Born Martha Dandridge on June 2, 1731, the future First Lady of the United States married Daniel Parke Custis when she was 18
years old, and was a mother of two surviving children when her first husband died in 1757. She married George Washington two
years later, and for much of the next 40 years, Martha Washington fulfilled her role of a military and political wife with ease
She and husband George retired from public life at the end of his second term as President, and lived out their lives at Mount
Vernon, not far from the capital city that would soon bear their name.
The reverse design of the Martha Washington coin depicts the future First Lady sewing a button onto her husband’s uniform jacket.
During the Revolutionary War, her concern for the colonial soldiers earned her their lasting respect and admiration. She is known
to have organized sick wards and persuaded the society ladies of Morristown to roll bandages from their fine napkins and table
cloths, as well as to repair uniforms and knit shirts for the poorly equipped Continental soldiers. Her presence in the encampments
of the Continental Army was an example to other officer's wives and a significant factor in lifting the morale of her husband's
tired, cold and hungry troops.
2007 - First Lady Abigail Adams, 1797–1801
Abigail Smith was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, in 1744. As was customary for the time, Abigail did not receive formal
education, but her quick mind and her curiosity for the world around her were nurtured in her family's library, and her desire
to read and learn was encouraged. She married John Adams, a young Harvard-educated attorney in 1764, and lived with him in
Braintree, Massachusetts, while he built a successful law practice.
She joined him in Europe from 1784 to 1788 as he served as an American diplomat in France and as the first United States Minister
to Great Britain. The couple returned to Massachusetts in 1788. After her husband became President, they were the first couple to
live in the White House after they arrived in Washington in November 1800. Abigail returned to Braintree in 1801, now called
Quincy, where she lived until her death in 1818.
Because of John Adams' commitment to the cause of colonial independence, he and Abigail were often separated for lengthy periods
of time—she in Massachusetts, and he in Philadelphia. Letters they wrote to each other during the Revolution and the formation of
the United States are a mirror of the intellectual vigor of the times. He himself acknowledged that she had as much political
insight as any of his colleagues, and that he valued her counsel above all others, combined with the affection and loyalty of her
friendship. In one of her most memorable letters, Abigail Adams requested that her husband John "remember the ladies" when creating
the framework for the new Republic.
2007 - First Lady of Thomas Jefferson, 1801–1809
The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 contains a provision to provide continuity of the First Spouse Gold Coin Program during those
times in which a President served without a First Spouse. This provision applies to Thomas Jefferson, whose wife Martha died in
1782. Married in 1772, Thomas Jefferson was a widower for 19 years when he became President in 1801.
The gold coins issued to accompany any President who served without a spouse will each feature a design emblematic of Liberty on
its obverse, as depicted on a United States coin originally issued during the President’s time in office. For Thomas Jefferson’s
presidency, the selected image appeared on the Draped Bust Half-Cent coin from 1800–1808, and was originally executed by United
States Mint Chief Engraver Robert Scot.
Thomas Jefferson is widely recognized for his unmatched expertise with the written word. Even in death, Jefferson left no room for
interpretation, leaving careful and precise instructions detailing exactly which of his achievements would be memorialized on his
final resting place.
Located on the grounds of his Monticello estate, his monument states "Here was buried Thomas Jefferson: author of the Declaration
of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom and father of the University of Virginia."
2007 - First Lady Dolly Madison, 1809–1817
Dolley Payne was born in North Carolina in 1768, though her parents returned the family to their home colony of Virginia when she
was still an infant. The woman who captivated Washington, DC, society, and is remembered as one of the most charming and
entertaining First Ladies of her era, was raised in Philadelphia as a Quaker.
Dolley was a widow when she met Representative James Madison, co-author of the Federalist essays and often called the "Father of
the Constitution." The couple was married in 1794, and during her time in Washington, DC, while her husband served as Secretary of
State, Dolley sometimes served as hostess in President Thomas Jefferson's White House. She also served as First Lady during her
In what was undoubtedly one of her most famous acts as First Lady, Dolley Madison was forced to flee the White House in advance
of oncoming British troops in August 1814. She was overseeing the preparation of an elaborate dinner for the President, a dinner
that was thoroughly enjoyed by British soldiers just prior to setting the mansion ablaze. In an act of unmatched patriotism,
Dolley Madison managed to save the Cabinet papers and the beautiful Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, which was
hanging in the State Dining Room at the time. Thanks to her heroic efforts, this magnificent portrait of our first President is
still enjoyed by visitors to the White House, where the portrait she saved still hangs today.