Martha War, George Washington, Valley Forge discussed on Coast to Coast AM
Fraser's new book is twin biography of the Washington, George and Martha's their marriage what we have given that Martha burn the letters after George's death. So we have glimpses and their pieces and there large reflections of their friends of their correspondence. But Martha war has many admirers, and we have points of view of Martha going off to war, George I ghost Cambridge to take command of what there is of the continental army arising and Martha follows him to Cambridge floor. I like the fact that I didn't anticipate that this very proper and petite woman from new Kent County would go off to to be with the boss Tonia this with those rascals who were causing all the trouble in the north. And then she would follow him to New York and be with the Dutch. And then she would follow him to Philadelphia and be with the Quakers. She was. Remarkably adventurous, given the distances and the troubles. And the weather of those ages was that a discovery to her as well, do we know if she if she thought she was up to this? Or what was it an accident that she found out that she was this bold? I think I think both she and Washington was surprised to discover the she was this bold because she'd been very fistful children's lives when they were young shoot not only to be away from them. And the idea that he would be there Valley Forge that in the hardship of the terrible winter Morris time, I think it was a revelation to both of them. And I think she really glued with tried to be the with him. And I think it was also I I wouldn't say it was a necessity. But he did not come back for the is the Warwick to mount Vernon except for. A few days in seventeen eighty one and. It was for them to be together. It was to go. But I don't think she and dissipated at the beginning of the wall that she would go a tool, but of course, they didn't anticipate the the war would be eight years long. Many people do finish by Christmas. They were they held tables. They would send out invitations. I have the copy this one from Flora's book the this evening, February first the general and MRs Washington present their compliments Colonel Knox and lady and begged the favor of their company. So they were sending out dinner invitations and Martha then becomes what you'd have to say is the proto first lady, she's the generals lady, but she's organizing the senior officers and the junior officers in a court fashion. Absolutely. And there are these young a d. Include act onto Hamilton coast, but many others, and they all these young men, and they effectively good kept. Spirits a kept up by mouth. She's the only woman generally at. Quotas all the way through until the fighting stones. Lucie knocks. We've mentioned Henry Knox. His wife is a moth sticker, but is not always that many of these wives younger and giving birth all looking after children elsewhere, and so more threes keeping up the spirits of Washington, and a few stake keeping this people on the table. I mean, they they host these dinners in lock have been dining rooms, which the God put put up at valley. Forge it's say keep this this. Sodas state if you like and the reason for that I would say it's important for Washington to entertain Nonni members of congress congressional committees members of different members of the states commit to the foreign envoys who come and, of course, it's very important, the the French should come and should see that the Americans all an fighting force and a fighting fools who. They should support. And there are more Phyllis entertainment, given almost late. Medieval tournaments in these fields in New Jersey at headquarters at Middlebrook and bowl. Just to put on a good show for the French the entertainment in consists of taking care and feeding the army, which is always outra outmanned, and always outgunned and doesn't have enough money in his tattered in his volunteer. People are showing up. However, I learned from floor for the first time that the correspondence at the time. We're looking for a rule for women of the patriots. This new idea of being a Republican democrat somebody who wanted to devote themselves to the democracy. This is after the declaration of independence, and one recommendation was that they model themselves after the Roman republic's women. And and that was that was of course, Adams's idea John Adams without Adam. But Martha was completely not ready for that. Did she did she push that away? Or was it just her style? Then everybody had to agree that she was a simple person was not going to be a Roman lady. I think that it was you know, he she left. People like intellectual women mercy Otis Warren Abigail Adams to follow these these these ideas, she remained Virginia matron Virginian matron who was an im-. Consumers hostess, and and someone who was warm who knew how to. Lighten the load lights in the mood. And that's what she's so as always she was the to support. The general as he was pulled in and in the wall. She was always referred to as lady Washington, which was no one quite knew they wanted some title to express the respect for let's go to let's go to Valley Forge because I grew up near valley often camp there for the boy scouts, and we were told stories about Martha and George, and you tell us you give a picture of Martha arriving at Valley Forge especially in the little house a little too floor house that they lived in. And the conditions were severely severely dangerous. Severely dangerous. They were starving. And there was always the danger of pandemic in to the end, and she'd been inoculated from the smallpox earlier when she'd been in Philadelphia, but still that's not enough given typhus and malaria and yellow fever and all the other threats and yet she lives upstairs from this camp where there are hundreds dying every week. It's remarkable that she survived that and the George Washington. To take that risk. Yes. I mean, the the disease as you say Valley Forge not any splits the cry going up, no bread. Souljah because they were stopping they would living on a flower. But but as an it was no money clothes. They were doing God UTM kids without shoes without britches. But as you say, it was the disease, which was frightening and the numbers at Valley Forge, but. Extraordinary. It was the. Disease carried off during the war with the most. Men, and it was extraordinary in the sense the way that as soon as he got into winter quarters every. One of the eight years of war. He sent regardless of the you mentioned Joan earlier, the journeys she would make which through ice and snow and and. And he. Route to family and friends and. Has grandchild might be being born. And she said if the general calls, I must go and go she did she survived. She survived Valley Forge, but that is the midpoint of the war. The conditions. Do not improve the following year. We come into again the army is tattered, and it's bouncing around in the general Philadelphia area and a note here flora because we've gone too quickly. There are many relatives. There are many children being born and dying. Their husbands being carried away wise being carried away Martha is maintaining morning felt like she never was out of black the way it goes the way these many people die around her all the time. And and that loss of her daughter you at that point was deep distress. And we know she's going to lose more ahead of us here in seventy eight. But was she was she significant for George Washington because she was a rock. She didn't die. He he he had nothing else to. Count on from what I can see around him people were being carried off all the time. People being carried out and. And. Knew that the the the strain of at all points. Is com. Writing to always being the servant of congress writing to president pan-caucasus might be the congressional president of the of that year and at all points, even when djing on action, which he knew was absolutely vital for the campaign. Always finished. I am of course, the just congress, and we'll be guided and that was an amazing thing, but he did keeping all meet together while. At all points. That the military was subservient to the civil government and Lhasa. I think was. Just known so long. They had been such a unit together for so long. And and. Some of these new military associates. Henry Sanyo green, others men of enormous talent and became friends. They know on had that bond with him. And no one really understood how confident Washington was in a in a politician, and he would write when all about me sleeping. I li- tossed by indecision, he mishit indecision. And and. Times when when indecision lost him a military position. Let's go. Let's go to.