Saturday, February 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, George!

Since listening to 1776 on audiobooks, we have taken a greater interest in the Father of our country, and this morning while reading our daily fix of "The Writer's Almanac" were reminded again of Washington's love for Sally Fairfax, the beautiful young wife of a Virginia plantation owner. After he became engaged to Martha, he wrote to Sally: "Misconstrue not my meaning, 'tis obvious; doubt it not, nor expose it. The world has no business to know the object of my love, declared in this manner to you when I want to conceal it."  It is probably incorrect to assume, however, that Sally would be crowned Miss Virginia if Martha had been in the competition. I found this very interesting perspective online:

Our image of the mother of our country, vague and insubstantial as it is, is drawn from portraits painted after her death showing a frumpy, dumpy, plump old lady, a fussy jumble of needlework in her lap, wearing what could pass for a shower cap with pink sponge rollers underneath.  But today, 250 years after Martha and George tied the knot, a handful of historians are seeking to revamp the former first lady’s fusty image, using the few surviving records of things she wrote, asking forensic anthropologists to do a computerized age-regression portrait of her in her mid-20s and, perhaps most importantly, displaying for the first time in decades the avant-garde deep purple silk high heels studded with silver sequins that she wore on her wedding day.