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Encyclopedia > Martha Washington
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington
Martha Washington

In office
April 30, 1789 – March 4, 1797
Preceded by None
Succeeded by Abigail Adams

Born June 2, 1731(1731-06-02)
Flag of the United States Flag of Virginia Williamsburg, Virginia, U.S.
Died May 22, 1802 (aged 70)
Flag of the United States Flag of Virginia Mount Vernon, Virginia
Spouse Daniel Parke Custis (1749-1757)
George Washington (1759-1799)
Relations John Dandridge and Francis Jones
Children Daniel Custis, Francis, Jacky, Patsy
Occupation First Lady of the United States

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (June 2, 1731May 22, 1802) was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington is considered to be the first First Lady of the United States. During her lifetime, she was simply known as "Lady Washington". Writing by Frank Miller Art by Dave Gibbons Story A young african-american girl from the ghetto struggles against impossible odds in near future, to save the United States wich had broken up into several extremist nations. ... From [1], in the public domain The two-dimensional work of art depicted in this image is in the public domain in the United States and in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years. ... First Lady Laura Bush and former first ladies (from left to right) Rosalynn Carter, Sen. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 63rd day of the year (64th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1797 (MDCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 11-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Abigail Smith Adams (November 11, 1744 – October 28, 1818) was the wife of John Adams, the second President of the United States, and is seen as the first Second Lady of the United States and the second First Lady of the United States though the terms were not coined until... is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 10 Downing Street becomes the official residence of the United Kingdoms Prime Minister when Robert Walpole moves in. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Virginia. ... Location in the Commonwealth of Virginia. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... is the 142nd day of the year (143rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1802 (MDCCCII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Virginia. ... Back of the main house. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Daniel Parke Custis (15 October 1711-8 July 1757) was a wealthy Virginia planter. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... Francis Jones (August 6, 1710 - July 9, 1785) was born in New Kent County, Virginia and married John Dandridge on July 22, 1730 in New Kent County, Virginia. ... John Parke Custis (27 November 1754-5 November 1781) was a Virginia planter and stepson of George Washington. ... First Lady Laura Bush and former first ladies (from left to right) Rosalynn Carter, Sen. ... is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 10 Downing Street becomes the official residence of the United Kingdoms Prime Minister when Robert Walpole moves in. ... is the 142nd day of the year (143rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1802 (MDCCCII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... First Lady Laura Bush and former first ladies (from left to right) Rosalynn Carter, Sen. ...

Contents

Biography

Born on her parents' Chestnut Grove Plant on June 2, 1731 between midnight and 1, Martha ("Patsy") Dandridge was the eldest daughter of Virginia planter John Dandridge (1700–1756) and Francis Jones (1710-1785) [1] [2]. is the 153rd day of the year (154th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Events 10 Downing Street becomes the official residence of the United Kingdoms Prime Minister when Robert Walpole moves in. ... Francis Jones (August 6, 1710 - July 9, 1785) was born in New Kent County, Virginia and married John Dandridge on July 22, 1730 in New Kent County, Virginia. ...


At the age of 18, she married Daniel Parke Custis, a rich bachelor two decades her senior. They lived together at White House Plantation on the south shore of the Pamunkey River, a few miles upriver from Chestnut Grove. She had four children by Custis. A son and a daughter, Daniel (1751-1754) and Frances (1753-1757), died in childhood, but two other children, John (Jacky) Parke Custis (1754-1781) and Martha ("Patsy") Parke Custis (1756-1773) survived to young adulthood. Custis' death in 1757 left Martha a rich widow, with independent control over a dower inheritance for her lifetime and trustee control over the inheritance of her minor children. Daniel Parke Custis (15 October 1711-8 July 1757) was a wealthy Virginia planter. ... ... The Pamunkey River is a tributary of the York River, about 90 mi (145 km) long, in eastern Virginia in the United States. ... John Parke Custis (27 November 1754-5 November 1781) was a Virginia planter and stepson of George Washington. ... 1754 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ...

Martha Dandridge Custis in 1757.
Martha Dandridge Custis in 1757.

