Augustine Washington

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Augustine Washington
Augustine Washington.jpg
Posthumous 1867 lithograph by John C. McRae after a painting by G. G. White.
Born November 12, 1694
Westmoreland, Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia, British America
Died April 12, 1743 (aged 48)
Ferry Farm, Stafford County, Colony of Virginia
Ethnicity English, 1/16th French (through Nicolas Martiau)
Occupation Planter
Religion Anglican Church
Spouse(s) Jane Butler (1715-1730; her death)
Mary Ball (1731-1743; his death)
Children Butler
Augustine, Jr.
Parent(s) Lawrence Washington (father)
Mildred Warner (mother)

Augustine "Gus" Washington (November 12, 1694 – April 12, 1743) was the father of the first U.S. President George Washington. He belonged to the Colony of Virginia's landed gentry and was a planter and slaveholder.


Augustine Washington was born in Westmoreland, Westmoreland County, Colony of Virginia, on November 12, 1694. He was a son of Lawrence Washington, a militia captain and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, and Mildred Warner.

His paternal grandparents were John Washington (c. 1631–1677) and his first wife, Anne Pope. His paternal uncle was John Washington, II (1660–1698) and his paternal aunt was Anne Washington (1660–1697).


Born in 1694, Augustine was only four years old when his father died. He inherited about 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) on Bridges Creek in Westmoreland County; his sister Mildred inherited what was called the Little Hunting Creek property; they both inherited slaves.

When Washington came of age (and into his inheritance) in 1715, he married Jane Butler, an orphan who had inherited about 640 acres (2.6 km2) from her father. The young couple settled on the Bridges Creek property. In 1718, Washington purchased land on Popes Creek, abridging his property on Bridges Creek. About 1726, he had a new house built there (later called Wakefield) with the help of slave labor and fine craftsmen. In the same year, he purchased the Little Hunting Creek property from his sister Mildred.

In addition to his work supervising overseers and slave labor as a tobacco planter, Washington was active in the Anglican Church and in local politics. He took the oath as justice of the peace for the county court in July 1716,[1] and served as county sheriff.

Washington and his first wife, Jane Butler, had three children, only two of whom (Lawrence and Augustine, Jr.) lived to adulthood. After Jane's death in 1730, Washington married Mary Ball in 1731.


After Washington's death in 1743 at the age of 48, his son George inherited the former Strother property and its slaves. As he was only 11 years old, his mother Mary managed the property for him until he came of age. She lived on the property until 1772 when she was 64; George moved her to a house in Fredericksburg.

Lawrence inherited the Little Hunting Creek property and its slaves. He renamed his property Mount Vernon, in honor of Admiral Edward Vernon, with whom he had served in the British Navy during the Battle of Cartagena de Indias.

Lastly, Augustine, Jr. inherited the Popes Creek property and slaves. At his death, Augustine Washington, Sr. held a total of 64 slaves who were assigned among the various plantations.[2]

According to Augustine's will, if Lawrence died without children, the Little Hunting Creek property would be given to Augustine, Jr. He would then have to give Popes Creek to George. If Augustine, Jr. did not want the Little Hunting Creek property, it would be inherited by George. Lawrence had no living children when he died, and Augustine, Jr. did not want to give up Popes Creek; therefore, George Washington ultimately inherited the Little Hunting Creek property.

Lawrence Washington's widow Ann had a life interest in the Little Hunting Creek plantation. As she remarried and was not living at Mount Vernon, she leased the property to George beginning in 1754. Upon her death in 1761, George Washington inherited the plantation outright.

Children (by Jane Butler)[edit]

Children (by Mary Ball)[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Freeman 1948, p. 34
  2. ^ "Slavery at Popes Creek Plantation", George Washington Birthplace National Monument, National Park Service, accessed 15 Apr 2009


  • Freeman, Douglas Southall (1948). George Washington: A Biography (Volume 1). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 

External links[edit]