George Washington Biography: George Washington’s Biography Unearthed

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was the first child of Augustine Washington and his second wife Mary Ball Washington.

As a young boy, Washington received a basic education at local schools and was also tutored at home. He showed an aptitude for mathematics but never received a formal education past the elementary level. By age 15, he had mastered trigonometry and surveyor’s methods.

Surveying Career

In 1747, Washington was appointed as an official surveyor for Culpeper County, Virginia. This profession allowed him to purchase land in the Shenandoah Valley along with his half-brother Lawrence.

Over the next few years, Washington continued surveying lands in Virginia. This career not only provided him income, but also allowed him to gain detailed knowledge of the terrain and lands which would aid him greatly during his future military campaigns.

The French and Indian War

In 1752, Washington joined the Virginia militia and was quickly promoted to Major. The following year, his mission was to deliver a message to the French demanding they vacate land that was claimed by the British. This dispute over land triggered the French and Indian War which raged from 1754-1763.

During this war, Washington commanded Virginia troops in frontier battles against the French. He gained valuable military experience that would serve him well in the future Revolutionary War. However, Washington also suffered an embarrassing defeat at Fort Necessity and returned home disillusioned, although determined to continue improving as a military officer.

Marriage and Mount Vernon

On January 6, 1759, Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow with two children. Marriage to Martha brought George significant property holdings, and he became one of Virginia’s wealthiest landowners.

The same year as his marriage, Washington retired from the military and focused on managing his family’s estate at Mount Vernon. He expanded the mansion house and implemented innovative farming techniques to grow tobacco and wheat. Mount Vernon thrived and became one of the most prominent plantations in Virginia.

Over the next fifteen years, Washington grew tobacco, wheat and corn at Mount Vernon. He also raised livestock and revolutionized the distilling industry in America after building one of the largest whiskey distilleries in the colonies.

Early Political Career

Even while managing Mount Vernon, Washington stayed involved in politics. Initially, he was elected to the Virginia provincial legislature where he served from 1758-1765. Later, he represented Virginia in the First and Second Continental Congress, speaking out against Britain’s high taxes.

When dissent between Great Britain and the colonies erupted into violent conflicts such as the Boston Tea Party, Washington sided firmly with the American patriots. His military experience made him an ideal candidate to lead the newly formed Continental Army against the British.

Events in George Washington’s Life

YearKey Event
1732Born on February 22 in Westmoreland County, Virginia
1748–1752Surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia
1753Sent by Governor Dinwiddie to deliver British demands to French
1754-1758Commander in Chief of Virginia troops in French & Indian War
1759Marriage to Martha Dandridge Custis
1759-1774Managed Mount Vernon plantation
1774-1775Represented Virginia in First & Second Continental Congress
1775-1783Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in Revolutionary War
1783-1797President of Constitutional Convention and first U.S. President
1799Died on December 14 at Mount Vernon plantation

Revolutionary War Leadership

In 1775, the Continental Congress appointed George Washington Commander in Chief of the new Continental Army. Washington was the unanimous choice given his military experience and charismatic leadership ability.

Washington arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts to take charge of the Siege of Boston, where thousands of colonial militia had surrounded the city to trap British forces inside. Throughout 1776, he directed military operations to eventually drive the British from Boston.

Crossing the Delaware

On Christmas night of 1776, Washington staged a daring midnight crossing of the Delaware River. Catching the Hessian mercenaries off guard, his Continental Army successfully attacked at Trenton the next morning. This crucial victory built morale among the patriots during the darkest days of the Revolutionary War.

Battle of Yorktown

In 1781, Washington commanded American and French forces in laying siege to British troops led by General Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. The siege was extremely well-planned and executed using a combined land and naval strategy. Cornwallis was compelled to surrender, marking the end of major fighting in America’s War of Independence.

Presidency (1789-1797)

Having led the Americans to victory, George Washington was the obvious choice to become the first President of the United States. He remains the only U.S. President to ever win a unanimous electoral vote.

President Washington focused on establishing credibility, setting precedents and choosing strong cabinet members like Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. He also presided over the creation of the Bill of Rights.

Although Washington avoided political factions, his two terms still set important precedents for limitations on presidential power, the suppression of rebellions like the Whiskey Rebellion, and the peaceful transition of power to his successor.

Later Years and Death

After retiring from the presidency, Washington returned home to Mount Vernon in 1797. He continued his passion for farming on his expansive estate. Although he supported Federalist policies, Washington remained nonpartisan throughout his retirement.

Just two years after leaving office, Washington contracted an illness after inspecting his plantation on horseback in freezing rain. He died on December 14, 1799 at age 67, likely due to epiglottitis complicated by the bloodletting treatments common at that time. America mourned his passing with eulogies and processions across the entire nation.

George Washington left an enormous legacy and was posthumously referred to as “The Father of His Country.” Every recent poll of U.S. presidential scholars has ranked him either first or second all time, confirming his enduring reputation as one of history’s finest leaders.

Frequently Asked Questions about George Washington

When and where was George Washington born?

George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

What was George Washington’s early life like?

As a young boy, Washington received a basic education at local schools and also had private tutors. By age 15, he showed an aptitude for mathematics and mastered trigonometry and surveyor’s methods.

How did George Washington die?

Washington likely died from epiglottitis complicated by the primitive bloodletting treatments in use at the time. He had fallen ill after riding on horseback to inspect his plantation in freezing rain.

When did George Washington get married and who was his wife?

Washington married the wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis on January 6, 1759. Marriage to Martha brought him significant property and made Washington one of the wealthiest Virginia landowners.

Why was George Washington important to the Revolutionary War?

With his military experience from the French & Indian War, Washington was appointed Commander in Chief of the new Continental Army in 1775. His leadership and direction of military strategy was crucial to defeating the British during the Revolutionary War.

What precedents did George Washington set as the first U.S. President?

As the first president, Washington established many important precedents – he defined the role of the president and executive branch, set limits on presidential power, peacefully suppressed rebellions like the Whiskey Rebellion, and voluntarily stepped down after two terms.


In conclusion, George Washington led an extraordinary life of leadership, military triumph, and political precedent. His early career as a Virginia surveyor equipped him with the geography and mathematics vital for his future roles. Despite losses in the French & Indian War, he gained indispensable military experience.

Washington later married Martha Custis and settled down at Mount Vernon before emerging as a Virginian legislator increasingly vocal against British taxation. His visibility as a critic of British policies and military credentials made Washington the unanimous selection to command the Continental Army against the British in 1775.

His steady leadership throughout the eight years of the Revolutionary War culminated in the pivotal American victory at Yorktown that finally compelled British surrender. As America’s first president, Washington established enduring precedents that ensured a stable democratic transition of power for the fledgling nation.

His voluntary resignation after two terms reaffirmed America’s system of government and cemented his iconic reputation as a civic leader molded in integrity and restraint. After a lifetime of public service, Washington retired to Mount Vernon where he pursued his private passion for agriculture until his death in December 1799 at age 67.

Widely eulogized as “The Father of His Country,” George Washington remains ranked among history’s finest leaders over two centuries later for his indispensable role in founding and guiding the United States of America.