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fatigue and privation, and our own commissariat was far more abundant than it had been for many weeks. The long mess-table, at which we dined together in the open air, was loaded with substantials that seemed dainties and luxuries to us, who often for days together had gone without food, and at best could secure only a meagre repast. The plantation of The Bower had been long in the possession of the family of Dandridge, one member of which, more than a century ago, was the pretty widow Martha Custis, nee Dandridge, afterwards the wife of George Washington, whose beauty and amiability have been preserved in history and fiction, who was delineated by the pencil of Stuart in one generation, and the pen of Thackeray in another. Nowhere, perhaps, in the wide limits of the State, could one have formed a better idea of the refined manners and profuse hospitable life of dear old Virginia, and before the breaking-out of the war The Bower had rarely been without its guests. The proprieto
background for a group of Federal soldiers. Around this splendid colonial mansion cluster memories of the whole course of American history. It was built by the adopted son of Washington, George Washington Parke Custis, grandson of his wife Martha Custis. On the death of Martha Washington in 1802, he erected this lordly mansion with the front in imitation of the Temple of Theseus at Athens. Within were stored memorials brought from Mount Vernon—pictures, silver-service, and furniture. Here Custis entertained with a lavish hospitality. Lafayette was a guest of honor on his visit to this country. In 1831, in the room to the left of the main hall, the only daughter of the house was married to Lieutenant Robert E. Lee. In 1861 the estate was confiscated and occupied by Federal troops. The family heirlooms were removed, many of them eventually finding their way to the National Museum in Washington and others to their original abiding-place, Mount Vernon. The grounds became a nati
dquarters recalls his advance to fame. He had proceeded with Braddock as aide-de-Camp on the ill-fated expedition ending in the battle of the Monongahela, July 9, 1755. Owing to Washington's conspicuous gallantry in that engagement, he was assigned the duty of reorganizing the provincial troops. During this period his headquarters were in the little stone house by the tree. In the church below, a second period of his life was inaugurated. Here he was married on January 6, 1759, to Mrs. Martha Custis, a young widow with two children. Already a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, he soon came to be recognized as one of the leading men in the colony. Important trusts were frequently laid upon him, and he was often chosen as an arbitrator. The statue at the top of the page, standing in Capitol Square in Richmond, commemorates Washington as leader of the colonial forces in the Revolution. With a few ill-trained and ill-equipped troops he maintained a long struggle against
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Washington, Martha 1732-1781 (search)
Washington, Martha 1732-1781 Wife of George Washington; born in New Kent county, Va., in May, 1732. Her maiden name was Dandridge, and at the age of seventeen years she married Daniel Parke Custis, son of one of the King's council for Mrs. Washington as Martha Custis. Virginia. At his death she was left with two children and a large fortune, and dwelt at his mansion, known as the White House, in New Kent county, until her marriage with Colonel Washington in January, 1759. Soon after their marriage they took up their abode at Mount Vernon, on the Potomac. She was a very beautiful woman, a little below the medium size, elegant in person, her eyes dark and expressive of the most kindly good-nature, her complexion fair, and her whole face beamed with intelligence. Her temper, though quick, was sweet and placable, and her manners were extremely winning. She loved the society of her friends, always dressed with scrupulous regard to the requirements of the best fashions of the
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Washingtoniana. -1857 (search)
irginia as his bride at some time in the near future, but his natural modesty did not allow him to ask the boon of a betrothal. He left the secret with a friend, who kept him informed of everything of importance concerning the rich heiress of Phillipse Manor on Hudson, but delayed to make the proposal of marriage. At length he was informed that he had a rival in Col. Roger Morris, his companion-in-arms under Braddock, who won the fair lady, and the tardy lover married the pretty little Martha Custis three years afterwards. After the capture of Fort Duquesne, Washington took leave of the army at Winchester with the intention of quitting military life. He had been chosen a member of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, and was affianced to the charming widow of Daniel Parke Custis, who was about his own age—twenty-six years. They were wedded at the White House, the residence of the bride, on Jan. 17, 1759. Then Washington took his seat in the Assembly at Williamsburg. At about t
e farther down the Chickahominy Swamp. During the next eight or nine days the advance guards reached these points, May 16, 17, 1862. The First Division of the Sixth Corps, consisting of twelve regiments of infantry, a regiment of cavalry and four batteries, one of which was the First Massachusetts, about the 17th of May was passing Whitehouse, hard by the landing which was to be our depot of supplies until the change of base. Those in the column who were familiar with the story of Martha Custis and Washington's wooing, doubtless looked with interest upon the weatherworn and decaying building; but we fancy that a livelier attraction for the mass of the boys as they moved by in column, presented itself in a unique group of children, perched upon the fence in front of the mansion; the little elves actually had red, curly hair, along with mulatto features and complexion. Here was a strange phase of physical evolution occurring amid the direful revolution of the social system which
ad, equals twenty-five inches cut on the string. Some old carpenters that have long built stairs as well as houses would be glad of information as to this, and why twice the rise, or where twenty-five inches? The above are technical matters. The skeletons and ghosts we will allow to rest and allude only to the assertion that— in the parlor. . . George Washington is said to have done his courting of some fair lady in one of the recessed windows. The tale is that he courted in vain. As history records Washington as having only been in this vicinity at the siege of Boston, and again in 1789, when he visited Colonel and Dr. John Brooks, and as he had married Martha Custis years before, we think this a very unkind thrust against the revered memory of the Father of his Country to be scattered broadcast throughout the land from beneath the shadow of the gilded dome. Instead of technical and romantic myths, let us have attractive and historic truth, taught by narrative and pageant