Martha Washington

U.S. First Lady

Born: 2 June 1731
Died: 22 May 1802
Birthplace: New Kent County, Virginia
Best known as:

George Washington's wife and the first U.S. First Lady, 1789-1797

Name at birth: Martha Dandridge

 

Martha Dandridge Custis married  George Washington on 6 January 1759.  Martha Custis was a young and wealthy widow with two children when she married Washington, who was still 30 years away from becoming America's  first president. Martha had been married to Daniel Park Custis, one of Virginia's wealthiest landowners, until he died suddenly in 1757 (Custis was 20 years her senior). As Martha Washington, she raised her son John ("Jack") and daughter Martha ("Patsy") and tended to the family estate at Mt. Vernon while George was away fighting wars. Patsy died in 1773 at the age of 17, and Jack died in 1781 at the age of 26. When George was made the first U.S. president, Martha and two of Jack's children moved with him to the temporary capitals in New York and then Philadelphia, where Martha earned a reputation as a sophisticated hostess. After Washington's two terms as president they retired to Mt. Vernon, where he died in 1799. Martha died less than three years later, at the age of 70.

Extra credit:

George Washington was said to be over 6' 2" tall, and Martha was only about 5' tall and slight... Martha Washington was a little more than eight months older than George.

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