George Washington: A Biography of America's first President

America, the developed country has produced number of people who created a name for themselves as well as for their country. George Washington, the one name who played a major role in formation of new America. He was the first American president.
George Washington came to this beautiful world in Westmoreland County, Va., on Feb. 22, 1732. He was the eldest son of Augustine Washington and his second wife, Mary Ball Washington, who were wealthy Virginia gentry of English descent. George stayed with his family besides the Potomac River. Here he finished his primary education. His father died when he was just eleven. His step brother Lawrence took his responsibility and carried him to Mount Vernon. He guided George's in building his career. Lawrence was working in royal navy, seeing him George too got interested in pursuing a naval career. His mother discouraged him from jumping into this field.

While he was just 15, he took his first job as an assistant land surveyor. By 1748, he got attached a surveying team which was sent to the Shenandoah Valley to help survey the land holdings of Lord Fairfax. Within a period of one year, he proved himself as a good land surveyor and was appointed to the official land surveyor of Culpeper County. His brother's journey of life ended due to tuberculosis. Just few days before death he made a will that if his wife Sarah died without giving birth to child the Mount Vernon Estate would go to George Washington. His wife died after two years without baring children. George joined the Virginia's armed force as a major at the age of twenty. In 1753 the growing enmity between the British and French over control of the Ohio Valley, erupted into the French and Indian War (1754-63). Gov. Robert Dinwiddie sent him on an unsuccessful mission to warn the French commander at Fort Le Boeuf against further encroachment on territory claimed by Britain. His performance paid off, they promoted him to lieutenant colonel. After overthrowing some French investigation party in southern Pennsylvania, they promoted him to colonel in charge of all the Virginian troops. George led an assault at Fort Necessity, Pennsylvania, where he and 400 troops surrendered to the French and Indians. Disheartened by this defeat and angered by discrimination between British and colonial officers in rank and pay, he resigned his service near the end of 1754 and returned to Mount Vernon. Governor Dinwiddie requested him to return to service. He rejected this offer at first, but decided to regain control. Washington remained colonel for the rest of the war.

Following year while working as an assistant to Gen. Edward Braddock, he escaped injury although four bullets ripped his coat and two horses were shot from under him. George was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in May 1775. He took command of his poorly trained troops and embarked upon a war that lasted for six grueling years. He got married to Martha Dandridge Custis, a wealthy widow and mother of two children on January 6, 1759. After directing the British from Boston in the spring of 1776, Washington fought a series of humiliating battles in a losing effort to defend New York. During the Christmas day of the same year, he guided his army through a ferocious blizzard, crossed the Delaware into New Jersey, and surprised the British at Trenton, capturing much of it. In May 1778, the French joined hands with the Americans, marking the turning point of the Revolution. He knew that one major success by his army would collapse the British Parliament's support for its war against the colonies. His troops, supported by the French Navy, defeated Cornwallis at Yorktown in October 1781. By the next spring the British government agreed to end hostilities.

Motivated by many of his friends, he presided over the Constitutional Convention, whose success was immeasurably influenced by his presence and dignity. Following approval of the new government in 1788, the Electoral College unanimously chose him as the first President. He went to the New England states (1789) and the South (1791) Washington was reelected president in 1792, and the following year to prevent sectionalism from dividing the new nation .When he left office in 1977, the country's financial condition was well established, the Indian threat at the east of the Mississippi was largely eliminated and Jay's Treaty and Pinckney's Treaty (1795) with Spain had enlarged U.S. territory and removed serious diplomatic difficulties.

Only a few years after retirement at Mount Vernon on December 16, 1799, he suffered with a severe throat infection. The same night he took his last breath. His body was buried after four days at Mount Vernon. The Nation mourned for months, just goes to show the impact he created on American people. His name is and will be always taken with honor and respect.
By Yogesh Ambekar
Last Updated: 10/12/2011
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