Who Was George Washington?
Everybody knows who George Washington is, he is on the dollar bill, Mount Rushmore, and is taught in every U.S. history class. What many people don’t acknowledge about President Washington was his life before he even was George.
The irony in his victory against the British was the fact that he came from an English family. His great-great-grandfather, John Washington, migrated to the new world to purchase land in the Westmoreland County in Virginia. There, John married Anne Pope and relocated to bridge creek. After that little is known about the Washington family until Lawrence Washington, John’s grandson came into the picture. Lawrence then had Augustine, John, and Mildred. It was Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, who married Jane Butler, the daughter of Caleb Butler. Together they had 4 children, unfortunately, 2 passed away only leaving his 2 sons Lawrence, who was born in 1718 and Augustine Jr who was born in 1720. Another sad event occurred with the Washington family when Jane died on November 24th, 1728. Two years later, Augustine married Marry Ball who was the daughter to Colonel Ball. They both had a total of six children consisting of 4 sons and 2 daughters. Their first born together was George who came into the world on February 22nd in 1732. Following after the were, Samuel, John Augustine, Charles, Elizabeth, and Mildred. Painfully, another infant death occurred with the youngest Mildred.
After George was born, it wasn’t long until his father moved one more. It was the town Fredericksburg where most Georges childhood would lie. In the meadows by his house, George would play in his playground. As he matured, George went on to school. His education was the best that the neighborhood he lived in could offer. His older brother Lawrence received his education In England. George looked up to Lawrence because of his radiance of manliness and manners (Irving 34). Later, Lawrence was given the duty to be a captain of a new regiment. Many believe that George learned to be a great leader from Lawrence. He watched him go to war, it wasn’t soon after where his curiosity took a turn to the military. He made soldiers of his schoolmates; they had their mimic parades, reviews, and sham fights; a boy named William Bustle was sometimes his competitor, but George was commander-in-chief of Hobby’s school(Irving 36). By the age eleven, Georges father died on April 12th in 1743.
After the death of his father, Lawrence inherited land on Mount Vernon. Lawrence then married the Daughter of William Fairfax, who was a close neighbor of theirs. At the age of sixteen, Williams cousin offered George a surveying job (Thayer 15).
George took that job and was taught a life lesson, it toughened his courage and self-reliance. Throughout surveying, George wrote journal entries. Learning to survey had a long-lasting effect that lasted for the rest of his life. Washington soon joined the navy. Then all of a sudden, his brother Lawrence came down with a sickness which caused him to move to a more suitable place. George was going to go with him but he was commissioned as a General of Virginia. His rank was a major with the pay of 150 euros a year (Thayer 6). Soon after, George was sent home for about six weeks. William Thayer, the author of George Washington claims, George fell ill of a very strong case of smallpox (Thayer 12). Thayer also said that the disease left a long-lasting effect which will remind him for the rest of his life. Smallpox left scars on his face that changed the way he looked. Lucky, George was strong enough to pass through this sickness, unlike his brother who died of tuberculosis in 1752. Now all the estate on Mount Vernon was given to George to take care of. Soon after his brother’s death, the governor of Virginia, who was governor Dinwiddie, wanted George Washington to lead men on a dangerous and important mission along the Ohio River. At this time, George was only 22 Years old (Courtenay 20). George set out this mission with Jacob Braam and Cristopher Gist, who was the navigator. Georges mission was to message a warning to the French commander and win over the Indians friendship so he can overtake the land. The French commander responded that he will wait for orders from the governor in Quebec. It was late December when the French commander proposed his message. After receiving the message, George and his crew began to head back to the homeland through the unexplored land. Early in the year 1754, George finally got to governor Dinwiddle with the message proposed by the French commander. Dinwiddie was disappointed in the result and urged the legislator of Virginia to send stronger troops to capture the French fort (Thayer 12).
As the years pass, England sent you thousands of soldiers and their general, Braddock. George became a member of General Braddock’s troop in the French and Indian war. It was skeptical because Braddock did not have any knowledge of the American ways in warfare. Braddock though George was too young to lead and provide no attention to his suggestions (Courtenay 31). In early July Braddock, George and their troops traveled to Fort Duquesne, which is now present-day Pittsburgh. Not taking Georges advice, Braddock continued to meet the French and Native Americans. According to John Marshall the author of The life of George Washington, he states that Braddock was fatally wounded, after having four horses shot under him (Marshall 521). After being fatally wounded, Braddock apologized to George for not taking his advice. It was four days later when Braddock died.
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