Through a sophisticated scheme of subterfuge, King Leopold II acquired private ownership of the Congo River Basin. With the help of two men especially, explorer Henry Morton Stanley and diplomat Henry Shelton Sanford, he had Congo chiefs sign treaties giving up their land and got the United States and Europe to recognize these treaties as the creation of an independent state. In reality, Leopold II had more power over the Congo Free State than he did as King of Belgium. So, the outrageous acts of greed and violence committed against the people of the Congo went totally unchecked for 23 years.
George Washington, like all men in the American colonies, was entrusted with the property and estates of the women and children in his family, including his step-son Jacky Custis. Washington’s efforts to raise Jacky as a disciplined and educated man failed, and Jacky grew up to be a foolish socialite who died in his youth.
Despite the pestilence of the plague, which ravaged the world for centuries, measures of social distancing and a desire for a new world sparked the genius in many of humanity’s greatest thinkers. Dreamers like Isaac Newton, Petrarch and Boccaccio, and Leonardo da Vinci were able to hone their mental energy toward their creative pursuits and lead humanity toward new planes of enlightenment.
Sniffing out the suspicious scent of a French officer encroaching on British Colonial forts, Washington engaged in his first full military skirmish, killing the enemy leader, and starting the French and Indian War.
In 1753, the French Canadiens began encroaching on land claimed by the Virginia Colony. So, a young Virginian gentleman was sent to deliver a letter to their commander and learn their plans.
From a little lowland region of the Netherlands to a burgeoning trade network all over the Indian Ocean reaching as far east as Japan, this company of adventurers became a corporate monopoly through ingenious engineering and mercantilism.
In the Spring of 1748, when George Washington was 16 years old, he joined a surveying mission into the Shenandoah Valley and the South Branch Potomac River, as was his trade, in the company of George Fairfax, Esq., a dear family friend and mentor.