Why His Excellency?
|First in War and in Peace|
Service and Speculation
|The Allegheny Mountains:where Washington explored the land|
and was initiated in war
Washington was driven by the two things that drove most of his Virginia planter class: the acquisition of land and service to his nation. In the case of the former this involved expanding his family's relatively modest holdings through a brilliant (but also romantic) marriage to Martha Parke Custis. This made him one of the wealthiest landholders in the Old Dominion. Still, he was constantly looking to expand his holdings and engaged himself in schemes that involved lands from The Great Dismal Swamp in tidewater Virginia to tracts on the Monongahela River and beyond to the Ohio. Both efforts involved him in controversy. But even as he fought for his nation and later as he led it, his thoughts and efforts always returned to land and farming. Washington's early days as a surveyor sort of connect those two dots. Surveying gave him an eye for land and the opportunity to assess land and eventually acquire it. It also led him to the service of Virginia's Governor Dinwiddie that resulted in missions to the west to assess the land and more importantly, the activities of the French. This led to further service as a militia officer and an event that caused a world war (Seven Years/French and Indian). That world war led to the economic, military and political factors that brought about the American War for Independence.
|As an officer of the Virginia Militia|
during the French and Indian War
More than a Military Leader
|Less iconic crossing of Delaware|
|Washington was the first chief executive who wasn't a|
monarch, king, duke or emperor
|The indispensable man found his farm indispensable|