Skip to main content

George Washington's experiences in his youth helped shape the man who would lead a revolution and become the first president of the United States.


The unexpected death of George Washington's father prevented him from receiving a Latin-based education in England. Instead, private tutors and possibly a local school provided him with the only formal instruction he would receive.

Learn more


George Washington's first career was as a surveyor. While surveying he gained an intimate knowledge of Indian country and a small fortune in land. 

Learn more


After the death of his father, when George Washington was only 11 years old, he inherited enslaved people.

Learn more

Social Education

Social education in colonial America went beyond academic learning. For George Washington, this form of education became key in his personal and professional advancement.

Learn more

The Rules of Civility

Regarded as a formative influence in the development of his character, the Rules of Civility included guidelines for behavior in pleasant company, appropriate actions in formal situations, and general courtesies. 

View the Rules of Civility

Popes Creek

In 1732, George Washington was born at Popes Creek Plantation in Virginia. He would only live at this plantation until he was about three years old.

Learn more

Mary Ball Washington

Limited information about George Washington's mother has survived, although the historical record shows that she shared a complex and oftentimes strained relationship with her son.

Learn more

Childhood Home

George Washington's parents, Augustine and Mary Ball, moved their family to Ferry Farm when he was about six years old.

Learn more

Teenage Love Poems

There are two surviving love poems that seem to have been written by a teenaged George Washington.

Learn more

Timeline: Mount Vernon's Owners Over the Years

Explore the many owners of Mount Vernon, before and after the life of George Washington.

Learn more


Washington was part of a rather large family and had many siblings and half-siblings.

Learn more

Journey to Barbados

George Washington traveled widely in what would become the United States, but he only left the North American mainland once.

Learn more

The Allegheny Expedition

21-year-old Major Washington set off on a two and a half month journey on rough trails into the Ohio country to warn the French against encroachment into British territory.

Learn more

Fires at Washington’s Homes

Separate fact and fiction about the fires that affected Washington's childhood homes.

Learn more

French and Indian War

In 1754, Washington led a surprise attack upon a small French force at Jumonville Glen. Then he surrendered Fort Necessity to the French.

Learn more