By Joseph E. Fields, Martha Washington
Although Martha Washington has been the subject of several popular biographies, her writings, scattered into private hands, archives, and repositories, have never before been collected and published. This book attempts to publish all the known Martha Washington papers from every possible source. Most of her correspondence relates to key periods in her life - her first widowhood, the Revolutionary War, Washington's presidency, and the period after his death. Widowed at the age of twenty-six, her early correspondence was to settle and manage the affairs of her husband's estate, well documenting both legal and commercial affairs. During the revolutionary era, her letters, to friends, family, and acquaintances, are especially revealing for references to military affairs. The largest portion of the letters, written to friends and relatives during the presidential years, shed light on the Washingtons' life at Mount Vernon, New York, and Philadelphia. This book will be valuable to scholars of the Washington era and will interest all who are curious about Martha Washington.