KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: The Revolutionary Times of Martha Washington

I saw on the television news about our wondrous so called experts on US Presidents’ First Ladies.  These so-called scholars omit her through past and present listings as being among the ten most influential and useful First Ladies serving their hubbies in memorable ways.  I shall not argue with the list presented.  They have their right to say whom they consider should be on the list of the ten most influential women who served with their husbands.  It grieves me that Martha Washington was omitted many times from mention on these scholarly occasions.

Where would I put her?  At the very top with George!  I point to the excellent biography by Ron Chernow who wrote in length covering a fair portion of the 900+ page historic record of this first couple of our Nation.  She was quietly functioning behind the scenes for a very good reason.  George Washington was heading the Revolt against England and his worry was always the safety of Martha and the children.  And what of Martha’s thoughts?  Her husband was the number one the British wanted to capture.  It was perilous times, my friends!  Despite the threat of losing the war at any time, and the need for her husband to be away with his troops and keeping abreast of his spying operations, especially in the city of New York and New England area, she traveled and lived in Philadelphia and even joined him during the winter crisis facing the troops and nation’s very survival.  Certainly in those many days and nights when Washington often got bad news filtering in, it was the presence of First Lady Martha Washington that most likely kept up the fighting spirit of George.

Not very much is known of all the activities in which Martha was engaged, helping the other wives, perhaps aiding the ill and interceding when even his officers and some members of the Congress were disenchanted with failings of military operations.  She probably was very much aware of what was going on and kept such disheartening news from her husband.  And of course there was the death of two children of Martha’s from a previous marriage which affected her as all family deaths do.  All this, with the war of uncertain conclusion, put on hold for what was recorded as one of the worst winters and freezing cold to hit the east coast.  And Martha was not sitting in some hot tub with servants but by her husband as often as they could be together. Personally, I think without Martha, George would not have proved the great warrior and fighter he was.

I really hope some of these scholars of history read this.  Anybody know some of them because no names were released as far as I know of the bunch who sit in their ivory towers and visit those cafes in chic areas of Washington and elsewhere, sipping their $50 cocktails with plush dinners and have no worries of a British invasion killing them or hanging them from a tree.

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