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[Detail] George Washington. Portrait by Gilbert Stuart c1929.

Colonial America | The American Revolution | The Constitution | The Presidency

The American Revolution

Washington's experiences in the French and Indian War, and the acquisition of a considerable estate through inheritance and marriage, brought him widespread recognition in Virginia. He was elected to the House of Burgesses during English rule; then to the First and Second Continental Congresses when problems between the colonies and the mother country pushed the country to the brink of Revolution. Appointed Commander-in-Chief of the American forces, Washington was in a position of unsurpassed influence and authority. His experiences included eyewitness accounts of battles, military strategy, and political developments during the American Revolution.

Search on Continental Congress, March 19, 1776, occupation of Boston to find the following reference of an early American success:

. . . I have the Pleasure to inform you, that on the Morning of the 17th Inst. General Howe with his Army abandoned the Town of Boston without destroying it, an Event of much Importance, and which must be heard with great Satisfaction; and that we are now in full Possession of it. Their Embarkation and Retreat were hurried and precipitate and they have left behind them Stores of one Kind and another to a pretty considerable Amount, among which are several Pieces of heavy Cannon and one or two Mortars, which are spiked.

Letter from George Washington to William Alexander, Lord Stirling, March 19, 1776 [Transcription]