DAR February program on the first “First Lady”

The Jonathan Hardin Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution
met at the Gibbs Memorial Library in Mexia on Wednesday, February 8, at 10:30 a.m. Regent
Aleece McBay opened the regular business meeting with the DAR Ritual, the American’s Creed,
and pledges to the U.S. and Texas flags. Guests were welcomed and three new members were
officially installed by Chapter Registrar Billie Bournias. After the business meeting, a program
most appropriate for the month of February was presented.
The chapter welcomed speaker Barbara Petrov. Mrs. Petrov currently serves as the State
Librarian for Texas Society Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as the National Vice
Chair of the South Central Division of NSDAR and as the Honorary Chapter Regent Lady
Washington Chapter in the Houston area.
On February 4, 1789, George Washington was elected the first President of the United States and
his birthdate of February 22, 1732 is celebrated on President’s Day in the month of February. To
further commemorate these special dates, the subject of the program was Martha Dandridge
Custis Washington, or as she was known at the time, Lady Washington. More importantly
Martha Washington is the sixth great grandmother of Mrs. Petrov. In 2011 to commemorate the
280th anniversary of the birth of Martha Washington, the speaker compiled research on Lady
Washington into a formal program which she presented to the chapter members. Mrs. Petrov
spoke about Lady Washington’s family and background, her first and second marriages including
children, her time spent at Revolutionary War winter encampments with then Col. Washington,
and her time as the wife of our first president. A number of wonderful color photographs of
paintings of Martha Washington were shared as well as honors including ships named in her
honor, postage stamps, and U.S. paper currency and coin. It was after Lady Washington’s death
that the term First Lady was coined. As a final item of interest, Mrs. Petrov shared about a 3x5
inch framed swatch of silk fabric cut from one of Mrs. Washington’s Parisian-made dresses. The
swatch has been authenticated by George Washington’s Mount Vernon and the Mount Vernon
Ladies Association in Virginia.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet