Lewis William Washington was born 30 November 1812 Georgetown in Washington, United States to George Corbin Washington (1789-1854) and Elizabeth Ridgely Beall (1786-1820) and died 1 October 1871 Beall-Air Halltown, West Virginia, United States of unspecified causes. He married Mary Ann Barroll (1817-1844) 7 May 1836 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. He married Ella More Bassett (1834-1898) 6 November 1860 Clover Lea in Mechanicsville, Virginia, United States. Charlemagne (747-814)/s, Hugh Capet (c940-996)/s.

Lewis Washington
Born November 30, 1812(1812-11-30)
Died October 1, 1871 (age 58)
Parents George Corbin Washington
Elizabeth Beall
Relatives George Washington (great-granduncle)
William Augustine Washington (grandfather)
Augustine Washington (great-grandfather)
File:Colonel Lewis Washington.gif

Colonel Lewis Washington Plantation Home Beall Air, site of Lewis Washington's capture on the night of the Harpers Ferry raid; Inset: Col. Washington

Lewis William Washington (November 30, 1812 - October 1, 1871)[1][2] was a great-grandnephew of President George Washington, who is principally remembered as a hostage of abolitionist John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia and as a prosecution witness in the subsequent trial of Brown.

Lewis Washington was the son of George Corbin Washington, the grandson of William Augustine Washington, and a great-grandson of Augustine Washington, half-brother of George Washington.[3] Lewis Washington inherited Beall-Air near Halltown, West Virginia through his mother, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Beall. He made his home at Beal-Air from 1840 until his death in 1871.[4]

The Harpers Ferry Raid

Lewis William Washington inherited several relics of George Washington, including a sword allegedly given by Frederick the Great to Washington and a pair of pistols given by Lafayette.[5] John Cook, who served as John Brown's advance party at Harpers Ferry, befriended Washington and noted the relics, as well as the slave population at Beall-Air. Brown was fascinated with the Washington relics. During Brown's October 16, 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry a detachment from his force led by Cook seized the sword and pistols along with Washington at Beall-Air, taking along three of Washington's slaves. The hostages were taken to Harpers Ferry by way of the Allstadt House and Ordinary, where more hostages were taken. Ultimately, Washington and the others were held at Brown's base in the fire engine house of the Harpers Ferry federal arsenal. All survived their captivity, and Washington identified Brown to the Marine rescue party. During the assault on John Brown's Fort, a saber thrust by Marine Lieutenant Green at Brown was allegedly deflected by the belt buckle securing the Washington sword.[3]

During John Brown's trial for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia, Lewis Washington testified as a witness for the prosecution. During cross-examination, Washington testified that Brown treated his hostages well and gave orders not to harm civilians.[6]

When the Civil War began, Washington sided with the Confederacy. On July 17, 1865, he was pardoned by President Andrew Johnson.[7] Many pieces from Lewis Washington's collection of Washington family items, including the sword given him by Frederick the Great and the Lafayette pistols, were donated to the New York State Library by his widow in 1872.[8] Lewis Washington married twice, first to Mary Ann Barroll and then to Ella Bassett.[2] He was survived by two sons and two daughters, James Barroll Washington, who served in the Confederate army,[8] Mary Ann Washington (married to Henry Irving Keyser), Eliza Ridgeley Washington (married Elias Glenn Perine), and William De Hertbrun Washington. [9] William De Hertbrun Washington died without issue on August 30, 1914. James Barroll Washington was survived by one son, William Lanier Washington who died without surviving children on September 11, 1933 after selling the remainder of his family collection of Washington heirlooms at public auction on April 19, 1917.[10]

Children of Lewis William Washington and Mary Ann Barroll:

  1. George Corbin Washington (1837–1843)
  2. James Barroll Washington (1839–1899)
  3. Mary Ann Washington (1841–1931)
  4. Eliza Ridgeley Washington (1844–1919)

Children of Lewis William Washington and Ella Bassett:

  1. Betty Lewis Washington (1861–1862)
  2. William De Hertbrun Washington (1863–1914)


Offspring of Lewis William Washington and Mary Ann Barroll (1817-1844)
Name Birth Death Joined with
George Corbin Washington (1837-1843)
James Barroll Washington (1839-1899)
Mary Ann Washington (1841-1931)
Eliza Ridgeley Washington (1844-1919)

Offspring of Lewis William Washington and Ella More Bassett (1834-1898)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Betty Lewis Washington (1861-1862)
William De Hertbrun Washington (1863-1914)


Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General


  1. ^ Sorley, Merrow Egerton (1935, reprinted 1979, 1991, 2000). Lewis of Warner Hall: The History of a Family. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company. pp. 241. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Washington, Lewis William". House Divided, The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College. Dickinson College. 2007-09-25. Retrieved 2010-08-20. "Life span 01/01/1808—10/01/1871...Birth Date Certainty: Estimated...Death Date Certainty: Exact" 
  3. ^ a b Ted McGee (April 5, 1973), National Register of Historic Places Nomination: Beall-AirPDF (341 KB), National Park Service 
  4. ^ "Beallair: A Journey Through Time". The Wormald Companies (a developer who currently owns the Beall-Air Estate. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  5. ^ "Freedom's Treasures". New York State Education Department : Office of Cultural Education : Cultural Education Center. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  6. ^ Linder, Douglas O. (2005). "The Trial of John Brown: A Commentary". University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Law. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  7. ^ Bergeron, editor, Paul H (1990). The papers of Andrew Johnson: May–August 1865. Univ. of Tennessee Press. pp. 547. ISBN 0-87049-613-1. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  8. ^ a b Washington, W. Lanier (1916-08-10). "The Sword of Frederick: Tradition in the Washington Family on a Disputed Point". The New York Times: pp. E2. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  9. ^ "Of Good Old Virginia Blood; William D'Hertburn Washington of Famous Ancestry". The New York Times: pp. 20. 1894-02-11. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  10. ^ Washington, William Lanier (1917). Historical Relics of George Washington Inherited and Collected by Mr. William Lanier Washington: original letters and documents, by George Mason and others on the formation of the Constitution, original unpublished diary of James McHenry, member of the Constitutional convention, and a miniature of Washington, painted by Birch, to be sold Thursday evening, April 19, 1917. Anderson Galleries. 
NAME Washington, Lewis
SHORT DESCRIPTION American hostage
DATE OF BIRTH November 30, 1812
DATE OF DEATH October 1, 1871

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