True or False?
Mary Washington had a set of false teeth like her son George?
FALSE – Mary did not have a famous set of dentures like her son George.
All of Mary’s children lived to adulthood?
FALSE – Mary and Augustine Washington had six children together, five living to adulthood. Their youngest child, Mildred, born in 1738, died at the age of 16 months and is buried at Ferry Farm.
Mary often traveled to Mount Vernon for extended visits with her son George and his wife Martha?
FALSE – In fact, George dissuaded his mother from living with them in her later years, arguing that Mount Vernon was much too busy with constant travelers and guests for someone such as his dear and aged mother who deserved peace and quiet.
Mary lived in Virginia her whole life?
TRUE – Born and raised on the Northern Neck, Mary moved with her husband throughout their marriage to different family farms located in Westmoreland County, Fairfax County, and then King George County. She lived at Ferry Farm, then called the “Home House”, from 1738 until 1772, when George purchased her a house – the Mary Washington House – in the town of Fredericksburg. She lived there until her death in 1789.
Mary Washington’s Fredericksburg home was almost sold and moved in its entirety to Chicago for The Colombian Exposition of 1893?
TRUE – Plans were made to disassemble the Mary Washington House and rebuild it at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities stepped in and purchased house in 1889. They restored and opened it up to the public.
Mary remarried after her husband Augustine died in 1743?
FALSE – It was commonplace during the Colonial era for women to remarry after the death of a spouse. Mary did not, however, preferring to manage the family properties and raise her five young children herself without committing to another marriage that might have restricted her parental control.
Mary did not live to see her son George become president of the new United States of America?
FALSE – George visited his mother at her home in Fredericksburg on the way to his presidential inauguration in April 1789 in New York City. Mary died later that same year in August at the age of 81.
Mary died of breast cancer?
TRUE – Two doctors treated Mary during the last months of her life in 1789. They could do nothing for her cancer beyond making her comfortable with palliative remedies.
Mary did not know how to read or write?
Mary Ball Washington had a ship named after her?
TRUE – The SS Mary Ball was a “Liberty ship” built during World War II. Liberty ships were a class of mass-produced cargo vessels simple in design, cheap in cost, and constructed in just a few months. Built and launched in 1943 as a tank carrier and aircraft freighter, the SS Mary Ball was eventually sold for scrap in 1972.
Judy Jobrack, Archaeologist