The American Revolution for Kids - George Washington Illustration

The American Revolution for Kids - George Washington

For Kids: George Washington was a surveyor, a farmer, and a plantation owner. He was tall - he was nearly 6'3", and weighted around 200 pounds. He was a big guy. He very athletic and very smart. He was a general during the American Revolution.  The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and elected George Washington the commanding general of the Continental Army (colonial forces.). His wife, Martha Washington, was barely five feet tall. She was an enormous help to George Washington throughout their married life. They were an amazing couple. They both did amazing things for the times, and actually, for any times.

During the Revolutionary War, during the six months Washington kept the Continental Army camped at Valley Forge, conditions were terrible. It was winter. Men were housed in crude log cabins. Food, medicine, and clothing were in short supply. The men were cold and hungry, and many were sick. They missed their families. They worried about their farms. They were not an army. The militia and Minutemen had participated when fighting was near their homes. But after a battle, they expected to go home. For those men who had enlisted in the Continental Army, their terms were nearly up. Washington was worried that, come spring, he might not have an army to lead.

His wife Martha was a tremendous help to his plans. She helped to keep his army warm and fed by donating as much food as she could and by sewing socks and other garments. She had impressive organization skills. She rallied many local women to help her. The soldiers truly appreciated her efforts. Those who survived the horrible conditions at Valley Forge knew that without her help, and her commitment to their welfare, many more men would have died. The men addressed her as "Lady Washington" in great and lifelong appreciation. George Washington recognized his wife's efforts. He told her, he told others, that she was critical to the war effort and to him. Theirs was a true love story.

After the Revolutionary War, George Washington was unanimously elected president of the United States in 1789.  He was the first president elected under the Constitution of the United States. He is the only president to be elected unanimously in the history of the United States to date. Today, if a United States president is married, his wife is referred to as the First Lady, in honor of "Lady Washington".

George Washington was a very popular president, general, commander, and leader. He has streets, cities, counties, buildings, and even a state named after him.

There are tall tales and even a couple of legends about him. Yet he was a real person. He did not have wooden teeth, he did not wear a wig, and he did not chop down a cherry tree. But it is true that, in his will, he freed his slaves pending the death of his widow, Martha Washington. After his death, there was a suspicious fire at Mount Vernon. Martha believed it was set by slaves who wanted to be free immediately, instead of in the future. Within a year of George Washington's death, Martha freed the slaves earlier than her husband had planned, for their sake as well as hers.

You can find George and Martha's stories in the links below. Flash sites have been removed.

George Washington (Disney, video)

Do you have what it takes to lead like George Washington?

The Culper Code Book

Washington Crossing the Delaware Painting, interactive

The KCTS9 Collection - videos

Wartgames - Online Games & Sites for Kids about George Washington

Meet Martha Washington

12 former Presidents of the United States have owned slaves. Only George Washington freed them, but not until after his death.

Other Famous People of the Revolutionary War for Kids