December 14, 1799

It is estimated that George Washington died on December 14, 1799 between ten and eleven during the night.

George Washington was surrounded by people close to him including his personal physician and friend, Dr. James Craik, his wife, Martha Washington, and his personal secretary, Tobias Lear.

2. George Washington Died of Quinsy

Still on the question, how did George Washington die, we have to look at his cause of death.

There have been reports that he died from a throat infection. However, that is not the case. George Washington died of quinsy.

People relate his death to a sore throat because he had one a few days before his death. He was working on his farm and never changed his wet clothes before having dinner. Several days later, his sore throat worsened. However, that is not what killed him.

3. His Last Words

Like any other person, it is always nice to know the last words of a person. They mean a lot to those who were close to the person.

His last words were to his secretary Tobias. He requested that his burial should be decent and not hurried. It was a common thing to bury people hurriedly back in the 18th century.

The final works Washington spoke were “Tis well” to his secretary. Well, if you never had an idea what were his last words, now you know.

4. George Washington’s Wills

A couple of months before his death, Washington came up with two wills. Then on the eve of his death, Washington requested for the wills. It was after reviewing them, he decided to pick the most suitable. At this point, one will was thrown into the fire.

It must be interesting to learn what could have possibly been in the Washington wills.

5. The Funeral

coffin on horse carriage

Since he was the first president of America, it is expected that his funeral would be attended by many people.

To make it even more unique, there were four ministers who preached during the funeral. Each of the ministers had a personal connection to Washington.

6. Emancipation of his Slaves

Enslavement had been always a contentious issue in the past. It might be the reason Washington decided to free the slaves as his part of the will.

In the will, Washington stated that the slaves would be emancipated after the death of Martha Washington. Well, Martha did not want to wait until her death to free the slaves. It is why she signed a manumission deed that allowed all the Washington enslaved people to be freed earlier on January 1, 1801.

7. The Washington’s Burial Site

Both George Washing and Martha Washington are buried in a new tomb found in Mount Vernon. This was part of his will that stated a new tomb to be built to replace the existing one.

8. Tomb Visitations

The tombs are available for visitations. You can visit them during the stipulated hours each time you are in Mount Vernon for a trip.

Conclusion

Now that we have answered the question, how did George Washington die, we would recommend that you read more about him in his biography. You will learn more about his achievements, political affiliations, and why he is still celebrated today as the founding father of America.