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Lawrence Washington was the older half-brother of George Washington, being the oldest living child of Augustine Washington and his first wife Jane Butler. George Washington idolized his older brother from a young age. After losing his father at age eleven, young George looked to Lawrence as a father figure and brother. Lawrence was given experiences that helped him move into the upper levels of the Virginia society and introduced George to that fascinating world and important, wealthy friends. 

In 1742, Lawrence married Ann Fairfax. The Fairfax family was a very large and influential family in Colonial Virginia. It was the Fairfax family and Lawrence Washington that gave George the early surveying opportunities he needed to be a success. The surveying experiences helped Washington better understand the American wilderness, knowledge that would benefit Washington's advancement in his military career. 

After contacting tuberculosis years earlier, Lawrence Washington died from the disease in 1752. In 1761, George inherited Mount Vernon from Lawrence's widow. He placed his half-brother's portrait in his private chamber in the Mansion, his Study - a fitting tribute to the man who helped make him who he was.

Classroom Materials downloads are ZIP files that include, when available: document images (JPEGs), document transcripts (PDF as well as Word and/or Excel files), and ready to use classroom resources (activities, discussion prompts, lesson plans, etc.). These materials are available for educational uses only. If you would like to reproduce them in any other medium, please contact Dawn Bonner, Manager of Visual Resources.

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