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George Washington- "Father of His Country"

  • Martha Dandridge is born

    Martha Dandridge is born
    Martha, George Washington's future wife, was born the oldest child of John Dandridge and Frances Jones with 7 siblings. She was born on her parent's plantation, Chesnut Grove, in Virginia.
  • Marriage of Augustine and Mary Ball

    Marriage of Augustine and Mary Ball
    This was the marriage of George Washington's parents. Mary Ball Washington was Augustine Washington's second wife.
  • George Washington is Born

    George Washington is Born
    Born in Popes Creek Plantation, Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was the oldest son of Augustine Washington and Mary Ball Washington, with two half-brothers, three brothers, and one sister.
  • Death of his father

    Death of his father
    Augustine Washington dies, causing George to live with his half brother, Lawrence, on his plantation at Mount Vernon. Lawrence becomes the father figure in George's life at this point. The Fairfax family, which Lawrence married into, was wealthy and prominent, helping to get George's career going.
  • Surveys Lord Fairfax's Land

    Surveys Lord Fairfax's Land
    Washington's first job. He gets an appointment to survey Lord Fairfax's lands in the Shenandoah Valley. Before becoming a surveyor, George had wished to go to sea, but was discouraged by his mother. In his early school years, Washington studied surveying, along with other subjects such as mathematics, the classics, and "rules of civility."
  • Official Surveyor for Culpeper County, Virginia

    Official Surveyor for Culpeper County, Virginia
    Washington's first occupation was a surveyor. He was given the job to be the Official Surveyor for Culpeper County in Virginia.
  • Marriage of Martha Dandridge and Daniel Custis

    Marriage of Martha Dandridge and Daniel Custis
    Martha Dandridge was 18 years old when she married Daniel Custis. They had four children, two of which died in their young childhood, and the other two grew up to young adulthood. George Washington would end up raising the two that lived until then. Daniel Custis was a rich planter.
  • George goes to Barbados

    George goes to Barbados
    Washington and his brother go to Barbados in an attempt to cure Lawrence, George's half brother, of tuberculosis.
  • Death of his half brother

    Death of his half brother
    Lawrence dies of tuberculosis shortly after George leaves Barbados. George inherits the Mount Vernon estate.
  • Washington joins the Virginia Militia

    Washington joins the Virginia Militia
    Washington was appointed to 'Adjutant General' of the militia, which meant that he was already a Major at age 20.
  • First Gains Notice

    First Gains Notice
    As an Adjutant General, Washington was sent out by governor Dinwiddie to warn the French commander at Fort Le Boeuf not to advance any further onto British territories. When he returned, Washington was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. The diary that he kept during his journey, describing his difficulties and dangers, was published in Williamsburg and was probably very influential in his promotion.
  • French and Indian War Begins

    French and Indian War Begins
    The War started because colonists wanted the French lands in North America, and the British wanted to take over the fur trade that was in French territory. The Native Americans joined the French because they wanted to fight against the British, fearing they were going to take away their lands.
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    French and Indian War

    Also known as the Seven Years War. French + Native Americans vs. American Colonies + Great Britain. Washington was in this war, and it was the start of his military career.
  • Col. Washington Surrenders Fort Necessity

    Col. Washington Surrenders Fort Necessity
    In an all day battle fought in pouring rain, Washington was attacked by a large number of French troops plus Indians at Fort Necessity, which he was defending. At the end of the day, about a third of his men were wounded or dead, his food suppply was almost gone, and his ammunition was wet and ruined. Washington had no choice but to surrender the fort to the French. After his surrender, Washington and his troops marched back to Williamsburg.
  • John Parke Custis is born

    John Parke Custis is born
    Martha Dandridge Custis has a son, John Parke Custis, with her first husband. The boy's nickname is "Jackie". George Washington would later end up raising this child with Martha, though he was not present at the time of Jackie's birth.
  • Washington resigns from Army

    Washington resigns from Army
    Washington was disappointed after his defeat at Fort Necessity, and he was angry about the uneven payment and ranking between British officers and colonial officers. Because of this, he decided to resign.
  • Washington returns to Army

    Washington returns to Army
    After his resign in late 1754, Washington returned to the army to accompany British General Edward Braddock on his expedition against the French.
  • Battle of Monongahela

