George Washington and the Birth of Our Nation
Copyright 1986 by Milton Meltzer
“ No man should scruple or hesitate a moment to use arms in defense of so valuable a blessing (freedom), on which all the good and evil of life depends.” - George Washington
This quote from the first have of George Washington and the Birth of Our Nation is essential to all the fighting that occurs in his lifetime, and for the reasons he fights as well. George Washington once was just a boy, and many people tend to forget that. George is born in Virginia and when born, his dad marries twice and his mom treats him rudely quite frequently. George starts his education at age seven, but does not continue this past elementary school. This makes George not quite as smart with technical terms, but he learns what is needed every day he lives. At age sixteen, George is offered an appointment to the Royal Navy by friends of his, but his mother does not accept this. This makes George become a surveyor, and during his first major adventure, he runs into Indians and shares liquor with them. George surveys the West for forty-three days, and comes home to tell many stories about what he discovers. Sadly, George is a poor man, so he cannot afford to feed and take his horse many places.
When George turns seventeen, his brother Lawrence and his three sons pass away from tuberculosis, and George ends up taking over Lawrence’s spot as General Washington in Virginia. At this time in his life, George fights to have freedom with anything he does, no matter how mean his mother gets towards him. George realizes he has to do what his brother wanted: make Virginia feel blessed and peaceful. Furthermore, George listens to the Governor and is forced to bring a document to the French to get them to back away, but King Louis XV does not want to do so. George is very courageous when fighting for their freedom and for what the governor wants, but he’s forced to return to the governor with bad news. George is then known by many as being brave and as being a strong leader after this, but he ends up getting no pay from the expedition, forcing him to resign from the service.
George then moves back home. After moving home, he joins British friend Braddock and fights with him against the French. Again he serves as a volunteer and Braddock treats him disrespectfully; he denies everything George suggests, but George finally convinces him to move everyone by horse. The French then attack along with the Indians, and many British die, including Braddock. George has to go home, as a result, to get more soldiers. He does all he can to get more soldiers including the threatening of three things: prices, torture, and even death. George gets extremely sick again, but is able to recruit enough troops to defeat the French at Fort Duquesne in 1763, marking the Treaty of Paris. Americans are then unhappy because they don’t know who would run the colonies! Washington is happy though because again, he'll do anything for freedom, and this treaty helps significantly.
In 1759, George marries Mary Custis and becomes a planter. He has two stepchildren as well as many slaves on his plantation. George is a fair man to the slaves in the aspect that he only makes them do the least work that needs to be done. After thirteen years doing this, Washington serves as commander-in-chief of the thirteen American colonies to fight off the British. Washington is one of seven leaders to go to the First Continental Congress; this meeting ends all trades and close communications with Britain. The British then try to fight back in Lexington, but are unsuccessful. Then, he makes up the Second Continental Congress and wears his uniform to prove that fighting needs to occur to break from Britain and to prove that he wants freedom, no matter what needs to happen.
Washington clearly follows the quote I stated at the beginning for many reasons throughout this book so far. Through all the battles he is partaking in, he is not hesitating to do what’s necessary for freedom. He is a man of action and is proving to be a high quality leader that cares about the colonies. He proves that he is a man who feels blessed to be alive through the battles, and it appears that he will continue to lead more battles throughout the rest of this very interesting book with one major goal: to break free from Britain.