Do you all realize what a treasure Martha Washington is? George wouldn’t be the man he was without her aid and comfort. Not to mention her wealth as well, :-). When he married her and got a part of her wealth that certainly gave him even more land and a leg up in society. I got to meet her on my trip to Mt. Vernon recently, on my National Treasure Tour with some homeschool friends, on May 25, 2019. (It was a very special day, as it was my parents’ 56th wedding anniversary day, as well as Carlin Bates wedding to Evan Stewart. So while the Bates were celebrating in Tennessee, with most of the Duggars there, I got to be just a few hundred miles away in Mt. Vernon! Just FYI, I am a fan of the Bates and the Duggars, two super-size families who each have 19 kids.)
Ok, back to Martha. She delighted us with her stories and songs, holding us spellbound for an hour. She even taught some children there how to jig. It was so cute! One thing that is so cool about Mt. Vernon is that since it’s not government-owned, the people there can talk about religion all they want and not get any flak about it. So the woman who gets to reenact Martha Washington told stories about growing up Episcopalian, believing in God and Christ. She had us stand up and sing her favorite hymns with her. One was “Faith of our Fathers,” and the other was “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.” I absolutely loved this!
I loved that she also shared about traditional gender roles. She told the sweetest story from her childhood, about telling her father that she wished that female birds had brighter colors. She said she was embroidering an image of a bird in some fabric as a little girl, and wished that the female birds had fancy plumage like the male birds. So she asked her dad about this. Then her father told her that it was God’s design that the female birds had the duller colors, so they would be protected from being seen and killed. That thought gave her great comfort and was one of the first times she could see the wisdom and grand design of Providence. She said that she enjoyed learning to be a good wife and mother by following her mother’s example and teachings, learning housekeeping, child-tending, and other homemaking arts, in her home while growing up.
George loved her dearly. Truly they had what Ramona Zabriskie calls a “grand marriage” in her Wife for Life book. Up until now, I had always heard that Martha burned all of their letters, but the video below tells us that one letter has survived. How cool!
I do so hope you get to go to Mt. Vernon and meet Martha! You won’t regret it! When you go, get a map and be sure to look at the schedule for the “A Visit with Martha Washington” times, then go see her!