Loading Events

« All Events

George Washington’s Remarkable Trip to Barbados

March 6 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

$35 – $40

How did a young man’s visit to a remote Caribbean island alter the course of American history? George Washington left the mainland only once in his lifetime when he sailed to Barbados in 1751. He accompanied his half-brother Lawrence, who had contracted tuberculosis, and hoped the island’s warm climate would ameliorate the disease. The four-month voyage proved to be significant for the then-19-year-old Washington. He spent time with British soldiers and viewed their fortifications and arms, which fascinated him enough to shift his career goals from being a surveyor to a military career path. Washington also contracted smallpox while in Barbados. After recovery, he gained lifelong immunity and an understanding of the benefits of inoculation. Although there were anti-immunization protests, General Washington ordered that the troops be inoculated in 1777. This decision was a significant factor in the outcome of the American Revolution. Despite its important consequences, the journey remains one of the lesser-known episodes of Washington’s early life. Historian Ralph Nurnberger details this remarkable trip and highlights its impact on Washington, his career, the outcome of the American Revolution, and medical history.


View Organizer Website


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU, Boca Raton
777 Glades Rd
Boca Raton, 33431 United States
+ Google Map