A domestic worker, domestic helper, domestic servant, manservant or menial, is a person who works within the employer's household. Domestic helpers perform a variety of household services for an individual or a family, from providing care for children and elderly dependents to housekeeping, including cleaning and household maintenance. Other responsibilities may include cooking and ironing, shopping for food and other household errands; such work has always needed to be done but before the Industrial Revolution and the advent of labour saving devices, it was physically much harder. Some domestic helpers live within their employer's household. In some cases, the contribution and skill of servants whose work encompassed complex management tasks in large households have been valued. However, for the most part, domestic work, while necessary, is undervalued. Although legislation protecting domestic workers is in place in many countries, it is not extensively enforced. In many jurisdictions, domestic work is poorly regulated and domestic workers are subject to serious abuses, including slavery.
Servant is an older English word for "domestic worker", though not all servants worked inside the home. Domestic service, or the employment of people for wages in their employer's residence, was sometimes called "service" and has been part of a hierarchical system. In Britain a developed system of domestic service peaked towards the close of the Victorian era reaching its most complicated and rigidly structured state during the Edwardian period, which reflected the limited social mobility before World War I; the United Kingdom's Master and Servant Act 1823 was the first of its kind. The Act influenced the creation of domestic service laws in other nations, although legislation tended to favour employers. However, before the passing of such Acts servants, workers in general, had no protection in law; the only real advantage that domestic service provided was the provision of meals and sometimes clothes, in addition to a modest wage. Service was an apprentice system with room for advancement through the ranks.
The conditions faced by domestic workers have varied throughout history and in the contemporary world. In the course of twentieth-century movements for labour rights, women's rights and immigrant rights, the conditions faced by domestic workers and the problems specific to their class of employment have come to the fore. In 2011, the International Labour Organization adopted the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers. At its 301st Session, the International Labour Organization Governing Body agreed to place an item on decent work for domestic workers on the agenda of the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference with a view to the setting of labour standards. In July 2011, at the annual International Labour Conference, held by the ILO, conference delegates adopted the Convention on Domestic Workers by a vote of 396 to 16, with 63 abstentions; the Convention recognized domestic workers as workers with the same rights as other workers. On 26 April 2012, Uruguay was the first country to ratify the convention.
Many domestic workers are live-in domestics. Though they have their own quarters, their accommodations are not as comfortable as those reserved for the family members. In some cases, they sleep in the kitchen or small rooms, such as a box room, sometimes located in the basement or attic. Domestic workers may live in their own home, though more they are "live-in" domestics, meaning that they receive their room and board as part of their salaries. In some countries, because of the large gap between urban and rural incomes, the lack of employment opportunities in the countryside an ordinary middle class urban family can afford to employ a full-time live-in servant; the majority of domestic workers in China, Mexico and other populous developing countries, are people from the rural areas who are employed by urban families. Employers may require their domestic workers to wear a uniform, livery or other "domestic workers' clothes" when in their employers' residence; the uniform is simple, though aristocratic employers sometimes provided elaborate decorative liveries for use on formal occasions.
Female servants wore long, dark-coloured dresses or black skirts with white belts and white blouses, black shoes, male servants and butlers would wear something from a simple suit, or a white dress shirt with tie, knickers. In traditional portrayals, the attire of domestic workers was more formal and conservative than that of those whom they serve. For example, in films of the early 20th century, a butler might appear in a tailcoat, while male family members and guests appeared in lounge suits or sports jackets and trousers depending on the occasion. In portrayals, the employer and guests might wear casual slacks or jeans, while a male domestic worker wore a jacket and tie or a white dress shirt with black trousers, necktie or bowtie, maybe waistcoat, or a female domestic worker either a blouse and skirt or a uniform. On 30 March 2009, Peru adopted a law banning employers from requiring domestic workers to wear uniform at public places. However, it's not explained. Chile adopted a similar law in 2014 banning employers to require domestic workers to wear uniform at public places.
