George Washington Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

Instructor: April Inocente
Brave, courageous, strong, smart, and humble are just some of the words used to describe George Washington, the first leader of our country. Read about this man who was right in the middle of the beginning of our country.

Who Was George Washington?

You have seen him on the one dollar bill. The United States capital is named after him. Towns, buildings, parks, lakes, bridges, colleges, and many other places and things are named after him. He was the leader of the free world, and is one of the most famous and important men in American history.

The One Dollar Bill
One Dollar Bill

George Washington was alive from February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799. He grew up in Colonial Virginia, the son of wealthy plantation owners. A plantation is a large farm that is tended by many people. George's father died when he was 11 years old, so he was mostly raised by his older brother who made sure he had a basic education and learned how to be a gentleman. Over the years George had many problems with his teeth, so he had to get dentures (fake teeth). They eventually became a dingy brown color, so many people thought they were made of wood, but in reality they weren't. Can you imagine trying to eat corn on the cob with wooden teeth?

As an adult, George married the widow Martha Custis who had two children from her previous marriage. A widow is a person who's husband has died, which was why she was able to marry George later. George became a plantation owner and was also apart of the Virginian legislature, which meant he was helping write and make laws for Virginia. He was a busy man!

At this time the United States had not yet been formed, and the British still ruled and owned the colonies. George and his fellow plantation owners became angry because they were getting unfair treatment from their British rulers. A group of people from each town or colony got together and decided that all of the colonies would fight the British together.

The General

At the meeting, it was decided that George Washington would be the general of the Continental Army. This was a tough job because the army wasn't even formed yet. He had to gather and lead untrained farmers and townsmen to fight against the well trained British soldiers.

Portrait Collage of American Revolution Battles
American Revolution

Washington and his troops were often low on supplies and food, and frequently had to march into battle without shoes on. He led this untrained army for six years through many battles. Some were won and some were lost, but in the end Washington led the colonies to victory over the British.

The President

George Washington Portrait
George Washington

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