Portrait painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796
Washington Crossing the Delaware River by Emanuel Leutze

In 1752, with the death of Lawrence, he became the heir apparent of the Washington lands and one of Virginia’s most prominent citizens.
He married Martha Dandridge Custis and took over the estate of Mount Vernon raising Martha’s two children from her former marriage. They never had children of their own. He was elected to the Virginia legislature.

Washington was a delegate to the First and Second Continental Congress which voted to fight the British for independence. In May 1775, he was appointed general of the Continental Army. Over the course of the next six years Washington led the army to victory over the British. His most notable victories were the famous crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas 1776, and the final victory at Yorktown, Virginia, where the British surrendered on October 17, 1781.

The two terms that Washington served as president were peaceful times. He helped build and guide the formation of the actual U.S. government from the words of the Constitution. His administration also established several peace treaties with American Indian tribes and approved a bill establishing the nation’s capital in a permanent district along the Potomac River.

George Washington was not only considered a military and revolutionary hero, but a man of great personal integrity, with a deep sense duty, honor and patriotism. George died on December 14, 1799. He freed his slaves in his will.