Choir Notes

George and Martha - A Love Story
From Music and the Spoken Word
Delivered By: Lloyd D. Newell • Program 4352

The love shared between George and Martha Washington continues to inspire one generation after another. George and Martha loved each other not just in times of peace but also through the separation and hardships of war. For 40 years they supported, confided in, and trusted one another. They had each other’s best interests at heart. Both were happier and better in each other’s company. They simply enjoyed being together. Though challenged during difficult times, they remained devoted and true to each other.

When George Washington took command of the Continental Army in 1775, the American War for Independence kept him away from his beloved home at Mount Vernon for more than six years. Every year, when the cold, miserable winter months temporarily suspended the fighting, General Washington asked his wife to visit him at his winter encampment.

And every year Martha came, wherever his camp happened to be that year—from Cambridge to Morristown to Valley Forge. She could have been enjoying the warm comforts of home, but Mount Vernon was hardly as warm without her husband there. She considered home to be wherever George was, and often stayed with him for several months at a time.

Martha was the general’s beloved companion and confidant, but she was there to give more than just companionship. She also organized social activities and cheered up sick and wounded soldiers. A true and valued partner in the cause of freedom, Martha boosted the morale not only of her husband but of the entire camp.

Is there something we can learn from the loving marriage of George and Martha Washington—the way they chose to stay together through difficult times, the way they supported, cherished, and remained dedicated to each other, no matter the circumstances? We will face our own challenges and difficulties, but perhaps if we can think about the tender story of a loyal general and his devoted wife, we can remember and be strengthened by the power of love. 

1 See Rosemarie Zagarri, Martha Washington: A Life, http://www.marthawashington.us/exhibits/show/martha-washington--a-life/the-war-for-independence/front.

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