    Battle of Monongahela
    Washington was an aide to General Edward Braddock when they were ambushed on the Monongahela River by the French troops and the Indians. They were defeated, and even though Washington was very sick, he tried to raise the spirits of the Virginia troops.
  • Commander in Chief of Virginia Militia

    Commander in Chief of Virginia Militia
    Washington was appointed to colonel by Governor Dinwiddie and put in the position of Commander in Chief of the Virginia forces. His job was to protect the Virginia Frontier.
  • Martha Parke Custis is born

    Martha Parke Custis is born
    Martha Dandridge Custis has a daughter, Martha Parke Custis, with her first husband. Her second child's nickname is "Patsy". George Washington would later end up raising this child with Martha, though he was not present at the time of Patsy's birth.
  • Daniel Custis dies

    Daniel Custis dies
    Martha Dandridge Custis' husband dies, making her a wealthy, attractive widow.
  • Leaves the Army Again

    Leaves the Army Again
    Washington decided to leave the army during the French and Indian War at this time because he trusted that there would be no French Attacks on the Virginia Frontier any time soon. He came back to his home on Mount Vernon and spent his time fixing up the ignored estate. He also started getting into politics.
  • Forbes Expedition

    Forbes Expedition
    The Forbes Expedition was a British military expedition sent out to capture the French fort, Fort Duquesne. The expedition was led by General John Forbes. Washington was a member of the expedition, and in mid-November, when the expedition was only a few miles away from the fort, the French evacuated and blew it up. Washington led his troops into the remains of the fort.
  • George marries Martha Dandridge Custis

    George marries Martha Dandridge Custis
    Martha was a wealthy widow with two children. They were both 27 years old. Her and George never had children together, but they raised her kids, John Parke Custis and Mary Parke Custis.
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    Virginia House of Burgesses

    Washington was elected into the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1759, after he had left the army in the previous year. He served until the year 1774.
  • End of French & Indian War

    End of French & Indian War
    The Seven Years War, or French and Indian War, ended with the Peace Treaty of 1763, also called the Treaty of Paris. From this treaty, the British gained most of the land in North America that had belonged to the French. Also, this led to Great Britain taxing its colonists to pay off the war debt.
  • Proclamation of 1763

    Proclamation of 1763
    The Proclamation of 1763, passed by the British Parlament, was the first time colonists were really angry at the King. It gave all land between the Appalachian Mountains and Mississippi River to the Native Americans. It said that no colonists could expand westward past the Appalachians. Washington's plans for westward land speculation were destroyed, and he was not happy with the British policies.
  • Stamp Act

    Stamp Act
    The Stamp Act was passed by British Parliament to collect taxes from the colonists to help pay debt. Any printed materials were taxed, the colonists then having to pay for a stamp to prove that they had paid the tax. People were very angry that they were being forced to comply with laws that they had no say in.
  • Quartering Act

    Quartering Act
    The Quatering Act required colonists to allow British soldiers to stay in their homes. They had to provide fuel, food, candles, beer, transportation and more for the troops.
  • Townshend Acts

    Townshend Acts
    Named after Charles Townshend, the British Prime Minister. He imposed a small, indirect tax on items in the colonies such as glass, lead, paper, and tea, hoping that they would not notice. However, the colonists noticed and they were outraged. The tax was to be collected at sea ports.
  • Presents to Virginia House of Burgesses

    Presents to Virginia House of Burgesses
    George Mason wrote resolutions that Washington presented at the Virginia House of Burgesses. The resolutions were against Taxation without Representation.
  • Boston Massacre

    Boston Massacre
    The Boston Massacre began when colonists were taunting and throwing things at British soldiers. A riot broke out, and the British killed 5 colonists. Washington was not present at the massacre, but the event strengthened his feelings of independence and gave him even more reason to be angry with Great Britain.
  • Death of Martha Parke Custis

    Death of Martha Parke Custis
    Patsy died of an epileptic seizure.
  • Boston Tea Party

