The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Washington, Mary

WASHINGTON, Mary, American woman, mother of George Washington: b. Lancaster County, Va., 1706; d. near Fredericksburg, Va., 25 Aug. 1789. She was the youngest daughter of Joseph Ball, and was educated chiefly by parish ministers. No authentic portrait of her exists, but she was beautiful and popular socially, and developed into a woman of remarkable force of character. She was married to Augustine Washington, 6 March 1730, Washington's first wife having died in 1728. They settled in Westmoreland County where their first child, George, was born 22 Feb. 1732. Later they removed to another farm owned by Washington on the Rappahannock River, near Fredericksburg. Three other children were born of the marriage, John Augustine, Charles and Mildred. Mrs. Washington was widowed 12 April 1743, and became the sole guardian of her children. She managed her business affairs with marked success and reared her children in simple piety and under strict discipline, stamping her high principles indelibly upon them. She continued her customary habit of life after her son George rose to the height of fame, personally managed her farm, and rarely appeared at public functions. She attended, however, with General Washington, the ball at Fredericksburg, given in honor of Cornwallis's surrender. Washington rode from her house to his inauguration as President, a few months before her death. Consult Conkling, M. C., ‘Memoirs of the Mother and Wife of Washington’ (1851); Lossing, B. J., ‘Mary and Martha’ (1887).