In the United States, slavery ended in 1865, the Freedmen’s Bureau informed the former slaves now classified as fr
Slavery in the United States
Slavery in the United States was the legal institution of human chattel enslavement of Africans and African Americans, that existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Slavery had been practiced in British America from early colonial days, was legal in all Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, it lasted in about half the states until 1865, when it was prohibited nationally by the Thirteenth Amendment. As an economic system, slavery was replaced by sharecropping. By the time of the American Revolution, the status of slave had been institutionalized as a racial caste associated with African ancestry; when the United States Constitution was ratified in 1789, a small number of free people of color were among the voting citizens. During and following the Revolutionary War, abolitionist laws were passed in most Northern states and a movement developed to abolish slavery. Northern states depended on free labor and all had abolished slavery by 1805.
The rapid expansion of the cotton industry in the Deep South after the invention of the cotton gin increased demand for slave labor to pick cotton when it all ripened at once, the Southern states continued as slave societies. Those states attempted to extend slavery into the new Western territories to keep their share of political power in the nation. Southern leaders wanted to annex Cuba as a slave territory; the United States became polarized over the issue of slavery, split into slave and free states, in effect divided by the Mason–Dixon line which delineated Pennsylvania from Maryland and Delaware. During the Jefferson administration, Congress prohibited the importation of slaves, effective 1808, although smuggling via Spanish Florida was not unusual. Domestic slave trading, continued at a rapid pace, driven by labor demands from the development of cotton plantations in the Deep South. More than one million slaves were sold from the Upper South, which had a surplus of labor, taken to the Deep South in a forced migration, splitting up many families.
New communities of African-American culture were developed in the Deep South, the total slave population in the South reached 4 million before liberation. As the West was developed for settlement, the Southern state governments wanted to keep a balance between the number of slave and free states to maintain a political balance of power in Congress; the new territories acquired from Britain and Mexico were the subject of major political compromises. By 1850, the newly rich cotton-growing South was threatening to secede from the Union, tensions continued to rise. Many white Southern Christians, including church ministers, attempted to justify their support for slavery as modified by Christian paternalism; the largest denominations—the Baptist and Presbyterian churches—split over the slavery issue into regional organizations of the North and South. When Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election on a platform of halting the expansion of slavery, seven states broke away to form the Confederacy; the first six states to secede held the greatest number of slaves in the South.
Shortly after, the Civil War began. Four additional slave states seceded after Lincoln requested arms in order to make a retaliatory strike. Due to Union measures such as the Confiscation Acts and Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the war ended slavery before ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865 formally ended the legal institution throughout the United States. Africans first came to the New World with Christopher Columbus in 1492. Juan Las Canaries was a crewman on the Santa Maria. Not much longer after, the first enslavement occurred in what would be the United States. In 1508, Ponce de Leon established the first settlement near present-day San Juan and began enslaving the indigenous Tainos. In 1513, to supplement the dwindling Tainos population, the first African slaves were imported to Puerto Rico; the first African slaves within the continental United States arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. On August 28, 1565, St. Augustine, Florida was founded by the Spanish conquistador Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles and he brought three African slaves with him. During the 16th and 17th centuries, St. Augustine was the hub of the slave trade in Spanish colonial Florida and the first permanent settlement in the continental United States to include African slaves.60 years in the early years of the Chesapeake Bay settlements, colonial officials found it difficult to attract and retain laborers under the harsh frontier conditions, there was a high mortality rate. Most laborers came from Britain as indentured laborers, signing contracts of indenture to pay with work for their passage, their upkeep and training on a farm.
The colonies had agricultural economies. These indentured laborers were young people who intended to become permanent residents. In some cases, convicted criminals were transported to the colonies as indentured laborers, rather than being imprisoned; the indentured laborers were not slaves, but were required to work
President's House (Philadelphia)
The President's House, at 524–30 Market Street in Philadelphia, was the third Presidential Mansion. It housed George Washington from November 27, 1790, to March 10, 1797, John Adams from March 21, 1797, to May 30, 1800; the three-and-a-half-story brick mansion on the south side of Market Street was built in 1767 by widow Mary Lawrence Masters. In 1772, she gave it as a wedding gift to her elder daughter, who married Richard Penn, a grandson of William Penn and the lieutenant-governor of the Colony; the Penns and the Masterses moved to England during the early days of the American Revolutionary War. During the British occupation of Philadelphia, September 1777 to June 1778, the house was headquarters for General Sir William Howe. Following the British evacuation, it housed the American military governor, Benedict Arnold, it was here that he began his treason. After Arnold left Philadelphia, the next resident was John Holker. Holker was a purchasing agent for the French. During his residency the house suffered a fire, was sold to a man whom Holker knew well, financier Robert Morris.