    Boston Tea Party
    Parliament passed the Tea Act, that allowed for colonists to only purchase tea from the British East Indies Company. They did not want to pay the tax on tea, so one night a group of colonists dressed up as Native Americans and raided ships in the Boston Harbor that had a lot of tea cargo. They sliced open the boxes and dumped all of the tea into the Boston Harbor. All the colonists that were watching cheered.
  • Intolerable Acts

    Intolerable Acts
    The Intolerable Acts were laws passed in direct response to the Boston Tea Party. Great Britain closed the Boston Port, trying to force the colonists to pay back money for the lost tea. A lot of Massachussetts' freedoms were taken away, and there was a heavy amount of British rule placed on the colonies (especially Massachussetts).
  • 1st Continental Congress

    1st Continental Congress
    Washington was elected to be a delegate from Virginia to the First Continental Congress. It was held in Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia. The Congress lasted until October 26, 1774. Here, they made plans to boycott British goods.
  • Lexington and Concord

    Lexington and Concord
    "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" was fired at this battle, marking the start of the Revolution. After the King had ignored all petitions for change that came from the Continental Congress, the Americans battled the British. They suffered less casualties than the British, and the Revolutionary War began.
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    Siege of Boston

    After the Battles of Lexington and Concord, General Washington and American troops surrounded the British army at Boston. The siege lasted 11 months.
  • Start of 2nd Cont. Congress

    Start of 2nd Cont. Congress
    Washington was elected to be a delegate at the Second Continental Congress. This date was the first meeting of the Second Continental Congress, followed by many more over the course of the next year. They met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and discussed the "colonial war effort". At this congress, delegates had stronger feelings of independence than at the first.
  • Continental Army

    Continental Army
    This was another meeting of the Second Continental Congress. On this date, Congress decided to make the Continental Army. They chose George Washington as the Supreme Commander of the army. Washington said he would serve without payment.
  • Commander in Chief

    Commander in Chief
    Washington was elected Commander in Cheif of the Continental Army. He did not seek this position, and asked not to be paid for it. However, without him in this position, the colonies most likely would not have won the revolution.
  • Olive Branch Petition

    Olive Branch Petition
    This document was drafted by John Dickinson at the Second Continental Congress. The petition was adopted by the congress on this date, but sent to the King on July 8. It was an attempt from the colonists to tell King George III what they were unhappy about, while still remaining loyal to him. They tried to create a peaceful solution through the petition, but it was ignored by the King.
  • King's Response

    King's Response
    The King responded to the Olive Branch Petition by completely ignoring it. Then, he said that the colonists had "proceeded to open and avowed rebellion." Next, he ordered the Hessians into the colonies to keep control over the rebellious colonists.
  • Declaration of Independence

    Declaration of Independence
    The Declaration of Independence was signed, declaring the American Colonies independent from Great Britain, at the Second Continental Congress. It was written by Thomas Jefferson. George Washington was not one of the many signers of the document, because he was at war. However, the Declaration still greatly affected him.
  • Battle of Long Island

    Battle of Long Island
    This was the biggest battle of the revolution. Washington and his army retreated and escaped over the Delaware River in the fog. The British troops won, and it exposed the weakenesses of the Americans. That was actually quite beneficial for them because they made a plan to improve on those weaknesses.
  • Battle of Harlem Heights

    Battle of Harlem Heights
    In this battle, there was not necessarily a winner, but it helped boost the morale of the Americans. Instead of fleeing, as they had done before, George Washington and the Virginia Militia fought steadily against the British. This skirmish was fought on the Island of Manhattan in New York.
  • Battle of the White Plains

    Battle of the White Plains
    General Washington was forced to retreat west, allowing for General Howe to capture Fort Washington. There was not a clear winner in the battle.
  • Battle of Trenton

    Battle of Trenton
    After being forced out of New York by the British, and crossing the Delaware River, on a freezing cold Christmas night, General Washington and troops recrossed the Delaware and surprise attacked the Hessians and the British troops. They captured 1,000 of the enemy troops, the battle only lasting about 45 minutes. It was a great victory for the Americans, giving them hope, supplies, shelter, and New Jersey. It also improved the reputation of Washington.
  • Battle of Saratoga

    Battle of Saratoga
    This was the major turning point in the American Revolution. The American troops were too big for the British and they surrendered. This ended the British threat in New England, and turned the war in favor of the Americans. After the American victory, the French were finally convinced to join the colonists.
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    Valley Forge

