GW: Kids

Slide 3 — Uncle George

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The Washington Family, probably by Edward Savage, painted between 1789 and 1798

Unfortunately, we don't have many historical documents from George Washington's youth. We do know that he grew up in a family of six children and that his father died when he was just eleven years old.

Nor do we have much information about his marriage. George married Martha Dandridge Custis, a widow, when he was twenty-seven years old. Before she died, Martha burned all of her letters to and from George except for two, which were found much later.

Many people don't realize that the first president did not have any children of his own. Instead, he acted as a father to Martha's children, John and Martha Parke Custis. Later in life, George and Martha raised two of their grandchildren, Eleanor Parke Custis, or "Nelly," and George Washington Parke Custis, called "Washy" by his family.

Luckily, for us, throughout his life, George Washington had a great deal of contact with young people, and left behind plenty of letters. He had many nieces and nephews and wrote to them often. He helped them to get jobs, provided them with money and gave them advice.

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