June 2nd, 1731 – Martha Washington
Martha Dandridge came to this world on June 2, 1731, as a member of a prominent family living in the country of New Kent, Virginia. As she learned to write and read at a tender age, she developed an affection for all types of words in literature, magazines, and novels. Her planter class membership allowed her to easily absorb the etiquette and customs to smoothly indulge in the Virginian society.
For her social circle, Martha was an attractive and sincere lady who toyed with the hearts of many. However, Daniel Parke Custis – her neighbor – was the one who won her heart. After marrying on May 15, 1750, the couple gave birth to four children and in 1757, Daniel left this world at 45. Martha became the wealthiest widow in Virginia colony.
George Washington married Martha Dandridge on 6th January 1759 and the couple started their evergreen journey. Martha was loaded with skills of managing plantations and the giant estate left by Daniel and George had gained a noble reputation as he decided to join the House of Burgesses after retiring with a title of a successful war hero.
This unparalleled set of qualities proved to be helpful for them and they developed a deep affection for each other which help them to go through times of both wars and peace with stability.
Martha joined her husband and ventured to far off places like Morristown, Philadelphia, Valley Forge, and Cambridge and supported the disease struck soldiers to make it through the tough times. This was when long-distance journeys were daunting and full of threats.
When George became president, Martha stood by his side both in New York and Philadelphia and turned out to be a role model as the nation’s pioneer “First Lady”. She set a caliber of political and social hospitality while housing various receptions on a weekly basis for guests of all genders. If compared to the Tuesday levees by the President for men only, these receptions were quite frank and informal.
The Washingtons decided to live in Mount Vernon after retiring from Philadelphia. They spent their remaining days there and enjoyed the pleasures of raising Martha’s grandchildren, being warm hosts, and looking after the estates. When George died in 1799, she burned every private correspondence between them which was a norm at that time.
Martha also died on 22nd May 1802 in the same place and left only 3 letters. Martha was responsible enough as the nation’s First Lady as she stayed by her husband’s side in every stage of their life. Be it the American Revolution, George’s presidency, or their retirement life at Mount Vernon, Martha was the perfect First Lady for America and an ideal wife.