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Free Landmark Lecture: The Power of Family @ Tudor Place Historic House & Garden
Mar 26 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Children of the Pater Patriae: George Washington’s Step-Grandchildren and the Power of Family, presented by Cassandra Good, Assistant Professor of History, Marymount University

No family better displayed the enduring value of family ancestry in the new republic than the next generation of George Washington’s family. His step-grandchildren, the Custises, may not have shared a last name with the first president, but they readily invoked their family connections as a source of prestige and political legitimacy. Martha Custis Peter and her three siblings all lived and built homes in the DC area, where they positioned themselves as Washington’s heirs. They prominently displayed their Washington lineage with Washington furniture and relics in their houses (and even on their bodies) to bolster their social and political status. Decades into the nineteenth century, they continued to give small gifts of objects associated with Washington to reinforce their membership in the illustrious president’s family. Through these means, Martha and her siblings gained high social standing and access to political leaders. Masking their somewhat aristocratic pretensions behind a screen of affectionate attachment, the Custises paved the way for family to serve as a source of power in America.

Admission is free/pay what you can, with donations welcome. Doors open at 6 p.m., lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.