Most history books portray Martha as a frumpy old woman. I don’t believe Mrs. Washington would appreciate being remembered that way. In her younger years, she was referred to as “cute” and one of the greatest catches in Virginia. Martha Dandridge was severely scrutinized by her future father in law before he gave permission to his son, Daniel Custis, to marry her. Previous women courted for marriage by Daniel Custis were turned away by his father. Martha had a winning personality full of charm, warmth, and sincerity. She made people feel comfortable with her hospitality. No wonder George became attracted to her after she was widowed with two young children! History is quick to remind us that Martha was rich! She was rich monetarily, but she was “rich” with character as well. Personally, I believe George and Martha were dear friends who cared about each other very much. While George was away fighting the War of Independence from England, Martha would visit him in the winter. Her husband would be away from Mt. Vernon for 6 years! Over those several winters, she would camp out with her husband. The soldiers called her “Lady Washington”. Both Martha and George were private people and desired to keep their relationship private. Many of their letters were burned by Martha after George’s death. Abigail Adams had high praise for Martha. Martha Washington was a beautiful First Lady because not only was she physically appealing, but she was a woman with virtue.
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