West Virginia State Museum Education

West Virginia's Historic People

Important People

George Washington

George Washington

George Washington (1732-1799) was the first President of the United States (from 1789 to 1797), the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, and one of the Founding Fathers. He presided over the convention that drafted the United States Constitution, which remains the supreme law of the land.

Washington was trained as a surveyor during his late teenage years, and practiced surveying in the western part of Virginia during the 1750s. Recent inventories indicate that he drew or annotated at least 150 maps during his lifetime. Of these, more than forty are found in various collections of the Library of Congress. Most of these pertain to land surveys in western Virginia, military operations in southwestern Pennsylvania, and surveys of his lands near Mount Vernon, Virginia.

George Washington began work as a surveyor’s assistant in 1748, when he was just sixteen years old. Because the neighboring plantation of Belvoir was owned by a member of the Fairfax family, in 1749, Washington was named one of the surveyors of Lord Fairfax’s Northern Neck Proprietary of five million acres between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers in Virginia.

Helpful Links

e-West Virginia George Washington

e-West Virginia Washington's Western Lands