George Washington Obituary Essay, Research Paper
George Washington is symbolized by his qualities of aristocratic duty, discipline, military orthodoxy, and persistence in adversity that is contemporaries particularly valued as marks of mature political leadership. Washington was born on Feb. 22, 1732, in Westmoreland Co., Va., the eldest son of Augustine Washington (1694-1743), a Virginia planter, and Mary Ball Washington (1708-89). Washington had little or no formal schooling. Although he was interested in subjects like geography, military history, agriculture, deportment, and composition and that he showed some aptitude in surveying and simple mathematics. George Washington died in 1799, but is survived by his beloved wife, Martha Washington.
Tall, strong, and fond of action, he was a superb horseman and enjoyed the robust sports and social occasions of the Virginia planter society. At the age of 16 he was invited to join a party to survey lands owned by the Fairfax family (to which he was related by marriage) west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. His journey led him to take a lifelong interest in the development of western lands. In the summer of 1749 he was appointed official surveyor for Culpeper Co., and in the next two years he made many surveys for landowners on the Virginia frontier. In 1753 he was appointed adjutant of one of the districts into which Virginia was divided, with the rank of major.
Washington loved the military and played an important role in the struggles before the outbreak of the French and Indian War. He was chosen by Lt. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia to deliver an ultimatum calling on French forces to cease their encroachment in the Ohio River valley. Washington a the young messenger was also instructed to observe the strength of French forces, the location of their forts, and the routes by which they might be reinforced from Canada. After successfully completing this mission, Washington, then a lieutenant colonel, was ordered to lead a militia force for the protection of workers who were building a fort at the Forks of the Ohio River. Having learned that the French had ousted the work party and renamed the site Fort Duquesne, he entrenched his forces at a camp named Fort Necessity and awaited reinforcements. A successful French assault obliged him to accept articles of surrender, and he departed with the remnants of his company. Washington resigned his commission in 1754, but in May 1755 he began service as a volunteer aide-de-camp to the British general Edward Braddock, witch was sent to Virginia with a force of British regulars. About three kilometers from Fort Duquesne, Braddock’s men were ambushed by a band of French soldiers and Indians. Braddock was mortally wounded, and Washington, who behaved gallantly during the conflict, narrowly escaped death. In August 1755 he was appointed (with the rank of colonel) to command the Virginia regiment, charged with the defense of the long western frontier of the colony. War between France and Britain was officially declared in May 1756, and while the principal struggle moved to other areas, Washington succeeded in keeping the Virginia frontier relatively safe.
After the fighting broke out between Massachusetts and the British in 1775, Congress named Washington commander of the newly created Continental army, hoping this would promote unity between New England and Virginia. He took command of the makeshift force besieging the British in Boston in mid-July, and when the enemy evacuated the city in March 1776, he moved his army to New York. Defeated there in August by Gen. William Howe, he withdrew from Manhattan to establish a new defensive line north of New York City. In November he retreated across the Hudson River into New Jersey, and a month later crossed the Delaware to safety in Pennsylvania. After wining the battle of Saratoga, the British finally surrendered in Oct. 19, 1781.
Commander George Washington was viewed as a hero. After the construction of the newly formed United States of America was formed, George Washington was elected as the new and first president. Elected president in 1788 and again in 1792, Washington presided over the formation and initial operation of the new government. His stiff dignity and sense of propriety postponed the emergence of the fierce partisanship that would characterize the administrations of his three successors-John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. He also made several decisions of far-reaching importance.
In 1797 President George Washington gave his farewell address, and then finally died in 1799. One of the greatest men who ever lived, and certainly one of the most honorable. Americans will never forget such a great man.