IntroductionWhen it comes to famous American Revolutionary War women there is none more famous than Martha Washington. She came from a wealthy family and married into even more wealth during her first marriage. When she married for the second time to George Washington, she was one of the wealthiest women in Virginia. The saying "behind every great man is a great woman," is especially true in the case of Martha Washington. She went on to become not only the first lady of the United States but also a female heroine of the Revolutionary War for what she did to help both her husband and the soldiers. The below list of facts will provide you with interesting information including where she was born, how many kids she had, and how many she tragically lost, and why colonial soldiers referred to her as "Lady Washington".
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Martha Washington - Early Life
- She was born to John and Francis Dandridge in New Kent County, Virginia on Chestnut Grove Plantation on June 2, 1731.
- Martha Washington was the eldest of nine children including five sisters and three brothers.
- Some of Martha Washington's favorite childhood activities included dancing, riding horses, tree climbing, sewing and playing the spinet. She later enjoyed reading and writing, which many women of her time did not learn to do.
- She received an informal education at home with various teachings on household activities from her mother as well as private tutoring. Because of her extensive knowledge about plantations, it is likely that the family's indentured servant taught her how to run and manage a plantation.
Martha Washington - Revolutionary War Heroine Facts
- In 1780, after a particularly harsh winter in the midst of the Revolutionary War, Martha Washington called on women of the colonies to help the Continental Army's soldiers through monetary contributions and supply donations.
- Martha Washington was such a loyal and devoted wife to her husband that she stayed by his side year after year at the winter encampments during the Revolutionary War. The caretaking and moral boosting she gave to George Washington was so important to him that he requested all her travel expenses be reimbursed by the government.
- She helped organize a huge donation campaign known as "the offering of the Ladies" which mostly went towards clothing for the colonial soldiers. She personally donated $20,000 dollars, a huge sum for that day, of her own money.
- It was during her time spent at Valley Forge that the soldiers came to truly appreciate Martha Washington for all her efforts. She encouraged them, sewed warm socks and clothing for them, gave them food and nursed the sick and dying. For these actions, servicemen tagged her with the endearing nickname "Lady Washington."
Interesting Martha Washington Facts
- At the age of 19 years old, Martha Washington married Daniel Parke Custis, the son of a wealthy plantation owner.
- Eighteen months after the death of her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, Martha Washington married George Washington.
- Four children were born to Martha and Daniel Parke Custis, but tragically Martha out-lived all of them and her first two children died before reaching age five.
- In 1789 Martha Washington became the nation's first, first lady when George Washington became President. She is therefore known as the first first lady of the United States.
- Martha Washington died on May 22, 1802. To this day, her remains lie near her husbands in a marble sarcophagus at Mount Vernon.