She imbibed the fine points of etiquette, learned to dance, and mastered the art of horseback riding. Martha Dandridge left behind no diaries or letters from her early years. She never wrote a memoir or autobiography. Martha Dandridge was the eldest child, and oldest daughter, among the eight children born to Frances Jones and John Dandridge. As members of the local gentry in New Kent County, the Dandridges lived a comfortable, though not lavish, life at Chestnut Grove, a two-story frame house situated on the Pamunkey River.
Biography of Martha Washington
Martha Washington Biography :: National First Ladies' Library
He had graduated from Oxford University and in Williamsburg served as minister of Bruton Parish for fourteen years. Two generations later, his great-granddaughter, Martha Dandridge was born on June 2, on a plantation near Williamsburg. She grew up in the Dandridge home, Chestnut Grove. She enjoyed riding horses, gardening, sewing, playing the spinet and dancing. Her father saw that she received a fair education in basic mathematics, reading and writing At the age of eighteen, Martha was married to Daniel Parke Custis. He was wealthy, handsome and twenty years older than her.
First Lady Biography: Martha Washington
Or at least hotter than we thought. Our image of the mother of our country, vague and insubstantial as it is, is drawn from portraits painted after her death showing a frumpy, dumpy, plump old lady, a fussy jumble of needlework in her lap, wearing what could pass for a shower cap with pink sponge rollers underneath. Take that , Sally Fairfax. Contrary to popular opinion, even among some historians, Martha was not fat when she married George. Yes, she liked to read the Bible, but she devoured gothic romance novels, too.
We are closed but will announce our reopening next week. Learn more. Martha Washington served as the nation's first first lady and spent about half of the Revolutionary War at the front. She helped manage and run her husbands' estates.