December 10, 2012
George Washington: An American Icon
George Washington was the only United States’ president to not live in the White House. He lived in the capital which was Philadelphia and New York at the time of his Presidency. He has accomplished so much from the time he was a young boy, to a general in the army, and later becoming president of the United States. Throughout the successful career of George Washington; with the assistance of his raw determination, elegant poise and tremendous leadership ability has transformed history and developed the great nation of the United States while forever establishing himself as not only an American icon, but a world icon. February 22, 1732 in the small town of Bridges Creek (Wakefield), Virginia an American Icon, George Washington, was born. His father was a slave owning tobacco planter and also an iron minor. Their family was considered to be moderately prosperous in the colony of Virginia. However, George’s childhood was anything, but luxurious. It was filled with the stench of death and hardship. Before George was even 12 years old his father and 3 of his siblings would perish. His full sister Mildred died at the age of 2, his half-brother, Butler died as an infant and his other half-sister, Jane died at the age of 12 (Mastromarino). George was just a young boy at the time of all these deaths and had handled them as if though he was a man, but nothing could have prepared him for his father’s untimely death. George was just 11 years old when his father died at the age of 49 from an undocumented illness (Mastromarino ).The death of his father devastated young George who was now left on his own to help support his mother. He stayed in Fredericksburg with his mother on the plantation for over a year a half before leaving to Westmoreland to stay with relatives. His time in Westmoreland was short lived, for reasons unknown, as he headed to Mount Vernon to stay with his half-brother Lawrence Washington. There Lawrence would become a father figure for a still young George. After his father’s death George was unable to attend school in England as his older brothers had done, but with the help of Lawrence was home schooled (Brookhiser). He picked up an interest in mathematics, especially surveying which was the process of measuring and plotting land. With help from Lawrence he was appointed the official surveyor of Culpepper County (Mastromarino). This lead to many new opportunities for George, who was now named Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. George was finally over coming all the obstacles thrown in his way until the death of half-brother Lawrence from tuberculosis in 1752 (Mastromarino ).Yet this tragic event would change George’s life for the better.
After Lawrence’s unfortunate death Washington’s military career kicked off. He was named Major in the Virginia militia taking the place of Lawrence Washington. It wasn’t long before Washington would be put to the test in the French and Indian War. He led an ambush on the French near a fort in present day Pittsburg which killed French leader, Jumonville. The French retaliated quickly by attacking and capturing Washington at Fort Necessity in 1754. Washington’s success in the French and Indian War lead to Governor Dinwiddie rewarding Washington with the title of, Commander and Chief of the Colony of Virginia (Mastromarino). His success would be short lived however, due to a friendly fire incident that lead to 14 dead and 26 wounded causing Washington to retire from the military(Mastromarino). (George Washington ), During his time off he moved back to Mount Vernon where he met and married a wealthy widow named Martha Custis. There they raised two children, both of which were from Martha’s previous marriage. Nevertheless George loved and raised them as his own due to the fact he could never have children of his own from complications brought on by smallpox (George...
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