Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas. Page: 12 of 1,110
)e PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES.
~~.. .. ...
Three years were passed by young Washington
in a rough frontier life, gaining experience
which afterward proved very essential
In I751, when the Virginia militia were
put under training with a view to active
service against France, Washington, though
only nineteen years of age, was appointed
Adjutant with the rank of Major. In September
of that year the failing health of
Lawrence Washington rendered it necessary
for him to seek a warmer climate, and
George accompanied him in a voyage to
Barsadoes. They returned early in 1752,
and Lawrence shortly afterward died, leaving
h s large property to an infant daughter.
In his will George was named one of the
executors and as eventual heir to Mount
Vernon, and by the death of the infant niece
soon succeeded to that estate.
On the arrival of Robert Dinwiddie as
Lieutenant-Governor of Virginia in 1752
the militia was reorganized, and the province
divided into four districts. Washington
was commissioned by Dinwiddie Adjutant-General
of the Northern District in
1753, and in November of that year a most
important as well as hazardous mission was
assigned him. This was to proceed to the
Canadian posts recently established on
French Creek, near Lake Erie, to demand
in the name of the King of England the
withdrawal of the French from a territory
claimed by Virginia. This enterprise had
been declined by more than one officer,
since it involved a journey through an extensive
and almost unexplored wilderness
in the occupancy of savage Indian tribes,
either hostile to the English, or of doubtful
attachment. Major Washington, however,
accepted the commission with alacrity; and,
accompanied by Captain Gist, he reached
Fort Le Boeuf on French Creek, delivered
his dispatches and received reply, which, of
course, was a polite refusal to surrender the
posts. This reply was of such a character
as to induce the Assembly of Virginia to
authorize the executive to raise a regiment
of 300 men for the purpose of maintaining
the asserted rights of the British crown
over the territory claimed. As Washington
declined to be a candidate for that post,
the command of this regiment was given to
Colonel Joshua Fry, and Major Washington,
at his own request, was commissioned
'Lieutenant-Colonel. On the march to Ohio,
news was received that a party previously
sent to build a fort at the confluence of the
Monongahela with the Ohio had been
driven back by a considerable French force,
which had completed the work there begun,
and named it Fort Duquesne,'in honor
of the Marquis Duquesne, then Governor
of Canada. This was the beginning of the
great " French and Indian war," which continued
seven years. On the death of Colonel
Fry, Washington succeeded to the command
of the regiment, and so well did he
fulfill his trust that the Virginia Assembly
commissioned him as Commander-in-Chief
of all the forces raised in the colony.
A cessation of all Indian hostility on the
frontier having followed the expulsion of
the French from the Ohio, the object of
Washington was accomplished and he resigned
his commission as Commander-inChief
of the Virginia forces. He then proceeded
to Williamsburg to take his seat in
the General Assembly, of which he had
been elected a member.
January 17, I759, Washington married
Mrs. Martha (Dandridge) Custis, a young
and beautiful widow of great wealth, and devoted
himself for the ensuing fifteen years
to the quiet pursuits of agriculture, interrupted
only by his annual attendance in
winter upon the Colonial Legislature at
Williamsburg, until summoned by his
country to enter upon that other arena in
which his fame was to become world wide.
It is unnecessary here to trace the details
of the struggle upon the question of local
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Lewis Publishing Company. Memorial and Biographical History of Dallas County, Texas., book, 1892; Chicago, Illinois. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth20932/m1/12/ocr/: accessed July 30, 2016), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Public Library.