Martha Washington

Hello everyone, my name is Martha Washington. I was born in New Kent County, Virginia on June 2nd 1731. I have a father and a mother. I am also the eldest of my three brothers and five sisters. I am close to each and every one of them. My siblings and I were home-schooled together in our house at Chestnut Grove. Our servant, Thomas Leonard, was our teacher. Thomas taught me music, sewing, and household management. I then proceeded to learn about plantation management. My favorite subjects to learn about were music and various needlework arts.

Not only that, I was very fond riding horses and dancing. Even though I was homeschooled I was able to have many friends. And as the years passed on, one of those people became more than a friend. When I was eighteen I married a man named Daniel Parke Custis. He managed a plantation that his father owned in New Kent County. Together, Daniel and I lived in a mansion on the Pumunkey River. He was always spoiling me with the finest clothes and gifts imported from England. Daniel and I had four lovely children. Two of which died young.

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Not much long after, Daniel became exceptionally ill and I became a widow at age 26. It was hard for me to grasp the fact that my husband had died but I pulled through with the help of family and friends. When Daniel died I was in charge of the land that he once owned. This land was filled with crops and was therefore called a plantation. Taking care of the plantation wasn’t too easy. I had to write letters to London merchants to keep the business going. In the winter of the next year, I met the man of my dreams in the Virginia Militia.

His name was Colonel George Washington. He was the commander of the First Virginia Regiment in the French and Indian War. George told me that he was fond of my looks. He also said that he loved my personality and charm. So in 1759 I married him. Together, George and I lived at Mount Vernon. At Mount Vernon I was in charge of directing the slaves and servants on what to do. I was also responsible for preparing things, such as meals or household products. My children from my previous marriage enjoyed living at Mount Vernon with George and myself.

Soon after George and I got married he was appointed General of the American Army during the American Revolution. To be there for my husband, I decided to become his caretaker. I then made it my job to retrieve other women as well to become caretakers for the Continental Army. When I was a caretaker I was known as “Lady Washington”. As time passed, my husband George was declared as president. Being his wife, I was fortunate enough to be acknowledged as the First Lady. Being president and First Lady caused us to have to move a few times.

We were able to keep our house at Mount Vernon however there was little time spent in it. I spent eight years of my life being the First Lady. I did not enjoy it too much however I believed that it was my duty to be a respectable First Lady for the sake of the country. Being the First Lady became lonesome sometimes because, as president, George had many restricting rules that he had to obey. I tried to make the best of it though. On Thursdays I would host formal dinners and on Fridays I would host public receptions.

However the Anti-Federalist Party did not accept the idea of my public receptions. But I kept hosting them anyways because I still had multiple people who looked up to me as an American heroine. A heroine is another word for a female leader. Sometimes, people would even send me gifts to show me how much they cared for me. It was truly and honestly very sweet and heart-warming. When my husband George was no longer president I have to say that I was relieved. We were then able to return to Mount Vernon to raise two wonderful grandchildren and live a peaceful, happy life together.

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