Historic Valley Forge

Martha Washington

Q.How did Martha Washington help during the Winter at Valley Forge.
Linda, Los Angeles, Ca

A. Martha Washington arrived at Valley Forge a little before her husband's 45th birthday on a cold February day. She probably organized a small birthday party for him, though even the general was not feasting as food supplies were at an all-time low. The guests were able to enjoy a special concert of fifers and drummers from the 2nd Continental Artillery. Martha conveyed the General's thanks for the musical performance and tipped them 15 shillings. Martha oversaw many of the necessary daily tasks, organizing laundry and cooking within the camp. She and the other officers' wives entertained the troops with theatrical performances, putting on the play Cato by Joseph Addison. Though a civilian of great wealth, Martha adapted well to the spartan life within a military camp, and was noted to have creatively substituted thorns for unnavilable pins on her clothes.