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officers, the returns of the adjutants, commissaries and quarter-masters, were compressed by him into systematic tables, so contrived as to fix strongly in his mind the most essential parts, without being encumbered with details. When the army was to march, or perform any movements, requiring combination and concert, a scheme was first delineated; and at the beginning of an active campaign, or in the preparation for a detached enterprise, the line of battle was projected and sketched on paper, each officer being assigned to his post, with the names of the regiments and strength of the forces he was to command.

· During the presidency, it was likewise his custom to subject the treasury reports and accompanying documents to the process of tabular condensation, with a vast expenditure of labor and patience; but it enabled him to grasp and retain in their order a series of isolated facts, and the results of a complicated mass of figures, which could never have been mastered so effectually by any other mode of approaching them.” Such were some of the great results of the habits adopted by Washington in his school-boy days,though these were doubtless dictated in some degree by his natural disposition.

The character of Washington during this period of his life, is thus drawn by his biographer : " Tradition reports that he was inquisitive, docile and diligent; but it adds that his military propensities and passion for active sports, displayed themselves in his boyhood ; that he formed his schoolmates into companies, who paraded, marched and fought mimic battles, in which


he was always the commander of one of the parties. He had a fondness for the athletic amusements of running, jumping wrestling, tossing bars, and other feats of agility and bodily exercise. Indeed, it is well known that these practices were continued by him after he had arrived at the age of mature life. It has also been said that, while at school, his probity and demeanor were such as to win the deference of the other boys, who were accustomed to make him the arbiter of their disputes and never failed to be satisfied with his judgment."

At the time of George Washington's birth, his father resided near the banks of the Potomac, in Westmoreland county; but he removed not long afterwards to an estate owned by him in Stafford county, on the east side of the Rappahannoc river, opposite Fredericksburg. Here he lived till his death, which happened, after a sudden and short illness, on the 12th of April, 1743, at the age of forty-nine. He was buried at Bridge's Creek, in the tomb of his ancestors.

* Washington's mother was now left with the weighty charge of five young children; George, the eldest, being eleven


She was, however, a woman * Augustine Washington was twice married, and had ten children-four by the first, and six by the second wife. The subject of our memoir was the first-born of the latter,–Mary Bull. Little is known of the character or history of Augustine Washington, but, as he possessed a valuable estate, chiefly acquired by his own industry, it is fair to infer that he was in business methodical, skilful and upright. He was a planter, and each of his sons inherited from him a separate plantation. Mount Vernon was given to Augustine, and afterwards became the property of George.

of good sense, and devoted herself with great energy to the complicated duties of her trust. Her assiduity and fidelity overcame every obstacle, and she lived long to enjoy the best reward of a mother's solicitude, --the success and happiness of her children. George continued with his mother till he left school, soon after which, he went to reside with his brother Lawrence, then proprietor of the country seat which is well known by the title of Mount Vernon. Here he spent the winter, devoting himself to the study of mathematics and the exercise of surveying. He also became acquainted with Lord Fairfax, and other members of the Fairfax family established in that part of Virginia, with whom his brother Lawrence was connected by marriage.

Lord Fairfax was the proprietor of an immense tract of wild land in Virginia, extending even into the recesses of the Allegany mountains. Learning young George's turn for surveying, he employed him to survey a portion of these lands. In pursuit of this appointment, he set out upon his first surveying expedition shortly after he was sixteen years old. The enterprise was arduous and partook not a little of adventure. It was March, but winter still lingered on the summits of the mountains, and the rivers were swollen with freshets. Still, the youthful leader, with his band of attendants, pressed eagerly forward. They soon plunged into the trackless wilderness, crossed the first ridge of the Alleganies, and entered upon their duties. Here, in the solitude of the forest, they remained for several months, often with no shelter but the sky, and far removed from human habitations,

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except those of the savages, who dwelt in scattered bands amid these wild regions. At last, having accomplished his task, he returned, and had the satisfaction of receiving the full approbation of his employer.

Young Washington's reputation as a surveyor was now established, and he received a commission from the governor of the colony, which gave authority to his surveys. He devoted three years steadily to this pursuit; and, as there were few surveyors in that quarter, the compensation he received was liberal. At the same time, he was forming a character for probity and correct business habits. During this period his home was with his brother at Mount Vernon, as being nearer the scene of his labors than his mother's residence; but he made her frequent visits, and assisted her largely in the conduct of her affairs.

At the age of nineteen, he received, from the gov'ernment of Virginia, the appointment of military inspector, with the rank of major, and the pay of one hundred and fifty pounds a year. His military propensities appear to have been more rapidly developed by this event. Under the tuition of some British officers who had served in the recent war, he studied tactics, learned the manual exercise, and became expert in the use of the sword. He read the principal books on the military art, and joined practice to theory as far as circumstances would permit.

But he had scarcely entered upon the business of his new office, when he was called to other duties. Lawrence Washington had been long suffering under

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a pulmonary attack, and his disease was now threatening that his medical advisers recommended him to try the climate of the West Indies. As it was necessary that some person should attend him, he desired George to be his companion, and the two set sail for Barbadoes in September, 1751, where they soon arrived. The change of air produced a transient alleviation of the patient's disease, but the unfavorable symptoms soon returned, and he determined to proceed to Bermuda. George set out for Virginia, for the purpose of accompanying the wife of his brother to that island, and, after an absence of somewhat more than four months, he reached his home. During his residence in Barbadoes, he had been seized with the small pox, and though the attack was severe, he recovered in about three weeks.

The same habits which Washington had adopted at home, attended him during this expedition. He kept a minute journal during his absence, which has been preserved. From this it appears that at sea he daily copied the log-book, noted the course of the winds, the state of the weather, the progress of the ship, and other incidental occurrences. In the island of Barbadoes everything attracted his notice—the soil, agriculture, fruits, commerce, military force, fortifications, manners of the people, municipal regulations and government. Thus everything became an object of observation and study; every scene was a book, from which he was constantly adding to his stock of knowledge.

The accounts from his brother in Bermuda were at first flattering; but these fair prospects were soon

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