Summoned By A Country: One Man Stood Strong

Nick Wilkerson
Mrs. Beverly Zieres
British Literature and Composition

No other man has anymore history in the making of a nation than George
Washington. Washington, known as the father of this nation, was a fighter and a leader
whose accomplishments led to the creation of this great nation. No matter what part of
history is found, Washington holds his reputation. Edward Channing states it perfectly:
“Of all men in history, not one so answers our expectations as Washington. Into
whatever part of his life the historian puts his probe, the result is always satisfactory”
(Callahan IX). This is why Washington is more than just a man in our nation’s history,
he is a symbol for future leaders of this nation (Callahan 21).
In 1752 Washington began his military career taking over the office of adjutant of
the local military district. This office, one of four in Virginia, was left vacant by the
death of his beloved brother Lawrence. Low paying with few duties, this office made
Washington a major of a vast military region (Callahan 6).
In October of 1753, Washington was chosen for his first mission because of his
frontiersmanship, hard work, and responsibility. This mission was to travel through
rough terrain in inclimate weather to the Ohio Valley, to warn the French to stay off the
British land. The French refused and the war began (Meltzer 34-40).
Necessity, a small fort built by Washington’s forces 40 miles from the French
Territory was the sight where the first bloodshed of the French and Indian War occurred.

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This battle belonged to Washington’s forces. This victory raised George’s confidence in
himself and captured him a promotion to Colonel of the Virginia Regiment. It also gave
him an unwarranted contempt for the French (Meltzer 40).
The Seven Years War, known as the French and Indian War, cost over a million
civilians and soldiers their lives (Meltzer 40).
In July of 1754, a battle between Washington’s troops and the French and the
Indian ended in a disaterious defeat for Washington. The indians decided to fight with
the winners, the French. As Callahan states “ The future commander-in-chief of the
American Army in the Revolution ended his first major military effort in ignominious
disaster.” Washington was forced to sign a letter of surrender. It was a small victory for
the French, but the starting point of the French and Indian war (Callahan 10).
Washington was reduced in rank to a captain. In humiliation, he resigned from
the service in October of 1754. He went to his beloved home, Mount Vernon, which was
leased by George from the family of his late brother Lawrence. Later George became the
owner of the property. Washington liked the taste of combat and he yearned for the
military life (Meltzer 42).
A major part of Washington’s character was influenced by his defeat in his first
battle. As Callahan says “It did bring out the courage, bravery, and tough character of
George Washington” (10). George, known as a strong disciplinarian, gained his soldiers
respect through his strong constitution, great determination, and savvy character. His
great stature and stance intimidated others, including mere soldiers and high ranking
military men. Washington was so admired for his truthfulness, he was adopted by the
Seneca Indian Tribe.


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Rest for Washington was not to last long, Major General Edward Braddock, a
man George greatly admired, came to America to drive the French back out of the Ohio
Valley. George, still yearning for military action, volunteered to join Braddock’s staff as
an aid. With his vast experience in wilderness fighting, Washington was considered a big
asset by Braddock. George was glad to leave his beloved Mount Vernon, he had fallen in
love with his best friend’s wife, Sally Fairfax. He thought leaving would take his mind
off of her, and help him concentrate on other concerns. Washington leaving his home did
not stop the communication between him and Sally, she wrote to him faithfully, with him
responding. Sally was known to have communicated with Washington throughout his
life. Letters were found after his death from Mrs. Fairfax, along with letters from his
future wife, whom he considered his best friend.
Washington was fascinated by Braddock’s professional army and the important
colonial leaders (Andrist 52). George had always thought that the English were superior
in action and their personal lives. He had thought of himself and this country as a part of
England. Under Braddock and other high ranking English officials authority, George was
fast changing his opinion of England, English