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Martha Washington’s story, although unparalleled in many ways, provides a well-documented access point to a better understanding of women during the revolutionary and founding eras. Participants will engage in discussions surrounding the complexities of Martha Washington and the women of the 18th-century across race, culture, class, and identity. Participants will also discuss the connection between the founders’ inactions in addressing women's rights at the national level and the status of women in American Society in the 18th-century. 

Join teachers from around the country and engage with material culture, documents, and historical places that uncover the lives of 18th-century women of all backgrounds, as well as their contributions to the founding of the United States. Learn best practices, strategies, and resources to connect Martha Washington and her contemporaries to the broader subject of women’s history.

Past Program Speakers












Lead Scholar - Dr. Laura Ping, Assistant Professor of U.S. History at Bellarmine University in Kentucky and co-author of Catherine Beecher: The Complexity of Gender in Nineteenth-Century America. 

Dr. Kathryn Silva, Chair of the Department of Humanities and Assistant Professor of History at Claflin University, South Carolina.

Dr. Lynn Price Robbins, Assistant Editor for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, co-editor of The Papers of Martha Washington, and Associate Producer and Lead Historical Researcher for an upcoming docuseries about George Washington. 

Dr. David Hildebrand, Freelance performer, author, lecturer, Musicology instructor at the Peabody Conservatory, and former director of The Colonial Music Institute now at the Washington Library. 

Sample Program Schedule

Participant Testimonials

I have long struggled to include all of the stories and now I have the resources to do this well. Also, the power of place is so important and we will tour the grounds and house virtually to help my students get a sense of Mount Vernon and ALL of the humans that lived there.

These ties with sharing stories, looking at history as not static but evolving in our understanding, and bringing GW and those living with and around him to life, are critical to re-shaping students' learning experiences.

Teacher Resources

Looking for ways to teach Women's History and the 18th Century? Click the link to access activity suggestions, infographics, and additional resources.

Teaching Women's History