George  Washington

George Washington (1732 - 1799)

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President George Washington
Born in Pope's Creek, Westmoreland County, Virginia Colonymap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in St. Peter's Church, New Kent County, Virginiamap
Died in Mount Vernon, Fairfax, Virginia, United Statesmap
Washington-11 created 4 Jan 2009 | Last modified | Last edit: 4 Nov 2017
22:38: David Brodeur edited the Biography for George Washington. [Thank David for this]
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Categories: US Presidents | Signers of the Continental Association | Signers of the United States Constitution | American Founding Fathers | Society of the Cincinnati | French and Indian War | Braddock's Defeat | Forbes Expedition | American Revolution Army Generals | Battle of Brandywine Creek | Battle of Long Island | Siege of Yorktown | Virginia Slave Owners | Land Surveyors | Smallpox | Tuberculosis | This Day In History February 22 | This Day In History December 14 | Freemasonry | Namesakes US Counties | Continental Army, American Revolution.

The Presidential Seal.
George Washington was the President of the United States.
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1776 Liberty Bell
Event years 1773-1789.
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Preceded by
Office created
March 4, 1789
George Washington
1st President
of the United States
Presidential Seal
1789 - 1797
Succeeded by
2nd President
John Adams

Deeds. Not words.
~ George Washington

Contents

Early Life

George Washington was born February 22 1732 at his parents' Pope's Creek Estate near present-day Colonial Beach in Westmoreland County, Virginia.. He was the eldest son of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington.

George was eleven when his father died, so he went to live at Mount Vernon. The Potomac River plantation belonged to his half-brother Lawrence who left it to Washington after he died from tuberculosis in 1752.

Although he later served as 14th Chancellor of William and Mary, George was home-schooled by his father and older brother. He was also a a self-taught woodsman, surveyor, and cartographer. His early work experience as a surveyor, proved invaluable since he learned the terrain around Virginia.

Marriage

Washington met Martha Dandridge through her friends, while on leave during the French and Indian War. At the time, she was a widow living at the White House Plantation on the south shore of the Pamunkey River in New Kent County, Virginia.[1]

George visited her there, twice before proposing to her 3 weeks after they met. Both were 27 years old when they tied the knot on the 6th of January 6 in 1759. The wedding was at the plantation, whose name was later shared with the future D.C. mansion.[1]

The newlyweds moved to Mount Vernon, where Washington farmed, manufactured whiskey,[2] and served as a political figure. They had a good marriage, and raised her two kids by her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis. The children, John Parke Custis and Martha Parke Custis, were nicknamed "Jackie" and "Patsy."[1]

Due to — an earlier bout with smallpox followed by tuberculosis, that may have left Washington sterile, they never had children of their own. But they also went on to raise two of Martha's grandkids: Eleanor Parke Custis ("Nelly") and George Washington Parke Custis ("Washy"), after their father died in 1781.[1]

Relatives

George Washington had no direct descendents, but some state that nearly every president is related to him.

Slavery

Washington is said to have had 124 slaves. At Martha's death, all of them were freed, save one who was freed before. "Of the eight presidents who owned slaves while in office, Washington is the only one who set all of them free."[3]

In 2004, Linda Allen Bryant’s "I Cannot Tell A Lie" book was published, indicating that George Washington had a child by the slave Venus. See more at: History News Network

Residence

Washington's marriage to a wealthy widow greatly increased his property holdings and social standing, and after his marriage, George Washington was the wealthiest man in Virginia, if not the colonies. He acquired one-third of the 18,000 acre (73 km²) Custis estate upon marriage, and managed the remainder on behalf of Martha's children.

Archaeologists and an excavation team, led by Philip Levy, associate professor of history at the University of South Florida, and David Muraca, director of archaeology for the George Washington Foundation, owner of the National Historic Landmark site Ferry Farm, announced on July 2, 2008, the discovery of remains of George's boyhood home just across the Rappahannock River from Fredericksburg, Virginia, 50 miles (80 km) south of Washington.

