George Washington, 1st President of the USA

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George Washington, 1st Pres. of the USA

Also Known As: "The Father of Our Country"
Birthplace: Popes Creek Landing, Westmoreland, Virginia
Death: Died in Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia
Place of Burial: Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Augustine Washington, Sr. and Mary Washington
Husband of Martha Washington
Brother of Elizabeth "Betty" Washington; Col. Samuel Washington; John Augustine Washington; Col. Charles Washington; Mildred Washington and 3 others
Half brother of Butler Washington; Lawrence Washington; Col. Augustine Washington, Jr. and Jane Washington

Occupation: Farmer, Commanding General of the Continental and Revolutionary Army, Lawmaker, First President of the United States
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About George Washington, 1st President of the USA

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Washington served as a general and commander-in-chief of the colonial armies during the American Revolution, and later became the first president of the United States, serving from 1789 to 1797. He died on December 14, 1799, in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Early Life and Family


George Washington could trace his family's presence in North America to his great-grandfather, John Washington, who migrated from England to Virginia. The family held some distinction in England and was granted land by Henry VIII. Much of the family’s wealth was lost during the Puritan revolution and in 1657 George’s grandfather, Lawrence Washington, migrated to Virginia. Little information is available about the family in North America until George’s father, Augustine, who was born in 1694.

Augustine Washington was an ambitious man who acquired land and slaves, built mills, and grew tobacco. For a time, he had an interest in opening iron mines. He married his first wife, Jane Butler and they had three children. Jane died in 1729 and Augustine married Mary Ball in 1731. George was the eldest of Augustine and Mary’s six children, all of which survived into adulthood. The family lived on Pope's Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia. They were moderately prosperous members of Virginia's "middling class."

Augustine moved the family up the Potomac River to another Washington family home, Little Hunting Creek Plantation, (later renamed Mount Vernon) in 1735 and then moved again in 1738 to Ferry Farm on the Rappahannock River, opposite Fredericksburg, Virginia, where George Washington spent much of his youth.

Little is known about George Washington's childhood, which fostered many of the fables later biographers manufactured to fill in the gap. Among these are the stories that Washington threw a silver dollar across the Potomac and after chopping down his father's prize cherry tree, he openly confessed to the crime. It is known that from age seven to fifteen, George was home schooled and studied with the local church sexton and later a schoolmaster in practical math, geography, Latin and the English classics. But much of the knowledge he would use the rest of his life was through his acquaintance with backwoodsmen and the plantation foreman. By his early teens, he had mastered growing tobacco, stock raising and surveying.

George Washington’s father died when he was 11 and he became the ward of his half-brother, Lawrence, who gave him a good upbringing. Lawrence had inherited the family's Little Hunting Creek Plantation and married Anne Fairfax, the daughter of Colonel William Fairfax, patriarch of the well to do Fairfax family. Under her tutorage, George was schooled in the finer aspects of colonial culture.

In 1748, when he was 16, George traveled with a surveying party plotting land in Virginia’s western territory. The following year, aided by Lord Fairfax, Washington received an appointment as official surveyor of Culpeper County. For two years he was very busy surveying the land in Culpeper, Frederick and Augusta counties. The experience made him resourceful and toughened his body and mind. It also piqued his interest in western land holdings, an interest that endured throughout his life with speculative land purchases and a belief that the future of the nation lay in colonizing the West.

In July, 1752, George Washington's brother, Lawrence, died of tuberculosis making him the heir apparent of the Washington lands. Lawrence’s only child, Sarah, died two months later and Washington became the head of one of Virginia's most prominent estates, Mount Vernon. He was 20 years old. Throughout his life, he would hold farming as one of the most honorable professions and he was most proud of Mount Vernon. He would gradually increase his landholdings there to about 8,000 acres.

