Washington, Lewis William

Life Span
to
Full name
Lewis William Washington
Place of Birth
Birth Date Certainty
Estimated
Death Date Certainty
Exact
Gender
Male
Race
White
Sectional choice
South
Origins
Slave State
No. of Spouses
2
No. of Children
4
Family
George Corbin Washington (father), Elizabeth Beall Washington (mother), Mary Ann Barroll (first wife), Ella Bassett (second wife)
Occupation
Farmer or Planter
Relation to Slavery
Slaveholder
Church or Religious Denomination
Episcopalian
Political Parties
Democratic

Lewis Washington (Reynolds, 2005)

Scholarship
[John Brown] sent a party into the countryside to liberate slaves and take captive their masters. Three whites ([Aaron] Stevens, [John] Cook, and [Charles] Tidd) and three blacks ([Lewis] Leary, [Shields] Green, and Osborne Anderson) were assigned to the job. Brown wanted this important mission, which he believed would initiate the liberation of Virginia’s slaves, to be undertaken by a racially mixed group.

The six liberators went five miles above the Ferry to the farm of Colonel Lewis Washington, the great-grandnephew of George Washington. At midnight they captured this scion of the Revolution and forced him to hand over to Anderson the Lafayette pistol and the sword of Frederick the Great.

They subjected Washington to further indignity when they declared they had come to free his slaves and take him to the Ferry as a hostage. Washington tried to appease Stevens by offering him whiskey. When the offer was refused, Washington broke down. He was taken to his own carriage, behind which was his four-horse farm wagon, now full of his slaves and their captors. Amid the sobs and cries of his family, the vehicles rumbled away.
David S. Reynolds, John Brown, Abolitionist: The Man Who Killed Slavery, Sparked the Civil War, and Seeded Civil Rights, rev. ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 2005), 311.
How to Cite This Page: "Washington, Lewis William," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College, https://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/index.php/node/6804.