Painstaking research reveals a delightful, intelligent, and passionate woman who shared a life of mutual love and support with the country's foremost founding father.--Patricia Brady-I am a big history buff when it comes to the presidents and first ladies. I embarked on this first ladies series awhile ago, and since then I've discovered C-Span's series on the First Ladies. This has given me a renewed desire to dig even deeper and read numerous books on each first lady.
-I am watching the C-Span profile on each first lady, and then reading books on each of them. I also bought the book on the first ladies which is a companion piece for the C-Span series.
-I have always known a lot about George Washington and very little about Martha. I have been impressed by what I have learned about her and it has greatly increased my respect for her.
-As I read about her, I was struck by how much she loved both of her husbands, and her children, and not just her biological children, but the many children she took on as her own throughout her life.
-She also was very smart and was considered a "great catch" when George married her. She was the perfect woman to be the first "first lady".
-She was born on June 2, 1731 on a plantation near Williamsburg, Virginia. She was the oldest of 9 children and went by Patsy.
-She was 18 when she married Daniel Parke Custis on May 15, 1750. She had 4 children with him: Daniel, Frances, John, and Martha.
-Daniel and Frances died in childhood, and her husband Daniel died in 1757. Martha was a rich widow at age 25 with 2 children.
From the time Martha first gave birth at eighteen or nineteen, she was a really wonderful mother. She doted on her children, her grandchildren, her nieces and nephews. During the war with the young officers, young aides-de-camp, she was more or less like a housemother at a fraternity; she looked after these young men...Forever afterword, the young men of those days remembered her as their foster mother.--Patricia Brady-She married George Washington when they were both 27, and George helped raise her children.
-Her daughter Martha (who also was known as Patsy), had epilepsy and died during a seizure while she was a teenager.
-Her son John (known as Jacky) married and had 4 children. He died during the Revolutionary War from typhus. George and Martha raised 2 of his children after his death, Eleanor and George.
George Washington was the indispensable man to the success of the American Revolution, and Martha Washington was the indispensable woman to him. He could bear all those years away from home, creating a national army, because she spent part of every year with him, no matter how awful the conditions in camp might be.
Their mutual love, confidence, and support helped keep him going in the face of every disappointment, setback, and defeat. Every year she made a home for him, where he could rest and refresh his spirits until it was time to go back in the field another time, for however long it took to win the war. Out of those eight and a half years he spent in command of thMe army, she was with him for nearly five, more than half the war, in stays ranging from three to ten months. Martha was truly the secret weapon of the American Revolution.--Patricia Brady-During the Revolutionary War, George and Martha could not bear to be apart, so Martha always traveled to be with him for several months out of the year.
-During George's two terms as president, Martha was a great example of what a first lady should be like. Abigail Adams was in awe of her.
She talked about how the experience of her life had taught her that 'our happiness or misery depends upon our disposition and not our circumstances.' That is a remarkably wise observation, but it's an observation distilled from a life full of tragedy. She'd lost a husband, she lost all four of her children, she lost countless nieces and nephews, and then she found herself repeatedly uprooted from the life she expected, to follow George either on the battlefield, or on a different kind of battlefield.--Richard Norton Smith-She died on May 22, 1802 at the age of 70.
My Martha Washington Books:
-Martha Dandridge Custis Washington--Charnan Simon
-Lady Washington--Dorothy Clarke Wilson
-Martha Washington--Patricia Brady
-First Ladies: Presidential Historians on the Lives of 45 Iconic American Women--Susan Swain & C-Span
-Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George & Martha Washington--Mary Higgins Clark
-America's First Ladies--Diana Dixon Healy
-First Ladies--Betty Boyd Caroli
-First Ladies of the White House--Nancy J. Skarmeas