CHNM and Mount Vernon launch Martha Washington biography site

The Center for History and New Media and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens are proud to announce the launch of a new website chronicling the life of Martha Washington.

Through the generosity of Donald and Nancy DeLaski, Martha Washington: a Life ( examines Martha’s life and relationships by making available documents, historical items, teaching materials, and other resources. A biographical narrative exhibit, written by George Mason University History professor Rosemarie Zagarri, highlights the major milestones of the First Lady’s life as a young woman, bride, mother, First Lady, and widow.

Three teaching modules use Martha’s experiences as a lens through which to examine themes of sociability, slavery, and the Revolutionary War. Each includes a short introductory film, a collection of primary sources, and classroom activities for middle and high school students.

The site also includes a searchable archive which allows visitors to examine more than 450 items and documents related to Martha and her life. The letters, documents, images, and material culture objects in the archive provide users with a glimpse into the world of Virginia’s 18th century planter class.

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Since 1994, the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has used digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. We sponsor more than two dozen digital history projects and offer free tools and resources for historians. Learn More

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