Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Martha Washington

File:Martha Dandridge Custis.jpgSince Presidents Day is this month, did you know that Martha Washington, our country’s first “First Lady,” was widowed before she married George Washington? Her life was marked by extreme privilege and pain but she shines through as an industrious and humble woman who valued the important things in life. She attended the Anglican church, and seems to have been a woman who read Scripture and prayed.

Here’s a brief timeline of her life:
Born: June 2, 1731
Married Daniel Parke Custis when she was 18.
In 1757 Daniel died after eight years of marriage.
At only age 26, Martha had lost her husband and two babies who died shortly after birth. She was left with two other young children to raise, plus inheriting Daniel’s estate and becoming the wealthiest widow in Virginia. (Imagine eight years of marriage, four childbirths, too--by age 26!)

Two years later, in 1759 she married George Washington (and the rest is history, right?)

In 1797 the Washingtons moved to Mt. Vernon. Martha and George never had children of their own, but George adopted her children, Patsy and Jack. Unfortunately, both Patsy and Jack died during Martha’s lifetime. Jack’s children were cared for at Mt. Vernon.

In 1799 George died. He and Martha had been married about 40 years.
In 1802 Martha died, age 70.

Here are a couple quotes from the White House website about her character and personality:

About her service as First Lady . . .
“Martha's warm hospitality made her guests feel welcome and put strangers at ease. She took little satisfaction in " formal compliments and empty ceremonies" and declared that "I am fond of only what comes from the heart." Abigail Adams, who sat at her right during parties and receptions, praised her as "one of those unassuming characters which create Love and Esteem."

Martha herself said . . .
"I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances."

She was quite a lady, wasn't she?


  1. I found you through Cindy Cain. I, too, am a widow, twice. My precious James died 2 days after Cindy's husband Mark, after Christmas a little over a year ago.

    Brenda Coffee

  2. Dear Brenda, O my goodness, I can't imagine being widowed twice. How my heart goes out to you. But I love the 'small world' coincidences and am glad you and Cindy can know and support each other. And I hope we can become good blogging buddies. Blessings on you.


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