As the winner of the 2016 George Washington Prize, author Flora Fraser was awarded the $50,000 prize for her book, “The Washingtons: George and Martha, ‘Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love.’”
A noted biographer whose work has focused on the women behind great men of history, Fraser says: “I feel greatly the honor that has been accorded ‘The Washingtons,’ as George and Martha’s marriage was an inspiring partnership to chart. This is an accolade I shall long treasure.”
Conferred by Washington College, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, the award was presented to Fraser on May 25 at a black-tie gala at the Mount Vernon estate.
Since 2005 the prize has been one of the largest literary awards, which honors the best new works about the nation’s founding, especially those that engage a broad public audience.
One of the things that makes Fraser’s book so intriguing is that few primary sources exist on the life of Martha Washington, because she destroyed all but one of the couple’s personal letters.
Fraser’s diligent research has resulted in a more comprehensive understanding of the nation’s first first lady — and through her important story, a fuller sense of the nation’s first president. Fraser portrays a couple devoted to each other and steadfast in their loyalty: from their short courtship, through raising a family at Mount Vernon, to the long years of the Revolutionary War, to the first US presidency, and to retirement at their beloved Virginia plantation.
Scroll down for our Q&A with Fraser. — David Bruce Smith, founder, and Hope Katz Gibbs, executive producer, Grateful American™ Foundation