Built in the 1740s 113-acre (0.46 km²) Ferry Farm, the county-level gentry house was a one and a half story residence perched on a bluff. George was six when the family moved to the farm in 1738. He inherited the farm and lived in the house until his early 20s, though he also stayed with his half-brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon. Washington’s mother lived in the house until 1772, when she moved to Fredericksburg, and the farm was sold in 1777.

By 1775 Washington doubled size of Mount Vernon to 6,500 acres (26 km²), with over 100 slaves.[4]

Religion

Washington was a member or the Anglican and Episcopal church.[5]

Eyewitness accounts exist of his private devotion:[6]

He was not one of those, who act or pray, 'that they may be seen of men.' He communed with his God in secret.

"For God and my Country"

"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian."[7]

~ George Washington

Legacy

Washington has been consistently ranked by scholars as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents.

The majority of American states (31 out of 50) have named counties after George Washington, more states than for any other person. They are:

  • Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and WIsconsin. Vernon, County, Louisiana and Vernon County, Wisconsin are named after Washington's plantation at Mt. Vernon, Virginia.

Timeline

abt 1749:Appointed to first public office: surveyor of Culpeper County. Through half-brother Lawrence, Washington became interested in the Ohio Company, which aimed to exploit Western lands.
1751:George and Lawrence go to Barbados. They stayed at Bush Hill House, hoping Lawrence's tuberculosis would heal.[8]
1752:Lawrence dies. George inherits part of his estate. Takes over some of Lawrence's duties as colony adjutant.
1752:Appointed district adjutant general in Virginia militia. Makes major at 20.[9]
1753:Joins Virginia Militia.[10]
Dec 1753:Asked by VA. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie to carry British ultimatum to French at Ohio frontier.[11]
1754:Dinwiddie commissions Lt. Col. Washington. Orders him to lead expedition to Fort Duquesne to drive out French.[12]
1755:Aide to British Gen. Edward Braddock on ill-fated Monongahela expedition.[13]
1758:Brigadier general in Forbes expedition.[14]

Resigns from active duty. Spends 16 years as Virginia planter and politician.[15]

1759: Marries Martha.
1769:Lead role in colonial resistance: introduces George Mason's proposal to boycott English goods until Townshend Acts repealed.[16]
Sep 1771: Writes to Neil Jameson to recover Jonathan Plowman Jr's ship.[17]
1774:Washington says Intolerable Acts is, "an Invasion of our Rights and Privileges."
Jul 1774:Chairs meeting that adopts Fairfax Resolves. Leads to Continental Congress convention.
Aug 1774: Attends First Virginia Convention. Selected as First Continental Congress delegate
Apr 1775: After fighting broke out, Washington appears at the Second Continental Congress in uniform, signaling he's ready for war.[18]
July 1775:Washington assumes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, MA during siege of Boston.[19]
1776: Ran British out of Boston, lost New York City, and crosses Delaware River in New Jersey, defeating surprised enemy units later that year.[20]
Aug 1776:British Gen. William Howe launches naval and land campaign to seize New York and negotiate settlement. Washington loses.[21]
Dec 1776: Washington stages counterattack, leading American forces across Delaware River.[22]
Sep 1777: British defeat Washington at Battle of Brandywine. Howe outmaneuvers Washington and marches into Philadelphia unopposed on Sep 26.[23]
Dec 1777: Washington's army camps at Valley Forge for six months.[24]
1778:British evacuate Philadelphia, and flee to New York. Washington attacks at Monmouth.[25]
Sum 1779:Washington directs Gen. John Sullivan to carry out a scorched earth campaign.[26]
1781:Washington delivers final blow after French naval victory enables American and French forces to trap British army in Virginia.
Oct 1781: Yorktown surrender ends most fighting.
1783: Washington retires to Mount Vernon.[27]
1787:After Madison's dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation, Washington's support is wooed for his public popularity. He presides over the secret Philadelphia Convention that scraps the Articles of Confederation for a new Constitution behind closed doors.[28]
1789:President of newly formed United States.[29]
Apr 1789:Oath of office.
Mar 1797:2nd oath of office.[30]
1795:Jay Treaty brings decade of peace with Britain.[31]
Dec 1799: Dies.[32]
1799: At funeral oration, Henry Lee says that of all Americans, he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

