Among the hundreds of markers that make that claim, the most curious is here on Barbados, the easternmost Caribbean island, off Venezuela, which Washington visited in 1751.
Washington, who was then 19, needed six weeks to sail from Virginia with his half brother Lawrence, who had tuberculosis. Lawrence Washington hoped the tropical air would be restorative.
My wife and I needed five hours on a direct flight from New York to make our first visit here.
And unlike the Washingtons, who came for recuperation, we, along with friends from London, came for the sun and rum."