James Craik was born in Scotland in 1730 and was educated as a surgeon in the British Army. As a young man he immigrated to Virginia where he served with the colonial forces of Virginia during the French and Indian War. He came to the attention of George Washington who made him Chief Medical Officer of the Virginia militia when Washington was himself Commander-in-Chief of the Virginia troops.
Dr. Craik came to Charles County around 1760 and built the handsome home “LaGrange” in LaPlata. He married Marianne Ewell of Prince William County, Virginia.
In 1770 Dr. Craik and George Washington went by horseback into the west to locate the lands granted by the crown to the men of the Virginia Militia who fought in the French and Indian War.
After the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Dr. Craik joined the Medical Department of the Continental Army, and in 1777 became Assistant Director-General of that Department. In 1780 he was selected as one of the chief hospital physicians and in 1781 Congress appointed him Chief Physician and Surgeon of the Army.
After the war, Dr. Craik moved to Alexandria to be nearer his great friend George Washington. When trouble seemed eminent with France in 1798 and George Washington accepted again the position as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, he did so with the proviso that Dr. Craik should be commissioned Director-General in the Medical Department.
Dr. Craik’s last service to his friend, President George Washington, was his presence during his final illness as the attending physician.
Dr. Craik died in Alexandria in 1814.
The vision of Dr. James Craik Elementary School is to create a positive and energetic environment where staff and students work collaboratively to achieve academic excellence, develop personal responsibility, and become equipped with 21st century skills in order to succeed in future educational and career opportunities.Student Character Pledge
Today I am respectful, responsible, and ready to learn. I will do my best to make Dr. James Craik a special place!