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George Washington seems today a figure larger than life. Washington secured his first military commissions, learned and practiced the mysteries and arts of politics and moved from the beginning of being just another country person to become the leader of a continental revolution. George Washington led an interesting life throughout his presidency, war, and life. George Washington was born February 22, 1732, in Westmore Land County.
He was the first son of his father Augustine s second marriage; his mother was the former Mary Ball of Epping Forest. When George was about three, his family moved to Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac, then to Ferry Farm opposite Fredericksburg on the Rappahonnock in King George Count. His father died in 1732, and young Washington grew under his mother s management. He proposed a point to follow the sea. He divided his adolescence among the households of relatives and a model in his half-brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon.
From him he learned trigonometry, and had a taste for ethics, novels, music, and theater. A ranking officer in the Virginia militia, Lawrence had served with Admiral Edward Vernon, for whom the plantation was named and imbued George Washington with aspirations for military service. Washington also succeeded to Lawrence s militia office. Governor Robert Dinwiddie first appointed him adjutant for the southern district of the colony s Militia.
But soon conferred on him Lawrence s adjutancy for the northern neck and Eastern Shore. So it happened that in 1753 the governor send twenty one year old Washington to warn French troops at Fort Duqushe at the forks of the Ohio that they were encroaching in territory claimed by Virginia (Meltzer 402). The French ignored the admonition and the mission failed, but Washington returned to Dinwiddie had the Williamsburg printer William Hunter publish his official report as The Journal of Major George Washington. It made the young officer well known at home and abroad (Lengyel 17). Returning to Ohio in April with 150 men to remove the intruders, Washington got his first taste of war in a skirmish with a French scouting party. He wrote to his brother Jack, (Meltzer 2).
A second engagement quickly followed and a more numerous French force beat Washington, retreating to Fort Necessity. He surrendered and, in his ignorance of French, he signed an embarrassing capitulation agreement. But he had opportunities to redress his defeat. The whistling bullets heralded the start of the Seven-Year s War, as it was called in Europe. In America it was known as the French and Indian War or sometimes Virginia s War (Lengyel 17). Washington returned to the field as an aide to General Braddock in 1755 and performed with distinction, despite, illness, in the disaster campaign against Fort Duquesne.
Later that year Dinwiddie gave him command of all Virginia forces and promoted him to Colonel (Lengyel 20). In these years Washington had two disputes with the English officers who viewed their regular army commissions as superior to that of the Virginia Militia commander. These disputes may mark the beginning of Washington s resentment of British attitudes toward the colonies. Operation from a fort in Winchester, Washington protected the Virginia frontier until 1758 when he made a Militia brigadier and helped to chase the French from Fort Duqese for good. Washington resigned at the war s end and retired to Mount Vernon. He was defeated in elections for the House of Burgesses in 1755 and 1757, but won in 1758 and was seated the following year from Frederick County.
For fifteen years he devoted himself to his legislative work and his farm. During this period, he also became a family man marrying the widow Martha Dandriges Costs, the mother of two children, on January 6, 1759, in Kent County. In 1760, Washington took on the additional duties of a Fairview County justice of the peace. He also found time for the amusements of a Virginia gentlemen, fox hunting, plays, billiards, card, dancing, and fishing. He delighted in battles of plates of watermelon and dishes of oysters. In these years his resentment of the subordination of American interests to those of England grew when in Parliament attempted to impose the Stamp Act in 1769.
Washington told on acquaintance that Parliament (Harris 14). By 1774 he was in fore front of the defense of Virginia liberties and was among the rebellious Burgesses who gathered at the Raleigh Tavern on May 27, after Governor Dunmore dissolved the house. Washington signed the resolves proposing a Continental Congress and non-importation of British goods. On July 18, he chaired the Alexander s meeting that adopted George Mason s Fairfax Resolution Sent to the Continental Congress, Washington returned home afterward to organize independent Militia companies in Northern Virginia and to win election to the second Continental Congress.
In Philadelphia on June 15, 1775, he was offered command of America s forces, accepted, vowed to accept no pay, and left to take over the army at Boston. The years passed before the victory at Yorktown in 1781 and were marked as often by frustrations by success. Hampered by shortage of supplies and unreliability of enlistment s Washington commanded with caution. He once reported to Congress (Bank of Wisconsin 1). Nevertheless the war wound down and, as danger diminished, congressional neglect of the army grew (Lengyel 17).
His troops urged Washington to seize power from the politicians, but he repudiated every such suggestion. On March 15, 1783, Washington met his unhappy rebellious officers at Newburg, NewYork, to discourage them from marching on Congress over back pay, but the speech he had prepared proved a point. On April 19, 1783, the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, -Washington said farewell to his staff at the Frances Tavern in NewYork, and on the way to Mount Vernon, stopped in Annapolis to resign his commission to Congress. He resumed the life of a plantation squire, and set out to repair his finances (Lengyel 17). Nevertheless, the weakness of the government created by the Articles of Confederation concerned Washington and, in 1786, the Rebellion aligned him. He reluctantly accepted a seat in the federal convention and election to its presidency.
His unanimous election as the first president of the United States was certain before the constitution was even adopted and, again he accepted with reluctance (Lengyel 17). On April 30, 1789, he took the oath of office in NewYork at age of fifty-seven. Washington not only had to organize a government but also to create a role of the new nation. Both tasks of his enemies always opposed of factions.
His two administrators nevertheless fostered the bitter rivalry of the Federalist parties (Connelly 236). Though unopposed for reelection his administration was the subject of uncommon, abuse and vilification (Connelly 406). The Whisky Rebellion in Western Pennsylvania against a federal exile tax on spirits was his critical domestic challenge. He rode part way to the filed at the lead of the column of Militia to put it down. After serving Washington s secretary of state. Jefferson split with the president (Wisconsin 144).
Nevertheless, Washington s conduct to the office with the preservation of the fledgling national union under the American Constitution (Connelly 400). Washington issued his farewell address on September 7, 1796, and was succeeded by John Adams the following March 4 th. His last official act was to pardon the participant on the Whisky Rebellion. When relations with France in 1799, after his country once turned to Washington for his service, Adams appointed him general of provisional army.
The danger subsided before the troops assembled (Connelly 114). In December 1799, after a day spent riding on his farms, in bad weather. Washington s throat became inflamed at 2 A. M. on December 14. He awakened his wife to say that he was having trouble breathing.
At sunrise she sent for Dr. Jones Craig, who arrived at 9 A. M. He was diagnosed with the illness as Inflammatory Quinsy.
During the morning, Washington was bled three times and two more doctors came. They stopped the bleeding, but more blood was taken. At midnight Washington told his secretary Tobias Lear (Connelly 144). His last words were the well (Meltzer 114). Washington died December 14, 1799 in Mount Vernon at the age of 67. His Burial place was in the Family Vault in Mount Vernon.
George Washington was a surveyor and farmer who became the commander of the Continental armies during the colonial battle for independence. After the fighting, he retired to his farm in 1783, but not for long. A popular general in the war, in 1789 Washington was called to service as the first president of the United States of America. He served two terms, refused a third, and returned to his Virginia farm. In conclusion, George Washington led an interesting life throughout his presidency, life, and war.
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