Someone Else’s Misfortune…

Before we travel much further into the Revolutionary War, I think it might be a good idea to turn back and visit our first President’s youth. There we find his half-brother Lawrence.

Lawrence was fourteen years older than George, the firstborn son of George’s father Augustine and his first wife Jane. (Comment: Interestingly enough, George Washington’s lineage was almost removed from American shores through his own grandparents. His widowed grandmother remarried and moved to England. After her death, the second husband tried to claim her inheritance for himself, planning to remain in England with her three sons. His grandfather’s brother, [also named Lawrence, by the way], intervened. The three boys were returned to Virginia, our future first President’s father among them, and voila! history’s course was restored. Close call. Again, I say, hand of God?)

Anyway, back to Lawrence…

In 1740, When George was about eight years old, Lawrence embarked on a journey into the military life, as captain of an American regiment attached to the British army. From him George received his first exposure to the idea of serving one’s country as a leader in the army. So we see the seeds being planted…

During his military career, Lawrence came to highly admire one of his commanders, and when he returned home, he named the family homestead (which he inherited) after this revered man – Admiral Edward Vernon. Hence, Mount Vernon. Which is today a national landmark, known to all as the beloved home of the Father of our Country. We see the threads being intertwined, the fabric being woven…

George Washington was only eleven years old when his father died, and his half-brother Lawrence took on the role of George’s protector and role model. Years later, Lawrence developed tuberculosis, and in his search for a cure, he traveled to Barbados, taking George with him. While there, George himself became ill. He contracted smallpox. Though surely not pleasant, George’s bout with the disease made him immune to it. So we see, then, that his brother’s sad misfortune (the illness soon proved fatal) provided George with life-long protection against what would become the #1 killer of the Revolutionary War.

Hmmm…definitely something to think about.

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