John Thornton Augustine Washington was born 20 May 1783 "Cedar Lawn" in Charles Town, West Virginia, United States to Thornton Augustine Washington (c1760-1787) and Mildred Berry (1760-1785) and died 9 October 1841 "Cedar Lawn" Charles Town, West Virginia, United States of unspecified causes. He married Elizabeth Conrad Bedinger (1793-1837) 24 September 1810 in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, United States.

John Thornton Augustine Washington
Born John Thornton Augustine Washington
May 20, 1783(1783-05-20)
"Berry Hill" near Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Died October 09, 1841 (age 58)
"Cedar Lawn" near Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Residence "Cedar Lawn" near Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Nationality American
Ethnicity European American
Citizenship United States of America
Occupation landowner, farmer, soldier, and Virginia House of Delegates member
Religion Episcopalian
Spouse Elizabeth Conrad Bedinger
Children Lawrence Berry Washington
Daniel Bedinger Washington
Virginia Thornton Washington
Sally Eleanor Washington
Benjamin Franklin Washington
Georgiana Augusta Washington Smith
Mary Elizabeth Washington Asbury
John Thornton Augustine Washington
Mildred Berry Washington
Mildred Berry Washington Bedinger
George Washington
Susan Ellsworth Washington Bedinger
Henrietta Gray Washington
Parents Thornton Augustine Washington
Mildred Berry
Relatives great-nephew of George Washington

John Thornton Augustine Washington (May 20, 1783 – October 9, 1841) was a prominent Virginia (now West Virginia) landowner, farmer, and statesman and a member of the Washington family. Washington was a great-nephew of George Washington, first President of the United States.[1][2]

Early life

Washington was born on May 20, 1783 at "Berry Hill" plantation near Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia) and was the eldest son of Thornton Augustine Washington, a nephew of George Washington, with his first wife Mildred Berry Washington.[3][4][5] Washington had one younger brother, Thomas Berry Washington (born c. 1792), who died in childhood, and a younger half-brother from his father's second marriage, Samuel Washington.[4]

Military and political career

Unlike other prominent members of the Washington family, Washington was not fond of public life. According to his son, Washington had a preference for "the quiet and congenial occupation of a country gentleman."[6] During the War of 1812, Washington was offered the rank of captain and the command of a company of cavalry in the United States Army, but turned down the offer in order to participate in the fighting as a private.[6] Following the war, Washington served one term as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, but declined to run for a second term.[7] Washington was then appointed to the position of High Sheriff of Jefferson County, but he refused the appointment and it was then offered to a deputy.[8]

Land holdings

Washington inherited his parents' "Berry Hill" plantation, where in 1825 he built the present Federal-style dwelling on the property he renamed "Cedar Lawn."[1][9] In addition to his "Cedar Lawn" estate, Washington also owned lands along Bullskin Run, a small tributary stream of the Shenandoah River, near "Cedar Lawn" and also on the Kanawha River in Mason County.[2]

Marriage and children

On September 2, 1810 at Shepherdstown, Washington married Elizabeth Conrad Bedinger, the daughter of Daniel Bedinger and Sarah Rutherford Bedinger.[10][11] Elizabeth's father was a general in the American Revolutionary War and her maternal grandfather Robert Rutherford was a member of the United States House of Representatives representing the lower Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.[12] Her brother, Henry Bedinger III, was also a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and later served as Chargé d'Affaires and Minister to Denmark for United States President Franklin Pierce.[13]

Washington and his wife Elizabeth produced a large family including five sons and eight daughters:[5][14][15]

∞ first cousin Lucy A. Washington Wharton, October 24, 1843 at Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia)

"Cedar Lawn," built by John Thornton Augustine Washington in 1825.

  • Virginia Thornton Washington (March 2, 1816 – November 13, 1838), died unmarried
  • Sally Eleanor Washington (April 7, 1818 – January 21, 1858), died unmarried
  • Benjamin Franklin Washington (April 7, 1820 – January 22, 1872)[17]
∞ Georgianna Hite Ransom, October 22, 1845 at Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
  • Georgiana Augusta Washington Smith (born March 13, 1822)[18]
∞ John Wheeler Smith, November 20, 1851 at "Cedar Lawn," Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
  • Mary Elizabeth Washington Asbury (born March 4, 1824)[19]
∞ Squire Asbury (grand-nephew of U.S. President Zachary Taylor), September 21, 1858 in Johnson County, Missouri
  • Col. John Thornton Augustine Washington (January 22, 1826 – July 10, 1894)[20]
∞ Olive Anne Jones, March 8, 1860 at San Antonio, Texas
  • Mildred Berry Washington (September 3, 1827 – September 12, 1827)
  • Mildred Berry Washington Bedinger (March 8, 1829 – November 7, 1871)[21]
∞ Solomon Singleton Bedinger, February 8, 1854 at "Cedar Lawn," Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
  • Hon. George Washington (born December 9, 1830)[22]
∞ Mary Virginia Dempsey, April 11, 1871 at Otterville, Missouri
  • Susan Ellsworth Washington Bedinger (born April 1, 1833)[23]
∞ Henry Clay Bedinger, May 22, 1857 in Johnson County, Missouri
  • Henrietta Gray Washington (September 30, 1835 – December 18, 1838)


