When George Washington was a boy there was no United States. The land was here, just as it is now, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific; but nearly all of it was wild and unknown.
Between the Atlantic Ocean and the Allegheny Mo-untains there were thirteen colonies, or great settlements. The most of the people who lived in these colonies were English people, or the children of English people; and so the King of England made their laws and appointed their governors.
The newest of the colonies was Georgia, which was settled the year after George Washington was born.
The oldest colony was Virginia, which had been settled one hundred and twenty-five years. It was also the richest colony, and more people were living in it than in any other.
There were only two or three towns in Virginia at that time, and they were quite small.
Most of the people lived on farms or on big plantations, where they raised whatever they needed to eat. They also raised tobacco, which they sent to England to be sold.
The farms, or plantations, were often far apart, with stretches of thick woods between them. Nearly every one was close to a river, or some other large body of water; for there are many rivers in Virginia..