Front View of Thomas House

Ward-Thomas Museum

Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums

Five images of buildings and grounds

Ladies of the White House:

Martha Custis Washington

Ward — Thomas Museum
Home of the Niles Historical Society
503 Brown Street Niles, Ohio 44446

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Martha Custis Washington

Martha Custis Washington
President George Washington
Portrayed by Carmel Rinaldi


Martha Washington missed the first inauguration and the inaugural ball but served as official hostess in the capital in New York and later in Philadelphia. Her aristocratic family training and background enabled her to establish the duties and responsibilities of the newly created position with ease. Her weekly receptions and other state affairs were planned to have an air of dignity but without pomp and ceremony. It was her custom to be seated when receiving guests and this is the way she is represented in the Smithsonian.


Her gown is typical of the late eighteenth century in both design and workmanship. It is salmon-pink brocade patterned with grey and white ribbon chains and emerald-green squares centered with hand painted flowers. The neckline is edged in lace and the triangular shawl and mitts are Mechlin lace. Mrs. Washington always wore a ‘mobcap’ to social affairs. This one is handmade lace gathered with a wide satin ribbon.


View of Gown

View of Gown

View of Gown

View of Gown

View of Gown

View of Gown


View of Bodice

View of Bodice

View of 'Mobcap'

View of 'Mobcap'

Close-up View of 'Mobcap'


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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