GW: Kids

Slide 1 — G.I. George

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George Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851.
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, American, 1816-1868.
Oil on Canvas; 12 2/5 x 21 1/4 in. (378.5 x 647.7 cm)

George Washington was born in 1732 and grew up in the colony of Virginia. In 1775, when he was 43 years old, many colonists were tired of British taxes like the Sugar Act and Stamp Act and wanted to fight for freedom from England.

Washington was well-known in the thirteen colonies for his experience in the army. After the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts, the Continental Congress chose him as Commander-in-Chief.

This war against England lasted from 1775 until 1781. The first two years of the war did not go well for the Americans. It wasn't until 1776 that the Continental Army, as the Americans were known, had its first victory. Washington crossed the Delaware River on Christmas night to land at Trenton, New Jersey and attack the Hessian soldiers who fought for the British. The next year Washington's army spent a cold and hungry winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Things turned around for the Americans when the French joined their side. After six long years of fighting, General Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington at Yorktown, Virginia. Luckily for us, thousands of letters, lists and orders written by Washington during the war have survived, so we have a good idea of what happened.

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