Animated by Michael Grist
George Washington 1732-1799
“ If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known, that we are at all times ready for War.”
George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland county, Virginia. He had no formal schooling but his notebooks indicate that he studied geography, military history, agriculture and simple mathematics.
At the age of 16 he became a surveyor for the Fairfax family. Lawrence ,his half-brother, died in 1752 and left the state of Mount Vernon ,in Fairfax county, to George Washington. Lawrence also held the post of adjutant in the southern districts of Virginia. Although Washington was only 20 at the time and had no military experience in November of that year he was appointed adjutant of the southern districts in Virginia.
Washington was strongly against the rule of the British and helped oppose the Stamp Act, in 1765. Washington’s feelings toward the British were strengthened by the Townshend acts ,in 1767.
In 1774 he was elected in the First Continental Congress. They decided on what action to take against Britain. Washington was named commander of the continental army during the fighting in Massachusetts.
Washington was elected president on 30 th August 1789 and was in office for two terms. John Adams, the second president, was the first vice president. He died December 14 th 1799 of laryngitis and pneumonia.