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THE TRUE STORY OF

GEORGE WASHINGTON

CALLED THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY.

CHAPTER I.

A BOY OF VIRGINIA, AND HOW HE GREW UP.

I WISH to write for young 1 Americans the story of their noblest man. His name was George Washington. One hun. dred and sixty years and more

ago he was a helpless baby in a pleasant Virginia home. That home was a low-roofed, bigbeamed, comfortable-looking old farmhouse on a hill that sloped down to the Potomac, the beautiful river that separates the present States of Virginia and Maryland. One hundred and sixty years ago there were no States in America. All the land, from Maine to Georgia, belonged to England. King George the Second was its owner and master, and the thirteen colonies into which it was divided were ruled by men

II

sent over from England by King George, and called royal governors.

The people who lived in these colonies were mostly Englishmen or the sons and daughters of Englishmen, except a few thousand Dutchmen in the colony of New York, who had been conquered by the English many years before, and were gradually becoming English in manners and speech.

The old farmhouse of which I speak overlooked the Potomac River, and the plantation to which it belonged was called Bridge's Creek, because, there, a little stream of that name flowed into the Potomac. All about it was farm-land or forest. There were then but few - DUTCHMAN. cities in America. New York and Boston and Philadelphia were the largest and almost the only real cities, and they were small enough when compared with the cities of today.

The colony of Virginia, however, was the richest and most populous of all the thirteen English colonies along the Atlantic. Its people were farmers; the richer ones owned great farms or plantations upon which they raised tobacco for the English market. The plantation of Augustine Washington at Bridge's Creek on the Potomac, was one of the large ones; it was in Westmoreland County, on the Virginia side of the Potomac, and not many miles from where the river empties into the Chesapeake Bay; the Washington plantation contained a thousand acres, and stretched along the Potomac for fully a mile. The old house in which Augustine Washington and his wife Mary lived was built years before by his grandfather, the first of the Washingtons who came to America. It is said that the Washingtons came originally from a thatch-roofed sandstone house in the

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English village of Little Brington ; but this is not clearly proved. It is enough to know that Grandfather John Washington came to Virginia in 1657 and built the house on Bridge's Creek. It was not a mansion. It was a plain, old-style Southern farmhouse, with steep, sloping roof and

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