Since the heady moment when he married Martha Custis in 1759, combining their estates into one of the preeminent holdings in northern Virginia, everything Washington touched had turned to brass. He had failed repeatedly to grow profitable tobacco crops. In London his leaf had acquired an unshakable reputation for mediocrity. Meanwhile the expenses of maintaining a great planter’s lifestyle, while keeping up a slave labor force and several plantations, had proved unrelenting. His own debtors — former comrades-in-arms who unhesitatingly touched him for loans, neighbors with whom he ran accounts, tenants who owed him rent — were slow to pay, and sometimes never did; yet he was too tightly bound by the expectations of gentlemanly behavior to refuse a loan when asked, or to press a debtor insistently when payment fell due. By 1763 Washington found himself deep in debt, doubting that he would ever extricate himself by growing tobacco, and casting about to find some way out of his predicament.
Philadelphia, PA — Completed in 1770, this Georgian building was the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Boston, MA — Peter Faneuil, a wealthy merchant, built Faneuil Hall as a center for commerce in 1742. Today it is still a place of business, but it is the second floor meeting hall — where Bostonians protested successively against the Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, the Townsend Acts, and the military occupation — that has the greater legacy.
Boston, MA — Established in 1660, it contains some 1,600 graves including Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and James Otis, Jr.
Lexington, MA — Completed in 1737 by John Hancock's grandfather, the house is now a museumOn the night of Paul Revere's April 1775 ride John Hancock and Samuel Adams were awakened there with news of the advancing British troops.
Philadelphia, PA — Site of the Second Continental Congress and of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; access is available through a Park Ranger tour.
Boston, MA — Built in 1713, the Old State House was the seat of Massachusetts government in the 18th century. It is the oldest surviving public building in Boston and one of the most important public buildings still standing from the original 13 colonies.
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)