Did you know that George Washington married an older woman? There are a lot of stereotypes about Martha Washington that have been turned into some interesting facts. These facts, however, are the real deal.
1. She Could Read and Write
Most women during this time period were not literate. Martha’s parents, however, felt that it was important for her to be able to read and write from early childhood. She was very religious throughout most of her life, with some of her favorite reading materials being the Bible and other novels that examined her faith in-depth.
2. Let’s Call It Average
Many talk about how short Martha Washington was, standing about 5 feet tall. In these days, however, the average height of women from Europe was just 5’2”. This means she was right where everyone else happened to be. Her height just came into play because after marrying George, who was over 6 feet tall and a rarity at that time, she seemed quite short in comparison to her husband.
3. George Wasn’t Her First
Martha Washington was married for 7 years to a man named Daniel Custis. She was actually a widow when she met George. Martha would go on to outlive all 4 of her children. Two wouldn’t even reach the age of 5. At this time, only 3 out 5 children in the world would even make it to the age of 20.
4. A Slave Owner
At the age of 26, Martha found herself as a very wealthy widow in the colonies. This made her an attractive commodity to men of equal standing, which included George Washington. She owned more than 17,000 acres of land and had nearly 300 slaves.
5. A Hearty Soul
Much has been said about the winter encampments that George Washington had, especially the winter at Valley Forge. What isn’t always talked about is the fact that Martha often stayed with her husband over the winter during the entire Revolutionary War. Ever the business people, the two even sought to have her traveling expenses compensated by the Continental Congress.
Martha Washington may have the nation’s first ever First Lady, but she was much more than that. She was the better half of the man many consider to be the Founding Father of the United States.