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George Washington George Washington was commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution and first president of the United States 1789-97 Early Life and Career Born in Westmoreland County Va on Feb 22 1732 George Washington was the eldest son of Augustine Washington and his second wife Mary Ball Washington who were prosperous Virginia gentry of English descent George spent his early years on the family estate on Popes Creek along the Potomac River His early education included the study of such subjects as mathematics surveying the classics and rules of civility His father died in 1743 and soon thereafter George went to live with his half brother Lawrence at Mount Vernon Lawrences plantation on the Potomac Lawrence who became something of a substitute father for his brother had married into the Fairfax family prominent and influential Virginians who helped launch Georges career An early ambition to go to sea had been effectively discouraged by Georges mother instead he turned to surveying securing 1748 an appointment to survey Lord Fairfaxs lands in the Shenandoah Valley He helped lay out the Virginia town of Belhaven now Alexandria in 1749 and was appointed surveyor for Culpeper County George accompanied his brother to Barbados in an effort to cure Lawrence of tuberculosis but Lawrence died in 1752 soon after the brothers returned George ultimately inherited the Mount Vernon estate By 1753 the growing rivalry between the British and French over control of the Ohio Valley soon to erupt into the French and Indian War 1754-63 created new opportunities for the ambitious young Washington He first gained public notice when as adjutant of one of Virginias four military districts he was dispatched 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 Washingtons diary account of the dangers and difficulties of his journey published at Williamsburg on his return
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