Leader of the American Revolution. First U.S. President. Father of Our Country. George Washington earned all these titles. But who was he as a person.
- George Washington was born in Virginia in 1732. His father was a farmer. He grew tobacco and kept slaves. He was wealthy and lived like an English gentleman. He had nice clothes and nice things.
- When George was seven, his family moved to a new farm, Ferry Farm.
- George’s older brothers had gone to England for school, but George went to school in America. He took his schooling seriously and worked hard. He learned to write by copying rules from a book about being a gentleman. The rules were things like, “Sit not when others stand,” and “Sleep not when others speak.” He learned all 110 of the rules.
- When he was not in school, George liked to fish, hunt and swim. He played sports and could ride a horse better than most of the other boys.
- George’s older brother, Lawrence, came back from England where he had been a soldier. He had many exciting stories to tell.
- When George was 11, his father died.
- When George was a little older, he became a surveyor. It was his job to measure and map out land. George traveled all over, surveying and mapping land. He often slept in the woods and ate ducks and fish that he had caught. He liked to visit Lawrence, who lived on a farm called Mount Vernon. Lawrence often had parties and dances. George dressed in his finest to impress the ladies.
- George was very sad when his beloved brother became ill and died.
- George became a soldier in the French and Indian War. The French wanted the rich lands of America too. They became rich trapping and trading furs. They fought with the English over the land. The Indians helped the French.
- George learned a valuable lesson during that war. The French and the Indians wore plain clothes. They hid behind trees to fight. The English wore bright red coats that could be seen for miles around. They marched in formation through the country. They were easy to see—and easy to hit. George learned to fight like the Indians.
- George Washington met and married Martha Custis. She was a widow with two children. They lived happily at Mount Vernon, where George became a skilled farmer.
- The British taxed the colonists more and more heavily. The colonists became unhappy and when it became clear that they were headed for war, they asked George Washington to lead the army. George had his work cut out for him. His little army was inexperienced and had few weapons or supplies. They fought amongst themselves.
- Slowly George trained his men and they became a disciplined army.
- Finally the war ended. America was free. George looked forward to going home to his farm. But who would lead the country? It was heavily in debt and people were fighting over what to do. Some people wanted a king.
- George Washington did not think that was a good idea. He and other leaders developed the constitution. He was asked to be president. George Washington served for eight years. The people loved him. They asked him to serve for four more years.
- George said no. He was old and tired. He said it was someone else’s turn. He returned to his farm, but only lived a few months. He caught a cold in December, 1799, and died two days later.
Did George Washington have wooden teeth? Find out.
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