George Washington's First Inaugural Address

  • April 30, 1789

In 1788, the Confederation Congress scheduled the first presidential inauguration for the first Wednesday in March of the following year. However, the early months of 1789 proved to be unseasonably cold and snowy and bad weather delayed many members of the First Federal Congress from arriving promptly in New York City, the temporary seat of government. Until a quorum could be established in both the House and the Senate, no official business could be conducted. Finally, on April 6, 1789 - over a month late - enough members had reached New York to tally the electoral ballots. The ballots were counted on April 6 and George Washington won unanimously with 69 electoral votes. Washington was then notified of his victory and traveled to New York City from his home in Virginia.

On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath as the first president of the United States. The oath was administered by Robert R. Livingston, the Chancellor of New York, on a second floor balcony of Federal Hall, above a crowd assembled in the streets to witness this historic event. President Washington and the members of Congress then retired to the Senate Chamber, where Washington delivered the first inaugural address to a joint session of Congress. Washington humbly noted the power of the nations' call for him to serve as president and the shared responsibility of the president and Congress to preserve "the sacred fire of liberty" and a republican form of government.

At that auspicious moment marking the birth of the federal government under the Constitution, Senator William Maclay of Pennsylvania observed that even the great Washington trembled when he faced the assembled representatives and senators. "This great man was agitated and embarrassed," Maclay added, "more than ever he was by the levelled Cannon or pointed Musket." After concluding his remarks, the President and Congress proceeded through crowds lined up on Broadway to St. Paul's Church, where a service was conducted. Social gatherings and festivities closed the nation's first inaugural day. [33]

Connections to Magna Carta Sureties

Resources

Founders Online, National Archives:

