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Mary Ball Washington
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Celebrity's Relative
    (November 30, 1708-August 26, 1789)
    Born in Lively, Lancaster County, Virginia
    Birth name was Mary Ball
    Second wife to planter, Augustine Washington
    Mother of George Washington, the first President of the United States, the eldest of five
    Subject of the Mary Washington Monument on Washington Avenue in Fredericksburg, Virginia
    Namesake for University of Mary Washington (formerly Mary Washington College)
    She owned slaves.
    She was described as headstrong and extremely stubborn.
    Her nicknames include 'the First Mother,' 'the Grandmother of America,' and 'the Belle of Epping Forest.'
    She is revered as 'George Washington's mother,' but she openly opposed her son's revolutionary activities/politics and was an avowed loyalist.
    She petitioned the Virginia government claiming to be destitute, but she was far from poor, mainly due to her son's success in the Continental Army.
    Her memorial at Meditation Rock in Fredericksburg remained unfinished for over a century, until a local women's group pushed for its completion.
    Wilford Woodruff claimed that she was one of the 'Eminent Women' spirits who allegedly visited him in a vision at the Saint George Temple (1877).
    She was a widowed single-mother of five who refused to remarry during a time when that was virtually unheard of.
    She evidently did alright by her kids as a single parent, as her eldest son became President.
    She managed a 600-acre farm more or less by herself (until her sons came of age).
    She refused to allow George to join the Royal British Navy (turned out to be a good call).
    She lived to be an octogenarian when the life expectancy for women was the age of forty.
    Marquis de Lafayette was a frequent visitor of hers, at the Fredericksburg estate her son purchased for her.
    Her neighbors described her as down-to-earth and unpretentious.
    There is no historical record of her ever feuding with her daughter-in-law (quite the specimen, here).
    Her house was almost sold to the Chicago Columbia Exposition but was saved by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, at the last minute, and was made a historical landmark (marking one of the first victories for historical preservationists).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


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