From the painting, 1790 by John Trumbull in the City Hall, New York. George Washington was born in 1732, the year the colony of Georgia was established. From the time he was twenty-one years of age practically until his death, he was closely associated with the history of the country. His ambition had been to hold a commission in the British army, but when the break with the mother country came, he stood by his native Virginia. Washington was tall and muscular; he was an excellent marksman, a fine swordsman and horseman. He was a man of great personal courage, and he possessed a rugged honesty and a devoted unselfishness which endeared him to all men. While riding about his plantation he was caught in a rain and hail storm, and took a cold, which resulted in his death on December 14, 1799.