Washington, Martha

Washington, Martha,

1731–1802, wife of George Washington, b. New Kent co., Va. The daughter of John Dandridge and Frances Jones Dandridge, she first married (1749) Daniel Parke Custis. She bore him four children, but the first two died in childhood. Custis himself died in July, 1757, leaving Martha one of the wealthiest women in Virginia. Washington first met her in Mar., 1758, lost no time in proposing, and was just as quickly accepted. They were married in Jan., 1759, and Washington took Martha and her family, John Parke Custis (d. 1781) and Martha Parke Custis (d. 1773), to his Mount VernonMount Vernon,
NE Va., overlooking the Potomac River near Alexandria, S of Washington, D.C.; home of George Washington from 1747 until his death in 1799. The land was patented in 1674, and the house was built in 1743 by Lawrence Washington, George Washington's half-brother.
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 estate. They had no children of their own, but John Parke Custis had four, and after John's death Washington adopted the youngest two, Eleanor Parke Custis and George Washington Parke Custis, whose daughter married Robert E. Lee.

Bibliography

See biographies by A. H. Wharton (1897, repr. 1967), A. C. Desmond (1942), and E. Thane (1960).

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