Further Reading

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George Washington, 1st President of the USA's Timeline

February 22, 1732
Westmoreland, Virginia
January 6, 1759
Age 26
Williamsburg, Virginia
June 15, 1775
- December 23, 1783
Age 43
United States
- 1773
Age 42

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen united former British colonies on the North American continent, and ended in a global war between several European great powers. The war was the culmination of the political American Revolution, whereby the colonists rejected the right of the Parliament of Great Britain to govern them without representation. In 1775, revolutionaries gained control of each of the thirteen colonial governments, set up the Second Continental Congress, and formed a Continental Army. Petitions to the king to intervene with the parliament on their behalf resulted in Congress being declared traitors and the states in rebellion the following year. The Americans responded by formally declaring their independence as a new nation, the United States of America, claiming sovereignty and rejecting any allegiance to the British monarchy. In 1777 the Continentals captured a British army, leading to France entering the war on the side of the Americans in early 1778, and evening the military strength with Britain. Spain and the Dutch Republic – French allies – also went to war with Britain over the next two years.

Throughout the war, the British were able to use their naval superiority to capture and occupy coastal cities, but control of the countryside (where 90% of the population lived) largely eluded them due to their relatively small land army. French involvement proved decisive, with a French naval victory in the Chesapeake leading to the surrender of a second British army at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.

December 25, 1776
Age 44

The Battle of Trenton took place on December 26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War after General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River north of Trenton, New Jersey. The hazardous crossing in adverse weather allowed Washington to lead the main body of the Continental Army against Hessian soldiers garrisoned at Trenton. After a brief struggle, nearly the entire Hessian force was captured, with negligible losses to the Americans. The battle boosted the Continental Army's flagging morale, and inspired re-enlistments.

The Continental Army had previously suffered several defeats in New York and had been forced to retreat across to Pennsylvania via New Jersey. Morale in the army was low; in an attempt to save the army and end the year on a positive note, George Washington—Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army—devised a plan to cross the Delaware River on Christmas night and surround the Hessian garrison.

Because the river was icy, the crossing proved dangerous. Two of the offensive groups were unable to cross the river, leaving Washington and his 2,400 men alone in the assault. The army marched 9 miles (14 km) south to Trenton. When the Hessians spotted the Americans approaching, they formed lines and began an organized retreat. However, when the Hessians had been pushed back to the city, the American artillery broke their lines and the Hessian resistance collapsed. Almost two thirds of the 1,500 man garrison was captured, with the exception of a few who escaped across Assunpink Creek.

Despite the battle's small numbers, its effect was enormous throughout the colonies. The revolution itself had been in doubt only a week earlier, and the army seemed on the verge of collapse. However, with this victory, soldiers agreed to stay and new recruits came and joined the ranks.

September 17, 1787
- September 17, 1787
Age 55
Independence Hall, Philadelphia,

The Signers of the U. S. Constitution

New Hampshire
John Langdon
Nicholas Gilman

Rufus King
Nathaniel Gorham

Roger Sherman
William Samuel Johnson

New York
Alexander Hamilton

New Jersey
William Livingston
David Brearley
William Paterson
Jonathan Dayton

Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Mifflin
Robert Morris
George Clymer
Thomas FitzSimons
Jared Ingersoll
Gouverneur Morris
James Wilson

George Read
Gunning Bedford, Jr.
John Dickinson
Richard Bassett
Jacob Broom

James McHenry
Daniel Carroll
Dan of St. Thomas Jenifer

John Blair
James Madison, Jr.
George Washington

North Carolina
William Blount
Richard Dobbs Spaight
Hugh Williamson

South Carolina
John Rutledge
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney
Charles Pinckney
Pierce Butler

William Few
Abraham Baldwin

Biographies of the Founding Fathers

Colonial Hall now contains 103 biographical sketches of America's founding fathers. At this time we have divided them up into 3 groups:
As you will see there are still many biographies that need to be added to our site, including a new category: Other Founding Fathers.

The biographies on this site are primarily from 1 of the following 2 sources:
Lives of the Signers to the Declaration of Independence, by the Rev. Charles A. Goodrich. Published in 1829.
The United States Manual of Biography and History, by James V. Marshall. Published by James B. Smith & Co., in Philadelphia in the year 1856.
The U.S. Constitution at the National Archives

April 30, 1789
- March 4, 1797
Age 57
District of Columbia, United States
July 9, 1799
- July 9, 1799
Age 67
Mt Vernon, Fairfax, VA, USA
December 14, 1799
Age 67
Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia
December 18, 1799
Age 67
Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia