Eager for adventure, George wanted to join the British Navy, but his mother refused to let him. Instead, he accompanied George William Fairfax as a surveyor to the unexplored wilderness of the Virginia frontier. George read mathematical texts to learn the geometric principles necessary for surveying.
In July, at seventeen years of age and largely through the Fairfax influence that he had cultivated, Washington secured an appointment as county surveyor for the newly created frontier county of Culpeper. He was well on his way to a successful and profitable career. In an effort to establish himself as a member of the gentry class, he worked hard, saved his money, and bought unclaimed land.