How was George Washington's childhood?

by Bob
(Naples, Florida USA)

Please provide more details and a better explanation of George Washington's childhood.

Comments for How was George Washington's childhood?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

May 05, 2013
More details on George Washington's childhood.

Until the age of eleven, when his father passed away, George Washington's childhood was normal for an upper middle class boy growing up in Virginia in the 1730's and 1740's. His experiences living at Ferry Farm would have been the ones he remembered from his childhood. While at Ferry Farm, he would have spent his time working and taking an interest in travelers that used the ferry that operated near the farm to take travelers across the river. He also would have been interested in the large transatlantic boats that sailed up the river to Frederickburg, VA.

He did not attend any formal school. The collection of George Washington papers from his childhood show that he did study, but it was not formal. While it is clear from his papers that he studied, the lack of formal schooling meant that more of his time was spent working on the farm.

From the age of 11 through the age of 20, he's childhood did not follow a normal path. The death of his father coupled with his mother remaining unmarried would make George the man of the house. Initially his older half-brother Lawrence would take care of him. Lawrence was involved in the Virginia militia and served in the British army under Edward Vernon. George looked up to Lawrence and followed him into a military career with the Virginia militia. Lawrence contracted tuberculosis and died when George was still in his teens. Lawrence was Adjutant General of Virginia. Upon his death, George sought the office by meeting with people in the Virginia assembly and expressing his desire for the position and was elected.

Another major influence in George's early life was the Fairfax family. George spent significant amount of time with the family who were well connected in England and in Virginia. The family secured George a position in the British Navy that he had to decline due to his mother's insistence that he stay home. The Fairfax family started George Washington's career as a surveyor. He joined a party to survey their land. After his first surveying trip he realized that he could make many from surveying. The need for money to support the farm likely led to George making his first land purchase before his 20th birthday.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions about George Washington's Childhood.