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Martha (Dandridge Custis) Washington


Born Martha Dandridge in New Kent County, Virginia. She had no formal education. Married Daniel Parke Custis in June 1749. He died in 1757 leaving her a wealthy widow. They had four children. Two daughters died in infancy. A son and daughter survived. A greatgranddaughter would marry Robert E. Lee. Martha married George Washington January 6, 1759. She died at

Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Martha Washington appears on paper money:

$1 Silver Certificate, series 1886

$1 Silver Certificate, series 1896 (with George)

$5 Belknap County Bank, New Hampshire

Some early writers speculated that the 1792 Birch pattern cents represented the face of Martha Washington. Others see a resemblance between Martha and early coinage including the 1792 half dime, 1794 half cent, 1793 cent and 1795 $10 gold. No written evidence has been found that Martha posed for the engravers.

In 1965 a legitimate image of Martha appeared on a series of pattern pieces used to test various alloys. The obverse design was by Edward Grove; reverse was by Philip Fowler.

The 1965 Assay Commission Medal shows a group on the reverse including a seated Martha Washington. Martha also appears on the Assay Commission Medals for 1977. This was the year the Assay Commission was abolished by President Carter.

Martha appears on the “First Spuose” $10 gold coin released on June 19, 2007 and the corresponding bronze medal. The obverse was designed and sculpted by Joseph Menna. Reverse was designed by Susan Gamble and sculpted by Don Everhart.

bio: ApCAB; Limpert; NCAB 1; TCBDA; WWWA-H

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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