George Steptoe Washington

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George Steptoe Washington
Born (1771-08-17)August 17, 1771
Harewood, Berkeley County, Virginia, United States
Died January 10, 1809(1809-01-10) (aged 37)
Augusta, Georgia
Occupation Planter, Militia officer
Spouse(s) Lucy Washington (1793-1809, his death)
Children George Washington II
Samuel Walter Washington
William Temple Washington
George Steptoe Washington II
Parents Samuel Washington
Anne Steptoe
Relatives George Washington and John Augustine Washington (uncles)
Ferdinand Washington
Frederick Augustus Washington
Lucinda Washington
Lawrence Augustine Washington
Harriet Washington
Thomas Washington (six full siblings and several half-siblings)
Eugenia Washington (granddaughter)

George Steptoe Washington (August 17, 1771 - January 10, 1809) was a planter, militia officer and nephew of the first President of the United States George Washington.

Early life[edit]

George Steptoe Washington was born August 17, 1771 at Harewood, his father's plantation in Berkeley County, Virginia (now Jefferson County in West Virginia) the fourth of seven children (but the eldest surviving son) born to Samuel Washington and his fourth wife, Anne Steptoe.

George Steptoe Washington was named for his uncle, President George Washington, while his middle name came from that of his mother's family. George had four brothers and two sisters (as well as several half-brothers and sisters):

    1. Ferdinand Washington (July 15, 1767-February 1788)
    2. Frederick Augustus Washington (June 4, 1768 – April 23, 1769)
    3. Lucinda Washington (November 29, 1769 – November 3, 1770)
    4. George Steptoe Washington
    5. Lawrence Augustine Washington (April 11, 1774 – February 15, 1824)
    6. Harriet Washington (August 2, 1776 – January 3, 1822)
    7. Thomas Washington (1778–1838)

Master of Harewood[edit]

George would, after his father's death in 1781, eventually inherit the plantation of Harewood,[1] as well as other properties in what is now West Virginia. While, for a time, he would study law in Philadelphia with Edmund Randolph, the young George Steptoe Washington would serve as his uncle's secretary. The younger Washington was a source of some worry and much expense to his uncle (who supported him and his younger brother Lawrence, and paid for their education),[2] who sent letters of encouragement and, occasionally of reproof.[3]

Family[edit]

While in Philadelphia in 1793, George, who was twenty-two years of age, eloped with Lucy Payne, a sister of future First Lady Dolley Madison. Lucy was only fifteen, and a member of the Society of Friends, who disowned her because of her marriage. The families reconciled, and later Lucy's mother Mary Coles Payne, would bring the younger Payne children to Harewood to live with the Washingtons. The parlor of Harewood was the site of the marriage of James Madison and Dolley Payne Todd in 1794.[4]

George and Lucy had four children:[5]

  • George Washington (b. & d. 1796).
  • Samuel Walter Washington, M.D. (March 20, 1797 – October 12, 1831), married Louisa Clemson (September 4, 1805-After 1860) and had three children:
    • Lucy Elizabeth Washington (July 24, 1823), married John Bainbridge Packett (February 18, 1817 – November 18, 1872); had issue.
    • Christian Maria Washington (December 16, 1826 – June 10, 1895), married Richard Blackburn Washington (December 11, 1822 – October 15, 1910), a relative of hers; had issue.
    • Annie S.C. Washington (September 8, 1831 – July 19, 1911), married Thomas Augustus Brown; had issue:
      • Forrest Washington Brown (1855–1934), married Emma Beverly Tucker; no issue.
  • William Temple Washington (July 16, 1800 – April 20, 1877), married Margaret Calhoun Fletcher (1805-January 9, 1865); had issue:
    • Jane Washington (June 29, 1834-?), married Thomas Gascoigne Moncure (February 24, 1837 – July 5, 1906); no issue.
    • Lucy Washington (October 8, 1822 – October 17, 1825)
    • Millissent Fowler Washington (August 4, 1824 – November 17, 1893), married Robert Grier McPherson( March 26, 1819 – November 13, 1899); had issue.
    • William Temple Washington, Jr. (January 7, 1827-?)
    • Thomas West Washington (March 17, 1829 – April 12, 1868)
    • Eugenia Scholay Washington (June 24, 1838 – November 30, 1900)
    • Ferdinand Steptoe Washington (January 22, 1843 – August 22, 1912)
  • George Steptoe Washington, Jr. (1806-October 13, 1831), married Gabriella Augusta Hawkins, no children.

Richard Blackburn Washington was the great-grandson of John Augustine Washington who was a younger brother of George and Samuel Washington and the uncle of George Steptoe Washington. Richard B. Washington was therefore Christian's third cousin.[6] After his father (John Augustine Washington II)'s death in 1832, Richard inherited the plantation of Blakeley in Jefferson County, West Virginia, but, in 1875, would sell Blakeley and move to Harewood.[7]

Planter and Militia Officer[edit]

George Steptoe Washington was actively involved in the operation of his Harewood plantation, and bought and sold a number of parcels of land in Virginia and elsewhere.[8] He also served in the militia, rising to the rank of Major.

Death[edit]

On January 10, 1809, George Steptoe Washington died of consumption at the age of thirty-seven in Augusta, Georgia, where he had gone to establish another plantation. His widow subsequently married Judge Thomas Todd, who was an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Their wedding was the first ever to be held in the White House. Todd died in 1826, and Lucy died at the age of 74 in 1846.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wood, Don C., " Harewood: A Washington Family Legacy," Berkeley County Historical Society, dated March 5, 2009, http://journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/516632/Harewood--A-Washington-family-legacy.html?nav=5004
  2. ^ Last Will and Testament of George Washington, as found at http://www.pbs.org/georgewashington/collection/other_last_will.html
  3. ^ "I think it incumbent on me as your uncle and friend, to give you some advisory hints, which, if properly attended to, will, I conceive, be found very useful to you in regulating your conduct and giving you respectability, not only at present, but thro’ every period of life. You have now arrived to that age when you must quit the trifling amusements of a boy, and assume the more dignified manners of a man". George Washington to George Steptoe Washington, March 23, 1789, Mt. Vernon, Va., as found at http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=350
  4. ^ Washington, John Augustine (Washington Family Historian), "The Washingtons of Jefferson County", August 3, 2001, as found at http://biztechsource.com/justjefferson.com/09jaw.htm
  5. ^ Hardy, Stella Pickett: Colonial Families of the Southern States of America (originally printed 1911) (Baltimore, 1991)
  6. ^ Washington, John Augustine (Washington Family Historian), "The Washingtons of Jefferson County", August 3, 2001, as found at http://biztechsource.com/justjefferson.com/09jaw.htm
  7. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. http://nrhp.focus.nps.gov/natreg/docs/All_Data.html.
  8. ^ Wood, Don C., " Harewood: A Washington Family Legacy," Berkeley County Historical Society, dated March 5, 2009, http://journal-news.net/page/content.detail/id/516632/Harewood--A-Washington-family-legacy.html?nav=5004