George Washington

George Washington

Born: Feb 22, 1732 in Westmoreland, Virginia, British America
Died: Dec 14, 1799 (at age 67) in Mount Vernon, VA
Nationality: British-American
Famous For: First President of the USA

The first president of the United States of America is one of the most renowned personalities across the world. When he took oath of office on April 30, 1789, it marked the beginning of a long and prosperous journey that independent America would make to this day. He served for two terms in office until 1797 when he retired and moved back to his home in Mount Vernon.

Washington’s Early Life

George Washington was born in Virginia on February 22, 1732, to Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. The eldest of six children, Washington worked with his father in the family plantation and when his father died in 1743, he and his half-brother Lawrence helped their mother with the management of the estate.

Although little is documented of his formal education, Washington received private tutoring as well as some mentoring from his younger brother, Lawrence. By the time his rudimentary schooling ended at age 15, he had studied a bit of surveying and accompanied a surveyor called George Fairfax to explore Virginia’s wilderness and soon became county surveyor. When Lawrence died in 1752, Washington took up the role of Major in the Virginia militia.

Leadership in the Military

At 21 years old, George Washington was sent to deliver a message to the French against encroaching Virginia territory. This 900-mile journey would turn out to be extremely treacherous and his survival earned him instant fame. In a confrontation with the French forces in 1754, Washington lost and these skirmishes would spark the infamous French and Indian War.

He returned to the battlefield one year later to deliver powerful assaults and was given command over the entire Virginia military unit. In 1759, he resigned and returned to Mount Vernon where he was voted into the Virginia House of Burgesses, a position where he would serve for the next 15 years.

Marriage and Family

In 1759, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy young widow with two children. Although their marriage bore no children, Washington cared for Martha’s two children as if they were his own, although they died of epileptic seizure and camp fever respectively.

Until 1775, he would prove to be a passionate farmer specializing in tobacco and wheat, and soon made the estate a very lucrative venture by accommodating commercial fishing, flour milling, and one of the biggest distilleries in America.

Leadership during the Revolution

By the time the American Revolution began in 1775, George Washington was appointed the commander of the Continental Army, a command he would lead for the next eight years. He was versatile as he was able to learn on the job and he gave calculated directions to his army although they lacked expertise and resources. He led his troop to defeat a better equipped British army and retired once the treaty between US and Great Britain was signed in 1783.

Washington as President

He continued to watch the dismal progress of the government and the newly created Articles of Confederation. He thus spearheaded the ratification of a new constitution in a bid to unite America. When he was elected to head the constitution committee, other delegates nominated him to be president because of his leadership, and he reluctantly agreed. George Washington was unanimously elected in 1789.

After two terms in office, Washington retired back to his plantation where he lived until his death on December 14, 1799.