Martha Dandridge Custis Washington
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington is America’s first First Lady. She set the standard for all subsequent First Ladies, during her 8 years as First Lady!!!
Martha Washington was born in Virginia, on June 2, 1731. Martha grew up as a typical young girl on her father’s plantation. She was only five feet tall and a quiet soft-spoken young woman.
At 19 years old Martha married Daniel Custis. She had four children but only two survived childhood. By the age of 26 she was widowed with two young children.
On January 6, 1759, Martha married Colonel George Washington. Martha spent her day running their large estate, Mount Vernon.
She had the tasks of directing the large staff of slaves and servants, harvesting, preparing and preserving foods and medicines not only for those living at Mount Vernon but also for family and visitors.
During her marriage and especially during the American Revolution Martha spent considerable time tending to her husband and his needs. Taking special care of him and the American troops was an occupation that Martha truly enjoyed.
On April 30,1789, Martha Washington became our first First Lady. She would serve in this position until March 4, 1797 at the age of 57, at which time her and President Washington would retire to Mount Vernon. Martha did not particularly enjoy her days as First Lady but she made sure she did the job well so as was her duty to her country. She was adamant about ensuring in every way she could the dignity of George Washington as a symbol of greatness.
George Washington died in December 14, 1799 leaving Martha widowed again. She may have been without her beloved but she was far from alone. She spent a considerable amount to time welcoming visitors to Mount Vernon such as President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams.
Martha Washington died quietly in her home, Mount Vernon on May 22, 1802 at 70 years old. Martha will always be remembered as Americas first First Lady and her contribution to American is priceless!!!
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