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date: 13 August 2020

Washington, Martha Dandridge Custislocked

(02 June 1731–22 May 1802)
  • Samuel Willard Crompton

Extract

Washington, Martha Dandridge Custis (02 June 1731–22 May 1802), first lady, was born in New Kent County, Virginia, the daughter of John Dandridge and Frances Jones, farmers. She grew up in what has been described as the “second tier” of planters in colonial Virginia, farm owners with respectable holdings but not wealth. Little is known of her childhood and early years. When she married Daniel Parke Custis in 1749, she moved into a much more elevated position in society. Twenty years older than his bride, Custis was one of the wealthiest men in the colony. Martha Dandridge Custis moved to her husband’s estate, called “White House,” on the Pamunkey River. The couple eventually had four children, two of whom died in early childhood....

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