In 1781, Morris purchased and expanded the house. Washington lodged here with Morris during the 1787 Constitutional Convention. In 1790, Morris gave up the house for his friend to use as the Executive Mansion, moved to the house next door. President Washington occupied the President's House from November 1790 to March 1797, President Adams from March 1797 to May 1800. Adams oversaw the transfer of the federal government from the temporary capital of Philadelphia to the District of Columbia, first occupied the White House there on November 1, 1800; the main Morris house in Philadelphia was demolished in 1832. The four-story east and west walls survived. These, along with surviving sections of the backbuildings, were demolished in the 1950s during the development of Independence Mall. In late 2000, during excavation for the new Liberty Bell Center, foundations of the President's House were uncovered. Intense interest arose in the project after it was revealed that the center's planned main entrance would be just feet from the site of Washington's slave quarters.
Although reluctant, Independence National Historical Park expanded its interpretation at the center to include more about slavery, including material about the nine enslaved African Americans: Moll, Christopher Sheels, his son Richmond, Oney Judge, her brother Austin, Giles and Joe, who had worked at the President's House. The Park undertook a public archaeology project in 2007 that uncovered foundations of the backbuildings, the President's office, the massive Bow Window designed by Washington as a ceremonial space, it commissioned a memorial at the site, which opened in 2010 to mark the site of the President's House, as well as to acknowledge the slaves and their place in Philadelphia and United States history, with material about the black community in the city, both free and enslaved. Washington had a household staff of about 24, several of whom were enslaved African Americans, plus an office staff of 4 or 5, all of whom lived and worked in the house, his wife Martha and two of her grandchildren, "Wash" Custis and Nelly Custis, were part of the First Family.
The house was too small for the 30-plus occupants, so the President made additions: "...a large two-story bow to be added to south side of the main house making the rooms at the rear thirty-four feet in length, a long one-story servants' hall to be built on the east side of the kitchen ell, the bathtubs to be removed from the bath house's second floor and the bathingroom turned into the President's private office, additional servant rooms to be constructed, an expansion of the stables." Although Pennsylvania passed a law in 1780 for the gradual abolition of slavery in the state, it permitted slaveholders from other states to hold slaves in the free state for up to six months. After that time, slaves would gain their freedom. Members of Congress were exempt from Pennsylvania's Gradual Abolition Act, but not officers of the executive and judicial branches. Washington and other slaveholders rotated their slaves out of the state to prevent the slaves from establishing the 6-month residency needed to qualify for manumission.
After Washington's slave Oney Judge escaped from captivity in Philadelphia, the president replaced most of his slaves in the capital with indentured servants who were German immigrants. Hercules, a cook who had worked in Philadelphia, was sent back to Virginia by Washington and assigned to field work, he made his way to freedom in Philadelphia. He was seen living in New York City, he was among the slaves whom Washington freed in his will. Although Washington had stipulated that his slaves should not be freed until after both his and Martha Washington's deaths, his widow decided to free his slaves in 1801. By absent from Mount Vernon for four years, the fugitive Hercules may never have learned that he was free. Major acts as president: Oversaw the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights. Oversaw the establishment and planning of the future District of Columbia. Quashed the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. Major acts as president: Built 6 frigates for the United States Navy. Established the modern United States Marine Corps.
French seizure of more than 300 American ships and the XYZ Affair's demand for bribes led to the Quasi War with France. Completed construction of the White House and much of the United S
Siege of Yorktown
The Siege of Yorktown known as the Battle of Yorktown, the Surrender at Yorktown, German Battle or the Siege of Little York, ending on October 19, 1781, at Yorktown, was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army troops led by General George Washington and French Army troops led by the Comte de Rochambeau over a British Army commanded by British peer and Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. The culmination of the Yorktown campaign, the siege proved to be the last major land battle of the American Revolutionary War in the North American theater, as the surrender by Cornwallis, the capture of both him and his army, prompted the British government to negotiate an end to the conflict; the battle boosted faltering American morale and revived French enthusiasm for the war, as well as undermining popular support for the conflict in Great Britain. In 1780, about 5,500 French soldiers landed in Rhode Island to help their American allies fight the British troops who controlled New York City.
