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George Washington Timeline

Fri, 10/29/2010

George Washington is born at Pope’s Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia

George Washington’s father moves his family to Little Hunting Creek Plantation, which will later be called Mount Vernon

1738 or 1739
George Washington’s father moves his family to another of his properties, Ferry Farm, near Fredericksburg, Virginia

George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, dies

George Washington considers entering the British Navy, but his mother will not give permission for him to go

George Washington takes part in a trip in the Shenandoah Valley, to survey lands belonging to Thomas, Lord Fairfax

George Washington receives an appointment as a public surveyor for Culpeper County

George Washington sails to Barbados with his older half-brother, Lawrence Washington, who is ill with tuberculosis.  While there, George Washington contracts smallpox

Half-brother Lawrence Washington dies of tuberculosis.  George Washington joins the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia

George Washington is sent into the Ohio Valley to take a message from the governor of Virginia to French military forces, demanding that they leave.

George Washington is appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Virginia militia; defeats the French and their Indian allies at Great Meadows.  He is involved in a skirmish, which results in the death of a French diplomat and starts the French and Indian War; surrenders Fort Necessity.  Is very sick and surrenders his commission; begins renting Mount Vernon from the widow of his half-brother, Lawrence Washington.

Washington serves as a volunteer aide-de-camp to General Braddock during a disastrous campaign against the French; becomes commander-in-chief of the Virginia forces.

Commands Virginia’s forces, trying to protect settlements along the frontier from the French and their Indian allies; goes on military business to New York and Boston

Washington is very ill; begins courting a young widow named Martha Dandridge Custis, who is eight months older than himself.  Takes part in General John Forbes expedition to take Fort Duquesne.  Is elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses and resigns his military commission

George Washington serves in the Virginia House of Burgesses

George Washington marries Martha Dandridge Custis, a young widow with two small children; begins serving in the Virginia House of Burgesses

George Washington serves as a Justice of the Fairfax County [Virginia] Court
George Washington serves as a vestryman for his local Anglican parish

The French and Indian War ends; George Washington is a trustee of the town of Alexandria, Virginia

George Washington serves as a commissioner for settling Virginia’s military accounts

George Washington is a member of the Alexandria town council

In the Virginia House of Burgesses, George Washington presents a set of nonimportation resolutions prepared by his neighbor, George Mason of Gunston Hall

George Washington disapproves of the Stamp Acts

George Washington and a friend from the days of the French and Indian War go to see their western lands on the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers

Artist Charles Willson Peale paints the first portrait of George Washington

George Washington’s beloved 17 year old stepdaughter, Martha Parke Custis, dies of epilepsy; he approves the Committee of Correspondence

George Washington presides over the meeting, which produces the Fairfax Resolves, promoting a boycott of British goods and the right of self-government; is chosen by and represents Virginia as a delegate to the 1st Continental Congress in Philadelphia

George Washington is chosen as a delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress; while there, he is selected to command the Continental Army; goes immediately to take command of the army at Cambridge, Massachusetts; begins a siege of the city of Boston

British evacuate Boston; Battle of Long Island; Battle of Harlem Heights; Battle of White Plains, New York; Loss of Forts Lee and Washington; Washington and the army retreat through New Jersey; Battle of Trenton, New Jersey; Congress gives Washington dictatorial powers; George Washington receives an honorary doctorate (LL.D.) from Harvard College

Battle of Princeton, New Jersey; Washington goes into winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey; Battle of Brandywine, Pennsylvania; Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania; Washington goes into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

George Washington’s leadership of the Continental Army is threatened by the Conway Cabal; Battle of Monmouth Courthouse, New Jersey; a French fleet arrives to help the Americans; the Rhode Island campaign fails; Washington goes into winter quarters at Middlebrook, New Jersey

Washington captures Stony Point; Washington sends General Sullivan against the Iroquois; Washington goes into winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey

French forces under General Rochambeau arrives in Newport, Rhode Island; British General Gates defeated at Camden, New Jersey; General Benedict Arnold’s plot to turn over the American garrison to the enemy is foiled; Washington goes into winter quarters at Tappen, New Jersey; George Washington becomes a member of the American Philosophical Society

Pennsylvania troops mutiny; George Washington meets French General Rochambeau; the American and French armies head south; Washington, with the help of the French, successfully defeats the British at Yorktown, the last major battle of the war; Washington’s 27 year old stepson dies of camp fever contracted at Yorktown

Washington is made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Boston, Massachusetts; becomes an adopted member of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick; receives an honorary doctorate from Yale University

George Washington is in Newburgh, New York; Washington rejects the opportunity to become king; a provisional peace treaty is signed

George Washington peacefully breaks up a mutiny by the officers in the Continental Army; the American Revolution ends; George Washington resigns his military commission in Annapolis, Maryland; comes home to Mount Vernon on Christmas day

Washington becomes an honorary member of the Marine Society of New York; receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania

George Washington serves as President-General of the Society of the Cincinnati

Washington is very busy with canal projects to connect the frontier settlements in the Ohio Valley with seaports on the Potomac River

Washington is made an honorary member of the Library Society of Charleston, South Carolina, and is named Chancellor of William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia, and a member of the board of visitors and governors of Washington College, in Chestertown, Maryland

George Washington is president of the Potomac Company, seeking to improve transportation on that river

Washington becomes a member of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture and an honorary member of the South Carolina Society for Promoting Agriculture and Other Rural Concerns

George Washington is chosen to preside over the Constitutional Convention; He signs the new Constitution

Washington is honorary Chancellor of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia

George Washington encourages the states to ratify the Constitution; Washington serves as Master of the Masonic lodge in Alexandria, Virginia

George Washington is unanimously elected 1st president of the United States; travels to New York for his inauguration on April 30th; loses his 81 year old mother, Mary Ball Washington, to breast cancer; makes a tour of the New England states; becomes an honorary member of the Holland Masonic Lodge in New York City

George Washington is made an honorary member of Holland Lodge in New York City; receives an honorary doctorate from Washington College

Washington makes a tour of Long Island

Washington receives an honorary doctorate from Brown University

George Washington makes a tour of the Southern states

George Washington is made an honorary citizen of France

George Washington is again unanimously elected to serve a second term as president of the United States

The Whiskey Rebellion breaks out in western Pennsylvania; Washington leads troops to the area to quell this revolt against paying taxes to the federal government

Washington is named Foreign Honorary Member of the Board of Agriculture of Great Britain

George Washington decides not to run for president one last time; issues his Farewell Address, which is widely published in the newspapers

George Washington retires as president; leaves Philadelphia to return to Mount Vernon

When war threatens with France, Washington is named commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States of America

George Washington dies at Mount Vernon of a severe throat infection; body is placed in the old family vault at Mount Vernon

George Washington’s body is moved from the Old Tomb to the New Tomb

The centennial celebration of George Washington’s birth.  Sculptor Horatio Greenough is commissioned to do a statue of Washington for the rotunda of the United States Capitol; it will be placed there in 1842.

Jared Sparks publishes the first volume of his biography, The Life and Writings of George Washington

George Washington’s body is placed in the marble sarcophagus at the New Tomb

President Gerald Ford posthumously promotes George Washington to the rank of six-star General of the Armies

Mary V. Thompson
Research Specialist
Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association