James Craik (1730–1814), a native of Scotland, studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and subsequently went to the West Indies as a British army surgeon. Thereafter, he moved to Norfolk, Va, where he practiced medicine. In 1754 he was appointed surgeon of GW’s Virginia Regiment. During the ensuing campaigns Craik and GW became close friends. Craik served with the Virginia Regiment until it was disbanded in 1762. Due to Craik's service as a surgeon during the Fort Necessity campaign, he was granted several thousand acres of land on the Ohio and Kanawha rivers. He eventually settled on a plantation near Port Tobacco, Md., where he established a profitable private medical practice. In May 1777 Craik accepted GW’s offer to become deputy director general of the hospitals in the middle department. Craik served in the Continental medical department until the end of the war, becoming one of the three chief hospital surgeons in October 1780 and the chief physician and surgeon of the army in March 1781. After the war Craik moved to Alexandria, Va., and was one of the physicians who attended GW during his last illness in 1799.
Craik made frequent social and professional visits to Mount Vernon, and accompanied GW on his trips to the frontier in 1770 and 1784. In the 1780s and early 1790s, GW's nephews, George Steptoe and Lawrence Augustine Washington, attended Alexandria Academy, and boarded for a time with Craik (see Ledger B, 301, 307, 312, 322, 325, 328).
Craik was married to Mariamne Ewell (1740–1814), and he had several children. His son, George Washington Craik (1774-1808), received financial support from GW towards his education (see Ledger B, 307, 334).