Uploaded by Admin on Mar 06, 2000
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Here he received little formal education. Historians have speculated that he attended a school in Fredericksburg, or may have been tutored by an indentured servant. Washington lived with his mother until the age of 16.
At the age of 15, Washington took a job as an assistant land surveyor. In 1748, he joined a surveying team that was sent to the Shanandoah Valley to help survey the land holdings of Lord Fairfax. By 1749, he established a good reputation as a land surveyor and was appointed to the official land surveyor of Culpeper County.
Washington’s father owned several farms. When his father died in 1743, his stepbrother Lawrence received the Mount Vernon Estate. Lawrence Washington died nine years later. His will stated that if his daughter, Sarah, died without baring children the Mount Vernon Estate would go to George Washington. Sarah Washington died two years later without baring children. Washington began his military career on February 1,1753, when he was sworn into the Virginia militia. He started as an adjutant for the southern part of the colony. Next, he set out to Fort Le Beouf on Lake Erie. He sent a message stating for the French to leave the land alone. The French denied his message. Four months later, they promoted him to lieutenant colonel. After defeating some French scouting party in southern Pennsylvania, they promoted him to colonel in charge of all the Virginian troops. Colonel Washington led an attack at Fort Necessity, Pennsylvania, where he and 400 troops surrendered to the French and Indians. In October Washington resigned as colonel and returned to Mount Vernon. Governor Dinwidde begged and pleaded for his return. He denied at first, but decided to regain control. Washington remained colonel for the rest of the war.
After the French and Indian War Washington again stepped down. He retired to Mount Vernon as a planter and a legislator. On January 6,1759, he married Martha Dandridge Custis. She was a wealthy widow and mother of two children. The couple had no children together, but he raised those of his wife as his own. During 1759-74, he managed his plantations and sat in the Virginia House of Burgesses.
By the 1770s, the relationship between Britain and the colonies became strained. Washington represented Virginia at the First and Second Continental Congresses. When Patrick Henry was asked to name...