Articles by Alexis Coe

A dress worn by Martha Washington from the collection of the National Museum of American History. The gown's basic style is typical of the early 1780s.

Women Who Shaped History

Why Martha Washington's Life Is So Elusive to Historians

A gown worn by the first First Lady reveals a dimension of her nature that few have been aware of

The Washington Family, painted by Edward Savage in New York City while Washington was the nation's president. The children in the portrait are Martha Custis Washington's grandchildren, to whom George was a father figure.

The Father of the Nation, George Washington Was Also a Doting Dad to His Family

Though he had no biological children, the first president acted as a father figure to Martha's descendants

Washington, who tended to favor surprisingly silly names for his animals—his dogs answered to Sweetlips, Drunkard and Madame Moose—went literal when it came to the mule, who he called Royal Gift.

George Washington Saw a Future for America: Mules

A newly minted celebrity to the world, the future president used his position to procure his preferred beast of burden from the king of Spain

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