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  • Virginia, U.S. (then British Colony of Virginia)
    1656

    Washington's great-grandfather immigrated

    Virginia, U.S. (then British Colony of Virginia)
    1656

    Washington's great-grandfather John Washington immigrated in 1656 from Sulgrave, England, to the British Colony of Virginia where he accumulated 5,000 acres (2,000 ha) of land, including Little Hunting Creek on the Potomac River.




  • Westmoreland County, Virginia, U.S.
    Saturday Feb 23, 1732

    Birth

    Westmoreland County, Virginia, U.S.
    Saturday Feb 23, 1732

    George Washington was born February 22, 1732, at Popes Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia.




  • Virginia, U.S.
    1735

    Family moved

    Virginia, U.S.
    1735

    The family moved to Little Hunting Creek in 1735, then to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, Virginia, in 1738.




  • Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1740s

    Washington did not have the formal education

    Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1740s

    Washington did not have the formal education his elder brothers received at Appleby Grammar School in England, but he did learn mathematics, trigonometry, and land surveying. He was a talented draftsman and map-maker. By early adulthood he was writing with "considerable force" and "precision", however his writing displayed little wit or humor. In pursuit of admiration, status, and power, he tended to attribute his shortcomings and failures to someone else's ineffectually.




  • Ferry Farm, Stafford County, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Saturday Apr 13, 1743

    Father's Death

    Ferry Farm, Stafford County, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Saturday Apr 13, 1743

    When Augustine (father) died in 1743, Washington inherited Ferry Farm and ten slaves; his older half-brother Lawrence inherited Little Hunting Creek and renamed it Mount Vernon




  • Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1748

    A Month in 1748

    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1748

    Washington often visited Mount Vernon and Belvoir, the plantation that belonged to Lawrence's father-in-law William Fairfax. Fairfax became Washington's patron and surrogate father, and Washington spent a month in 1748 with a team surveying Fairfax's Shenandoah Valley property.




  • College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1749

    A Surveyor's license

    College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1749

    He received a surveyor's license the following year from the College of William & Mary; Fairfax appointed him surveyor of Culpeper County, Virginia, and he thus familiarized himself with the frontier region, resigning from the job in 1750.


  • Barbados
    1751

    The only trip abroad

    Barbados
    1751

    In 1751 Washington made his only trip abroad when he accompanied Lawrence (older half-brother) to Barbados, hoping the climate would cure his brother's tuberculosis. Washington contracted smallpox during that trip, which immunized him but left his face slightly scarred.


  • Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1752

    George had bought almost 1,500 acres (600 ha) in the Valley

    Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1752

    By 1752 he had bought almost 1,500 acres (600 ha) in the Valley and owned 2,315 acres (937 ha).


  • Mount Vernon, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1752

    Lawrence death

    Mount Vernon, Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    1752

    Lawrence died in 1752, and Washington leased Mount Vernon from his widow; he inherited it outright after her death in 1761.


  • Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Oct, 1753

    A Special envoy

    Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Oct, 1753

    In October 1753, Dinwiddie (Virginia's Lieutenant Governor) appointed Washington as a special envoy to demand that the French vacate territory which the British had claimed.


  • Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Feb, 1754

    A Lieutenant Colonel

    Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Feb, 1754

    In February 1754, Dinwiddie promoted Washington to lieutenant colonel and second-in-command of the 300-strong Virginia Regiment, with orders to confront French forces at the Forks of the Ohio.


  • Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    May, 1754

    George decided to take a offensive

    Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    May, 1754

    Washington set out for the Forks with half the regiment in April but soon learned a French force of 1,000 had begun construction of Fort Duquesne there. In May, having set up a defensive position at Great Meadows, he learned that the French had made camp seven miles (11 km) away; he decided to take the offensive.


  • Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Tuesday May 28, 1754

    Battle of Jumonville Glen

    Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Tuesday May 28, 1754

    The Battle of Jumonville Glen, also known as the Jumonville affair, was the opening battle of the French and Indian War, fought on May 28, 1754, near present-day Hopwood and Uniontown in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. A company of colonial militia from Virginia under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Washington, and a small number of Mingo warriors led by Tanacharison (also known as "Half King"), ambushed a force of 35 Canadiens under the command of Joseph Coulon de Villiers de Jumonville.


  • Near present-day Farmington and Uniontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Thursday Jul 04, 1754

    Washington's surrender

    Near present-day Farmington and Uniontown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Thursday Jul 04, 1754

    The full Virginia Regiment joined Washington at Fort Necessity the following month with news that he had been promoted to command of the regiment and to colonel upon the death of the regimental commander. The regiment was reinforced by an independent company of 100 South Carolinians led by Captain James Mackay, whose royal commission outranked that of Washington, and a conflict of command ensued. On July 3, a French force attacked with 900 men, and the ensuing battle (Battle of Fort Necessity) ended in Washington's surrender. In the aftermath, Colonel James Innes took command of intercolonial forces, the Virginia Regiment was divided, and Washington was offered a captaincy which he refused, with resignation of his commission.


  • Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1755

    Washington served voluntarily as an aide to General Edward Braddock

    Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1755

    In 1755, Washington served voluntarily as an aide to General Edward Braddock, who led a British expedition to expel the French from Fort Duquesne and the Ohio Country. On Washington's recommendation, Braddock split the army into one main column and a lightly equipped "flying column". Suffering from a severe case of dysentery, Washington was left behind, and when he rejoined Braddock at Monongahela the French and their Indian allies ambushed the divided army. The British suffered two-thirds casualties, including the mortally wounded Braddock. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Gage, Washington, still very ill, rallied the survivors and formed a rear guard, allowing the remnants of the force to disengage and retreat. During the engagement he had two horses shot from under him, and his hat and coat were bullet-pierced. His conduct under fire redeemed his reputation among critics of his command in the Battle of Fort Necessity, but he was not included by the succeeding commander (Colonel Thomas Dunbar) in planning subsequent operations.


  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Feb, 1756

    Washington pressed his case

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Feb, 1756

    Washington, impatient for an offensive against Fort Duquesne, was convinced Braddock would have granted him a royal commission, and pressed his case in February 1756 with Braddock's successor, William Shirley, and again in January 1757 with Shirley's successor, Lord Loudoun. Shirley ruled in Washington's favor only in the matter of Dagworthy; Loudoun humiliated Washington, refused him a royal commission and agreed only to relieve him of the responsibility of manning Fort Cumberland.


  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1758

    Virginia Regiment was assigned to Britain's Forbes Expedition to take Fort Duquesne

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1758

    In 1758, the Virginia Regiment was assigned to Britain's Forbes Expedition to take Fort Duquesne. Washington disagreed with General John Forbes' tactics and chosen route. Forbes nevertheless made Washington a brevet brigadier general and gave him command of one of the three brigades that would assault the fort. The French abandoned the fort and the valley before the assault was launched; Washington saw only a friendly-fire incident which left 14 dead and 26 injured. The war lasted another four years, but Washington resigned his commission and returned to Mount Vernon.


  • U.S.
    Sunday Jan 07, 1759

    Marriage

    U.S.
    Sunday Jan 07, 1759

    On January 6, 1759, Washington, at age 26, married Martha Dandridge Custis, the 28-year-old widow of wealthy plantation owner Daniel Parke Custis. The marriage took place at Martha's estate; she was intelligent, gracious, and experienced in managing a planter's estate, and the couple created a happy marriage.


  • United Kingdom
    1763

    Royal Proclamation of 1763

    United Kingdom
    1763

    Washington played a central role before and during the American Revolution. His disdain for the British military had begun when he was abashedly passed over for promotion into the Regular Army. Opposed to taxes imposed by the British Parliament on the Colonies without proper representation, He and other colonists were also angered by the Royal Proclamation of 1763 which banned American settlement west of the Allegheny Mountains and protected the British fur trade.


  • United Kingdom
    1765

    Act of Oppression

    United Kingdom
    1765

    Washington believed the Stamp Act of 1765 was an "Act of Oppression", and he celebrated its repeal the following year.


  • United Kingdom
    Mar, 1766

    Declaratory Act

    United Kingdom
    Mar, 1766

    In March 1766, Parliament passed the Declaratory Act asserting that Parliamentary law superseded colonial law.


  • U.S.
    1767

    Washington helped lead widespread protests against the Townshend Acts passed by Parliament

    U.S.
    1767

    Washington helped lead widespread protests against the Townshend Acts passed by Parliament in 1767, and he introduced a proposal in May 1769 drafted by George Mason which called Virginians to boycott English goods; the Acts were mostly repealed in 1770.


  • Massachusetts, U.S. (Currently)
    1774

    Boston Tea Party

    Massachusetts, U.S. (Currently)
    1774

    Parliament sought to punish Massachusetts colonists for their role in the Boston Tea Party in 1774 by passing the Coersive Acts, which Washington referred to as "an invasion of our rights and privileges". He said Americans must not submit to acts of tyranny since "custom and use shall make us as tame and abject slaves, as the blacks we rule over with such arbitrary sway". That July, he and George Mason drafted a list of resolutions for the Fairfax County committee which Washington chaired, and the committee adopted the Fairfax Resolves calling for a Continental Congress.


  • Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Tuesday Aug 02, 1774

    First Virginia Convention

    Virginia, U.S. (then Colony of Virginia)
    Tuesday Aug 02, 1774

    On August 1, Washington attended the First Virginia Convention, where he was selected as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.


  • Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
    1775

    London sent British troops to occupy Boston

    Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
    1775

    Early in 1775, in response to the growing rebellious movement, London sent British troops, commanded by General Thomas Gage, to occupy Boston. They set up fortifications about the city, making it impervious to attack. Various local militias surrounded the city and effectively trapped the British, resulting in a standoff.


  • U.S.
    Thursday Apr 20, 1775

    The American Revolutionary War

    U.S.
    Thursday Apr 20, 1775

    The American Revolutionary War began on April 19, 1775, with the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the Siege of Boston.


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Friday May 05, 1775

    Joined the Continental Congress in Philadelphia

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Friday May 05, 1775

    The colonists were divided over breaking away from British rule and split into two factions: Patriots who rejected British rule, and Loyalists who desired to remain subject to the King. General Thomas Gage was commander of British forces in America at the beginning of the war. Upon hearing the shocking news of the onset of war, Washington was "sobered and dismayed", and he hastily departed Mount Vernon on May 4, 1775, to join the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Thursday Jun 15, 1775

    Congress created the Continental Army

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Thursday Jun 15, 1775

    Congress created the Continental Army on June 14, 1775, and Samuel and John Adams nominated Washington to become its commander in chief. Washington was chosen over John Hancock because of his military experience and the belief that a Virginian would better unite the colonies. He was considered an incisive leader who kept his "ambition in check". He was unanimously elected commander in chief by Congress the next day.


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Saturday Jun 17, 1775

    Washington appeared before Congress in uniform

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Saturday Jun 17, 1775

    Washington appeared before Congress in uniform and gave an acceptance speech on June 16, declining a salary—though he was later reimbursed expenses.


  • U.S.
    1775

    Congress appointed Washington General & Commander in chief of the army of the United Colonies

    U.S.
    1775

    Congress appointed Washington "General & Commander in chief of the army of the United Colonies and of all the forces raised or to be raised by them", and instructed him to take charge of the siege of Boston on June 22, 1775.


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Tuesday Jun 20, 1775

    He was commissioned on June 19 and was roundly praised by Congressional delegates

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Tuesday Jun 20, 1775

    He was commissioned on June 19 and was roundly praised by Congressional delegates, including John Adams, who proclaimed that he was the man best suited to lead and unite the colonies.


  • U.S.
    Jun, 1775

    Congress ordered an invasion of Canada

    U.S.
    Jun, 1775

    In June 1775, Congress ordered an invasion of Canada. It was led by Benedict Arnold, who, despite Washington's strong objection, drew volunteers from the latter's force during the Siege of Boston. The move on Quebec failed, with the American forces being reduced to less than half and forced to retreat.


  • U.S.
    1775

    Congress chose his primary staff officers

    U.S.
    1775

    Congress chose his primary staff officers, including Major General Artemas Ward, Adjutant General Horatio Gates, Major General Charles Lee, Major General Philip Schuyler, Major General Nathanael Greene, Colonel Henry Knox, and Colonel Alexander Hamilton. Washington was impressed by Colonel Benedict Arnold and gave him responsibility for invading Canada. He also engaged French and Indian War compatriot Brigadier General Daniel Morgan. Henry Knox impressed Adams with ordnance knowledge, and Washington promoted him to colonel and chief of artillery.


  • Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
    Monday Jul 03, 1775

    Headquarters and inspected the new army

    Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
    Monday Jul 03, 1775

    Upon arrival on July 2, 1775, two weeks after the Patriot defeat at nearby Bunker Hill, he set up his Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters and inspected the new army there, only to find an undisciplined and badly outfitted militia.


  • London, England, United Kingdom
    Oct, 1775

    King George III declared that the colonies were in open rebellion

    London, England, United Kingdom
    Oct, 1775

    In October 1775, King George III declared that the colonies were in open rebellion and relieved General Gage of command for incompetence, replacing him with General William Howe.


  • U.S.
    Wednesday Jan 17, 1776

    Congress allowed free blacks to serve in the militia

    U.S.
    Wednesday Jan 17, 1776

    Washington initially protested enlistment of slaves in the Continental Army, but later he relented when the British emancipated and used theirs. On January 16, 1776, Congress allowed free blacks to serve in the militia. By the end of the war one-tenth of Washington's army were blacks.


  • U.S.
    Jan, 1776

    The Continental Army reduced by half to 9,600 men

    U.S.
    Jan, 1776

    The Continental Army, further diminished by expiring short-term enlistments, and by January 1776 reduced by half to 9,600 men, had to be supplemented with militia, and was joined by Knox with heavy artillery captured from Fort Ticonderoga.


  • Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
    Sunday Mar 10, 1776

    Washington's troops brought up Knox's big guns

    Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
    Sunday Mar 10, 1776

    On March 9, under cover of darkness, Washington's troops brought up Knox's big guns and bombarded British ships in Boston harbor.


  • Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
    Monday Mar 18, 1776

    9,000 British troops and Loyalists began a chaotic ten-day evacuation of Boston

    Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
    Monday Mar 18, 1776

    On March 17, 9,000 British troops and Loyalists began a chaotic ten-day evacuation of Boston aboard 120 ships. Soon after, Washington entered the city with 500 men, with explicit orders not to plunder the city. He ordered vaccinations against smallpox to great effect, as he did later in Morristown, New Jersey.


  • New York, U.S.
    Sunday Apr 14, 1776

    Washington then proceeded to New York City

    New York, U.S.
    Sunday Apr 14, 1776

    Washington then proceeded to New York City, arriving on April 13, 1776, and began constructing fortifications there to thwart the expected British attack. He ordered his occupying forces to treat civilians and their property with respect, to avoid the abuse suffered by civilians in Boston at the hands of British troops.


  • Staten Island, New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Jul 03, 1776

    The British forces began arriving on Staten Island

    Staten Island, New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Jul 03, 1776

    The British forces, including more than a hundred ships and thousands of troops, began arriving on Staten Island on July 2 to lay siege to the city.


  • Gravesend, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
    Aug, 1776

    Howe landed 20,000 troops at Gravesend, Brooklyn

    Gravesend, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
    Aug, 1776

    Howe's troop strength totaled 32,000 regulars and Hessians, and Washington's consisted of 23,000, mostly raw recruits and militia. In August, Howe landed 20,000 troops at Gravesend, Brooklyn, and approached Washington's fortifications, as King George III proclaimed the rebellious American colonists to be traitors.


  • New York, U.S.
    Saturday Aug 31, 1776

    Alexander was captured

    New York, U.S.
    Saturday Aug 31, 1776

    On August 30, General William Alexander held off the British and gave cover while the army crossed the East River under darkness to Manhattan Island without loss of life or materiel, although Alexander was captured.


  • Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
    Sunday Nov 17, 1776

    Battle of Fort Washington

    Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York, U.S.
    Sunday Nov 17, 1776

    Howe's pursuit forced Washington to retreat across the Hudson River to Fort Lee to avoid encirclement. Howe landed his troops on Manhattan in November and captured Fort Washington, inflicting high casualties on the Americans. Washington was responsible for delaying the retreat, though he blamed Congress and General Greene. Loyalists in New York considered Howe a liberator and spread a rumor that Washington had set fire to the city. Patriot morale reached its lowest when Lee was captured.


  • Delaware River, U.S.
    Thursday Dec 26, 1776

    Washington crossed the Delaware River

    Delaware River, U.S.
    Thursday Dec 26, 1776

    Washington crossed the Delaware River at sunset on Christmas Day, December 25, 1776, and risked capture staking out the Jersey shoreline. His men followed across the ice-obstructed river in sleet and snow at McKonkey's Ferry, with 40 men per vessel. Wind churned up the waters, and they were pelted with hail, but by 3:00 a.m. they made it across with no losses.


  • Delaware river, U.S.
    Saturday Jan 04, 1777

    Returned to New Jersey

    Delaware river, U.S.
    Saturday Jan 04, 1777

    Washington retreated across the Delaware to Pennsylvania but returned to New Jersey on January 3, launching an attack on British regulars at Princeton, with 40 Americans killed or wounded and 273 British killed or captured.


  • London, England, United Kingdom
    Feb, 1777

    Patriots were in a position to demand unconditional independence

    London, England, United Kingdom
    Feb, 1777

    In February 1777, word reached London of the American victories at Trenton and Princeton, and the British realized the Patriots were in a position to demand unconditional independence.


  • Upstate New York, Vermont, U.S.
    Jul, 1777

    British General John Burgoyne led the Saratoga campaign

    Upstate New York, Vermont, U.S.
    Jul, 1777

    In July 1777, British General John Burgoyne led the Saratoga campaign south from Quebec through Lake Champlain and recaptured Fort Ticonderoga with the objective of dividing New England, including control of the Hudson River. But General Howe in British-occupied New York blundered, taking his army south to Philadelphia rather than up the Hudson River to join Burgoyne near Albany.


  • Chadds Ford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Friday Sep 12, 1777

    Battle of Brandywine

    Chadds Ford Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Friday Sep 12, 1777

    Howe outmaneuvered Washington at the Battle of Brandywine on September 11, 1777, and marched unopposed into the nation's capital at Philadelphia. A Patriot attack failed against the British at Germantown in October. Major General Thomas Conway prompted some members of Congress (referred to as the Conway Cabal) to consider removing Washington from command because of the losses incurred at Philadelphia. Washington's supporters resisted and the matter was finally dropped after much deliberation. Once exposed, Conway wrote an apology to Washington, resigned, and returned to France.


  • Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Oct 08, 1777

    Burgoyne tried to take Bemis Heights but was isolated from support by Howe

    Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Oct 08, 1777

    On October 7, 1777, Burgoyne tried to take Bemis Heights but was isolated from support by Howe. He was forced to retreat to Saratoga and ultimately surrendered after the Battles of Saratoga. As Washington suspected, Gates' victory emboldened his critics.


  • Valley Forge, north of Philadelphia, U.S.
    Dec, 1777

    Washington's army of 11,000 went into winter quarters at Valley Forge north of Philadelphia

    Valley Forge, north of Philadelphia, U.S.
    Dec, 1777

    Washington's army of 11,000 went into winter quarters at Valley Forge north of Philadelphia in December 1777. They suffered between 2,000 and 3,000 deaths in extreme cold over six months, mostly from disease and lack of food, clothing, and shelter.


  • U.S.
    Feb, 1778

    Treaty of Alliance

    U.S.
    Feb, 1778

    In early 1778, the French responded to Burgoyne's defeat and entered into a Treaty of Alliance with the Americans. The Continental Congress ratified the treaty in May, which amounted to a French declaration of war against Britain.


  • New York, U.S.
    1778

    Major Benjamin Tallmadge formed the Culper Ring at Washington's direction to covertly collect information about the British in New York

    New York, U.S.
    1778

    Washington became "America's first spymaster" by designing an espionage system against the British. In 1778, Major Benjamin Tallmadge formed the Culper Ring at Washington's direction to covertly collect information about the British in New York. Washington had disregarded incidents of disloyalty by Benedict Arnold, who had distinguished himself in many battles.


  • Georgia, U.S.
    1778

    General Clinton shipped 3,000 troops from New York to Georgia

    Georgia, U.S.
    1778

    In late 1778, General Clinton shipped 3,000 troops from New York to Georgia and launched a Southern invasion against Savannah, reinforced by 2,000 British and Loyalist troops. They repelled an attack by Patriots and French naval forces, which bolstered the British war effort.


  • U.S.
    May, 1778

    British commander Howe

    U.S.
    May, 1778

    British commander Howe resigned in May 1778, left America forever, and was replaced by Sir Henry Clinton.


  • Charlestown, South Carolina, U.S.
    Jan, 1780

    Clinton assembled 12,500 troops and attacked Charlestown

    Charlestown, South Carolina, U.S.
    Jan, 1780

    Clinton assembled 12,500 troops and attacked Charlestown, South Carolina in January 1780, defeating General Benjamin Lincoln who had only 5,100 Continental troops


  • New Windsor, New York, U.S.
    Dec, 1780

    Washington's army went into winter quarters at New Windsor

    New Windsor, New York, U.S.
    Dec, 1780

    Washington's army went into winter quarters at New Windsor, New York in December 1780, and Washington urged Congress and state officials to expedite provisions in hopes that the army would not "continue to struggle under the same difficulties they have hitherto endured".


  • U.S.
    Friday Mar 02, 1781

    Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation

    U.S.
    Friday Mar 02, 1781

    On March 1, 1781, Congress ratified the Articles of Confederation, but the government that took effect on March 2 did not have the power to levy taxes, and it loosely held the states together.


  • Virginia Capes, Atlantic Ocean
    Thursday Sep 06, 1781

    Battle of the Chesapeake

    Virginia Capes, Atlantic Ocean
    Thursday Sep 06, 1781

    By late September, Patriot-French forces completely surrounded Yorktown, trapped the British army, and prevented British reinforcements from Clinton in the North, while the French Navy was victorious at the Battle of the Chesapeake. The final American offensive was begun with a shot fired by Washington.


  • Yorktown, Virginia, U.S.
    Saturday Sep 29, 1781

    The Siege of Yorktown

    Yorktown, Virginia, U.S.
    Saturday Sep 29, 1781

    The Siege of Yorktown, Virginia was a decisive allied victory by the combined forces of the Continental Army commanded by General Washington, the French Army commanded by the General Comte de Rochambeau, and the French Navy commanded by Admiral de Grasse, in the defeat of Cornwallis' British forces. On August 19, the march to Yorktown led by Washington and Rochambeau began, which is known now as the "celebrated march". Washington was in command of an army of 7,800 Frenchmen, 3,100 militia, and 8,000 Continentals. Lacking in experience in siege warfare, Washington often deferred judgment to Rochambeau, effectively putting him in command; however, Rochambeau never challenged Washington's authority.


  • Yorktown, Virginia, U.S.
    Saturday Oct 20, 1781

    Siege of Yorktown ended

    Yorktown, Virginia, U.S.
    Saturday Oct 20, 1781

    The siege ended with a British surrender on October 19, 1781; over 7,000 British soldiers were captured, in the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War.


