Martha Washington lived a life full of love and sacrifice. She was born as a simple little girl Martha Dandridge to her plantation home in New Kent; she was married at 18 to become Martha Dandridge Custis. Still yet she was widowed at the age of twenty-six with two children and a land of over 17,000 acres to run on her own. Then she met a gentleman by the name of George Washington and Martha became the figure we know today as Martha Dandridge Custis Washington or Martha Washington.
Martha was born on June 2, 1731 on the plantation near Williamsburg in New Kent, Chestnut Grove, to her father0, John Dandridge, and mother, Frances Jones Dandridge. She was the eldest daughter of the family and the spirited one. She enjoyed horseback riding, working in her gardens, sewing, dancing, she came to enjoy cooking, and it was said she had a great love for playing the spinet.
Her father insisted that his children be educated, so he called for a tutor. The Dandridge children had lessons in the mornings before breakfast, Martha always dreaded them, especially spelling. She would much rather be out playing than sitting inside learning how some words were not spelled the same was as they sounded. Although these studies seemed like a waste of time then, later she would find that they would become quite useful.
At the age of fifteen her mother was quite sure that she should learn to act like a lady and practice the etiquette of the day, she had began to help her mother with some of the chores around the house. It was also that same year that she was able to attend her first ball at Williamsburg.
Young Martha Dandridge was extremely excited until she arrived at Williamsburg to find things quite different than what sh...
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... her life. She became very paranoid and just about locked herself in her room. After George's death she moved into a little room with a sloped roof directly above Nelly's. She soon made a will and prepared for her death, but not before she managed to burn all but two of George's letters that he had written her over the years. She was finally certain that their private lives would go no further. We can only speculate that she couldn't bare to burn the other two because they were the ones that touched her the most, one was when they had just become newlyweds and it was the first loving letter he had written her.
Martha Washington died on May 22, 1802 while she was with her granddaughter. She was buried next to her husband in the tomb that he had planned for the family and for him and Martha to be buried at Mount Vernon. They finally got their time alone together.
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