The Papers of Martha Washington
The Papers of Martha Washington represents the first scholarly edition of Martha Washington’s correspondence.
Published by the Washington Papers, a joint initiative between the University of Virginia and the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the volume contains nearly 400 pieces of correspondence, including 80 previously unpublished letters to or from Mrs. Washington, the four surviving letters and one brief postscript between Martha and George Washington, and more than 170 financial documents. Also included are contextual editorial essays, the inventory of Martha Washington’s possessions at the time of her death, a detailed list of the division of the Custis dower slaves, her last will and testament, family trees, and original maps created by historian and cartographer Rick Britton. Editors also set the record straight by correcting previously misdated letters, improving prior transcriptions, and identifying spurious correspondence and forgeries.
“This edition endeavors to accomplish what few scholars have attempted before,” editors explain, “to extract [Martha Washington] from her role as a secondary character to her husband and place her in the forefront of the historical narrative.”