Martha Washington – a hot first lady?http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/04/martha-george-washington-computer-portraitFresh Look at Martha Washingtonhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2009/02/02/DI2009020201374.htmlRare Letter from Martha to George Washington Returns to Mount Vernonhttp://www.mountvernon.org/visit/plan/index.cfm/pid/508/Gilder Lehman Institute of American History: Martha Washington to Francis B. Washingtonhttp://www.gilderlehrman.org/collection/docs_archive/docs_archive_balance.htmlFirst Ladieshttp://www.whitehouse.gov/about/first_ladies/National First Ladies' Libraryhttp://www.firstladies.org/Looking at portraits from the past can only provide one a snapshot of the given subjects' life. If most people are familiar with an iconic image from the later years of a subject's life, that image may be how most people visualize and remember a figure. One only need think of someone like Benjamin Franklin to be reminded of this curious fact. Another such personage is Martha Washington, who people tend to think of as somewhat dowdy and a bit matronly. This image may change as a result of a rather interesting portrait of Martha Washington as a young woman, created by a team of forensic anthropologists at the Louisiana State University Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services group. Drawing on contemporary accounts written during Washington's life and a miniature watercolor-on-ivory portrait of Washington in middle age, the team used age regressions to create an image of Washington in her 20s. This version of Washington reveals an elegant looking young woman, bedecked in a deep purple dress complete with silk high heels. One of the historians who wrote a recent biography of Washington (and who also assisted with the research for this new portrait) commented, "I wanted to rescue her from old-ladyhood." The first link will take visitors to a news article from this Wednesday's Guardian which reports on this new rendering of Martha Washington. The second link leads to the transcript of an online chat held by Washington Post writer Brigid Schulte where she answers readers' queries about Martha Washington and her life. Moving on, the third link will take readers to the text of one of the two extant letters written from Martha Washington to George Washington, courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. The fourth link leads to the text of a letter written in 1789 by Martha Washington to her niece and illustrates her conflicting feelings about political life. The fifth link leads to the White House's official First Ladies page. Here visitors can learn about every First Lady from Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the National First Ladies' Library in Canton, Ohio.


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