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George Washington

             22, 1732,in Westmoreland County, Va., George Washington was the oldest son of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington, who were rich Virginians of English descent. George spent his childhood on the family estate on the Potomac River. His schooling included the study of surveying, math, and the "rules of civility." Augustine died in 1743, and soon after that George went to live with his half brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon, Lawrence's lands on the Potomac River. Lawrence, who became something of father for George, married into the Fairfax family, prominent and influential Virginians who helped begin George's career. An early desire to go to sea had been opposed by George's mother; instead, decided to be a surveyor, securing (1748) an assignment to survey the Fairfax's lands in the Shenandoah Valley. He played a major role in planning out the Virginia town of Belhaven in 1749 and then got the position as surveyor for Culpepper County. George .
             and his brother went to Barbados in an effort rid Lawrence of tuberculosis. Lawrence died in 1752, soon after the brothers returned. As a result George got the Mount Vernon lands.
             By 1753, the problems between the French and the British were growing, this would end up becoming the French and Indian war (1754-63), which showed to be opportunities for Washington to get ahead in life. He first gained publicity when, as adjutant of one of Virginia's four military districts, he was sent (October 1753) by Gov. Robert Dinwiddie on a fruitless mission to warn the French commander at Fort Le Boeuf against further encroachment on territory claimed by Britain. In Washington's diary, he wrote of the problems of his journey, which was published at Williamsburg on his return. This may have helped win him a promotion to lieutenant colonel. He was young, only 22 years old and without much experience, but he learned quickly, challenging the problems of recruitment, supply, and desertions.

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