restricted access Chapter 1. "The Favorite Soldier of Virginia": Early Years; the French and Indian War (1732 to 1759)
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GW_001-050.indd 3 5/2/12 7:33 AM CHAPTER I "The Favorite Soldier of Virginia": Early Years; the French and Indian War (1732 to 1759) Birth ofGeorge Washington.- His mission to the French GeneralofOhio.-Is appointed Lieutenant ofa Colonial regiment. -Surprises MonsieurJumonville.- Capitulation of fort Necessity. -Appointed Aid-de-camp to General Braddock. -Defeat and death of that General. -Appointedto the commandofa Colonialregiment. -Distress ofthefrontiers .-Expeditionagainstfort Du Quesne.-DefeatofMajor Grant.-FortDu Quesne evacuated.- Colonel Washington resigns. -His marriage. GEORGE WASHINGTON, the third son ofAugustine Washington, was born on the 22d of February, 1732, near the banks ofthe Potomac, in the county of Westmoreland, in Virginia. His father married Miss Buder, who died in 1728; leaving two sons, Lawrence and Augustine. In 1730, he intermarried with Miss Mary Ball, by whom he had four sons, George, John, Samuel, and Charles; and one daughter, Betty, who intermarried with Colonel Fielding Lewis, of Fredericksburg. His great-grand-father, John Washington, had emigrated from the north of England, about the year 1657, and settled on the place where Mr. Washington was born. At the age of eleven years, he lost his father. An affectionate mother 1743 continued to impress those principles of religion and virtue on his tender mind, which constituted the solid basis ofa character that was maintained throughout all the trying vicissitudes of an eventful life. But his education was limited to subjects strictly useful, not even extending to foreign languages. At the age ofseventeen, he was appointed a surveyor in the western part 1749 3 GW_001-050.indd 4 5/2/12 7:33 AM ~ COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE REVOLUTION ~ ofthe northern neck ofVirginia; and, in that office, acquired such information respecting vacant lands, and formed those opinions concerning their future value, which afterwards contributed greatly to the increase of his fortune. Those powerful attractions, which the profession of arms presents to young and ardent minds, possessed their full influence over Mr. Washington . Stimulated by the enthusiasm of military genius, to take part in the war in which Great Britain was then engaged, he pressed earnestly to enter into the navy, and, at the age offourteen, a midshipman's warrant was obtained for him. The interference ofa timid and affectionate motherdeferred the commencement, and changed the course, of his military career. Six 1752 years afterwards, when the militia were to be trained for actual service, he was appointed one ofthe Adjutants-General 1 of Virginia, with the rank of Major. The duties annexed to this office soon yielded to others of a more interesting character. France was beginning to develop the vast plan ofconnecting her extensive dominions in America, by uniting Canada to Louisiana. The troops of that nation had taken possession ofa tract ofcountry claimed by Virginia, and had commenced a line ofposts, to be extended from the Lakes to the Ohio. The attention ofMr. Dinwiddie,2 Lieutenant-Governor ofthat prov1753 ince, was attracted to these supposed encroachments, and he deemed it his duty to demand in the name of the King, his master, that they should be suspended. Oct.-Nov. 1753 This mission was toilsome and hazardous. The Envoy would be under the necessityofpassing through an extensive and almost unexplored wilderness , inhabited by fierce savages, who were either hostile to the English or ofdoubtful attachment. While the dangers and fatigues of this service deterred others from undertaking it, they seem to have possessed attractions for Mr. Washington, and he engaged in it with alacrity. On receiving his commission, he proceeded to Wills' creek, then the r. Assistant ro a general officer, wirh administrative duties such as correspondence, records, pay, publishing orders, and punishmenr ofenlisted men; Washington was appointed District Adjutant General of the Virginia Militia. 2. Robert Dinwiddie (1693-1770), British colonial administrator, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1751. 4 GW_001-050.indd 5 5/2/12 7:33 AM &after his arrival at that place, he was informed by some friendly Indians that the French, having dispersed a party of workmen employed by the Ohio Company to erect a fort on the south-eastern branch of the Ohio, were engaged in completing a fortification at the confluence of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers; a detachment from which place was then on its march towards his camp. Though open hostilities had not yet commenced, the country was considered as invaded; and several circumstances were related , confirming the opinion that this party was approaching with hostile views. Confident of this, Lieutenant-Colonel Washington resolved to anticipate them. Proceeding...


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Subject Headings

  • Washington, George, -- 1732-1799.
  • Presidents -- United States -- Biography.
  • Generals -- United States -- Biography.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1775-1783.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1783-1809.
  • United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Campaigns.
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