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Lawrence Lewis family papers

 Collection — Shelf: G:1 - G:4
Identifier: RM-469

Content Description

This collection (269 letters) includes correspondence regarding family matters, farm business, legal questions about various wills, including that of George Washington, buying and selling of slaves and land, letters from friends, travels, and business interests. Also included are financial papers, including accounts and bills for various services, many dealing with daily life, building materials, education expenses, books, taxes paid/owed, and financial transactions.


  • Creation: 1785-1858


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

Lawrence Lewis: Nephew of George Washington, born on April 4, 1767, in Fredericksburg, VA to Fielding Lewis and Betty Washington Lewis, the sister of George Washington. He volunteered for service in 1794 to help suppress the Whiskey Rebellion and served as aide-de-camp to General Daniel Morgan, achieving the rank of major. In 1797 he became personal secretary to Washington and married Eleanor Parke Custis, a granddaughter of Martha Washington, on February 22, 1799. They lived at Mount Vernon for the first several years of their marriage and had eight children, three of whom survived to adulthood: Frances Parke Lewis (1799-1875); Lorenzo Lewis (13 November 1803 – 27 July 1847); and Martha Eleanor Angela Lewis (1813-1878). He was the primary executor of Washington’s will and was given 2,000 acres of land by him on which he built Woodlawn. They moved to Audley Plantation in 1830 on land he had purchased from Washington’s holdings. He died on November 20, 1839 and is buried in the vault at Mount Vernon. Betty (Lewis) Carter: Niece of Lawrence Lewis, daughter of Fielding Lewis and Elizabeth Washington. Born 23 February 1765 in Fredericksburg, VA. Died 9 August 1830 at Audley Plantation in Berryville, VA. Robert Lewis: Son of Fielding Lewis and Elizabeth Washington. Born 25 June 1769 in Fredericksburg, VA. Died 16 January 1829 in Fredericksburg, VA. He was secretary to George Washington during his presidency.


3.25 Linear Feet : 13 boxes

Language of Materials



The collection is divided into two series: Correspondence and Financial Papers. The correspondence relates to financial and legal matters, business transactions, dealings regarding the family and the farm. The financial papers include accounts and bills for various services, as well as legal documents.

Lawrence Lewis Papers, 1785-1858
Created August 2015 by Candace G. Cowan, Special Collections Volunteer; reviewed October 7, 2015 by Michele Lee, Special Collections Librarian; reviewed September 2018 by Angelica Yost, Assistant for Library Operations
August 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