Established in 1968 at the University of Virginia, The Washington Papers is working to publish comprehensive letterpress and digital editions of the Washington family's correspondence.

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"Cents and Sensibility":* Martha Washington's Financial Papers

by Alicia K. Anderson, Assistant Editor

If it were not for Martha's handwritten statement of medical costs for the summer of 1757, we would know little about the state of her household leading up to and immediately following her first husband's death. Financial papers—that general term for documents such as bills and pay orders, receipts and receipted bills, invoices and inventories, statements of account, bills of lading and exchange, accounts of sales, memoranda, and estate settlement papers—are rich with detailed information. Almost one-third of the 600 Martha Washington documents that The Washington Family Papers project has assembled since its inception in 2015 are financial in nature, whether authored by, addressed to, or written about her.

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Major funding for the Washington Papers is provided by the Packard Humanities Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, as well as by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, the University of Virginia and the Florence Gould Foundation.