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George Steptoe Washington

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.[1]

George Steptoe Washington
Born(1771-08-17)August 17, 1771
DiedJanuary 10, 1809(1809-01-10) (aged 37)
OccupationPlanter, Militia officer
Lucy Washington
(m. 1793; his death 1809)
Parent(s)Samuel Washington
Anne Steptoe
RelativesGeorge Washington (uncle)
John A. Washington (uncle)
Lawrence Washington (brother)
Eugenia Washington (granddaughter)

Early lifeEdit

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.[2]

George Steptoe Washington was named for his uncle, President George Washington,[3] 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): Ferdinand Washington (1767–1788), Frederick Augustus Washington (1768–1769), Lucinda Washington (1769–1770), Lawrence Augustine Washington (1774–1824), Harriet Washington (1776–1822), and Thomas Washington (1778–1838).[2]

After his father's death, he, along with brother Lawrence Augustine and sister Harriet, went to live with their uncle George Washington for a time.[4] The future president paid for him and his brother to be educated at Georgetown academy,[3] where according to historian Ron Chernow, "they were wild and uncontrollable and a constant trial to Washington".[5][6]

Master of HarewoodEdit

After his father's death in 1781,[7] George would eventually inherit the plantation of Harewood,[8] 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),[9][10] who sent letters of encouragement and, occasionally of reproof.[11]

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.

Personal lifeEdit

While in Philadelphia in 1793, George, who was twenty-two years of age, eloped with Lucy Anne Payne (1769–1846), 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.[12] Together, George and Lucy had four children:[2]

  • George Steptoe Washington (1796–1796), who died in infancy.[2]
  • Samuel Walter Washington (1797–1831), a medical doctor who married Louisa Clemson (b. 1805) and had three daughters.[2]
  • William Temple Washington (1800–1877), who married Margaret Calhoun Fletcher (1805–1865) and had issue.[2]
  • George Steptoe Washington, Jr. (1806–1831), who married Gabriella Augusta Hawkins and no children.[2]

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.[13] 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.[2]


Through his son Samuel, he was the grandfather of Lucy Elizabeth Washington (b. 1823), who married John Bainbridge Packett (1817–1872) and had issue; Christian Maria Washington (1826–1895), who married Richard Blackburn Washington (1822–1910), a relative of hers and had issue; Annie S.C. Washington (1831–1911), who married Thomas Augustus Brown and had issue including Forrest Washington Brown (1855–1934), who married Emma Beverly Tucker.[14]

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.[12] 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.[15]

Through his son William, George Steptoe Washington was the grandfather of Jane Washington (b. 1834), who married Thomas Gascoigne Moncure (1837–1906) and had no issue; Lucy Washington (1822–1825), who died young; Millissent Fowler Washington (1824–1893), who married Robert Grier McPherson (1819–1899) and had issue; William Temple Washington, Jr. (b. 1827); Thomas West Washington (1829–1868); Eugenia Scholay Washington (1838–1900), a founder of the lineage societies, Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of the Founders and Patriots of America; and Ferdinand Steptoe Washington (1843–1912).[14][16][17]


  1. ^ Glover, Lorri (2014). Founders as Fathers: The Private Lives and Politics of the American Revolutionaries. Yale University Press. p. 278. ISBN 9780300210750. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Hardy, Stella Pickett (1911). Colonial Families of the Southern States of America: A History and Genealogy of Colonial Families who Settled in the Colonies Prior to the Revolution. Wright. pp. 523–524. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. ^ a b Grizzard, Frank E. (2002). George Washington: A Biographical Companion. ABC-CLIO. p. 4. ISBN 9781576070826. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  4. ^ "From George Washington to George Steptoe Washington, 23 March 1789". Founders Online. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  5. ^ Chernow, Ron (2010). Washington: A Life. Penguin Press. p. 464. ISBN 978-1-59420-266-7.
  6. ^ Pingel, James A. (2014). Confidence and Character: The Religious Life of George Washington. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 148. ISBN 9781625648365. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  7. ^ Hetzel, Susan Riviere (1896). The American Monthly Magazine. National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. p. 547. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  8. ^ a b Wood, Don C. (March 5, 2009). "Harewood: A Washington Family Legacy". Berkeley County Historical Society. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  9. ^ Ford, Worthington Chauncey (1891). WILLS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON AND HIS IMMEDIATE ANCESTORS. Brooklyn, N.Y.: Historical Printing Club. p. 106. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Last Will and Testament of George Washington". PBS. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  11. ^ "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
  12. ^ a b Washington, John Augustine (Washington Family Historian), "The Washingtons of Jefferson County", August 3, 2001, as found at
  13. ^ Green, Thomas Marshall (1889). Historic Families of Kentucky: With Special Reference to Stocks Immediately Derived from the Valley of Virginia; Tracing in Detail Their Various Genealogical Connexions and Illustrating from Historic Sources Their Influence Upon the Political and Social Development of Kentucky and the States of the South and West. R. Clarke. p. 192. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  14. ^ a b National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution 1901, p. 3.
  15. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-04. Retrieved 2014-04-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).
  16. ^ Brogan & Mosley 1993, p. 74.
  17. ^ "The Four Founders", National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution website, National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, archived from the original on April 25, 2013, retrieved March 3, 2015

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