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Don't Miss HISTORY's New Miniseries on George Washington

The three-night event premieres on February 16 at 8/7c and tells the story of how a young soldier full of personal ambition became a leader of men willing to sacrifice all for the common cause. How a once-loyal British subject rises to battle an empire in a liberty-or-death campaign to forge a new nation. Washington chips away the marble to reveal the man at the heart of our nation’s story. 

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A Fresh Take on History

Historian Alexis Coe served as a consulting producer on the Washington miniseries and recently published a new book on Washington that shakes up the genre of presidential biographies

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The Life of George Washington

Do you want a deeper understanding of Washington? Want to know more about the people and events featured in the miniseries? Select a topic to find out.


Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington. It was also home to hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children.

He depended on their labor to build and maintain his household and plantation. They, in turn, found ways to survive in a world that denied their freedom. As a young man, Washington accepted slavery, but after the Revolutionary War, he began to question it. Washington avoided the issue publicly, believing that bitter debates over slavery could tear apart the fragile nation.

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Native Americans

George Washington had a complicated relationship with Native Americans. He was born into a world in which native peoples were still major players in the Americas, despite having suffered through three centuries of European diseases, dispossession, and warfare. Throughout his life, Washington negotiated with and served alongside native peoples, fought against others, and sought their land for his own prosperity.

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Martha Washington

Martha Washington was the first first lady of the United States and spent about half of the Revolutionary War at the front with General Washington. She helped manage and run her husbands' estates and raised children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

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George Washington was a devout 18th-century Anglican. He regularly attended church and served as both a vestryman and churchwarden. Washington worked tirelessly to ensure people of all religions had the right to practice within the United States.

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George Washington was often concerned he would die young. To try to prevent an early death, Washington exercised, ate and drank moderately, attempted to get enough sleep, and avoided tobacco. Even with these healthy habits, Washington was afflicted with a number of serious illnesses. 

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On the evening of December 14, 1799, at Mount Vernon, George Washington passed away from a throat infection. He was buried a few days later in the family vault at Mount Vernon. In his will, written several months before his death, Washington left directions for the emancipation of all the slaves that he directly owned, after the death of Martha Washington.

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