George Washington was born on his father's plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia, on February 22, 1732. His father, Augustine Washington was not only the leading planter in the area, but he also served as a justice of the county court. George was born from Augustine's second marriage, after his first wife died leaving two sons and daughter to be raised.
George was the oldest of the six children Augustine had with his second wife, Mary Ball. Not much is known about George Washington's childhood. And little is known about the George Washington education. Most children in Virginia were taught at home by private tutors, or in local private schools. Boys usually stated formal education at the age of seven.
They would start with lessons in reading, writing, and basic arithmetic. Boys would later learn classic languages, Greek and Latin. They also were taught bookkeeping, geometry, and surveying. If their fathers were wealthy, they would be sent to England to complete their education. George might have gone to England to further his education like his two older half brothers did, but he wasn't able to after his father died. The George Washington education may have began with school near his home for a few years.
He possibly went to another school later. We do know that he excelled in mathematics and learned surveying. Although most sons of gentlemen learned Greek and Latin, George never learned any other language.
Nor did he ever go to college. It's been estimated that the George Washington education came to an end around the age of 15. Social skills were considered an extremely important part of any young man or woman's education by the gentry class. George spent more and more time with his half brother Lawrence in his home at Mount Vernon after their father died. Lawrence gave George the help he needed by tutoring him in his studies. Lawrence also taught him his social graces and introduced him into society.
The George Washington education was seen as defective his whole life. He made every effort to make up for all the things he didn't learn in school by reading books and learning from people he respected. He built a vast personal library in his years of personal study.
He also wrote quite a bit and subscribed to plenty of newspapers. George may have placed such a high value on education because of his incomplete formal schooling. When he died, his will donated money for building a school in Alexandria, Virginia and for a national university.
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