Martha Washington: Remembering America’s 1st First Lady

  • Post category:News / US News

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On Independence Day, Americans rightly honor our Founding Fathers for their courage and sacrifice. George Washington is arguably the most important figure in U.S. history, and his wife, Martha Washington, was a constant support during his career.

Martha Washington didn’t have an easy life. Her first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, died after the couple had been married for just over seven years. They had four children together, all of whom died before Martha Washington did. Her first two children died before age 5. Her third child, John Parke Custis, died in his 20s; her fourth, Martha Parke Custis, died as a teen. 

Her marriage to George Washington in 1759 was joyful, since the “attraction was mutual, powerful, and immediate,” according to Mount Vernon’s historical records. 

But as was the case with her first marriage, life with the man who would become a new nation’s first president likely wasn’t what Martha expected. 

George Washington left Mount Vernon in 1775 to lead the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Though he would not return home to Mount Vernon for six years, Martha traveled to her husband’s encampment each winter to stay with him while fighting was at a standstill. 

When her husband was elected president after the Revolutionary War, Mrs. Washington was not pleased to see her husband again leave home and be drawn back to public life. Despite a likely longing for a quiet life with her husband after years of war and extended separation, she set a powerful precedent for the critical role of the nation’s first lady. 

Martha Washington played a critical role in forming the schedule for official entertaining. Every Friday, she held a reception, giving the president the opportunity to speak with guests in a more private setting.

A portrait of Martha Washington as first lady. (Photo: Stock Montage/Getty Images)

A grandson “remembered that veterans of the Revolutionary War stopped by the executive mansion on an almost daily basis to pay their respects to the Washingtons,” according to Mount Vernon’s historical accounts. “It was Martha Washington who talked with these, gave them something to eat, and sometimes even a small token of remembrance.” 

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Mrs. Washington’s faithfulness to her husband, visiting him during the war and supporting him as president, serves as a beautiful reminder of the sacrifices, large and small, that so many men and women made nearly 250 years ago to form a government that would ensure “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans. 

On today’s edition of the “Problematic Women” podcast, we discuss the legacy of Martha Washington. Also on today’s show, drag queens say they’re “coming for” your children, but parents have something to say about that. Plus, two major Supreme Court cases will be decided as soon as today. We explain why those decisions will affect young people in particular.

Listen to the podcast below:

The post Martha Washington: Remembering America’s 1st First Lady appeared first on The Daily Signal.

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