First Ladies – Martha Washington

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington

Born at Chestnut Grove in New Kent County, Virginia, June 2, 1731
Married Colonel Daniel Parke Custis in 1750
Four children with Daniel Custis

    Daniel born in 1751, died at age of three
    Frances born in 1753, died at age of four
    John born in 1755, died November 5, 1781
    Martha born in 1756 or 1757, died June 19, 1773

Daniel Custis died in 1757
Married George Washington on January 6, 1759 and her family moved to Mount Vernon
Her son John married Eleanor Calvert in 1774

    Raised her grandchildren, Eleanor Parke Custis and George Washington Parke Custis at Mount Vernon. Her niece, Frances Basset, who came to live with them when she was 15, married George Washington’s nephew, Major George Augustine Washington, in 1785

American Revolution War 1775-1783

    Martha Washington is given the title “Lady Washington” by the soldiers during the American Revolution War and one which was used when George Washington was President.

George Washington was inaugurated president on April 30, 1789
Returned to Mount Vernon after his presidency on March 15, 1797
George Washington died on December 14, 1799
Martha Washington died on May 22, 1802

Interesting fact
From the Official site of Historic Williamsburg, I found this interesting fact about Martha Washington. Official site of Colonial Williamsburg

Although Martha remained at Mount Vernon when George went to Philadelphia as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress, she often accompanied him to his headquarters during the war years. She spent the winter of 1775 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and in the spring of 1776, she followed him to New York. In the spring of 1777, she arrived at his headquarters in Morristown, New Jersey, but she returned to Mount Vernon for the summer. The next winter she joined her husband at Valley Forge, and later she stayed with him during campaigns in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Focus while in the White House
She saw that her duty was to her husband and her country. Her focus while she was in the White House was to be hostess. She had a formal dinner on Thursdays and a public reception on Fridays. They lived in a series of mansions in New York before moving to Philadelphia as the building that became known as the White House was being built.


2 thoughts on “First Ladies – Martha Washington

  1. Kaya Alder says:

    Great post. In Cokie Robert’s book “Founding Mothers” she further states regarding Martha while on campaign:

    ‘When Martha saw the miserable condition of the troops and the hostility of the townsfolk to the sickly wretches in their midst, she quickly devised a solution to both problems. To help the soldiers, she started sewing shirts and knitting socks out of the materials she had brought from home. As for the townspeople, they were invited to call on the famous general’s wife, and when they did, Martha sent them a not-so-subtle message. One prominent woman from the town described the visit where she found her hostess, “knitting, and with a speckled apron on!. . .’

    She was a great lady indeed.

  2. kailee says:

    needs more info like on a tieline like her 1st year being first lady how she felt bout it and other things like that and it dident give me enouf info for a paragraph sorry but hat is my honest opinion

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