Washington's First Love

Washington's First Love


George Washington's first love was the wife of one of his best friends.


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"The world has no business to know the object of my love, declared in this manner to you when I want to conceal it," Washington wrote weeks before his wedding. The letter wasn't sent to his fiancée Martha Custis—but to Sally Fairfax, who was married to one of his best friends and patrons, George Fairfax, son of one of Virginia's largest landowners.

Described as an intelligent, "dark-eyed beauty," Sally befriended Washington when he was still an awkward teen. Historians credit her with helping to smooth his rough edges socially, teaching him how to behave and converse among the wealthy and powerful, and even how to dance the minuet. It's unclear whether romance actually blossomed between the two.


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