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Who was the first president of the United States?
Wrong. It wasn't George Washington, but it was a friend of his.

John Hanson, the representative from Maryland to the Continental Congress in 1781 and elected as the first president from 1781 to 1782.

The First Black President? And he may have been black, according to Alex'ander Wilson on the Web site presidentjohnhanson.com. The author claims Hanson was a Moor. He delves into questions about Hanson including why he is not listed a signer of the Declaration of Independence and why there doesn’t appear to be a body.

Some of this has been refuted. According to virtualology.com, “John Hanson was born in Charles County, Maryland in 1715 and died in Oxen Hills, Prince George County, Maryland on November 22, 1783. There is much debate about John Hanson's ancestry with one camp claiming he was descended from Swedish Royalty while the other group claiming he was a Moor. Neither of the assertions have merit.

John Hanson received an English education, and was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates nearly every year from 1757 until

Many have tried to debunk the claim of him as the first president because the final version of the United States didn’t exist until the adoption of the Constitution in 1787.

George Washington's Pal

Yet his actual title was President of the United States in Congress Assembled. George Washington, in a letter congratulated Hanson on being “elected first president of these United States.”
Certainly, he did not have the powers Washington or his successors did, but he was the first nominal head of the nation following the American Revolution.
According to fredericknewspost.com, Hanson helped organize soldiers for the war, helped give Washington power to negotiate with the British and basically kept the nation together during the first year of the transition following the Revolution.
He served largely as chairman of the Continental Congress for one year with several following him.

According to marshallhall.org: “Six other presidents were elected after him — Elias Boudinot (1783), Thomas Mifflin (1784), Richard Henry Lee (1785), Nathan Gorman (1786), Arthur St. Clair (1787), and Cyrus Griffin (1788) — all prior to Washington taking office.

Why don’t we ever hear about the first seven Presidents of the United States?

It’s quite simple — The Articles of Confederation didn't 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 as the Constitution.”
It also is true that two men preceded Hanson in his position, too, but he was the first elected following the defeat of the British.
Seymour Wemyss Smith wrote a book about him in the early 20th century called John Hanson — Our First President. It is where the debate first began about Hanson and his role in the post-Revolutionary period.

Some Remember

Maryland celebrates April 13 as John Hanson Day and made his home into a museum. There also is a school named after him as well as a highway.
It is far too easy to teach children the clichés of American History.

There’s a a lot more to this nation than is covered in the average text book.

COURTESY OF Shawn M. Tomlinson

Posted By: Cynthia Merrill Artis
Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 5:22PM

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John Hanson (a Moor) was actually the 1st President of the United States, he served from 1781 – 1782 and he was black. The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption of The Articles of Confederation. This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by Congress until November 15, 1777. Maryland refused to sign this document until Virginia and New York ceded their western lands (Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too much power in the new government from such large amounts of land).

Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the country. John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress (which included George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates refused to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution and an extremely influential member of Congress.
As President, Hanson ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as well as removal of all foreign flags. He established the Great Seal of the United States, which all Presidents since have been required to use on all Official Documents. He declared that the 4th Thursday of every November to be Thanksgiving Day, which is still true today. Even though elected, one variable that was never thought through was that America was not going to accept a Black President during the heart of the enslavement period. Enter George Washington.

Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 5:42PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 5:49PM
David Johnson
Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 5:58PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
I remember Dick Gregory touched on this topic during the time Bill Clinton was in office...this is quite interesting...
Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 8:09PM
Siebra Muhammad
Also did you know there's actually a picture of this guy on the back of the $2.00 bill? The back of the $2 bill has an engraving of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the image is a man who has dark skin and wearing a powdered wig while sitting at the table just to the left of the men standing in the center of the engraving. This dark skinned man is John Hanson in his position as president of the continental congress:

Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 8:12PM
Siebra Muhammad

Thanks, Cynthia!!!

Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 9:47PM
Richard Kigel
Siebra... Interesting... Yes there is a dark skinnd photo... I took this from his web site... apparently this man was powerful and there were alot of discussion about slaves and they felt that Sir Hanson... should not be displayed as the then commander in chief... and all this was before the signing of the Declaration of Independence....

President George Washington is noted for being the first President of America...

@Richard... I thought this was unbelievable!! Im still rubbing the goose bumps
Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 10:47PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
OMG!!! I have some $2.00 bills... I've gotta check this out
Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 10:48PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
((screaming)) it is a Black Man on the $2.00 Bill!!!!
Sunday, November 21st 2010 at 10:59PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
I hate to burst you bubble but you need to take a closer look at the real portrait of signers of the Declaration of Independence. Only signers were among those present. I'm surprise That Richard didn't mention this to you. Go to Declaration Posters and check it out, they have a magnifier that helps you to see clearer. Also the real protrait is located in the Capital Rotunda.
Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 6:34AM
Helen Lofton
Hi Helen: well actually Hanson was present during the signing of the Articles of Confederation, however Colonia States of Maryland and Deleware... ((On July 9, 1778, the prepared copy was ready. They dated it, and began to sign. They also requested each of the remaining states to notify its delegation when ratification was completed. On that date, delegates present from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina signed the Articles to indicate that their states had ratified. New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland could not, since their states had not ratified. North Carolina and Georgia also didn't sign that day, since their delegations were absent))


Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 7:09AM
Cynthia Merrill Artis

Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 7:38AM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
The picture on the back of the two dollar bill is the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 7:49AM
Helen Lofton
Helen... If Im not mistaking.... and Rich could probably help me out on this... BEFORE iit was known as the declaration... Confederation wass the common word... It wasn't until later it became known as The United States.... Im Simply pointing out that there was a government formed before George Washington became the first President....

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin had a lot to do with forming the government while others were still running....
So, with this... I don't know what more to say.... our history is so twisted... I believe that we should grasp as much information and when in down.... research to find the truths.... I believe that I have found some truth...
Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 5:39PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
What a fascinating debate!

And Cynthia--I am flattered that you think I can contribute something to this conversation. Now I have to try to do some research--and I'll be happy to do it!!!

Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 10:19PM
Richard Kigel
Great... Thanks... I know how much you love History
Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 10:22PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
Fly on the wings on the wind!
Tuesday, November 23rd 2010 at 12:28PM
Siebra Muhammad
ok.... gotta get some facts in there... But I am almost certain I am correct.
Tuesday, November 23rd 2010 at 2:05PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis
this is good !
Tuesday, November 23rd 2010 at 2:26PM
David Johnson
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