Lawrence Berry Washington
|Lawrence Berry Washington|
|Birth name||Lawrence Berry Washington|
November 26, 1811|
"Cedar Lawn" near Charles Town, West Virginia (now West Virginia), US
|Died||September 21, 1856
Missouri River near Rocheport, Missouri, U.S.
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1846–1848 (USA)|
|Relations||John Thornton Augustine Washington (father)
Benjamin Franklin Washington (brother)
Robert Rutherford (great-grandfather)
Samuel Washington (great-grandfather)
George Washington (great-granduncle)
|Other work||Lawyer, military officer, author, Forty-niner|
Lawrence Berry Washington (November 26, 1811 – September 21, 1856) was an American lawyer, military officer, author, Forty-niner, and a member of the Washington family. Washington was a great-grandson of Robert Rutherford and Samuel Washington and a great-grandnephew of George Washington, first President of the United States.
Washington was born on November 26, 1811 at "Cedar Lawn" plantation near Charles Town in Jefferson County, West Virginia (now West Virginia) and was the eldest son of John Thornton Augustine Washington and his wife Elizabeth Conrad Bedinger Washington. Through his father, Washington was a great-grandnephew of George Washington.
Washington was a lawyer by profession and subsequently served as a second lieutenant in the Virginia Volunteers during the Mexican–American War. At the onset of the war, Washington enrolled in the Jefferson County company (Company K), Second Battalion of the Virginia Regiment in the United States Army on December 6, 1846 and he was chosen by a public committee of prominent citizens in Charles Town on December 24, 1846 to serve in the company as a second lieutenant. Washington and his company departed Charles Town on January 4, 1847 and they reached the Brazos River in Texas by March 12. While at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia after the company's return east, Washington drafted a letter dated May 7, 1848 to United States Secretary of War William L. Marcy offering to raise a company of troops to fight Mexican forces in Oregon or elsewhere on the condition that he be granted a captaincy.
Later careers and pursuits
Because of the large number of siblings in his family, Washington's inheritance from his father in 1841 was not sizable, and he pursued a number of opportunities to build his personal wealth. Following his service in the Mexican–American War, Washington joined the Charles Town Mining Company and travelled to California in 1849 as a participant in the California Gold Rush with his brother Benjamin Franklin Washington, but there are no existing records of Washington finding gold during his pursuit. While in California, Washington authored the novel, A Tale to be Told Some Fifty Years Hence. Washington then moved east to Missouri in the 1850s where he remained for a few years and fought as a Border Ruffian during the Bleeding Kansas confrontations over slavery along the border between Kansas Territory and Missouri. While in Missouri, Washington wrote poetry and contributed to local newspapers. Washington returned to Virginia later in the 1850s, and then again moved to Missouri in 1856. Washington died by drowning after falling overboard from a steamboat on the Missouri River near Rocheport in Boone County, Missouri on the night of September 21, 1856. Washington family descendants claim that Washington was murdered by Kansas Jayhawkers because of his pro-slavery Southern sympathies and possibly in retaliation for his participation in the Bleeding Kansas conflicts as a Border Ruffian. Washington was a lifelong bachelor, and died without issue. His younger brother, John Thornton Augustine Washington, memorialized Washington by naming his fifth child Lawrence Berry Washington; he was born in San Antonio, Texas on July 12, 1869.
Theoretical American royal succession
According to a May 1908 article in The Scrap Book entitled "If Washington Had Been Crowned" and a February 1951 article in Life entitled "If Washington Had Become King: A Carpenter or an Engineer Might Now Rule the U.S.," Lawrence Berry Washington would have succeeded his father, John Thornton Augustine Washington, as "king" of the United States had his great-granduncle, George Washington, accepted the position of monarch rather than that of president. Following the laws of male preference primogeniture succession recognized by the Kingdom of Great Britain at the time of American independence, Lawrence Berry Washington would have been the lawful heir apparent to his father, who was the eldest son of Thornton Washington, who in turn was the eldest son of Samuel Washington, George Washington's eldest full brother. A theoretical "King Lawrence I of the United States" would have had a reign spanning from his father's death in 1841 until his own death in 1856. Following his death, the American crown would have passed to his next eldest brother, Daniel Bedinger Washington.
|Ancestors of Lawrence Berry Washington|
- Welles 1879, p. 238.
- Kunitz 1933, p. 51.
- Bacon 1908, p. 755.
- McGee 1973, p. 3.
- Gardner 1853, p. 190.
- West Virginia Department of Archives and History 1911, p. 190.
- Bushong 1972, p. 508.
- Bushong 1972, p. 133.
- Bushong 1972, p. 134.
- Washington, Lawrence Berry (1848), Letter from Lawrence Berry Washington, Fortress Monroe, Va. to William L. Marcy, ALS, May 7, 1848, WorldCat, OCLC 122466373
- Wallace 1951, p. 110.
- Wayland 2009, p. 241.
- Washington 1853
- Cooper County, Missouri Genealogical Web (GenWeb) Project 2012, p. 1.
- Welles 1879, p. 242.
- Wallace 1951, p. 108.
- Smolenyak 2008, p. 27.
- Bacon, E. L. (May 1908). If Washington Had Been Crowned. The Scrap Book magazine, Frank A. Munsey Company.
- Bushong, Millard Kessler (1972). A History of Jefferson County, West Virginia. Boyce, Virginia: Carr Publishing Company, Inc.
- Cooper County, Missouri Genealogical Web (GenWeb) Project (2012). "John Thornton Augustine Washington Family Bible Transcription". Cooper County, Missouri Genealogical Web (GenWeb) Project.
- Gardner, Charles Kitchell (1853). A Dictionary of All Officers: Who Have Been Commissioned, or Have Been Appointed and Served, in the Army of the United States, Since the Inauguration of Their First President in 1789, to the First January, 1853... G. P. Putnam and Company.
- Kunitz, Stanley; Haycraft, Howard; Hadden, Wilbur Crane (1933). Authors Today and Yesterday: A Companion Volume to Living Authors. The H. W. Wilson Company.
- McGee, Ted (April 1973). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination Form: Cedar Lawn. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
- Smolenyak, Megan (September 2008). King Me!. Ancestry Magazine.
- Wallace, Robert (February 1951). If Washington Had Become King: A Carpenter or an Engineer Might Now Rule the U.S. Life magazine.
- Washington, Lawrence Berry (1853). A Tale to be Told Some Fifty Years Hence. Baltimore, Maryland: John Murphy & Company. OCLC 25793684.
- Wayland, John W. (1998). The Washingtons and Their Homes. Genealogical Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-8063-4775-2.
- Welles, Albert (1879). The Pedigree and History of the Washington Family: Derived from Odin, the Founder of Scandinavia, B.C. 70, Involving a Period of Eighteen Centuries, and Including Fifty-five Generations, Down to General George Washington, First President of the United States. Society Library.
- West Virginia Department of Archives and History (1911). Biennial Report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virginia, Volume 3. West Virginia Department of Archives and History.