Hear about the groundbreaking new book The Papers of Martha Washington, a scholarly look at all of Martha Washington’s known correspondence that tells the story of the early U.S. from a female perspective.

Flora Fraser, author of the award-winning book The Washingtons, will be joined by Washington scholars to discuss the life of Martha Washington, women’s history, and the importance of this new volume.

Following the lecture, guests will enjoy a reception that includes wine and beer, a book signing with Flora Fraser, and the opportunity to view original letters from Martha Washington.

In-Person Tickets

Virtual Tickets

This annual event was created to share new scholarship and insights into the life and times of Martha Washington and is made possible through a generous grant from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.

Add to Calendar 08/11/2022 19:00:00 08/11/2022 20:00:00 America/New_York 2022 Annual Martha Washington Lecture

Hear about the groundbreaking new book The Papers of Martha Washington, a scholarly look at all of Martha Washington’s known correspondence that tells the story of the early U.S. from a female perspective.

Flora Fraser, author of the award-winning book The Washingtons, will be joined by Washington scholars to discuss the life of Martha Washington, women’s history, and the importance of this new volume.

Following the lecture, guests will enjoy a reception that includes wine and beer, a book signing with Flora Fraser, and the opportunity to view original letters from Martha Washington.

In-Person Tickets

Virtual Tickets

This annual event was created to share new scholarship and insights into the life and times of Martha Washington and is made possible through a generous grant from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.

Ford Orientation Center - Smith Theater George Washington's Mount Vernon tickets@mountvernon.org MM/DD/YYYY 15

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Cost

In-Person
$25
Includes:
• Reception with beer and wine
• Book signing
• Martha Washington letters on view

Virtual
$10
Watch in real-time or after the event

The Papers of Martha Washington

The Papers of Martha Washington is the first scholarly edition of Martha Washington’s correspondence, spanning her entire life, from her youth as a wealthy but largely unknown Virginia plantation mistress through her ascent to becoming an American icon. Her family letters make up most of the volume, bringing to light Martha Washington’s personality in her own words.

As she rose to fame, she began to correspond with such significant figures in American history as Mercy Otis Warren, Abigail Adams, Elizabeth Willing Powel, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Her correspondence paints a picture of social life during the Revolutionary War and the early republic. The dozens of people who sent condolence letters after her husband’s death are a who’s who of key Federalist figures at the turn of the nineteenth century.

For periods from which few materials survive, the editors have selected financial papers and third-party documents that bridge the gaps in the correspondence. Although Martha burned all but four of the letters between her and George Washington, the remaining documents tell a fascinating story about the early United States from a unique female perspective.

This volume offers readers a more three-dimensional, accurate portrait of Martha Washington and enhances our understanding of women’s contributions to early American history.

Aside from correspondence, The Papers of Martha Washington also includes directories of key people and places, timelines, maps, editorial essays, a calendar of financial documents, and appendices documenting everything from the inventory of the contents of Mount Vernon to the division of dower slaves, serving as an invaluable historical tool and a readable introduction to the life of America’s first First Lady.

About the Participants

Flora Fraser is author of Beloved Emma: The Life of Emma, Lady Hamilton; The Unruly Queen: The Life of Queen Caroline; Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III; and Pauline Bonaparte: Venus of Empire. Her book, The Washingtons, won the 2016 George Washington Prize. She is chair of the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography, established in 2003 in affectionate memory of her biographer grandmother. She was awarded Mount Vernon’s 2017 Georgian Papers Fellowship, during which time she worked on her newest book, Flora MacDonald: “Pretty Young Rebel”, which will be released later this year.

 

 

Kathryn Gehred is a Research Editor at the Papers of George Washington and the Center for Digital Editing at the University of Virginia. She holds a B.A. in History from Bowling Green State University and an M.A. in Women's History from Sarah Lawrence College. She was one of the team of editors who completed The Papers of Martha Washington and is currently managing the digital edition of The Papers of Bushrod Washington

 

 

 

Kate Haulman is Associate Professor of History at American University. She is the author of The Politics of Fashion in Eighteenth-Century America, winner of the 2011 Berkshire Prize, co-editor of Making Women’s Histories: Beyond National Perspectives, and has co-curated and consulted on exhibitions at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Her current book, under contract with Oxford University Press, is Monumental Motherhood: Mary Washington and the Founding Past during the Nineteenth Century, which investigates the long afterlife of Mary Ball Washington, George’s mother, in public commemoration.

Contact

Stephen A. McLeod

Director, Library Programs

703.799.8686

smcleod@mountvernon.org

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