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Date(s) - 10/12/2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Reinsch Library Auditorium, Marymount University


This program is free and open to the public. You can attend via Zoom or in-person. See details below on both ways to attend.

Award-winning historian Dr. Cassandra Good shows how the outspoken step-grandchildren of George Washington played an overlooked but important role in the development of American society and politics from the Revolution to the Civil War.

George and Martha Washington never had children of their own, but they raised numerous children together. Dr. Good shows us George Washington, the father figure, and she introduces us to their “children,” many of whom  lived in what would become Arlington County.  The children of Martha Washington’s son by her first marriage—Eliza, Patty, Nelly and Wash Custis—were born into life in the public eye and raised as the country’s first “first family.” Petty and powerful, glamorous and cruel, the Custises used Washington as a means to enhance their own power and status. As enslavers committed to the American empire, the Custis family embodied the failures of the American experiment that finally exploded into civil war—all the while being celebrities in a soap opera of their own making.

Dr. Good is an historian, writer, and teacher in the Washington, DC area. She earned her doctorate in history from the University of Pennsylvania and received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in American Studies from George Washington University. Dr. Good previously worked for the Smithsonian Institution at art museums and as Associate Editor of the Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington. Her work has been supported by institutions including Mount Vernon, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. She is an associate professor of history at Marymount University. She has also served as an adviser to the Arlington Historical Society on the Memorializing the Enslaved in Arlington project.

PREREGISTER FOR ZOOM ACCESS. You can attend this event on either Zoom or in-person on the Marymount University Main Campus in the library auditorium.  If you want to attend this event virtually, please register using this link.  You can also cut and paste the following URL into your browser: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdgxtST_FZhi87ROcJv52I7Fr79uS-l7hDW0x73Czyas4ammQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Please register by Wednesday, October 11:  Zoom access information will be sent to you on the morning of the event on Thursday, October 12.

DRIVING DIRECTIONS and FREE PARKING: Attendees planning to attend the event in-person should enter the Marymount University campus at the library gate on N. 26th Street. From Glebe Road going north, take a right onto 26th Street. Pass the intersection with Yorktown Road and then enter the campus through the next gate on your left. The library is to your left as you enter the campus. Free garage parking is just past the library at the bottom of the small incline. (Handicapped parking is immediately to your right as you enter the campus.)

  • If the University has lowered the garage gates, push the button and let them know you’re here for an Arlington Historical Society event in the library. To leave, push the button and they’ll raise the gate.

This event is one of the monthly free public programs sponsored by the Arlington Historical Society. For more information, please email: info@arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org.