Washington the early years in Virginia

Washington and his early years in Virginia

A search on George's family ancestors produced very little history except his great-grandfather John Washington, settled in Virginia in 1657. George was born to Augustine and Mary Washington on February 22, 1732. They settled in the lower echelon of Virginia's ruling class. This was George's father second marriage; and he was their only child. He had two older brothers from his father's first marriage. In those early years, farming and land speculation were the two main sources of income for earning a living. They managed to live a moderate lifestyle from their business.

Tragedy came calling when George was 11 years old. With the type of work that Augustine did to provide for his family, often time this meant his father worked long hours in bad weather. He became mortally ill in extremely bad as the weather conditions worsen with the long ride home one particular day. He did not survive getting care in a hurry. Transportation with bad roads and extreme Virginia weather made it difficult to get to a doctor and hospital for care. His mother Mary was a strong and driven woman. She found times very rough holding the family farm and land business together. As mothers do, she wanted very much to one day send her son to England to get a higher education. She had to quickly make an about change regarding his schooling. She had to abort all attempts at furthering his education beyond the elementary level. As a young boy, he was shy and not highly literate. He was large for his age and a handsome child. His half brother Lawrence fourteen years his senior always looked out for him and taught him things he should know about his future. In fact, it was Lawrence who introduced him to Lord Fairfax, head of one of the most powerful families in Virginia.


Lord Fairfax took notice of some of George's strong traits. He was impressed and thought they set him apart from some of the other young men. He noticed that despite his meager education, there clearly were three strong strengths about him: His mother's ambitious drive, a shy charm, and a gift for mathematics. Lord Fairfax thought those were distinctive traits for a young man just 16 years old. He invited him to join a team of men surveying land in Fairfax in the Shenandoah Valley. George made good use of his first time away from home. He found that working as a surveyor of Shenandoah's valley vast land areas, taught him so much about life. He more than proved his worth working alongside the men where he learned his skills as a land surveyor. He quickly learned and appreciated that he could earn a decent income during those times. He was also very pleased to get a chance to travel to different cities because this gave him a chance to explore as he grew older. It further meant that he would not have not to spend so much time with his strict and demanding mother. In just a year later, at seventeen, he felt that he was strong enough and had learned enough to start his own business surveying land.

Once again, tragedy struck the Washington family when George lost his truly beloved half-brother Lawrence, to an aggressive strain of tuberculosis. In an attempt find a better form of treatment for his condition, George accompanied Lawrence to the sunny and warm climate of Barbados in the West Indies. There, they hope to find a cure for Lawrence. Unfortunately, George made the trip back to Virginia alone without Lawrence. This concluded the trip for the one time George was able to travel outside of America. Lawrence was also in command of a local militia in an area near the Washington family home. George was barely out of being a teenager, when he lobbied the colonial government; for the same post his brother Lawrence held before his death.


The local government awarded this to George even though he possessed no military training because he was considered too young. The result of getting in the militia early was disastrous in many ways. Knott, Stephan ().George Washington-Life-before-the-presidency Retrieved from the United States War College website:https://Miller Center.org

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