In honor of Presidents Day, we ask if you know what George Washington’s first job was?
In July 1749, at 17 years of age and largely through the Fairfax influence that he had cultivated, Washington secured an appointment as county surveyor for the newly created frontier county of Culpeper, where he served until November 1750. He then continued to work in the Northern Neck with the permission of the Fairfax family from November 1750 to November 1752.During his three years on the frontier he established a reputation for fairness, honesty, and dependability, while earning a very decent living. Philander Chase, the current editor of the Washington Papers at the University of Virginia, writes that frontier surveyors “could earn an annual cash income that was exceeded only by the colony’s finest trial lawyers.”From the records documenting the 199 professional surveys attributed to Washington it is clear that he did not confine himself to Culpeper County, even while he served as its official surveyor. Rather, Washington did the majority of his surveying in Frederick and Hampshire Counties, the westernmost counties of the Northern Neck. Partly because of his close relationship with the Fairfax family, he may have had a distinct advantage over other Northern Neck surveyors.
Would be pretty cool if one of Washington’s old surveys came up when closing on a Virginia Title Insurance policy. Probably not going to happen….
(Information from: George Washington Mapmaker and Surveyor memory.loc.gov Library of Congress)
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