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wikipedia
  2. Bree Ogle eye-witness account: Mount Vernon is about 2 hours away from where I grew up. I've been out there a few times, but on the last trip, I paid attention to the tour. I picked apples all day, and was shocked to see that the kitchen was an entire separate house. And of course... I had to observe the whiskey equipment. In any event, the plantation is huge. It also has an apple cider bar.
  3. 3.0 3.1 The blackest name in America: Why are 90pc of Washingtons African-Americans?
  4. A military hero and large landowner, he held local office and was elected to the Virginia provincial legislature, the House of Burgesses. In 1758, he was a justice of Fairfax, and held court in Alexandria between 1760 and 1774.
  5. Wikipedia: George Washington
  6. Sparks, Jared (1839). The Life of George Washington. Boston: F. Andrews. pp. 522–523.
  7. The Writings of Washington, pp. 342-343.
  8. It was the only time Washington traveled outside what is now the United States.
  9. Charged with training the militia in the quarter assigned to him. At 21, in Fredericksburg, Washington became a Master Mason in the organization of Freemasons, a fraternal organization of lifelong influence.
  10. He and six men went to Lake Erie to deliver a message to the French at Fort Le Boeuf, that they must stop settling on land the British already claimed. A battle ensued and George and 160 men lost to the French. This was the start of the French and Indian War, so called because not only were the British and colonist fighting against the French, but they were also fighting some of the Indian Tribes.
  11. Washington assessed French military strength and intentions, and delivered the message to the French at Fort Le Boeuf in present day Waterford, Pennsylvania. It went unheeded, but called for the French to abandon development of the Ohio country, setting off worldwide conflict. Washington's report on the affair was widely read on both sides of the Atlantic.
  12. With American Indian allies led by Tanacharison, Washington and his troops ambushed a French scouting party of some 30 men, led by Joseph Coulon de Jumonville. Washington and his troops were overwhelmed at Fort Necessity by a larger and better positioned French and Indian force. The terms of surrender stated that Washington had assassinated Jumonville after the ambush. Unable to read French, Washington signed off. Released, Washington returned to Virginia where he was cleared of blame for the defeat, but resigned because he did not like the new arrangement of the Virginia Militia.
  13. major effort to retake Ohio Country. Braddock was killed. Expedition ends in disaster, but Washington is Hero of the Monongahela. While his battle role has been debated, biographer Joseph Ellis asserts Washington rode back and forth across the battlefield, rallying British and Virginian forces to retreat. Subsequent to this, Washington was given a difficult frontier command in the Virginia mountains, and was promoted to colonel and named commander of all Virginia forces.
  14. Prompts French evacuation of Fort Duquesne, and British establishment of Pittsburgh.
  15. Frequently purchased additional land in his own name, and was granted land in what is now West Virginia as a bounty for service in the French and Indian War.
  16. Parliament repealed the Acts in 1770.
  17. Baltimore merchant whose ship was seized for exporting non-permitted items by the Boston Frigate.
  18. Washington had prestige, military experience, charisma and military bearing, a reputation for being a strong patriot, and he was supported by the South -- especially Virginia. Although he did not explicitly seek the office of commander and claimed he was not equal to it, there was no competition. Congress created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775; the next day, on the nomination of John Adams of Massachusetts, Washington was appointed Maj. General and elected by Congress to be Commander-in-chief.
  19. His army's was short on gunpowder, so Washington asked for resources.
  20. As a result of his strategy, Revolutionary forces captured two main British combat armies at Saratoga and Yorktown. Negotiating with Congress, the colonial states, and French allies, he held together a tenuous army and a fragile nation amid the threats of disintegration and failure. British arsenals were raided (including some in the Caribbean) and some manufacturing was attempted; a barely adequate supply (about 2.5 million pounds) was obtained by the end of the year, mostly from France. Washington reorganized the army during the long standoff, and forced the British to withdraw by putting artillery on Dorchester Heights overlooking the city. The British evacuated Boston and Washington moved his army to New York City. Although negative toward patriots in the Continental Congress, British papers praise Washington's character as a military commander. Parliament also found the general's courage, endurance, and attentiveness to the welfare of his troops worthy of approbation, and virtues they and other Britons found wanting in their commanders. Washington's refusal to become involved in politics buttressed his reputation as a man fully committed to the military mission at hand and above the factional fray.
  21. Continental Army engages enemy for the first time as an army of a new independent country during the Battle of Long Island. It was the largest fight of the war, but this and several other British victories sent Washington scrambling out of New York and across New Jersey.
  22. Captures nearly 1,000 Hessians in Trenton. Washington follows up victory with another at Princeton in early Jan. Winter victories raise army morale, secure Washington's position as Commander, and inspire young men to join the army.
  23. Washington's army unsuccessfully attacked the British garrison at Germantown in early October. Meanwhile, Burgoyne, out of reach from help from Howe, was trapped and forced to surrender his entire army at Saratoga, New York. France responded to Burgoyne's defeat by entering the war, openly allying with America and turning the Revolutionary War into a major worldwide war. Washington's loss of Philadelphia prompted some members of Congress to discuss removing Washington from command. This attempt failed after Washington's supporters rallied behind him.
  24. 2,500 men of the 10,000-strong force die from disease and exposure during the winter. The next spring, the army is order, thanks in part to a full-scale training by Baron von Steuben, a veteran of the Prussian general staff.
  25. Washington drove them from the battlefield. Afterwards, the British continued to New York. Washington moved outside the state.
  26. Destroys at least 40 Iroquois villages throughout upstate New York in retaliation for Iroquois and Tory attacks against American settlements earlier in the war.
  27. George III states, "If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world."
  28. This ended America's brief experiment with direct democracy, and took the states from self-government to centralized government under another new nation, called the United States of America.
  29. Establishes many exec. precedents. Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793 avoids foreign conflict and leads to isolationism. He stood for centralized government, funding national debt, taxation, and a national bank.
  30. He refused a third term, setting a precedent that later became law 20th century law. Currently, no executive head can serve more than two terms according to the Constitution's 22nd Amendment.
  31.  :Washington's prestige got it ratified despite opposition from the Jeffersonians. Although never an official member of the Federalist Party, he supported its cause, and was their prime figurehead. Washington's farewell address was a primer on republican virtue and a stern warning against partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars.
  32. Throat infection turns into laryngitis and pneumonia.
  33. https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/gw-inauguration
  34. http://founders.archives.gov

