Monday, July 18, 2016

Chatham Manor and the George Washington Connection

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We continued our historical journey from Ferry Farm to Chatham Manor, whose history has intertwined through the centuries and been lost to time...

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The gardens are mostly late 19th century whereas the buildings are mostly from the 18th century...

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William Fitzhugh built this Georgian estate between 1768 and 1771.

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Chatham was named for the  Englishman William Pitt, Earl of Chatham...
Fitzhugh had served in the House of Burgesses with George Washington...

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Fitzhugh's daughter, Molly, married George Washington Parke Custis (grandson of Martha Washington)...

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Thus Molly became mistress of Arlington House...

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Their daughter married Robert E. Lee...

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During the Civil War the estate on the bluff overlooking the Rappahannock River belonged to the Lacey family.

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During the war Union Forces used Chatham Manor for headquarters...

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President Abraham Lincoln visited here to plan strategy with the general.

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The Battle of Fredericksburg ensued all around the property...

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After the battle, casualties were brought into the manor...which became a hospital.

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Clara Barton helped with the wounded in the makeshift hospital...

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Poet Walt Whitman spent time with the wounded and wrote letters for them...

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After the war the manor was desolate, blood stained, and beyond destroyed...

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The Lacy family sold the manor in 1872...

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Numerous ownerships occurred through the 1920's when the Devore family restored the property.

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In 1931 the restored property was sold to a  Mr. Pratt.

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In 1975 the National Park Service inherited Pratt's home...

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Other bits of trivia:

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Fitzhugh's father-in-law, Colonel Peter Randolph, was Thomas Jefferson's boyhood guardian...

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I loved all the architectural details!

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The clay marble was a great find, considering that I had just blogged about the history of marbles!

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I was especially pleased to learn of the George Washington connection connection because many of our trips this year revolved around where all the family members lived. So far we had been to Arlington House. More locations were on our to-go list. Stay tuned!

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