Following the arrival of dispatches from France that included the possibility of support from the French West Indies fleet of the Comte de Grasse and Rochambeau decided to ask de Grasse for assistance either in besieging New York, or in military operations against a British army operating in Virginia. On the advice of Rochambeau, de Grasse informed them of his intent to sail to the Chesapeake Bay, where Cornwallis had taken command of the army. Cornwallis, at first given confusing orders by his superior officer, Henry Clinton, was ordered to build a defensible deep-water port, which he began to do in Yorktown. Cornwallis' movements in Virginia were shadowed by a Continental Army force led by the Marquis de Lafayette; the French and American armies united north of New York City during the summer of 1781. When word of de Grasse's decision arrived, both armies began moving south toward Virginia, engaging in tactics of deception to lead the British to believe a siege of New York was planned. De Grasse sailed from the West Indies and arrived at the Chesapeake Bay at the end of August, bringing additional troops and creating a naval blockade of Yorktown.
He was transporting 500,000 silver pesos collected from the citizens of Havana, Cuba, to fund supplies for the siege and payroll for the Continental Army. While in Santo Domingo, de Grasse met with Francisco Saavedra de Sangronis, an agent of Carlos III of Spain. De Grasse had planned to leave several of his warships in Santo Domingo. Saavedra promised the assistance of the Spanish navy to protect the French merchant fleet, enabling de Grasse to sail north with all of his warships. In the beginning of September, he defeated a British fleet led by Sir Thomas Graves that came to relieve Cornwallis at the Battle of the Chesapeake; as a result of this victory, de Grasse blocked any escape by sea for Cornwallis. By late September and Rochambeau arrived, the army and naval forces surrounded Cornwallis. After initial preparations, the Americans and French built their first parallel and began the bombardment. With the British defense weakened, on October 14, 1781, Washington sent two columns to attack the last major remaining British outer defenses.
A French column under Wilhelm of the Palatinate-Zweibrücken took Redoubt No. 9 and an American column under Alexander Hamilton took Redoubt No. 10. With these defenses taken, the allies were able to finish their second parallel. With the American artillery closer and its bombardment more intense than the British position began to deteriorate rapidly. Cornwallis asked for capitulation terms on October 17. After two days of negotiation, the surrender ceremony occurred on October 19. With the capture of more than 7,000 British soldiers, negotiations between the United States and Great Britain began, resulting in the Treaty of Paris of 1783. On December 20, 1780, Benedict Arnold sailed from New York with 1,500 troops to Portsmouth, Virginia, he first raided Richmond, defeating the defending militia, from January 5–7 before falling back to Portsmouth. Admiral Destouches, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in July 1780 with a fleet transporting 5,500 soldiers, was encouraged by Washington and French Lieutenant General Rochambeau to move his fleet south, launch a joint land-naval attack on Arnold's troops.
The Marquis de Lafayette was sent south with 1,200 men to help with the assault. However, Destouches was reluctant to dispatch many ships, in February sent only three. After they proved ineffective, he took a larger force of 8 ships in March 1781, fought a tactically inconclusive battle with the British fleet of Marriot Arbuthnot at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Destouches withdrew due to the damage sustained to his fleet, leaving Arbuthnot and the British fleet in control of the bay's mouth. On March 26, Arnold was joined by 2,300 troops under command of Major General William Phillips, who took command of the combined forces. Phillips resumed raiding, defeating the militia at Blandford burning the tobacco warehouses at Petersburg on April 25. Richmond was about to suffer the same fate; the British, not wanting to engage in a major battle, withdrew to Petersburg on May 10. On May 20, Charles Cornwallis arrived at Petersburg with 1,500 men after suffering heavy casualties at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
He assumed command, as Phillips had died of a fever. Cornwallis had not received permission to abandon the Carolinas from his superior, Henry Clinton, but he believed that Virginia would be easier to capture, feeling that it would approve of an invading British army. With the arrival of Cornwallis and more reinforcements from New York, the British Army numbered 7,200 men. Cornwallis wanted to push Lafayette, whose force now
A butler is a domestic worker in a large household. In great houses, the household is sometimes divided into departments with the butler in charge of the dining room, wine cellar, pantry; some have charge of the entire parlour floor, housekeepers caring for the entire house and its appearance. A butler is male, in charge of male servants, while a housekeeper is a woman, in charge of female servants. Traditionally, male servants were of higher status than female servants; the butler, as the senior male servant, has the highest servant status. He can sometimes function as a chauffeur. In older houses where the butler is the most senior worker, titles such as majordomo, butler administrator, house manager, staff manager, chief of staff, staff captain, estate manager and head of household staff are sometimes given; the precise duties of the employee will vary to some extent in line with the title given, but more in line with the requirements of the individual employer. In the grandest homes or when the employer owns more than one residence, there is sometimes an estate manager of higher rank than the butler.