Martha D. Custis married Colonel George Washington on January 6, 1759. There is now speculation that Washington was actually in love with the wife of one of his friends (Sally Fairfax) at the time that he and Martha became engaged (scandolus). However, regardless of his feelings before the marriage, it is widely agreed that the partnership was mutually beneficial. Shortly after they were married, he left the colonial arm of the British military due to the British policy denying colonials command opportunities with the regular British army. They lived a prosperous and apparently happy life at Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Martha and George Washington had no children together, but they raised Martha's two surviving children. Martha's daughter, also named Martha, died when she was seventeen of an epileptic seizure and John had to return from college to comfort his mother. John Parke Custis served as an aide to Washington during the siege of Yorktown in 1781. During this service, Jack died, probably of typhus. After his death, the Washingtons raised two of his children, Martha's youngest grandchildren, Eleanor Parke Custis (March 31, 1779 - July 15, 1852), and George Washington Parke Custis (April 30, 1781 - October 10, 1857). They also provided personal and financial support to nieces, nephews and other family members in both the Dandridge and Washington families. Image File history File links Martha_Dandridge_Custis. ... Image File history File links Martha_Dandridge_Custis. ... is the 6th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1759 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Back of the main house. ... For the unrelated disease caused by Salmonella typhi, see Typhoid fever. ... Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis (March 31, 1779 – July 15, 1852), known as Nelly, was the adopted daughter and step-granddaughter of United States President George Washington. ... is the 90th day of the year (91st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1779 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... is the 196th day of the year (197th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1852 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... George Washington Parke Custis George Washington Parke Custis (April 30, 1781 – October 10, 1857), the adopted son (and also stepgrandson) of United States President George Washington, was a nineteenth-century American writer, orator, and agricultural reformer. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... is the 283rd day of the year (284th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


Content to live a private life at Mount Vernon and her homes from the Custis estate, Martha Washington nevertheless followed Washington into the battlefield when he served as Commander in Chief of the American Army. She spent the infamous winter at Valley Forge with the General, and was instrumental in maintaining some level of morale among officers and enlisted troops. She opposed his election as President of the newly formed United States of America, and refused to attend the inauguration (April 30, 1789), but gracefully fulfilled her duties as the official state hostess during their two terms. For the television series, see Commander in Chief (TV series). ... This article is about the American Revolutionary War winter encampment. ... An inauguration is a ceremony of formal investiture whereby an individual assumes an office or position of authority or power. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1789 (MDCCLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ...

Martha Washington and her husband both died at Mount Vernon, with Martha dying on May 22, 1802, slightly over two years after her husband. In 1831, her remains were moved from their original burial site a few hundred feet to a brick tomb that overlooks the Potomac River. 1938 u. ... 1938 u. ... is the 142nd day of the year (143rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1802 (MDCCCII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States (USA). ...


Martha Washington and slavery

Martha Washington was raised in a time when chattel slavery was an economic reality for elite southern white families. She never questioned the ethical and moral foundations of the "southern institution." Under English common law, Martha received the use of and income from one third of Daniel Parke Custis' extensive estate during her lifetime. The estate contained a number of plantations and farms, and many enslaved men, women, and children attached to those holdings. Upon his marriage to Martha, George Washington became the legal manager of the Custis estate, under court oversight. In actuality, estate records indicate Martha Washington continued to make many decisions. Although the Washingtons wielded managerial control and received income from the estate, they could not sell Custis land or slaves, which were entailed to Martha's son, John ("Jacky") Custis. Slave redirects here. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Daniel Parke Custis (15 October 1711-8 July 1757) was a wealthy Virginia planter. ...


Martha Washington was personally upset when her personal lady's maid Oney Judge, a slave girl of the Custis estate, fled the first family's Philadelphia household during President Washington's second term. Oney Judge hid with free black friends in the city, and then traveled to the north. Patricia Brady, in her 2005 biography of Martha Washington, writes: Oney Judge, born in 1773, was a slave at George Washingtons home, Mount Vernon. ...

"Martha felt a responsibility for the unsophisticated girl under her care, especially since her mother and sister were expecting to see her back at Mount Vernon. What she could never understand was that (Oney had)...a simple desire to be free. Ona, as she preferred to call herself, wanted to live where she pleased, do what work she pleased, and learn to read and write . . . Ona Judge professed a great regard for Martha and the way she had been treated, but she couldn't face a future as a slave for herself and her children." (Brady, p. 209)
"Washington's Family" by Edward Savage, painted between 1789 and 1796, shows (from left to right): George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington, Eleanor Parke Custis, Martha, and an enslaved servant, probably William Lee.
"Washington's Family" by Edward Savage, painted between 1789 and 1796, shows (from left to right): George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington, Eleanor Parke Custis, Martha, and an enslaved servant, probably William Lee.

During the Washington family's last week in Philadelphia, their chief cook Hercules also fled slavery, leaving a daughter at Mount Vernon who told a visitor that she was glad her father was free. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1200x877, 176 KB) Family of George Washington, painted by Edward Savage in stages from 1789 to 1796. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1200x877, 176 KB) Family of George Washington, painted by Edward Savage in stages from 1789 to 1796. ... George Washington Parke Custis George Washington Parke Custis (April 30, 1781 – October 10, 1857), the adopted son (and also stepgrandson) of United States President George Washington, was a nineteenth-century American writer, orator, and agricultural reformer. ... Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis (1779-1852), known as Nelly, is the adopted daughter and step-granddaughter of United States President George Washington. ... William Lee, detail from painting below. ...


