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Beebe collection of Washington family papers

 Collection — Shelf: D:5
Identifier: RM-710

Content Description

This collection includes correspondence between John Augustine Washington III and his mother and wife, as well as other family members, mostly dealing with family matters and running Mount Vernon.


  • Creation: 1818-1861
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1840-1850

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research during scheduled appointments. Researchers must complete the Washington Library’s Special Collections and Archives Registration Form before access is provided. The library reserves the right to restrict access to certain items for preservation purposes.

Biographical / Historical

John Augustine Washington III was the great-grand nephew of George Washington and the last private owner of Mount Vernon. He was born on May 3, 1821 to John Augustine Washington II and Jane Charlotte Blackburn Washington. His young childhood was spent at Blakeley Plantation near Charles Town, WV. After the death of Bushrod Washington and his wife, the family moved to Mount Vernon. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1840 and returned to Mount Vernon to manage it for his mother, eventually inheriting it. However, he had to start encouraging tourism to make money. He tried to sell to the federal or state governments but finally sold Mount Vernon to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association in 1858 for $200,000. The family moved to Waveland plantation. Shortly after, he enlisted in the Confederate Army and served as an aid-de-camp to General Lee and was killed on September 13, 1861.

Jane Charlotte Blackburn Washington was the mother of John Augustine Washington III. When she died in 1855, she left Mount Vernon to her son.

Eleanor Love Selden Washington was the wife of John Augustine Washington III.

Louisa Washington was the daughter of John Augustine Washington III and Eleanor Washington.


.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is organized in date order with undated letters at the end.

Related Materials

Related materials can be found in the John Augustine Washington III Family Papers and the Historic Manuscripts Collection.

Beebe Collection of Washington family papers
Michele Lee, Special Collections Librarian; Candace G. Cowan, Special Collections Volunteer
September 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections at The George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon Repository

PO Box 3600
Mount Vernon VA 22121