George Washington

Colonial Virginia

What was it like to live long ago when Virginia belonged to England? When there were no cars, no computers, no hospitals and no public schools?

Without cars, trains or airplanes, people traveled by boat, horseback or on foot by "shank's mare". The reason so many colonial towns were located next to rivers is that often the roads were terrible seas of mud. It was so much easier to travel on the rivers!

Ferry Farm

Ferry Farm

Ferry Farm is best known as the childhood home of George Washington, though it has a history that predates the Washington occupancy.

The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized American Cuisine by Dave DeWitt

The Founding Foodies: How Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin Revolutionized Ame

The Founding Foodies, by Dave DeWitt, is an easy-going chat on matters historic and gastronomic in the Old Dominion and beyond. DeWitt dismisses some food writers’ contentions that colonial food was poor stuff.  Having attended Mr. Jefferson’s university and being thus familiar with the third president’s many accomplishments, he knew that this common opinion was surely an overgeneralization.  Jefferson, as well as Washington and Franklin, were trend-setters—learned men who easily absorbed and promulgated cultured styles of fashion, philosophy, architecture, and, yes, food, derived European trends, especially their French allies.

Besides these Founding Fathers’ culinary preferences, DeWitt also looks at curious historical periods of Virginia history where food, or lack of same, played a noteworthy role.  At Jamestown, the horrors of spoiled ships’ rations and the colonists’ inexperience with hunting and fishing made them very dependent on the native tribes’ shared knowledge. They did learn to hunt and fish which was well since the supply ship was delayed, nearly resulting in John Smith being hanged.  Desperate to turn a profit in the days before tobacco, the settlers took up fishing on a grand scale—thousands of pounds of salted cod to England and dried fish to Spain.

An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America

By Henry Wiencek

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"When George Washington wrote his will, he made the startling decision to set his slaves free; earlier he had said that holding slaves was his 'only unavoidable subject of regret.' In this groundbreaking work, Henry Wiencek explores the founding father's engagement with slavery at every stage of his life--as a Virginia planter, soldier, politician, president, and statesman. Washington was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people; he and his wife had blood ties to the slave community.

"Yet as a young man he bought and sold slaves without scruple, even raffled off children to collect debts (an incident ignored by earlier biographers). Then, on the Revolutionary battlefields where he commanded both black and white troops, Washington's attitudes began to change."

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George Washington's Teeth

By Deborah Chandra and Madeleine Comora

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Important events in Washington's career are conveyed through a rollicking rhyme that portrays George Washington's lifelong struggle with bad teeth. A timeline taken from diary entries and other nonfiction sources follows.

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Washington's Gardens at Mount Vernon: Landscape of the Inner Man

By Mac Griswold

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For both gardeners and early American history buffs, this book documents the unknown George Washington: landscaper, farmer, and gardener of Mount Vernon.

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The World Turned Upside Down: George Washington and the Battle of Yorktown

By Richard Ferrie

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This examination of the events surrounding the pivotal Revolutionary War battle that led to the defeat of the British forces at Yorktown, Virginia, focuses on the central role of General George Washington.

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By the Sword: A Young Man Meets War

By Selene Castrovilla

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At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Tallmadge, a young school headmaster, joins George Washington's army and becomes one of his most trusted officers. The author employed many primary sources, including Tallmadge's memoirs, to retell the story of this early American soldier and spy.

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George Washington, Spymaster: How America Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War

By Thomas B. Allen

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A biography of Revolutionary War general and first President of the United States, George Washington, focusing on his use of spies to gather intelligence that helped the colonies win the war.
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George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides

By Rosalyn Schanzer

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Explores how the characters and lives of King George III of England and George Washington affected the progress and outcome of the American Revolution. Loads of primary source quotes presented in speech bubbles help provide a full account of the birth of the United States, offering insights into the actions and convictions of participants on both sides of the Atlantic.
(From the publisher's description)

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