June 2, 2024

Martha Custis Dandridge Washington

June 2, 1731

Martha Washington

Martha Dandridge Custis Washington – Born June 2, 1731 (Chestnut Grove Plantation, New Kent County, VA); died May 22, 1802 (Mount Vernon, VA)

Martha outlived her four children and her husband. Both Washingtons are buried at Mount Vernon.

White House Years: 1789-1797

○      She is credited with setting the precedent as a welcoming hostess to the president’s home with her weekly levees.

○      She was the first first lady to serve as a surrogate for her husband by attending a funeral when the President was ill.

○      Martha Washington was the first first lady to have a U.S. military ship named in her honor.

○      Martha Washington was the first first lady and American woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp in 1902.


-       “I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy in whatever situation I may be, for I have also learnt from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”

-       “I never go the publick place – indeed I think I am more like a state prisoner than anything else, there is certain bounds set for me which I must not depart from – and as I can not doe as I like I am obstinate and stay home a great deal.”


Printer-Friendly Version