  • U.S.
    Sunday May 19, 1782

    Letter to General Moses Hazen

    U.S.
    Sunday May 19, 1782

    After the surrender at Yorktown a situation developed that threatened relations between the new American nation and Britain. Following a series of retributive executions between Patriots and Loyalists, Washington, on May 18, 1782, wrote in a letter to General Moses Hazen that a British Captain would be executed for the execution of Joshua Huddy a popular patriot leader among volunteers, who was hung at the direction of Loyalist Captain Lippincott. Washington wanted Lippincott himself to be executed but was declined.


  • U.S.
    Thursday Nov 14, 1782

    Letter to Charles Asgill

    U.S.
    Thursday Nov 14, 1782

    Subsequently, Charles Asgill was chosen instead, by a drawing of lots from a hat. This was a violation of the 14th article of the Yorktown Articles of Capitulation, which protected prisoners of war from acts of retaliation. Later, Washington's feelings on matters changed and in a letter of November 13, 1782, to Asgill, he acknowledged Asgill's letter and situation, expressing his desire not to see any harm come to him. After much consideration between the Continental Congress, Alexander Hamilton, Washington, and appeals from the French Crown, Asgill was finally released, where Washington issued Asgill a pass that allowed his passage to New York.


  • U.S.
    1783

    British gradually evacuated troops from Savannah, Charlestown, and New York

    U.S.
    1783

    As peace negotiations started, the British gradually evacuated troops from Savannah, Charlestown, and New York by 1783, and the French army and navy likewise departed.


  • U.S.
    Mar, 1783

    Newburgh Conspiracy

    U.S.
    Mar, 1783

    The American treasury was empty, unpaid and mutinous soldiers forced the adjournment of Congress, and Washington dispelled unrest by suppressing the Newburgh Conspiracy in March 1783; Congress promised officers a five-year bonus.


  • U.S.
    Jun, 1783

    Washington called for a strong union

    U.S.
    Jun, 1783

    Before returning to private life in June 1783, Washington called for a strong union. Though he was concerned that he might be criticized for meddling in civil matters, he sent a circular letter to all the states maintaining that the Articles of Confederation was no more than "a rope of sand" linking the states. He believed the nation was on the verge of "anarchy and confusion", was vulnerable to foreign intervention and that a national constitution would unify the states under a strong central government.


  • U.S.
    Aug, 1783

    National Militia

    U.S.
    Aug, 1783

    Washington advised Congress in August 1783 to keep a standing army, create a "national militia" of separate state units, and establish a navy and a national military academy. He circulated his "Farewell" orders that discharged his troops, whom he called "one patriotic band of brothers". Before his return to Mount Vernon, he oversaw the evacuation of British forces in New York and was greeted by parades and celebrations, where he announced that Knox had been promoted commander-in-chief.


  • Paris, France
    Wednesday Sep 03, 1783

    Treaty of Paris

    Paris, France
    Wednesday Sep 03, 1783

    Washington resigned as commander-in-chief once the Treaty of Paris was signed, and he planned to retire to Mount Vernon. The treaty was ratified in April 1783, and Hamilton's Congressional committee adapted the army for peacetime. Washington gave the Army's perspective to the Committee in his Sentiments on a Peace Establishment. The Treaty was signed on September 3, 1783, and Great Britain officially recognized the independence of the United States. Washington then disbanded his army, giving an eloquent farewell address to his soldiers on November 2.


  • New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Nov 26, 1783

    the British evacuated New York City

    New York, U.S.
    Wednesday Nov 26, 1783

    On November 25, the British evacuated New York City, and Washington and Governor George Clinton took possession.


  • U.S.
    Dec, 1783

    Resigned his commission

    U.S.
    Dec, 1783

    After leading the Continental Army for 8½ years, Washington bade farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in December 1783, and resigned his commission days later, refuting Loyalist predictions that he would not relinquish his military command.


  • Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
    Feb, 1784

    Visited his mother

    Fredericksburg, Virginia, U.S.
    Feb, 1784

    Washington was longing to return home after spending just 10 days at Mount Vernon out of ​8 1⁄2 years of war. He arrived on Christmas Eve, delighted to be "free of the bustle of a camp and the busy scenes of public life". He was a celebrity and was fêted during a visit to his mother at Fredericksburg in February 1784, and he received a constant stream of visitors wishing to pay their respects to him at Mount Vernon.


  • Massachusetts, U.S.
    Wednesday Aug 30, 1786

    Shays' Rebellion erupted in Massachusetts

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    Wednesday Aug 30, 1786

    When Shays' Rebellion erupted in Massachusetts on August 29, 1786, over taxation, Washington was further convinced that a national constitution was needed.


  • U.S.
    Tuesday Sep 12, 1786

    Some nationalists met together to ask Congress to revise the Articles of Confederation

    U.S.
    Tuesday Sep 12, 1786

    Some nationalists feared that the new republic had descended into lawlessness, and they met together on September 11, 1786, at Annapolis to ask Congress to revise the Articles of Confederation. One of their biggest efforts, however, was getting Washington to attend.


