Martha Washington

RORY: So, what do you think? [of the Independence Inn]
EMILY: Well, I think it’s very nice.
RORY: Mom’s office is right back there. Oh, and you have to see the dining room. They got the chandeliers from one of Martha Washington’s houses.

Martha Washington, born Martha Dandridge (1731-1802) was the wife of President George Washington, and First Lady of the United States (although the title was not coined until after her death, she is considered to be the first First Lady). The couple married in 1759.

Martha married the politician Daniel Custis in 1750, and after his death in 1757 she inherited his considerable estate, becoming a very wealthy widow while still a relatively young woman. Her houses included The White House, a plantation house in Virginia which was the main family home, and a house in Williamsburg, Virginia, which was later named Six Chimneys. Besides these, she was also left in possession of five plantations.

The White House burned down during the American Civil War, and Six Chimneys fell into disrepair and was eventually torn down. Of the five plantation houses, I can discover nothing, but it seems most likely that the chandeliers either came from one of these, or just possibly, from Six Chimneys; if so, the chandeliers may have been removed around the late 18th century or very early 19th century.

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