Mary Ball Washington, the mother of George Washington, was an intrepid 18th century woman who raised five children alone. The oldest became the first President of the United States. George Washington paid his last visit to his mother at the house in Fredericksburg in April 1789, en route to New York for his inauguration.
Mary has garnered a type of “mythos” over time, venerated as “The Mother of Washington” by groups in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and vilified by some historians in more recent years. Despite her many mythologies, Mary, as George Washington’s sole surviving parent, was an undeniably influential figure in the life of the first president.