A love story for America

On Jan. 6, 1759, George Washington married a widow named Martha Dandridge Custis. She would become the first first lady.

Martha was in her late teens when she caught the eye of Daniel Parke Custis, one of the most eligible, and wealthy, bachelors in Virginia. He was also 20 years older than she was. Daniel’s father was initially opposed to the marriage because the prospective bride’s family was not as wealthy as he would have liked. However, Martha had been schooled in useful skills, like music, religion, reading and dancing, most beneficial for the wife of a wealthy plantation owner.

After seven years of marriage and four children (two of whom died as toddlers) Daniel died suddenly, leaving 26-year-old Martha a very wealthy widow, with two children. Martha now managed the extensive Custis estate and

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