The butler can be served by a head footman or footboy called the under-butler. The word "butler" comes from Anglo-Norman buteler, variant form of Old Norman *butelier, corresponding to Old French botellier "officer in charge of the king's wine bottles", derived of boteille "bottle", Modern French bouteille, itself from Gallo-Romance BUTICULA "bottle"; the role of the butler, for centuries, has been that of the chief steward of a household, the attendant entrusted with the care and serving of wine and other bottled beverages which in ancient times might have represented a considerable portion of the household's assets. In Britain, the butler was a middle-ranking member of the staff of a grand household. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the butler became the senior male, member of a household's staff in the grandest households. However, there was sometimes a steward who ran the outside estate and financial affairs, rather than just the household, and, senior to the butler in social status into the 19th century.
Butlers used always to be attired in a special uniform, distinct from the livery of junior servants, but today a butler is more to wear a business suit or business casual clothing and appear in uniform only on special occasions. A silverman or silver butler has expertise and professional knowledge of the management, secure storage and cleaning of all silverware, associated tableware and other paraphernalia for use at military and other special functions; the modern role of the butler has evolved from earlier roles that were concerned with the care and serving of alcoholic beverages. From ancient through medieval times, alcoholic beverages were chiefly stored first in earthenware vessels later in wooden barrels, rather than in glass bottles; the care of these assets was therefore reserved for trusted slaves, although the job could go to free persons because of heredity-based class lines or the inheritance of trades. The biblical book of Genesis contains a reference to a role precursive to modern butlers.
The early Hebrew Joseph interpreted a dream of Pharaoh's שקה, most translated into English as "chief butler" or "chief cup-bearer". In ancient Greece and Rome, it was nearly always slaves who were charged with the care and service of wine, while during the Medieval Era the pincerna filled the role within the noble court; the English word "butler" itself comes from the Middle English word boteler, from Anglo-Norman buteler, itself from Old Norman butelier, corresponding to Old French botellier, Modern French bouteiller, before that from Medieval Latin butticula. The modern English "butler" thus relates both to casks; the European butler emerged as a middle-ranking member of the servants of a great house, in charge of the buttery. While this is so for household butlers, those with the same title but in service to the Crown enjoyed a position of administrative power and were only minimally involved with various stores; the Steward of the Elizabethan era was more akin to the butler that emerged.
Throughout the 19th century and the Victorian era, as the number of butlers and other domestic servants increased in various countries, the butler became a senior male servant of a household's staff. By this time he was in charge of the more modern wine cellar, the "buttery" or pantry as it came to be called, which supplied bread, butter and other basic provisions, the ewery, which contained napkins and basins for washing and shaving. In the grandest households there was sometimes an Estate Steward or other senior steward who oversaw the butler and his duties. Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, a manual published in Britain in 1861, reported: The number of the male domestics in a family varies according to the wealth and position of the master, from the owner of the ducal mansion, with a retinue of attendants, at the head of, the chamberlain and house-steward, to the occupier of the humbler house, where a single footman, or the odd man-of-all-work, is the only male retainer; the majority of gentlemen's establishments comprise a servant out of livery, or butler, a footman, coachman, or coachman and groom, where the horses exceed two or three.
