Short Essay Questions Key
1. Who were George Washington's parents and how many siblings did he have?
Washington's father, Augustine, married Mary Johnson Bell after his first wife's death left him with three young children. Augustine and Mary went on to have five children of which George Washington was the eldest.
2. What was Washington's childhood like and why was he not able to get a formal education?
The family moved a great deal in Washington's early life because his father owned multiple properties throughout Virginia. When Washington was eleven his father died, taking away young Washington's hopes of going to boarding school like his two elder half-brothers. Instead, Washington was self-taught.
3. How did Washington's difficult life with his mother impact his early life?
As a young man, Washington spent a great deal of time at Mount Vernon with his eldest half-brother in an attempt to escape his demanding and critical mother. As a result of this relationship, Washington was introduced to a neighbor of Lawrence Washington, Colonel William Fairfax, who helped Washington pursue a career as a land surveyor after Washington's mother vetoed his attempts to become a member of the Royal Navy. In the spring of 1749, Washington was appointed surveyor of Culpepper County.
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