~ By Dixie Andelin Forsyth
Practically everyone has heard of George Washington—the first American president and general of the Continental Army. Most have probably also heard of his wife Martha, though not nearly as many understand the important role she played in the American Revolutionary War.
Martha was totally dedicated to her husband. She left her comfortable home at Mount Vernon several times to be with her husband during harsh winter months. Her goal was to bring cheer to her husband who faced nearly insurmountable odds and even conflict with his superiors.
Her presence improved morale throughout the camp when she visited. She never complained when required to live in extremely cramped quarters and her general good cheer was infectious to all.
She worked feverishly to improve morale, creating an atmosphere as close to Mount Vernon as she possibly could. The relaxed environment she inspired brought ease to George’s troubles. Martha encouraged other generals to invite their wives to join her and the ladies put on dinner parties and dances, and worked tirelessly in sewing circles, repairing tattered uniforms and in manufacturing new shirts and stockings. All these things dramatically improved the spirits of the troops.
Many of the women regarded Martha as a celebrity and were astonished that instead of wearing fine clothing at the camp that befitted her social and financial situation, she wore plain and ordinary dresses that fit the austerity the colonies were forced to enduring during the war.
It was clear that George and Martha adored each other. Nathaniel Greene wrote, “Mrs. Washington is excessively fond of the general and he of her; they are happy in each other.”
Life was dismal at Valley Forge for the General Washington, so Martha came to be with him during that cold, difficult winter. They spent an hour every morning at breakfast together and alone. George felt safe to complain to Martha about all his woes. He used her as a sounding board for all the ideas he had to win the war. She could comfort him in that one room where no one could interrupt them.
We can all be our own version of Martha Washington. When we practice the timeless principles in Fascinating Womanhood and learn the art of understanding men and developing our femininity, we have the best chance of having a lifelong romantic marriage and we will truly become together as a couple; and even more, your children, grandchildren, and beyond will remember you with love and honor for generations.