General Robert E. Lee–the rebel commander–was the husband
of the great-granddaughter of Martha Washington!!
 

"Founding Father" George Washington was sterile and had no children of his own to start a Washington dynasty. That is the main reason why he was chosen to lead the Revolution.

General Washington made a big mistake when he moved the capital from Philadelphia . . . to Rome . . . on the Tiber... All the politicians were afraid of him except general Jackson!!

General Washington (1732 - 1799).
General Washington
(1732–1799).

 

Martha–spouse of George–was the widow of Daniel Parke Custis, by whom she had 5 children.

Martha had no children by George because he was sterile from syphilis contacted in Barbados when he was 19.

A person who is sterile is not a good choice for a Founding Father!!

 
Martha Washington
Martha Washington
(1731–1802).

Martha Washington had 5 children by her former husband, Daniel Parke Custis. One of them, John Parke "Jacky" Custis, married into the super rich Maryland Calvert clan.

The Calverts and the Carrolls were the richest Latin Church families in the colonies. They were always screaming about religious discrimination but that did not stop them from amassing the largest fortune in the colonies.

General Andrew Jackson was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans.
General Andrew Jackson was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans.
 

British preparations for the Civil War began immediately after the Battle of New Orleans.

Their base in Canada was ideally suited for infiltrating the newborn Republic with despicable spies!!

 

 
The Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.
The Battle of New Orleans on
January 8, 1815.

The Washingtons and the Calverts were Anglophilies, which means they loved everything English. There is nothing wrong with that . . . if you are British and live in England.

George Washington had his clothes and his custom made carriage imported from England. All during the Revolution, his wife Martha received usury from a small fortune in the Bank of England. Trading with the "enemy" was not considered a crime back then!

John Parke Custis (1754 -1781).
John Parke Custis
(1754–1781).
 

Martha's son "Jacky" married "Nelly" Calvert in 1774.

This combined the Washington and Calvert fortunes and made them one of the richest families in Virginia.

 

 

 

 
Eleanor Calvert (1758- 1811).
Eleanor Calvert
(1758–1811).

Custis died shortly after the "surrender" of Lord Cornwallis during the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, Eleanor married Dr. David Stuart, an Alexandria physician and a business associate of George Washington. Eleanor and David had sixteen children.

George Washington Park Custis
George Washington Park Custis
(1781–1857).
 

George Washington Park Custis was the grandson of Martha and the step-grandson of George.

Many of the rich Virginia slave-owning families married cousins as they tried to keep the family fortune from falling into the hands of outsiders.

 
Mary Lee Fitzhugh
Mary Lee Fitzhugh
(1788–1853).

George and Mary had 3 children who died in infancy. Their only surviving daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married the arch-rebel Robert E. Lee.

Young Robert E. Lee
Young Robert E. Lee
(1807–1870)
.
 

Mary Anna married British spy Robert E. Lee on June 30, 1831.

The wedding was held at the huge mansion on the Potomac known as Arlington House.

Mary was always spouting Bible verses at her husband but she was careful not to quote the verses that call spies despicable!!

 

 
Mary Anna Custis Lee
Mary Anna Custis Lee
(1808–1873).

Mary was always quoting the Bible to her husband and conducting Sunday school classes for the black slaves. Obviously, she overlooked the story of the Exodus from Egyptian slavery . . . and Saint Paul's warning against marrying unbelievers!!

General Lee commanded the rebel army during the Civil War!!

On June 1, 1862, Jefferson Davis appointed West Point graduate Robert E. Lee commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee had no real previous military experience, but it was his connections that secured him the appointment. Like Washington before him, it was not what you know . . . but who you know . . . that is important.

General Lee commanding
General Lee commanding
the rebel army.

 

Lee knew all about the upcoming assassination of President Lincoln because he timed his surrender just a few days before the planned assassination.

Lee never faced a court martial because his friends occupied the White House after the assassination.

 

 
Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

The only penalties Robert and Mary suffered after the Civil War was the loss of Arlington House, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion. Arlington House was built by Mary's grandfather, George Washington Park Custis, and contained all kinds of mementos of the life of George Washington.

Union troops in front of the Custis-Lee Mansion in 1864.
Union troops in front of the Custis-Lee Mansion in 1864.

Mary Custis Lee did not believe the words of her Saviour that "it is better to give than to receive."

She fought a ferocious battle to reclaim Arlingon House and have the soldiers disinterred.

The Custis-Lee estate is now called Arlington National Cemetery.
The Custis-Lee estate is now called Arlington National Cemetery.

During the Civil War, the vast grounds were turned into a cemetery for fallen Union soldiers. Mary Custis Lee fought a ferocious battle to have the property returned to her. In 1882, the Supreme Court ruled in her favor and the property was returned to the Custis estate. Mary's son, Custis, promptly sold the property back to the United States government:

Custis had no interest in living in the middle of a cemetery and immediately sold the estate to the United States Government for $150,000, half of what his mother had thought it was worth a decade earlier. He gave his sisters Mary and Mildred $7,000 each, the balance of the $10,000 legacies their Grandpa Custis had left them. (Perry, Lady of Arlington, p. 342).

High treason really paid off in this life for the Washington-Custis-Lee family.


Vital Links



References

Perry, John. Lady of Arlington: The Life of Mrs. Robert E. Lee. Multnomah Publishers, Inc., Sisters, Oregon.

Nagel, Paul C. The Lees of Virginia: Seven Generations of an American Family. Oxford University Press, New York, 1990.


Copyright © 2016 by Patrick Scrivener


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