Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 Book #13–George Washington: Life and Death

gwI have to admit that I knew very little about the first President of the United States. The cherry tree fable, his leading the Continental Army as a General, Valley Forge, really minimal stuff. I decided to read about each President, so I started with #1.

I grabbed George Washington: Life and Death, a shorter book, more a middle or high school book to get started. It was interesting to see at a high level what his life was like, which was different than I expected.

Born to a family that wasn’t super prosperous, but somewhat well off. His father died when he was 12, and he inherited part of an estate and become head of it. is mother and younger siblings lived with him, but he was in charge. He became a surveyor and when his older brother died, who had inherited more land, he became in charge of Mount Vernon.

His earlier adulthood had him in the Virginia militia, and he went to the Ohio Valley at one point to dislodge the French and Indians. He didn’t gave a lot of success, but he learned and was wiling to learn.  That helped later when the colonies had trouble and he was appointed General of the army. We know he had success, though I didn’t realize that he was always fighting the colonies for resources (men and supplies). He knew he was outmatched, but he pushed his troops, which helped.

After the Revolutionary War, he went back to be a farmer. He liked his land and farming. It wasn’t until the first government started to fail that he went to the Continental Congress and helped get the Constitution written. He then agreed to be the first President and was elected. He stayed on for another term, though he didn’t want to. He was careful, knowing that his model for the President would end up influencing later men.

He grew old and died prosperoous, unlike Thomas Jeffereson. He seems like a fair man, and a thoughtful one. I need to read another book.

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