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with George by comparing test results with other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with George:

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Collaboration

On 23 Sep 2017 at 18:21 GMT Sheila x wrote:

Pedigree of the Most Illustrious General George Washington, first President of the United States of America This illustrated lineage chart was presented by genealogist James Phillippe of London, England to President Ulysses S. Grant in 1873 https://catalog.archives.gov/id/5928225

On 14 Sep 2017 at 22:37 GMT Lisa (Kelsey) Murphy wrote:

When he won by leading farmers and fisherman in battle against the greatest fighting forces, he could have named himself King. He chose not to. King George III asked what his plans were and American Painter Benjamin West said "They say he will return to his farm." King George replied that Washington would be the greatest man in the world if that was the case. Washington proved it by doing just that. He then did it again after his presidency. It was considered the greatest and most heroic act of his career, when he put his faith in us, not just in his country. He is quoted "Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder."

Meltzer, Brad, Heroes for my son, pgs 54-55, Harper Collins Publishing

On 25 Apr 2017 at 08:01 GMT Andrea (Stawski) Pack wrote:

George Wahington-11 and John Adams-10 are 11th cousins once removed having the same grandparental lineage through daughters of John Berney-24 them being Elizabeth-88 and Margery-89,,,John Berney being 11th great grandfather of George Washington and John Berney being the tenth great grandfather of John Adams.

On 3 Mar 2017 at 11:54 GMT Cynthia (Wilfong) Mangiafico wrote:

has the project considered Venus Washington Ford?

On 3 Mar 2017 at 11:51 GMT Cynthia (Wilfong) Mangiafico wrote:

On 29 Dec 2016 at 09:49 GMT Maggie Andersson wrote:

Washington-11 and Washington-1291 appear to represent the same person because: Proposing merge of Washington-1291 into Washington-11

On 30 Nov 2016 at 05:36 GMT Ken Wise wrote:

My 15th Cousin 8 times removed, on my father's side!

I had several ancestors on my mother's side, that fought under him in several wars. Wow! Honoured!

On 12 Sep 2016 at 22:45 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Washington-1242 and Washington-11 appear to represent the same person because: Hi! President George Washington already has a profile: Washington-11. Please merge. Thanks!

On 12 May 2016 at 00:13 GMT Kevin Sands wrote:

I am reading a book on Google Books - "Soldier and Patriot. The story of George Washington" by F.M. Owen (link below). It repeatedly states that G.W. was born at Bridges Creek. There is no reference to Pamunkey River. Which is correct please?

https://books.google.co.nz/books?id=OSsFPb4YjUIC&pg=PA95&dq=washington+generals&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjO4-iFktPMAhXHJ6YKHV74D_UQuwUIRzAI#v=onepage&q=washington%20generals&f=false

On 5 Jun 2015 at 01:08 GMT Greg Hays wrote:

Category: Slave-owner: Virginia is listed under misnamed categories. Shouldn't it be Category: Virginia Slave Owners instead?

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George is 18 degrees from AJ Jacobs, 19 degrees from Jeanie Roberts, 12 degrees from Myles Standish and 12 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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