January 18, 2011
Barbados: George Slept Here
In 1751, when George Washington was 19 years old, he traveled to Barbados (then a British colony) with his half-brother Lawrence, who was suffering from tuberculosis. The trip had been suggested to the Washington’s by the British crown as a method for curing Lawrence’s illness. While in Barbados, George contracted small pox, becoming immune to the disease later in life when many American troops became stricken with it.
George Washington stayed in Barbados for only six weeks – surprisingly Barbados was the only country outside of colonial America that he ever visited.
The house where George (feels weird to be on a first name basis with our first president) & Lawrence stayed has been restored to how it was back in 1751. It was a neat place to tour, with a great, extremely knowledgeable tour guide. The day we visited, our tour group was small – just my family & a family of five from Norway. Bajans are very proud of the fact that America’s first president traveled to their island (you could maybe say that he started a trend of American presidents visiting) and learned a lot there as a young man.