George Washington Courts and Proposes Marriage to Martha Dandridge Custis, the future Martha Washington. She was the daughter of the wealthy and influential John Dandridge. She was the widow of Daniel Parke Custis with whom she had four children. Only two of her children survived into her marriage with Washington.
George Washington was introduced to Martha Dandridge Custis by mutual friends that she was visiting when he was home on leave from the French and Indian War. As the prettiest and richest widow in Virginia, Martha was aggressively being pursued by various suitors, including a son of Robert “King” Carter. She and her two young children, however, apparently were immediately taken by the handsome and dashing George Washington who was a militiary hero. Martha had previously been married to the extremely wealthy John Dandridge and, upon his death, had inherited a large fortune and extensive property in Williamsburg and the surrounding area. Visiting Martha only twice at her home before proposing marriage, they became engaged only three weeks after their first meeting. The speed of their courtship was probably at least partially attributable to the fact that Washington had to return to his military command and duties in fighting the French and Indian War.