What was martha washington religious background

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These ties can be seen in Washington's faithful pattern of church attendance. One of his pastors said of him that "I never knew so constant an attendant at church as Washington. Although he was actively involved in church, eyewitness accounts indicate that George Washington rarely took communion, a spiritual ritual reserved for believing Christians.

Perhaps Washington did not personally view himself as a true Christian, for perhaps he did not embrace every major tenet of Christian doctrine. This idea is further supported by the fact that Washington never referred to God as "Jesus" or "Christ" in any of his private correspondence.

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Instead, he would use words such as "Providence. Deists believe in an all-powerful being who designed the world and directs the affairs of people, and who can be learned about by humans through reason and logical analysis of the world and its natural laws. The repeated allusions to "Providence" by Washington in both public addresses and private letters means that George Washington had to have held at least some of the doctrinal beliefs of the Deists.

Additionally, Washington was an active humanitarian. Bettering society is another basic tenet of Deism.

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Nonetheless, others argue that Washington was a "theistic rationalist. Unfortunately, tragedy struck, and both John and Patsy died early by John left behind his widow and four young children ranging in age from infancy to six years old. Nelly was ten years old when Washington was called to the Presidency, and she grew to maturity during his two terms.

During that time, she traveled with Washington and walked amidst the great foreign and domestic names of the day.

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She served as a gracious hostess and entertained the frequent guests to Mount Vernon who visited the former President. Of that specific letter, Jared Sparks explained:. The testimony it affords, and the hints it contains respecting the domestic habits of Washington, are interesting and valuable. I received your favor of the 20th instant last evening, and hasten to give you the information, which you desire. Fairfax Parish is now Alexandria. He was very instrumental in establishing Pohick Church, and I believe subscribed [supported and contributed to] largely.

His pew was near the pulpit. I have a perfect recollection of being there, before his election to the presidency, with him and my grandmother…. He attended the church at Alexandria when the weather and roads permitted a ride of ten miles [a one-way journey of hours by horse or carriage]. In New York and Philadelphia he never omitted attendance at church in the morning, unless detained by indisposition [sickness].

The afternoon was spent in his own room at home; the evening with his family, and without company.

Sometimes an old and intimate friend called to see us for an hour or two; but visiting and visitors were prohibited for that day [Sunday]. No one in church attended to the services with more reverential respect. My grandmother, who was eminently pious, never deviated from her early habits. She always knelt. The General, as was then the custom, stood during the devotional parts of the service. On communion Sundays, he left the church with me, after the blessing, and returned home, and we sent the carriage back for my grandmother.

He always rose before the sun and remained in his library until called to breakfast.


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I never witnessed his private devotions. I never inquired about them. I should have thought it the greatest heresy to doubt his firm belief in Christianity. His life, his writings, prove that he was a Christian. He communed with his God in secret [ Matthew ]. I have heard her say that General Washington always received the sacrament with my grandmother before the revolution. He was a silent, thoughtful man. He spoke little generally; never of himself. I never heard him relate a single act of his life during the war. I have often seen him perfectly abstracted, his lips moving, but no sound was perceptible.

The Washington Image in American Culture

I have sometimes made him laugh most heartily from sympathy with my joyous and extravagant spirits. I was, probably, one of the last persons on Earth to whom he would have addressed serious conversation, particularly when he knew that I had the most perfect model of female excellence [Martha Washington] ever with me as my monitress, who acted the part of a tender and devoted parent, loving me as only a mother can love, and never extenuating [tolerating] or approving in me what she disapproved of others.

She never omitted her private devotions, or her public duties; and she and her husband were so perfectly united and happy that he must have been a Christian. She had no doubts, no fears for him. After forty years of devoted affection and uninterrupted happiness, she resigned him without a murmur into the arms of his Savior and his God, with the assured hope of his eternal felicity [intense happiness].

Certainly, no one questions his patriotism; so is it not rather ridiculous to question his Christianity?

The Alleged Amorous Affairs of Washington - Journal of the American Revolution

Robert Lewis, at Fredricksburg, in the year Being a nephew of Washington, and his private secretary during the first part of his presidency, Mr. Lewis lived with him on terms of intimacy, and had the best opportunity for observing his habits. Lewis said that he had accidentally witnessed his private devotions in his library both morning and evening; that on those occasions he had seen him in a kneeling posture with a Bible open before him, and that he believed such to have been his daily practice.