Interested in Researching Gen. Washington? Here are some resources you can consult.

These materials have been read or viewed by members of the George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee (GWBCC), who highly recommend them. The books are best for adults and mature young people.

Books - best for adults and mature young people

  • 1776, by David McCullough. An account of Washington and those who marched with him during the year of the Declaration of Independence by the author of John Adams and Truman. 

  • Braddock's Defeat, by David Preston. An excellent account of the campaign to expel the French from British territory in the Ohio Valley, including an extensive description of Washington's role.

  • David Humphreys’ Life of Washington, by David Humphreys.  The only biography authorized by the general, written by a close friend, military aide and three-year resident at Mount Vernon privy to Washington’s inmost thoughts.  Edited by Rosemarie Zagarri, it includes original manuscripts and thorough notes.

  • First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His -- and the Nation's – Prosperity, by Edward G. Lengel. How Washington grew Mount Vernon into to a multi-faceted business and applied those skills to successfully manage the woefully underfunded Revolutionary War.

  • Riding with Washington, by Philip G. Smucker. Excellent insights into Washington's personality and told with examples of his sportsmanship and chivalry by a Washington family descendant.

  • The Education of George Washington, by Austin Washington, a descendant of Washington's favorite brother, John Augustine Washington. A humorous correction of myths and anecdotes about Washington, with information about one of the unknown men who influenced Washington's character.

  • Valiant Ambition, by Nathaniel Philbrick. The story of Washington's prosecution of the Revolutionary War and how his brilliant friend and best general, Benedict Arnold, served the Colonies and then turned on them.

  • Walking with Washington, by Robert L. Madison. This small volume lists a wide range of sites in and near Alexandria and describes their relationship to Washington and his contemporaries.  It includes helpful maps with several walking tours clearly laid out.

  • Washington: A Life, by Ron Chernow. A comprehensive biography of Washington by the author of Alexander Hamilton, as fascinating as a novel.

DVDs  appropriate for 4th graders and older

  • George Washington, The Mini-Series. A 1984 Emmy-nominated television mini-series chronicling the life of Washington from age 11 to the end of the Revolutionary War.

  • The War that Made America. A four-hour PBS special about the French and Indian War (1754-1763) connecting Washington’s role in that war with the later American Revolution.

  • Pursuit of Honor: The Rise of George Washington. An independent documentary film exploring Washington’s early years and connecting them to his actions during the Revolutionary War and his Presidency.

(Many thanks to members of the GWBCC — especially Ellen Tabb, Sue Johnson, and Danny Smith — for assembling these ideas!)