By Katherine Amelia Siobhan Sibley
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Additional info for A companion to first ladies
Lengel, 15–31. Oxford: Wiley Blakwell. Gould, L. L. 1996. American First Ladies: Their Lives and Their Legacy. New York: Garland. Randall, W. S. 1997. George Washington: A Life. New York: Henry Holt. Watson, Robert, P. 2002. ” In American First Ladies, edited by R. P. Watson, 9–18. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press. Watson, R. P. 2000a. The Presidents’ Wives: Reassessing the Office of First Lady. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner. Watson, R. P. 2000b. ” Organi zation of American Historians’ Magazine of History 14 (2): 54–57.
Not only was it some what closer to Mount Vernon, but she had several good friends in the city, including the mayor and his wife. The remainder of her husband’s time in office was thus made far more pleasant. Her life in Philadelphia was also made more bearable by the nine enslaved African servants in their house hold, as well as by a number of German indentured servants who replaced some of the slaves, in keeping with norms in the abolitionist Quaker city. This was a tricky issue for the Washingtons, since Philadelphia required slaves to be freed after six months of residence, and Martha was compelled to keep theirs moving back and forth to Mount Vernon to avoid the mandatory manumission.
She was not pleased, as she wanted him buried at the estate where they had spent their lives together. She painfully understood that they both belonged to the public. Happily, her wishes were ultimately honored and both George and Martha Washington were placed to rest at Mount Vernon. The Washingtons were the first in what would become a long line of influential and active presidential couples. Although Mrs. Washington was a private person who longed for a quiet home life with her family, the demands of public life continually tested her sense of duty.
A companion to first ladies by Katherine Amelia Siobhan Sibley