    The struggle at Valley Forge was not an actual battle. Over the winter of 1777-1778, the Continental Army was camped at Valley Forge. The conditions were terrible for them, and they battled the elements. It was freezing cold, there was a lack of food, soldiers had no shoes and not much clothing, and there was alot of disease. It was up to Washington to keep the men going. After the winter at Valley Forge, the army emerged stronger.
  • War between French and British

    War between French and British
    France declares war against Britain. Although Washington was not present at that war, it affected him in that he had to sign the Neutrality Proclamation later, to announce that the U.S. would not get involved.
  • Eleanor Parke Custis is born

    Eleanor Parke Custis is born
    George Washington's grandchild. Eleanor, also known as "Nelly", was the daughter of John Parke Custis and Eleanor Calvert. Washington would later have to raise Nelly after the death of his step-son, John.
  • George Washington Parke Custis is born

    George Washington Parke Custis is born
    George Washington's second grandchild. He was the son of John Parke Custis and Eleanor Calvert. Washington raised George Washington Parke Custis after John's death.
  • Victory at Yorktown

    Victory at Yorktown
    With the help of the French, American troops defeated the British once and for all at the Battle of Yorktown. British General Cornwallis was put under a siege, the French Navy blocking the ports, and the American army led by George Washington blocking the land. Gen. Cornwallis surrendered, and the Americans won the revolution. Washington can be considered the most famous figure from this battle.
  • Death of John Parke Custis

    Death of John Parke Custis
    At the Battle of Yorktown, John served as an aide to his step-father, George Washington. There, he got camp fever and passed away. This caused George and his wife, Martha, to have to raise John's two children, Eleanor Parke Custis and George Washington Parke Custis.
  • Treaty of Paris

    Treaty of Paris
    United States and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Paris. The British had to recognize America as an indpendent country. They also had to give all the land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River to the U.S. England also gave Florida back to Spain. The French did not gain much, but they did get the United States' friendship.
  • Shay's Rebellion

    Shay's Rebellion
    Shay's Rebellion lasted from 1786 to 1787. It was named after a farmer, Daniel Shays. The rebellion was an uprising in Masachusetts of angry farmers. They were unhappy with the property taxes that they were having to pay in Massachusetts, and didn't want to have to give up their land. Shay's Rebellion showed the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation to the government, and caused them start the Constitutional Convention, which was originally meant to revise the Articles.
  • Original Federal Convention

    Original Federal Convention
    Also known as the Constitutional Convention. It did not end up happening on this date, because many delegates were slow to arrive. Only 2 showed up on this day. The convention was not opened for another 11 days, where 55 delegates showed up.
  • Constitutional Convention

    Constitutional Convention
    Washington was elected to be the president of the Constitution Convention. The purpose of this convention in Philadelphia was to revise the Articles of Confederation, which the country was using originally. Washington said the problem with the Articles was that they had "no money". Instead of revising the Articles, the delegates of the convention decided to draft an entirely new framework for our government. They worked on it throghout the summer.
  • U.S. Constitution

    U.S. Constitution
    After many months of debating, planning, and writing the constitution, it was adopted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by the Constitutional Convention on this date. Our United States Constitution is the "supreme law" of our country, and the oldest written constitution still being followed by a nation.
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    Washington is the 1st president of the United States of America. After the American Revolution he is asked to be King, but turns it down.
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    French Revolution

    Absolute Monarchy in France is gone due to the French Revolution.
  • First President of the US

    First President of the US
    George Washington is elected as the first President of the United States. He won with 69 votes, over John Adams' 34 votes. Adams became the vice president. At the time, there was no limit to how long a president could serve. Washington immediately thought to establish a precedent of two terms.
  • Signs First Act of Congress

    Signs First Act of Congress
    Washington signed the first act of Congress. This involved the administration of oaths.
  • Department of Foreign Affairs

    Department of Foreign Affairs
    Department of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Foreign Affairs are reestablished by George Washington. John Jay was temporarily the Secretary of Foreign Affairs at this point, waiting for Thomas Jefferson to return from France.
  • Department of State

