In these pages, acclaimed historian Flora Fraser unfurls the story of George and Martha, brilliantly narrating the lives of an extraordinarily dedicated, accomplished, and historic couple. When they married in colonial Virginia in 1759, he was an awkward but ambitious young officer, she, a graceful, wealthy young widow. They were devoted to one another, and George was as a father to Martha’s children by her first husband. She endowed Washington with the confidence—and resources—that would aid him when elected commander-in-chief of the Continental army. During the war, Martha resolutely supported her husband, ‘the General,’ joining him every winter in headquarters; she was essential to his well-being and was a redoubtable, vastly admired figure.
After the American victory, George was elected our first president and Martha became an impeccable first First Lady. During his presidency, the two established the tenets and traditions of our highest office. This is the story of a pioneering partnership—and an enthralling narrative of our nation’s emergence onto the world stage.