Offspring of John Thornton Augustine Washington and Elizabeth Conrad Bedinger (1793-1837)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Lawrence Berry Washington (1811-1856) 26 November 1811 Charles Town, West Virginia, United States 21 September 1856 Rocheport, Missouri, United States
Daniel Bedinger Washington (1814-1887)
Virginia Thorton Washington (1816-1838)
Sarah Eleanor Washington (1818-1858)
Benjamin Franklin Washington (1820-1872) 7 April 1820 "Cedar Lawn", Charles Town, West Virginia, United States 22 January 1872 San Francisco, California, United States Georgianna Hite Ranson (c1822-1860)
George Anna Augusta Washington (1822-1895)
Mary Elizabeth Washington (1824-1898)
Thornton Augustine Washington (1826-1894)
Mildred Berry Washington (1827-1827)
Mildred Berry Washington (1829-1871)
George Washington (1830-1890)
Susan Ellsworth Washington (1833-1893)
Henrietta Gray Washington (1835-1838)

Later life

Washington's wife Elizabeth died on October 21, 1837 at "Cedar Lawn" and Washington himself died at "Cedar Lawn" four years later on October 9, 1841.[11] Washington's children had departed the homestead for other areas or moved to nearby estates by the time of his death, and the "Cedar Lawn" property passed from the Washington family.[24] Washington had finished drafting his will on July 16, 1840 and it was proved nine days after his death in Charles Town on October 18, 1841.[25] Washington and his wife were interred at "Harewood," the estate formerly owned by his grandfather Colonel Samuel Washington and from which "Cedar Lawn" was created.[26][27] The family bible acquired by Washington on September 1, 1818 in which he inscribed a record of the dates and locations of his family's births, deaths, and weddings was passed down through his descendants and is currently in the possession of the Bedinger family.[5]

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.," John Thornton Augustine Washington would have likely succeeded his great uncle George Washington as "king" of the United States had Washington accepted the position of monarch rather than that of president.[28][29] Following the laws of male preference primogeniture succession recognized by the Kingdom of Great Britain at the time of American independence, John Thornton Augustine Washington would have been the lawful heir presumptive to Washington as the eldest son of Thornton Washington, who in turn was the eldest son of Samuel Washington, Washington's eldest full brother.[28][30] A theoretical "King John I of the United States" would have had a lengthy reign spanning from Washington's death in 1799 until 1841.[31]

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General


  1. ^ a b McGee 1973, p. 3.
  2. ^ a b Wayland 1998, p. 237.
  3. ^ Wayland 1998, p. 352.
  4. ^ a b Harrison 2005, p. 1438.
  5. ^ a b c Cooper County, Missouri Genealogical Web (GenWeb) Project 2011, p. 1.
  6. ^ a b Wallace 1951, p. 108.
  7. ^ Wallace 1951, p. 108.
  8. ^ Wallace 1951, p. 108.
  9. ^ Wayland 1998, p. 354.
  10. ^ McGee 1973, p. 3.
  11. ^ a b Harrison 2005, p. 1943.
  12. ^ McGee 1973, p. 3.
  13. ^ McGee 1973, p. 3.
  14. ^ Wayland 1998, p. 237.
  15. ^ Harrison 2005, pp. 1943–1945.
  16. ^ Harrison 2005, p. 2507.
  17. ^ Harrison 2005, p. 2508.
  18. ^ Harrison 2005, p. 2509.
  19. ^ Harrison 2005, p. 2510.
  20. ^ Harrison 2005, pp. 2510–2511.
  21. ^ Harrison 2005, p. 2511.
  22. ^ Harrison 2005, p. 2512.
  23. ^ Harrison 2005, p. 2513.
  24. ^ McGee 1973, p. 3.
  25. ^ Wayland 1998, p. 237.
  26. ^ McGee 1973, p. 3.
  27. ^ von Frank zu Döfering 1967, p. 56.
  28. ^ a b Bacon 1908, p. 755.
  29. ^ Wallace 1951, p. 108.
  30. ^ Wallace 1951, p. 108.
  31. ^ Wallace 1951, p. 108.


NAME Washington, John Thornton Augustine
SHORT DESCRIPTION American politician
DATE OF BIRTH May 20, 1783
PLACE OF BIRTH "Berry Hill" near Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)
DATE OF DEATH October 9, 1841
PLACE OF DEATH "Cedar Lawn" near Charles Town, Virginia (now West Virginia)

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