    Department of State
    Washington signs an act that changes the name of the Department of Foreign Affairs to the Department of State, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to the Secretary of State. Both the department and the office of secretary were given more responsibility and power.
  • North Carolina Statehood

    North Carolina Statehood
    North Carolina becomes the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • Rhode Island Statehood

    Rhode Island Statehood
    Rhode Island became the 13th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
  • U.S. Capitol Plans

    U.S. Capitol Plans
    Washington approved plans for the capitol of the United States.
  • Vermont Statehood

    Vermont Statehood
    Vermont becomes the 14th state to ratify the Constitution.
  • Whiskey Act of 1791

    Whiskey Act of 1791
    A federal excise tax on whiskey. The act was part of Alexander Hamilton's program to try and rid of some of the national debt. This required famers who grew their corn in the form of whiskey to have to pay a new tax. They resented the law and became very upset.
  • First Cabinet Meeting

    First Cabinet Meeting
    First recorded meeting of the Cabinet. Washington presided over the first National meeting. Alexander Hamilton was the US's first secretary of the treasury, and Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State.
  • Bank of the United States

    Bank of the United States
    Congress chartered the first Bank of the United States to take up after the Bank of North America.
  • Bill of Rights

    Bill of Rights
    The Bill of Rights was the collection of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Basic liberties to Americans were guarunteed through these amendments. The Bill of Rights was ratified on this date.
  • Kentucky Statehood

    Kentucky Statehood
    Kentucky became the 15th state to ratify the Constitution.
  • Re-elected as President

    Re-elected as President
    Washington was elected again by the majority of votes to be the U.S. President.
  • Cotton Gin

    Cotton Gin
    Invented by Eli Whitney. The cotton gin increased slave labor and caused mass production of cotton.
  • Neutrality Proclamation

    Neutrality Proclamation
    A war was occuring between France and Great Britiain. Washington issued the Neutrality Proclamation to keep the US out of that war.
  • U.S. Capitol Building

    U.S. Capitol Building
    On this date, Washington laid down the cornerstone for the capitol building of the United States.
  • Whiskey Rebellion

    Whiskey Rebellion
    Also known as the Whiskey Insurrection. There was a revolt in western Pennsylvania against the Whiskey Act of 1791. This was the first uprising against Federal Government. It turned to violence in Pennsylvania, therefore Washington stopped the rebellion by sending peace commissioners to negotiate, and preparing militias to calm down the violence.
  • Jay Treaty

    Jay Treaty
    Even though it was unpopular, to maintain trade with Great Britain, Washington signed the Jay Treaty. The Jay Treaty was created by John Jay in an effort to avoid war with Great Britain. There were still many issues following the American Revolution between the two nations, so Jay went to England to negotiate. When the Treaty was signed, many Americans were outraged.
  • Tennessee Statehood

    Tennessee Statehood
    Tennessee became the 16th state to ratify the Constitution.
  • Farewell Address

    Farewell Address
    Washington refused to serve a third term. His Farewell Address, announcing his retirement from President, was published in 'The Independent Chronicle' on this date. He never presented his address out loud.
  • John Adams becomes President

    John Adams becomes President
    Washington's second term comes to an end, and John Adams is the next president. Thomas Jefferson becomes the Vice President.
  • George Washington's Death

    George Washington's Death
    Passed away in Mount Vernon, Virginia. He was 67 years old when he died of pneumonia with an infection of the larynx that caused him to suffocate.
  • George's Funeral

    George's Funeral
    Martha, his wife, did not attend George's funeral. In his will, he freed half of the slaves that he owned. Shortly after his death, Martha released the rest of the slaves.
  • Death of Martha Washington

    Death of Martha Washington
    Martha Washington died of a fever. She burned many of George Washington's personal letters rgiht before she died.
  • Death of Eleanor Custis Lewis

    Death of Eleanor Custis Lewis
    Nelly (Eleanor Parke Custis, who married Lawrence Lewis) passed away on this day. She is buried on the Mount Vernon estate, next to George and Martha Washington.
  • Death of George W.P. Custis

    Death of George W.P. Custis
    George Washington Parke Custis passed away. He was buried at Arlington next to his wife. His death had large affects on Robert E. Lee's career, and the careers of Custis' two oldest sons right before the Civil War began.