Go beyond the stereotypes and find out more about living of Martha Washington. From mother to very first Lady, read about her many essential roles.
Martha was born on June 2, 1731 at Chestnut Grove plantation in New Kent County, Virginia, which is roughly 35 miles from the colonial money of Williamsburg. Martha was the initial of eight young ones born to John Dandridge and Frances Jones.
2. Unlike the majority of women in Virginia in the early 1700s, Martha discovered to learn and write
Unlike the majority of women in Virginia currently have been not literate, Martha discovered both to learn and compose at an early age. Throughout the woman entire life, Martha discovered satisfaction and solace in reading. She read the Bible alongside devotional literature for spiritual edification and novels and magazines for activity and training. Martha has also been referred to as a regular and active letter journalist, and an accumulation her surviving letters tend to be housed when you look at the choices of Mount Vernon collection.
3. Martha grew to be about 5 legs tall
The average height for European ladies in very early Colonial America was around 5’2”. Martha had been referred to as lovely and appealing girl with a lively personality. She ended up being generally speaking strong-willed, though in addition charming, sincere, hot, and socially adept. These traits permitted the girl to conquer obstacles and create her own course in the world.
4. Martha married Daniel Parke Custis on May 15, 1750
In colonial Virginia, the majority of women of Martha’s social class met their particular potential mates through friends, or at chapel, courtroom time, or a basketball held at a neighbor’s home. Tradition keeps that Martha met the woman very first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, at their particular regional Anglican chapel.
Daniel Parke Custis started courting Martha Dandridge when he was in their belated thirties. He lived on his own plantation, White House, situated four kilometers downstream through the Dandridge home from the Pamunkey River. Custis’s imperious daddy had quashed several Daniel’s past efforts to wed. When word of his son’s fascination with Martha surfaced, John Custis IV in the beginning opposed the match. He insisted that Dandridges lacked enough wide range and status to marry into their family and threatened to disinherit his child.
At 38, Daniel Parke Custis ended up being nearly 20 years avove the age of their brand-new partner (age 18), and notably more than the average Virginia man whom married for the first time at age 27. Yet by waiting until he found a woman of who his daddy accepted, Custis assured their own economic future aswell as that of his future heirs-and of Martha by herself.
Martha’s wedding to Daniel Parke Custis, who passed away on July 8, 1757, lasted just over seven years.
5. Martha gave beginning to four young ones, most of whom she outlived
Martha’s first youngster ended up being a boy, called Daniel Parke Custis, produced on November 19, 1751, used in April 1753 by a girl, Frances Parke Custis. Although the first names had been conventional family members brands, the children’s great-grandfather had imposed a strict problem on inheritance: just kids bearing title “Parke” within their particular provided name would receive some regarding the household property.
Despite their socially and financially privileged lives, neither Daniel nor Frances would attain the age of five. In the colonial age, youth had been the period of biggest vulnerability to demise and disease. Just about 60per cent of kiddies created at this time lived towards age of 20. In 1754 Daniel passed away, most likely of malaria; Frances passed away in 1757.
Martha had two other kiddies with Daniel Parke Custis, who does end up being the center of her own life: John Parke Custis (“Jacky”), who was produced in 1754, and Martha Parke Custis (“Patsy”), born in 1756. Patsy experienced repeated seizures, which grew even worse as time passes. After a really violent episode on June 19, 1773, Patsy passed away at age seventeen.
On November 5, 1781, only weeks before he switched twenty-seven, John Parke Custis, Martha’s sole remaining son or daughter, contracted a virulent illness and died.
6. Martha and George Washington had been hitched on January 6, 1759
As a young, appealing, affluent widow, Martha Dandridge Custis probably enjoyed even more freedom to select her own future than at some other part of her life. She was just twenty-six yrs old, had nearly 300 slaves and had more than 17, 500 miles of land— worth over £40, 000.
The destination between George and Martha had been mutual, powerful, and immediate. Martha ended up being charming, appealing, and affluent. George had his own charm, standing over six feet two ins tall, he was an imposing figure with a formidable reputation as a military frontrunner. George had additionally recently inherited the Mount Vernon estate from their elder half-brother Lawrence whom passed away in 1752, following the loss of Lawrence’s daughter Sarah in 1754.
At the conclusion of 1758, Washington resigned their military fee. On January 6, 1759, lower than ten months after their particular preliminary meeting and less than eighteen months after the woman husband’s demise, Martha Dandridge Custis married George Washington at the woman home in New Kent County.
7. Martha stayed at George Washington’s cold weather encampments throughout much of the newest War
After Washington left Mount Vernon in 1775, however maybe not get back once again for over six years. Yearly, throughout the lengthy winter season once the combat was at a standstill, the typical requested Martha to become listed on him at his winter season encampment.
Annually she made the arduous trip to their camp, whether it was at Cambridge, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, Morristown, Newburgh, or somewhere else. She stayed with him for months at any given time. Actually, during period from April 1775 until December 1783 Martha was able to be with her husband for pretty much half the time he was away. The overall regarded his wife’s existence as therefore important to the main cause which he desired reimbursement from Congress on her behalf traveling expenses.