George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, in Virginia. He grew up hunting, fishing and horseback riding on a large farm. His father died when he was eleven years old. He probably had little or no formal education. He may have been taught at home.
When George was fifteen years old, he became a surveyor to earn money. He went into the wilderness to work. He used the money he earned to buy land. He later became one of the largest land owners in the country.
When he was twenty years old, he joined the Virginia militia. He later fought in the French and Indian War and was promoted to colonel (KERnul).
George married Mrs. Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow with two children. George and Martha had no children together. They lived on a farm called Mt. Vernon and George liked farming. But when the troubles began with the British, he went to the Continental Congress and was made Commander in Chief of all the American soldiers. He refused payment for his services.
After the war, he retired to his farm and said he was through with public life. But the new country was having a lot of trouble and he agreed when people asked him to help build the new government. He was elected our first president after the constitution was adopted. He began many of the traditions that would be followed by the other presidents. Washington established the presidential veto, the first time a President said "no" to laws made by Congress. He also established his cabinet, a group of advisors.
He faced four major problems as our first president: building a new government, handling the financial affairs of the new country, finding good relations with Great Britain and signing treaties with Indian tribes.
Washington served two terms as President and he refused to accept a third term. He retired to his beloved Mt. Vernon. He died there in 1799. The nation mourned his death with many ceremonies. One of his officers had been Harry Lee, who spoke at Washington's death: "Washington was ...
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