American Women!
A Celebration of Our History
April 22 -- October 29, 2000

The Mother of Our Country


"I think I am more like a state prisoner than anything else."



At the age of 18, Martha Dandridge became the bride of Daniel Parke Custis, a wealthy planter with an estate called "White House." They had four children, two of whom died in early childhood.

With the death of Daniel Custis, Martha became the most eligible widow in Virginia Colony at the age of 26, and she soon caught the eye of Colonel George Washington. After two years of courtship, they married in 1759. When her husband accepted the post of Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolution, Martha provided moral support to her husband and joined him in his winter camps.

With her husband's election as the first President of the United States, Martha was called on to serve as the new nation's hostess. She took on the role of "first lady" with grace and style, but was quite pleased to return to Mount Vernon in 1797.




Historic Artifacts:

MOURNING VEIL worn by Martha after the death of George Washington
SPECTACLES of Martha Washington
FAN used by Martha
-- On loan from Evan Lattimer, Kansas City MO

CUP and SAUCER, reproduction of the Washington presidential china.
-- From the Museum Shop in the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, West Branch IA

POSTER of George Washington and his family
-- Purchased from

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