The man who would one day lead an insurrection against the British in the New World was George Washington. By the late 1750s, George Washington was the leader of Virginia's provincial army. He had made a name for himself in the New World, fighting local indigenous populations and the French in the Western Territories. Tall and confident, Colonel George Washington was a desirable bachelor who was comfortable in aristocratic social circles. So, when Daniel Parke Custis died suddenly, his widow, Martha Custis, became one of the New World's wealthiest women.
Martha Custis would have wanted to find a new husband as quickly as possible. This was the custom and practice of the day as life expectancy and risk of dying from diseases were common. She was only 26 with two children when her first husband died. Daniel Custis was wealthy and twenty years older than his young wife. When he died, his widow took over his estate of more than 3,500 acres across several plantations.
By all accounts, George Washington and Martha Custis had a short courtship, probably about a year or so, as Colonel Washington had military duties and she was a mother. Washington recorded in his ledger that he had visited Martha's plantation in New Kent County, Virginia, in 1758. On January 6, 1759, George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis at the White House, the provisional capital of New Kent County. Martha Washington brought her two children with them as they settled into life at Colonel Washington's Mount Vernon. They didn't have any children, but Colonel Washington would bond with her kids as if they were his.