The first president of the United States was George Washington. He was a British Colonel, and eventually became General of the United States during the Revolutionary War. He was highly praised for his acts of leadership, and has been known as 'father of the country' since America's beginnings. It is said that without George Washington the United States might not exist as it does today.
George Washington was born at Pope's Creek Estate near Colonial Beach in Virginia. He was born on February 22nd, 1732, and was the first child of Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington. His family of origin began mostly from Sulgrave, England, and his great-grandfather came over to the British colonies in 1656. George Washington's father was a tobacco planter, who had his hands in a few iron-mining schemes as well. On top of this, he was also the Justice of Westmoreland County Court.
When George Washington's father died, he would travel to Barbados with his older half-brother Lawrence to help cure Lawrence's tuberculosis. George would become infected with small pox on the trip, which disfigured his face but would make him immune from the disease in the years to come. His brother would not be so lucky, falling victim to his illness and dying when he returned home.
George Washington's first profession was being a surveyor, someone who tracks the distance between points. He would get his first job and license from the College of William and Mary in 1748, and would become the first official surveyor for Culpeper County. The position paid well, and would plot a 400-acre piece of land in just two days. By 1752, Washington surveyed nearly 200 areas for many properties equaling over 60,000 acres.
George Washington would start his military career during the French and Indian war, given the rank of Major for the British Province of Virginia. He would be sent as an ambassador to the French and Indians, but tensions would brew and a war started. During the war, he was first sent to continue his ambassador role, trying to get the French to surrender territories. He was eventually given 100 men to command, and defeated a small French battalion with them.
He would have his share of losses and retreats, and would learn as well as grow as a leader and a person during this time. He kept a diary that would be published, making his name well known throughout Virginia. He received 23,200 acres for volunteering during the French and Indian war. He would hold local office, and married Martha Washington, who already had kids that he helped raise. He went bankrupt in 1764,however, because of his desire for luxury.
George Washington would play a fundamental role in the American Revolutionary War. He was General and Commander-in-Chief, and would often be fighting right alongside his men. He would lose a large portion of battles, but he would never surrender his army. One of his most famous battles is when he went across the Delaware and attacked the British on Christmas night, taking close to 1,000 prisoners.
He won the war with the help of the French and steppd down from commander to ensure a democratic process, a move King George III praised him for, stating he was 'the greatest character of the age'. George Washington became the first President of the United States, becoming elected unanimously in 1789. He established the positions in the president's cabinet. On Saturday, December 14th, 1799, George Washington died from an unknown illness, unable to swallow or speak in the end.
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