Historian Henry Wiencek, in his award-winning 2004 book "An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America", citing original documents he discovered in the files of Mount Vernon and the Virginia Historical Society, writes that Martha Washington owned her own mulatto half-sister, a slave named Ann Dandridge, who had a child by Martha's son (and therefore Ann's nephew), John Parke "Jack" Custis. According to Wiencek, this incident was among several that led George Washington to call slavery repugnant, and probably influenced Washington's decision late in life to free all his slaves. Another source on the existence of a slave named Ann Dandridge was Helen Bryan's 2001 "Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty." In this book, which draws upon Wiencek's research, Bryan stated that the "shadow sister" was close to Martha's age and had been with her since they were children. Henry Wiencek is a prominent American historian and editor whose work has encompased the founding fathers, various topics relating to slavery, and the Lego company. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Wiencek writes that previous historians ignored the documentary evidence that this sister existed. In a brief bibliographical note at the end of her book (page 256), Patricia Brady denies the existence of Martha Washington's half sister and asserts that Wiencek and Bryan accepted "family mythology" and "lore." Brady does not offer a review of the documentary evidence discovered by Wiencek in the Virginia Historical Society and in the Washington, D.C., archives where Ann Dandridge's manumission is recorded--Land Records, Liber H., #8, p. 382; Liber R, #17, p. 288. In assessing the documents that have survived on this question, Wiencek notes that Ann Dandridge was omitted from the Custis estate records and the records of slaves at Mt. Vernon. Having studied plantation families for many years, Wiencek observes that family ties between slaves and slave owners were often kept hidden.

An 1878 portrait by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews.
An 1878 portrait by Eliphalet Frazer Andrews.

Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ...

The Custis estate

Some of the estate left by Daniel Parke Custis to his descendants was eventually confiscated from George Washington Parke Custis' son-in-law, Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. The property later became Arlington National Cemetery. In 1882, after many years in the lower courts, the matter of the ownership of Arlington National Cemetery was brought before the United States Supreme Court. The Court affirmed a Circuit Court decision that the property in question rightfully belonged to the Lee family. The United States Congress then appropriated the sum of $150,000 for the purchase of the property from the Lee Family. For other uses, see Robert E. Lee (disambiguation). ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political...


Washington

Mrs. Washington had a row galley named in her honor, the USS Lady Washington. It holds the distinction of being the first U.S. military ship to be named in honor of a woman and for a vessel named while the person was still alive (see also List of U.S. military vessels named after living Americans). It has a number of other distinctions as well, as the first ship named after a (future) First Lady and the only known active vessel in the U.S. Navy named in honor of a woman (as of 2005). Lady Washington was a row-galley in the Continental Navy, named in honor of Martha Washington. ... This list includes vessels that were named in honor of Americans who were alive at the time. ... This article is about the use of the term first lady internationally. ... The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ...


U.S. Postage Stamp

In 1902 Martha Washington became the first American woman to be commemorated by a U.S. postage stamp. It was an 8 cent stamp. In 1923, a second stamp was issued in her honor, a 4 cent. The third Martha Washington 1 1/2 cent stamp was issued in 1938. Year 1902 (MCMII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday [1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Appearance on U.S. Currency

Martha Washington is the only woman whose portrait has appeared on a U.S. currency note. It appeared on the face of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1886 and 1891, and the back of the $1 Silver Certificate of 1896.


First Spouse Coin

The First Spouse Program under the Presidential $1 Coin Act authorizes the United States Mint to issue 1/2 ounce $10 gold coins to honor the first spouses of the United States. Martha Washington's coin was released on June 19, 2007, and sold in just hours. Reverse of Presidential dollar coin The Presidential $1 Coin Program is part of an Act of Congress, Pub. ... Reverse of Presidential dollar coin The Presidential $1 Coin Program is part of an Act of Congress, Pub. ... Seal of the U.S. Mint Denver United States mint building The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce. ... is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

References

  • Brady, Patricia. "Martha Washington: An American Life." Viking/Penguin Group, New York, New York, 2005. ISBN 0-670-03430-4.
  • Wiencek, Henry. "An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America." Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, hardbound edition 2003, paperback edition 2004. ISBN 0-374-52951-5.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Martha Washington


Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ...

Honorary titles
Preceded by
None
First Lady of the United States
1789–1797
Succeeded by
Abigail Adams

  Results from FactBites:
 
Martha Washington (1914 words)
At the age of eighteen, Martha was married to Daniel Parke Custis.
Martha was careful and conscientious in running her home, although she and her husband did not pinch pennies when it came to caring for their home.
Martha and her grandchildren were hailed with fanfare all the way to New York.
Martha Washington - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1243 words)
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (June 2, 1731 – May 22, 1802) was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States, and therefore is seen as the first First Lady of the United States (although that title was not coined until after her death; she was simply known as "Lady Washington").
Martha Washington was raised in a time when chattel slavery was an economic reality for elite southern white families.
Martha Washington was personally upset when her personal lady's maid Oney Judge, a slave girl of the Custis estate, fled the first family's Philadelphia household during President Washington's second term.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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