George Washington Settles Down to Life As a Gentleman Farmer At His Mount Vernon Home
After the French and Indian War and George Washington’s marriage to the young and wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis, Washington settled down to a life as a gentleman farmer, serving as vestryman for Pohick Church and as a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. Because of both his responsibility for managing the land holdings of Martha in and around Williamsburg and because of his responsibilties as a member of the House of Burgesses, such a life included regular trips to Williamsburg. On such trips, Washington often took Martha and her two children. He also often stayed at his sister Betty’s and her husband Fielding Lewis’ home in Fredericksburg, Virginia from where he could also visit his mother at her home and his two brothers. Washington also devoted himself to becoming one of the most innovative and successful farmers in all of the thirteen colonies, experimenting in crop rotation and shifting from the growing of tobacco to the cultivation of wheat, flax, hemp and other crops that were less destructive to the soil. He also developed a large and successful fishing operation.