The eye-catching cover girl for American Spirit’s March/April issue might surprise you — it’s a young Martha Washington! Is this really what the very first first lady looked like in her 20s?
Although it’s impossible to know for sure, the painting is a very educated guess at what Martha looked like as a young woman. Michael Deas painted the portrait based on a computer-generated image created by forensic anthropologists at Louisiana State University’s FACES (Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services) Lab.
Starting with the bone structure from a miniature painted of Martha in middle age, anthropologists used age regression techniques to simulate how she would have looked decades earlier. The cover story in the magazine’s Women’s History Month edition examines her vital role of morale booster at Valley Forge and other Revolutionary War encampments.
American Spirit is the national magazine of our client, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (The DAR), with whom we’ve worked for the past decade. This is the second annual issue with a special emphasis on Women’s History month, although the topic is a major part of every issue. This year, we examine how American women’s musical talents were once limited to the parlor and reserved for family and friends’ enjoyment. Yet, as the republic evolved, so did their ability to showcase those talents publicly.
Opening up vistas for women was the goal of women’s right activist Alice Paul. We visit Paulsdale, her New Jersey refuge where her lifelong mission of promoting social justice carries on at an institute dedicated to her name. We commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 with a little-known story on the Ursuline Sisters of New Orleans’ unlikely connection to the Battle of New Orleans.
We also profile Sylvia Lewis Tyler, an early 19th-century woman who lived on the Ohio frontier, as DAR curator Alden O’Brien takes us through highlights of Tyler’s 19-volume diary. (Visit DAR Headquarters in Washington, D.C. to see an Americana Collection exhibition based on the diaries.) Finally, we remember the Titanic’s 100th anniversary by recalling the lives of eight survivors of that doomed ship.