  • Virginia, U.S.
    Tuesday Dec 05, 1786

    Washington was chosen to lead the Virginia delegation

    Virginia, U.S.
    Tuesday Dec 05, 1786

    On December 4, 1786, Washington was chosen to lead the Virginia delegation, but he declined on December 21. He had concerns about the legality of the convention and consulted James Madison, Henry Knox, and others. They persuaded him to attend it, however, as his presence might induce reluctant states to send delegates and smooth the way for the ratification process.


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1787

    Congress agreed to a Constitutional Convention

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    1787

    Congress agreed to a Constitutional Convention to be held in Philadelphia in Spring 1787, and each state was to send delegates


  • U.S.
    Thursday Mar 29, 1787

    Washington told Governor Edmund Randolph that he would attend the convention

    U.S.
    Thursday Mar 29, 1787

    On March 28, Washington told Governor Edmund Randolph that he would attend the convention, but made it clear that he was urged to attend.


  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Thursday May 10, 1787

    Washington arrived in Philadelphia

    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
    Thursday May 10, 1787

    Washington arrived in Philadelphia on May 9, 1787, though a quorum was not attained until Friday, May 25. Benjamin Franklin nominated Washington to preside over the convention, and he was unanimously elected to serve as president general. The convention's state-mandated purpose was to revise the Articles of Confederation with "all such alterations and further provisions" required to improve them, and the new government would be established when the resulting document was "duly confirmed by the several states".


  • Virginia, U.S.
    Monday May 28, 1787

    Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia introduced Madison's Virginia Plan

    Virginia, U.S.
    Monday May 28, 1787

    Governor Edmund Randolph of Virginia introduced Madison's Virginia Plan on May 27, the third day of the convention. It called for an entirely new constitution and a sovereign national government, which Washington highly recommended.


  • U.S.
    Thursday Feb 05, 1789

    The state electors under the Constitution voted for the president

    U.S.
    Thursday Feb 05, 1789

    The delegates to the Convention anticipated a Washington presidency and left it to him to define the office once elected. The state electors under the Constitution voted for the president on February 4, 1789, and Washington suspected that most republicans had not voted for him. The mandated March 4 date passed without a Congressional quorum to count the votes, but a quorum was reached on April 5. The votes were tallied the next day, and Congressional Secretary Charles Thomson was sent to Mount Vernon to tell Washington he had been elected president. Washington won the majority of every state's electoral votes; John Adams received the next highest number of votes and therefore became vice president.


  • U.S.
    1789

    Congress created executive departments

    U.S.
    1789

    Congress created executive departments in 1789, including the State Department in July, the Department of War in August, and the Treasury Department in September. Washington appointed fellow Virginian Edmund Randolph as Attorney General, Samuel Osgood as Postmaster General, Thomas Jefferson as Secretary of State, and Henry Knox as Secretary of War. Finally, he appointed Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury. Washington's cabinet became a consulting and advisory body, not mandated by the Constitution.


  • U.S.
    1789

    Washington had to contend with the British military occupation in the Northwest frontier and their concerted efforts to incite hostile Indian tribes to attack American settlers

    U.S.
    1789

    During the Fall of 1789, Washington had to contend with the British military occupation in the Northwest frontier and their concerted efforts to incite hostile Indian tribes to attack American settlers. The Northwest tribes under Miami chief Little Turtle allied with the British Army to resist American expansion, and killed 1,500 settlers between 1783 and 1790.


  • U.S.
    Thursday Feb 26, 1789

    Rift became openly hostile between Hamilton and Jefferson

    U.S.
    Thursday Feb 26, 1789

    Hamilton created controversy among Cabinet members by advocating the establishment of the First Bank of the United States. Madison and Jefferson objected, but the bank easily passed Congress. Jefferson and Randolph insisted that the new bank was beyond the authority granted by the constitution, as Hamilton believed. Washington sided with Hamilton and signed the legislation on February 25, and the rift became openly hostile between Hamilton and Jefferson.


  • New York, U.S.
    Friday Apr 24, 1789

    Anxious and painful sensations

    New York, U.S.
    Friday Apr 24, 1789

    Washington had "anxious and painful sensations" about leaving the "domestic felicity" of Mount Vernon, but departed for New York City on April 23 to be inaugurated.


  • New York, U.S.
    Friday May 01, 1789

    President of the United States

    New York, U.S.
    Friday May 01, 1789

    Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789, taking the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York City.


  • Federal Hall, New York, U.S.
    Friday Nov 27, 1789

    Thanksgiving

    Federal Hall, New York, U.S.
    Friday Nov 27, 1789

    Washington proclaimed November 26 as a day of Thanksgiving in order to encourage national unity. "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor." He spent that day fasting and visiting debtors in prison to provide them with food and beer.


