George Washington: Soldier
George Washington gained his first military experience during the French and Indian Wars where his bravery and leadership made him a hero. When discord between the American colonies and the British Crown broke out in 1775, George Washington was picked to lead the Continental Army. He commanded 11,000 ill-trained and poorly-equipped men for eight years, and at times, it seemed only his will held the army together. Combining forces with French allies, Washington defeated the British army at Yorktown, Virginia, on October 19, 1781, ending British dominance in the former colonies.
George Washington: Virginia Planter
George Washington, a careful farmer and at times an inventive one, inherited Mount Vernon from his brother's family. He actively farmed the estate in the interludes between his public service. Mount Vernon was Washington's favorite home, and he sustained his family from its products - tobacco, wool, dried fish, wheat and other grains - despite poor soils and a heavy debt on the property. Washington was a slave owner; though he profited from the system, he was never entirely comfortable with it. Upon his death in 1799, his will directed that his slaves be freed.
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