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Cumberland and Washington's Formative Years, page 3

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


that he was buried on the Ridgeley side of the Potomac and others feeling certain that it was somewhere in the area bounded by Fayette, Smallwood and Cumberland Streets in the present city of Cumberland.

The sudden death of the elderly Fry elevated the 22 year old Washington to his first command of soldiers in the field. That experience may be said to have ended with the Fort Necessity battle and Washington's return to Wills Creek early in July.

Who can say how important in the formation of Washington's character was that experience just two centuries ago this year?

During those few months in 1754 Washington learned the difficulties of moving artillery and other equipment through a wilderness. He got first hand knowledge of Indian tactics; the jealousies and rivalries among officers; the terrible experience of failure. He underwent the adjustment occasioned by sudden rise to command and saw the uncertainty of life.

Combined with his opportunity a year later at Fort Cumberland to learn European methods of discipline and British military techniques under General Braddock, Washington's experience in 1754 and later with Forbes (1758) gave him a training in warfare and public service that must be credited as responsible for much of the success that he achieved in the great years that brought independence to the American Colonies and the formation of the United States.

The Washington headquarters in Riverside Park, Cumberland, (partly reconstructed) is one of America's most historic buildings, for it was the first of the numerous places occupied as headquarters by the nation's first president.

The late New York Congressman, Sol Bloom, who was chairman of the 1932 Washington Bicentennial Commission, said in an address at the historic spot:

"Virginia was the physical birthplace of Washington, but Cumberland was his military birthplace—his West Point."

The Tableland, comprising portions of three great states (Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania) may well increase its efforts to spread the knowledge of Washington's early connection with the area and to join Cumberland's 1955 Bicentennial celebration.


Phone: 4823-J
Cumberland, Maryland
"The World's Best by Any Test"
P. O. Box 625


J. William Hunt


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Editor: Felix G. Robinson

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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