  • U.S.
    1790

    Washington sent Brigadier General Josiah Harmar to pacify the Northwest tribes

    U.S.
    1790

    In 1790, Washington sent Brigadier General Josiah Harmar to pacify the Northwest tribes, but Little Turtle routed him twice and forced him to withdraw. The Western Confederacy of tribes used guerrilla tactics and were an effective force against the sparsely manned American Army. Washington sent Major General Arthur St. Clair from Fort Washington on an expedition to restore peace in the territory in 1791. On November 4, St. Clair's forces were ambushed and soundly defeated by tribal forces with few survivors, despite Washington's warning of surprise attacks. Washington was outraged over what he viewed to be excessive Native American brutality and execution of captives, including women and children.


  • New York, U.S.
    Saturday Aug 07, 1790

    Treaty of New York

    New York, U.S.
    Saturday Aug 07, 1790

    In the Southwest, negotiations failed between federal commissioners and raiding Indian tribes seeking retribution. Washington invited Creek Chief Alexander McGillivray and 24 leading chiefs to New York to negotiate a treaty and treated them like foreign dignitaries. Knox and McGillivray concluded the Treaty of New York on August 7, 1790 in Federal Hall, which provided the tribes with agricultural supplies and McGillivray with a rank of Brigadier General Army and a salary of $1,500.


  • U.S.
    1791

    Whiskey Rebellion

    U.S.
    1791

    Threats and violence against tax collectors, however, escalated into defiance against federal authority in 1794 and gave rise to the Whiskey Rebellion. Washington issued a final proclamation on September 25, threatening the use of military force to no avail.


  • U.S.
    Mar, 1791

    Congress imposed an excise tax on distilled spirits to help curtail the national debt

    U.S.
    Mar, 1791

    In March 1791, at Hamilton's urging, with support from Madison, Congress imposed an excise tax on distilled spirits to help curtail the national debt, which took effect in July.


  • U.S.
    Wednesday Aug 03, 1791

    Washington assembled his cabinet to discuss how to deal with the situation

    U.S.
    Wednesday Aug 03, 1791

    On August 2, Washington assembled his cabinet to discuss how to deal with the situation. Unlike Washington who had reservations about using force, Hamilton had long waited for such a situation and was eager to suppress the rebellion by use of Federal authority and force.


  • U.S.
    Monday Aug 08, 1791

    Washington issued his first proclamation for calling up state militias

    U.S.
    Monday Aug 08, 1791

    On August 7, Washington issued his first proclamation for calling up state militias. After appealing for peace, he reminded the protestors that, unlike the rule of the British crown, the Federal law was issued by state-elected representatives.


  • U.S.
    1792

    Militia Act of 1792

    U.S.
    1792

    The federal army was not up to the task, so Washington invoked the Militia Act of 1792 to summon state militias.


  • U.S.
    1792

    Wayne instructed his troops on Indian warfare tactics

    U.S.
    1792

    St. Clair resigned his commission, and Washington replaced him with the Revolutionary War hero General Anthony Wayne. From 1792 to 1793, Wayne instructed his troops on Indian warfare tactics and instilled discipline which was lacking under St. Clair.


  • U.S.
    1792

    Washington declined to run for a third term of office

    U.S.
    1792

    In 1796, Washington declined to run for a third term of office, believing his death in office would create an image of a lifetime appointment. The precedent of a two-term limit was created by his retirement from office.


  • U.S.
    Mar, 1792

    The nation's first financial crisis

    U.S.
    Mar, 1792

    The nation's first financial crisis occurred in March 1792. Hamilton's Federalists exploited large loans to gain control of U.S. debt securities, causing a run on the national bank; the markets returned to normal by mid-April. Jefferson believed Hamilton was part of the scheme, in spite of Hamilton's efforts to ameliorate, and Washington again found himself in the middle of a feud.


  • France
    Apr, 1792

    French Revolutionary Wars began

    France
    Apr, 1792

    In April 1792, the French Revolutionary Wars began between Great Britain and France, and Washington declared America's neutrality. The revolutionary government of France sent diplomat Citizen Genêt to America, and he was welcomed with great enthusiasm. He created a network of new Democratic-Republican Societies promoting France's interests, but Washington denounced them and demanded that the French recall Genêt.


  • U.S.
    May, 1792

    Valedictory Address

    U.S.
    May, 1792

    In May 1792, in anticipation of his retirement, Washington instructed James Madison to prepare a "valedictory address", an initial draft of which was entitled the "Farewell Address".


  • France
    Sunday Aug 26, 1792

    The National Assembly of France granted Washington honorary French citizenship

    France
    Sunday Aug 26, 1792

    The National Assembly of France granted Washington honorary French citizenship on August 26, 1792, during the early stages of the French Revolution.


  • U.S.
    Saturday Nov 03, 1792

    Election of 1792

    U.S.