Valley Forge functioned as the third of eight military encampments for the Continental Army's main body, commanded by General George Washington. In September 1777, British forces had captured the American capital of Philadelphia. After failing to retake the city, Washington led his 12,000-man army into winter quarters at Valley Forge, located 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia, they remained there for six months, from December 19, 1777 to June 19, 1778. At Valley Forge, the Continentals struggled to manage a disastrous supply crisis while retraining and reorganizing their units. About 1,700 to 2,000 soldiers died due to disease exacerbated by malnutrition. Today, Valley Forge National Historical Park preserves and protects over 3,500 acres of the original encampment site. In 1777, Valley Forge consisted of a small proto-industrial community located at the juncture of the Valley Creek and the Schuylkill River. In 1742, Quaker industrialists established the Mount Joy Iron Forge. Thanks to capital improvements made by John Potts and his family over the following decades, the small community expanded the ironworks, established mills, constructed new dwellings for residents.
Surrounding the valley was a rich farmland, where Welsh-Quaker farmers grew wheat, hay, Indian corn, among other crops, raised livestock including cattle, sheep and barnyard fowl. Settlers of German and Swedish descent lived nearby. In the summer of 1777 the Continental Army's quartermaster general, Thomas Mifflin, decided to station a portion of his army's supplies in outbuildings around the forges, due to its variety of structures and secluded location between two prominent hills. Fearing such a concentration of military supplies would undoubtedly attract the British, the forge-ironmaster, William Dewees Jr. expressed concerns about the army's proposal. Mifflin established a magazine at Valley Forge anyway. After the British landing at Head of Elk, Maryland on August 25, 1777, the British Army maneuvered out of the Chesapeake basin and towards Valley Forge. Following the Battle of Brandywine and the abortive Battle of the Clouds, on September 18 several hundred soldiers under General Wilhelm von Knyphausen raided the supply magazine at Valley Forge.
Despite the best efforts of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Hamilton and Captain Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, the two Continental army officers selected to evacuate the supplies from Valley Forge, Crown soldiers captured supplies, destroyed others, burned down the forges and other buildings. Political and environmental factors all influenced the Continental Army's decision to establish their encampment near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in the winter of 1777-1778. Washington conferred with his officers to select the site that would be most advantageous to his army. Washington first asked his generals where to quarter the Continental Army in the winter of 1777–1778 on October 29, 1777. In addition to suggestions from his officers, Washington had to contend with the recommendations of politicians. Pennsylvania state legislators and the Continental Congress expected the Continental Army to select an encampment site that could protect the countryside around Philadelphia; some members of the Continental Congress believed that the army might be able to launch a winter campaign.
Interested parties suggested other sites for an encampment, including Lancaster and Wilmington, Delaware. However, following the inconclusive Battle of Whitemarsh from December 5–8, increasing numbers of officers and politicians began to appreciate the need to defend the greater Philadelphia region from British incursions. Considering these questions, an encampment at Valley Forge had notable advantages. Valley Forge's high terrain meant, its location allowed for soldiers to be detached to protect the countryside. Proximity to the Schuylkill River could facilitate supply movements down the river. Wide, open areas provided space for training. On December 19, Washington conducted his 12,000-man army to Valley Forge to establish the encampment; the encampment was situated along the high, flat ground east of Mount Joy and south of the Schuylkill River. In addition to a concentration of soldiers at Valley Forge, Washington ordered nearly 2,000 soldiers to encamp at Wilmington, Delaware, he posted the army's mounted troops at Trenton, New Jersey, additional outposts at Downingtown and Radnor, among other places.
In the two winter encampments prior to Valley Forge, the Continental army had sheltered themselves in a combination of tents, constructed huts, civilian barns and other buildings. Valley Forge would mark the first time Washington ordered the army concentrated into a more permanent post where they constructed their own shelters; this strategic shift encouraged a whole new host of problems for the American Patriots. The Valley Forge encampment became the Continental Army's first large-scale construction of living quarters. While no accurate account exists for the exact number of log huts built, experts estimate a range between 1,300-1,600 structures. Brigadier General Louis Lebègue de Presle Duportail selected grounds for the brigade encampments and planned the defenses. Afterwards, brigadier generals appointed officers from each regiment to mark out the precise spot for every officer and all enlisted men's huts. Despite commanders' attempts at standardization, the huts varied in terms of size and construction techniques.
