Inspirational Women of Virginia

Influential Women who Helped Shape this Great Commonwealth


The nation’s First “First Lady” is known for being George Washington’s spouse, but this shortchanges her role as a pioneer for women and particularly for women of the Commonwealth. She brought her own land and revenues to the marriage to Washington, and was already a proven property manager, and a strong businesswoman in the tobacco trade when she arrived at Washington’s farm and property.

As his dutiful wife, Martha Washington wintered over at the battle camps with her husband, providing her quiet wisdom as the future president mused over the direction of battles to come. She was a steadfast partner in the responsibilities of nation building, although she held notions of her own outside her husband’s ideas. Upon her husband’s death, she freed 130 slaves, demonstrating her belief in the right for all people to remain free from tyranny. Her commitment to the freedom of human spirit-and to this nation-makes Mrs. Washington one of Virginia’s most influential women.

Learn more about Martha Washington here..