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George Washington Timeline

Fri, 10/29/2010

1732
George Washington is born at Pope’s Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia

1735
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

1743
George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, dies

1746
George Washington considers entering the British Navy, but his mother will not give permission for him to go

1748
George Washington takes part in a trip in the Shenandoah Valley, to survey lands belonging to Thomas, Lord Fairfax

1749
George Washington receives an appointment as a public surveyor for Culpeper County

1751
George Washington sails to Barbados with his older half-brother, Lawrence Washington, who is ill with tuberculosis.  While there, George Washington contracts smallpox

1752
Half-brother Lawrence Washington dies of tuberculosis.  George Washington joins the Masonic Lodge in Fredericksburg, Virginia

1753
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.

1754
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.

1755
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.

1756
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

1758
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

1759-1775
George Washington serves in the Virginia House of Burgesses

1759
George Washington marries Martha Dandridge Custis, a young widow with two small children; begins serving in the Virginia House of Burgesses

1760-1774
George Washington serves as a Justice of the Fairfax County [Virginia] Court
 
1762-1784
George Washington serves as a vestryman for his local Anglican parish

1763
The French and Indian War ends; George Washington is a trustee of the town of Alexandria, Virginia

1765
George Washington serves as a commissioner for settling Virginia’s military accounts

1766
George Washington is a member of the Alexandria town council

1769
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

1770
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

1772
Artist Charles Willson Peale paints the first portrait of George Washington

1773
George Washington’s beloved 17 year old stepdaughter, Martha Parke Custis, dies of epilepsy; he approves the Committee of Correspondence

1774
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

1775
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

1776
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

1777
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

1778
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

1779
Washington captures Stony Point; Washington sends General Sullivan against the Iroquois; Washington goes into winter quarters at Morristown, New Jersey

1780
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

1781
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

1782
George Washington is in Newburgh, New York; Washington rejects the opportunity to become king; a provisional peace treaty is signed

1783
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

1783-1799
George Washington serves as President-General of the Society of the Cincinnati

1784
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

1785
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

1787
George Washington is chosen to preside over the Constitutional Convention; He signs the new Constitution

1788-1799
Washington is honorary Chancellor of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia

1788
George Washington encourages the states to ratify the Constitution; Washington serves as Master of the Masonic lodge in Alexandria, Virginia

1789
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

1790
Washington makes a tour of Long Island

Washington receives an honorary doctorate from Brown University

1791
George Washington makes a tour of the Southern states

1792
George Washington is made an honorary citizen of France

1793
George Washington is again unanimously elected to serve a second term as president of the United States

1794
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

1795
Washington is named Foreign Honorary Member of the Board of Agriculture of Great Britain

1796
George Washington decides not to run for president one last time; issues his Farewell Address, which is widely published in the newspapers

1797
George Washington retires as president; leaves Philadelphia to return to Mount Vernon

1798
When war threatens with France, Washington is named commander-in-chief of the armies of the United States of America

1799
George Washington dies at Mount Vernon of a severe throat infection; body is placed in the old family vault at Mount Vernon

1831
George Washington’s body is moved from the Old Tomb to the New Tomb

1832
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.

1834
Jared Sparks publishes the first volume of his biography, The Life and Writings of George Washington

1837
George Washington’s body is placed in the marble sarcophagus at the New Tomb

1976
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
5/12/2005