George Washington’s Mother – Mary Ball Washington

Drawing of George Washington as a young boy with his mother.

Only known painting believed to be of Mary Ball Washington.

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George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington (1709-1789), was the second wife of Augustine Washington after Augustine Washington’s first wife, Jane Butler, died.   Mary Ball Washington was born as Mary Ball in 1708 in Lively, Lancaster County, Virginia.  She was a daughter of Joseph Ball and his second wife, the widow Mary Bennett Johnson.  She had 10 brothers and sisters.  Fatherless at 3 and orphaned at age 12, Mary Ball was placed under the guardianship of her uncle, George Eskridge, a prominent lawyer.  As a young girl, Mary Ball became an excellent horsewoman and was active in Virginia society.  She met her husband Augustine Washington while on a trip to London.  They were married on March 6, 1731.  Together, Mary Ball and Augustine Washington had six children, with George Washington (1732-1799) being the oldest.  George Washington’s brothers and sisters were Betty (1733-1797), Samuel (1734-1781), John Augustine (1736-1787), Charles (1739-1799) and Mildred (1739-1740).  Mary Ball Washington was to live see her son elected as the first President of the United States, with the last time she was to see her son George being at her home in Fredericksburg, VA. right before he headed off to be inaugurated as President in New York City in 1789.  The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA. is named after her.  Before her death, many prominent leaders of the American Revolution would stop in Fredericksburg in order to have the opportunity to meet the mother of General Washington.  The above portrait is believed to a painting of Mary Ball Washington, possibily painted by Robert Edge Pine in 1786.

~ by americanpresidents on March 26, 2010.

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