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When reading the Journal of Major George Washington, consider the following questions:

  • Who is the author of this book? Why was this book written?
  • What can this book tell us about George Washington? What might it say about the French and Indian War?
  • Why do you think this book was published?
  • How do you think this book was received in England and America?


The Journal of Major George Washington is of considerable historical significance. The journal provides a first-hand glimpse of frontier diplomacy, the beginnings of the French and Indian War, as well as early indications of Washington's well-documented physical vigor and leadership. The first British edition was printed by Thomas Jefferys, an engraver from England's Board of Trade, and appeared in June 1754 with a map that was not included in the Williamsburg printing.

The 1754 journal not only appeared in monograph form but was published in several newspapers. Washington later commented: "It was an extraordinary circumstance that so young and inexperienced a person be employed on a negotiation with which the subjects of the greatest importance were involved." With his first publication, Washington became known both through the colonies and in prominent circles in England.