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John Augustine Washington III and descendants papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 2018-SC-097

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, legal documents, financial records, and other documents related to John Augustine Washington III and his son Lawrence, as well as his granddaughters Anne and Patty. The bulk of the correspondence series are letters sent to John Augustine Washington III 1840-1860. They deal with family affairs and the management of various family plantations, including Mount Vernon. The late-nineteenth and twentieth century papers are divided into subject files, largely related to the gift and sale of Washington family relics owned by John Augustine’s descendants.


  • 1771-1994


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 (1821-1861): John Augustine Washington III was the great-grand nephew of George Washington and the last private owner of Mount Vernon. The fourth of five children, he was born on May 3, 1821 to John Augustine Washington II and Jane Charlotte Blackburn Washington. John Augustine spent his childhood at his parents’ Blakeley plantation near present day Charles Town, West Virginia. After the deaths of Bushrod Washington and his wife Julia in 1829, the Mount Vernon estate became the possession of John Augustine Washington II. After John Augustine Washington II passed away in June 1832, the estate was left to his widow Jane Charlotte. John Augustine Washington III graduated from the University of Virginia in 1840, returning to Mount Vernon in September 1841 with a proposition to manage the estate for his mother. She agreed, loaning him twenty-two slaves and contracting his employment for five hundred dollars per year for seven years. Upon Jane Charlotte's death in 1855, as the oldest living male heir, John Augustine Washington III became the last owner private owner of Mount Vernon.

Lawrence Washington (1854-1920): Lawrence Washington was the fifth child and eldest son of John Augustine Washington III and Eleanor Love Selden Washington. He was born at Mount Vernon on January 14, 1854. He married Frances Willis Lackland on June 14, 1876, and the couple had twelve children, including Anne Madison and Patty Willis Washington, who inherited a large collection of Washington relics from their father.


4.25 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized in the following series and subseries. Series 1-3. are arranged chronologically, with undated materials listed last. Series 4. is arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 1. Correspondence

Series 2. Legal Documents

Series 3. Financial Records

Series 4. Subject Files

  • Subseries 4.1. Braddock Sash
  • Subseries 4.2. Chapman Portrait of the Family of Mrs. John Augustine Washington
  • Subseries 4.3. Christ Church, Alexandria
  • Subseries 4.4. Dismal Swamp Land Company
  • Subseries 4.5. Genealogical Notes
  • Subseries 4.6. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association
  • Subseries 4.7. Lawrence Washington (1854-1920)
  • Subseries 4.8. Louis XVI Engraving
  • Subseries 4.9. Newspaper Clippings
  • Subseries 4.10. Portrait of Lawrence Washington
  • Subseries 4.11. Swords of George Washington
  • Subseries 4.12. Typescript Documents
  • Subseries 4.13. Washington Descendants

  • Series 5. Prints and Photographic Materials

    Related Materials

    Bushrod Washington Family Papers ; Elswyth Thane Beebe Collection of Washington Family Papers ; Historic Manuscripts Collection ; John Augustine Washington III and Eleanor Love Selden Correspondence ; John Augustine Washington III and Mount Vernon Ladies Association (MVLA) Collection

    John Augustine Washington III and descendants papers, 1771-1994
    Katherine Hoarn, Special Collections Librarian, updated by Audrey Abrams, May 2021.
    May 2019
    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