Military historian John B. B. Trussell Jr. writes that many squads "dug their floors two feet below ground level," to reduce
Martha Washington was the wife of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Although the title was not coined until after her death, Martha Washington served as the inaugural First Lady of the United States. During her lifetime she was referred to as "Lady Washington", she had first married Daniel Parke Custis, with whom she had four children, was widowed by the age of 25. Two of her children by Custis survived to young adulthood, she brought her vast wealth to her marriage to Washington, which enabled him to buy land to add to his personal estate. She brought nearly 100 dower slaves for her use during her lifetime, they and their descendants reverted to her first husband's estate at her death and were inherited by his heirs. She and Washington did not have children together but they did rear her two children by Daniel Parke Custis, including son John "Jacky" Parke Custis, they helped both of their extended families. Martha Dandridge was born on June 2, 1731 on her parents' plantation Chestnut Grove in the British colony, Province of Virginia.
She was the oldest daughter of John Dandridge, a Virginia planter and immigrant from England, by his wife Frances Jones, of American birth and English and French descent. Martha had three brothers and four sisters: John, Bartholomew, Anna Maria "Fanny" Bassett, Frances Dandridge, Elizabeth Aylett Henley and Mary Dandridge. Martha may have had an illegitimate half-sister, Ann Dandridge Costin, born into slavery. Costin's enslaved mother was of African and Cherokee descent, her father was believed to be John Dandridge. Martha's father may have fathered an out-of-wedlock half-brother to Martha named Ralph Dandridge, white. On May 15, 1750, at age 18, Martha married Daniel Parke Custis, a rich planter two decades her senior, moved to his residence, White House Plantation, located on the south shore of the Pamunkey River, a few miles upriver from Chestnut Grove, they had four children together: Daniel, Frances and Martha. Daniel and Frances died in childhood; the other two children, John Parke Custis and Martha Parke Custis, survived to young adulthood.
Her husband's death in 1757 left Martha a rich young widow at age 25, with independent control over a dower inheritance for her lifetime, trustee control over the inheritance of her minor children. In all, she was left in custody of some 17,500 acres of land and 300 slaves, apart from other investments and cash. According to her biographer, "she capably ran the five plantations left to her when her first husband died, bargaining with London merchants for the best tobacco prices." Martha Custis, age 27, George Washington, age 27, married on January 6, 1759, at the White House plantation. As a man who lived and owned property in the area, Washington knew both Martha and Daniel Parke Custis for some time before Daniel's death. During March 1758 he visited her twice at the White House. At the time, she was being courted by the planter Charles Carter, wealthier than Washington; the wedding was grand. Washington's suit was of silver cloth with red trimming and gold knee buckles; the bride wore purple silk shoes with spangled buckles.
The couple honeymooned at the White House for several weeks before setting up house at Washington's Mount Vernon estate. They appeared to have had a solid marriage. Martha and George Washington had no children together, but they raised Martha's two surviving children, her daughter, nicknamed Patsy, died as a teenager during an epileptic seizure. John Parke "Jacky" Custis returned from college to comfort his mother. Custis married and had children, he died of "camp fever". After his death, the Washingtons raised the youngest two of John's four children, Eleanor Parke Custis, George Washington Parke Custis; the two older girls remained with their mother. The Washingtons provided personal and financial support to nieces and other family members in both the Dandridge and Washington families. Content to live a private life at Mount Vernon and her homes from the Custis estate, Martha Washington followed Washington to his winter encampments for each of eight years, she helped keep up morale among the officers.
By tradition, Washington was described as spending her days at the Revolutionary War winter encampments visiting with the common soldiers in their huts. But Nancy Loane, author of Following the Drum: Women at the Valley Forge Encampment, says there is no evidence that Washington visited with the common soldiers, noting that Martha Washington was fashionably dressed, a woman of great wealth and independent means. Mrs. Washington joined her husband during the Revolution for all the Continental Army's winter encampments. Before the revolution began, she had kept close to home. General Lafayette observed that she loved "her husband madly"; the Continental Army settled in Valley Forge, the third of the eight winter encampments of the Revolution, on December 19, 1777. Martha W