Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty

Front Cover
John Wiley & Sons, Jul 31, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 432 pages
6 Reviews
"A contempary anecdote not only confirms that Martha commanded respect in her own right during her lifetime, but also suggests an awkward truth later historians have preferred to ignore-that without Martha and her fortune, George might never have risen to social, military, and political prominence.Toward the end of his life, George Washington, war hero, retired president, and object of universal fame and veneration, was negotiating to purchase a plot of land in the new capital city, to be named in his honor. The seller, an aged veteran of the Revolution, was reluctant to part with the plot, even to so distinguished a purchaser. Washington persisted until the veteran's patience snapped: 'You think people take every grist that comes from you as the pure grain. What would you have been if you hadn't married the Widow Custis!' "
-from the Introduction to
Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty

From the glittering social life of Virginia's wealthiest plantations to the rigors of winter camps during the American Revolution, Martha Washington was a central figure in some of the most important events in American history. Her story is a saga of social conflict, forbidden love affairs, ambiguous wills, mysterious death, heartbreaking loss, and personal and political triumph. Every detail is brought to vivid life in this engaging and astonishing biography of one of the best known, least understood figures in early American life.
  

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Review: Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty

User Review  - Jill - Goodreads

On a visit to Mt Vernon this book was suggested to me. I very much enjoyed learning about Mrs Washington. The author transported me back to an important time in American history. Her details gave me a vivid portrait of Martha Washington and all she came in contact with. Read full review

Review: Martha Washington: First Lady of Liberty

User Review  - Laura Lee - Goodreads

Read like a novel. Enjoyed it very much. Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
1 TwentyFive Miles as the Crow Flies from Williamsburg
15
2 John Dandridges Daughter
38
3 A Young Matron and Her Family
53
4 The Widow Custis
74
5 George Washington His Family and Friends
90
6 A Twelfth Night Wedding
116
7 Halcyon Days
129
16 A Long Time Going Home
256
17 Under Their Own Vine and Fig Tree
265
18 The General Is Gone to New York
284
19 A State Prisoner
297
20 Philadelphia
310
21 Duty and Inclination
324
22 Transitions
336
23 Once More Under Our Own Vine and Fig Tree
350

8 Uneasy Times
146
9 Sudden Changes and Milestones
163
10 Mrs Washington a Warm Loyalist
183
11 I Doe My Dear Sister Most Religiously Wish Thare Was an End to the Matter
194
12 General Washingtons Lady an Example of Persistent Industry
211
13 A Dreary Kind of Place
223
14 Middlebrook and Morristown
234
15 We Look Upon the Americans as Already at Our Feet
244
24 No More Trials to Pass Through
367
Epilogue
382
A Culinary Lagniappe Recipes from Martha Washingtons Books of Cookery and Booke of Sweetmeats
388
Notes
391
Bibliography
403
Index
408
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

HELEN BRYAN was born and has spent much of her life in Virginia; she traces her ancestry to the Revolutionary period, when Martha Washington lived there. She is currently a barrister in London and a member of the Inner Temple.

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