George Washington eBook

William Roscoe Thayer
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about George Washington.

ABBREVIATIONS OF TITLES FREQUENTLY REFERRED TO

Channing = Edward Channing:  History of the United States.  New York:  Macmillan Company, III, iv. 1912.

Fiske = John Fiske:  The Critical Period of American History, 1783-1789.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company. 1897.

Ford = Worthington C. Ford:  The Writings of George Washington. 14 vols.  New York:  G.P.  Putnam’s Sons. 1889-93.

Ford = Worthington C. Ford:  George Washington. 2 vols.  Paris:  Goupil; New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons. 1900.

Hapgood = Norman Hapgood:  George Washington.  New York:  Macmillan Company. 1901.

Irving = Washington Irving:  Life of George Washington.  New York:  G.P.  Putnam. 1857.

Lodge = Henry Cabot Lodge:  George Washington. 2 vols.  American Statesman Series.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company. 1889.

Marshall = John Marshall:  The Life of George Washington. 5 vols.  Philadelphia. 1807.

Sparks = Jared Sparks:  The Life of George Washington.  Boston.

Wister = Owen Wister:  The Seven Ages of Washington.  New York:  Macmillan Company. 1909.

GEORGE WASHINGTON

CHAPTER I

ORIGINS AND YOUTH

Zealous biographers of George Washington have traced for him a most respectable, not to say distinguished, ancestry.  They go back to the time of Queen Elizabeth, and find Washingtons then who were “gentlemen.”  A family of the name existed in Northumberland and Durham, but modern investigation points to Sulgrave, in Northamptonshire, as the English home of his stock.  Here was born, probably during the reign of Charles I, his great-grandfather, John Washington, who was a sea-going man, and settled in Virginia in 1657.  His eldest son, Lawrence, had three children—­John, Augustine, and Mildred.  Of these, Augustine married twice, and by his second wife, Mary Ball, whom he married on March 17, 1730, there were six children—­George, Betty, Samuel, John Augustine, Charles, and Mildred.  The family home at Bridges Creek, near the Potomac, in Westmoreland County, was Washington’s birthplace, and (February 11, Old Style) February 22, New Style, 1732, was the date.  We hear little about his childhood, he being a wholesomely unprecocious boy.  Rumors have it that George was coddled and even spoiled by his mother.  He had very little formal education, mathematics being the only subject in which he excelled, and that he learned chiefly by himself.  But he lived abundantly an out-of-door life, hunting and fishing much, and playing on the plantation.  His family, although not rich, lived in easy fashion, and ranked among the gentry.

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George Washington from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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