George Washington Papers
Note: this document has content that may require expanded/print view for best results (icons above right)

Memorandum Division of Slaves, 1762

Memorandum Division of Slaves


Auge Washington George Washington Saml Washington John Washington Charles Washington
Roger £ 60 Kate £ 50 James £ 60 Nan £ 35 Dublin £ 60
Phillis 50 George 40 Charles 30 Belinda 5 yrs old 20 Grace £ 50
Doll 30 Maria 20 Lydia 30 Milly 4 Do 15 £1101
£140 Kates 1st Child 13 £120 Boson 1 Do 12
Ditto 2d Ditto 10 Sue 25
£133 £107

AD, NjP: De Coppet Collection. This document is one of four slave lists in a packet of papers that GW labeled: “Papers relating to the several divisions made in my brother Lawrence’s Negroes, first between Col. G. Lee, who intermarryed with the widow, and the brothers of the deceased Lawrence, and afterwards the division of the Negroes belonging to Col. G. Lee’s part among the brothers.” See Division of Slaves, 10 Dec. 1754, in Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends , 1:227–31. GW docketed the slave list printed here, “2d Division of part of my decd Brothr Lawrencs Negroes among myself, & youngr Brother’s.” The slaves listed in the document printed here were in the possession of Ann Lee, the widow of Lawrence Washington, and her husband George Lee, until Mrs. Lee’s death in 1761. By the terms of his will, Lawrence Washington gave his widow a lifetime right to one-half of all his slaves and provided that his brothers should inherit the other half should his daughter die without issue. After Sarah Washington (b. 1750) died in 1754, her father’s slaves were divided, with her mother Ann Lee getting one-half and Lawrence Washington’s brother, Augustine, and his half brothers, George, Samuel, John Augustine, and Charles, inheriting the other half. For the division of the slaves between Mrs. Lee and the Washington brothers and for the subsequent division of the brothers’ half share among themselves, see Memorandum II and III, ibid., and also the list of slaves in GW’s 7–8 Mar. 1753 inventory of Lawrence Washington’s Fairfax County estate, ViMtvL, as well as (1) the two mutilated pages of an agreement, date unknown, for the division of Lawrence Washington’s slaves in the Fairfax County Deed Book D (1755–61), 93–94; and (2) a torn portion of the last page of a document dealing probably with the division of the slaves dated 1⟨8⟩ April 1755, on p. 197 of the same book (but see also Fairfax County Order Book [1754–56], 383, 438). The first of these two mutilated documents is probably the one proven in court on 20 May 1755 and recorded on 17 June 1755 (Fairfax County Order Book [1754–56], 300, 303).

A fourth slave list in GW’s packet of “Papers relating to the several divisions made in my brother Lawrence’s Negroes . . .” lists the slaves that GW’s father Augustine Washington left to his wife Mary Washington and their four sons George, Samuel, John Augustine, and Charles Washington. The upper left-hand corner of the document is missing, but presumably it is headed by the name Mary Washington followed by the names of four slaves above the names of: “Jane & her Child—£45, Ned—30, Prince—18, Phillis—12, Judy—10, and Will—5,” totaling £242. “Go: Washington” heads the next column with the names: “Fortune—30, George—20, Long Joe—30, Winna—30, Bellindar—25, Jenny—12.10, Adam—10, Natt—10, London—20, Milly—10, and Frank—5,” for a total of £202.10. “Saml Washington”: “Dick—30, Ralph—30, Thomas Merry—30, Rosa—35, Pegg and Child Milly—40, Sarah—10, Charles—5, Virgin—10, and Will—5,” total £195; “John A: Washington”: “Dublin—35, Toney—30, Short Joe—30, Winny—30, Nan—32, Patt—10, Jack—5, Jerremy—10, Jim—8, Cate—5,” total £195; “Chas Washington”: “Peter—35, Will—20, Prince—18, Cate—20, Beck—30, Cate—10, James—16, Milly—10, Tom—13, Polly—13, Suky—5, and Jerremy—⟨3⟩.” This list was probably made in 1750 when GW became 18 at about the time he purchased his first lands in Frederick County. In the King George County Deed Book 3 (1743–52), 373, appears the following document: “In Obedience to an order of King George Court we the subscribers have met at Mrs Washingtons and divided the Negros agreeable to the Will of Capt. Augustine Washington Gent. deced and have set a part for Mrs Washington Ned, Jack, Bob, Sue, Jane, Jack a child, Ned, Prince[,] Phillis[,] Judy, Will in all Eleven for Mr George Washington Fortune, George[,] Long Joe, Winna, Bellindar, Jenny, Adam, Natt, London[,] Milla, Frank in all Eleven, for Mr Samuel Washington Dick, Ralph, Tom merry[,] Rosa[,] Pegg[,] Milla, Sarah, Charles, Virgin, Will for Mr John Washington Dublin, Tony, Short Joe, Winna, Nan, Patt, Jack, Jerimy, Gim, Cate for Mr Charles Washington, Peter, Will, Prince, Cate, Beck, Cate, Janny[,] Milla, Tom, Polly, Suky, Jerrimy Given under our hands this 31st day of Octr 1750 [signed] John Champe, Han[coc]k Lee, O. Innis.” The document was returned to court and admitted to record on 2 Nov. 1750. See Augustine Washington’s will in DLC:GW dated 11 April 1743 and the inventory of his estate, dated June–July 1743, in the King George County Inventory Book 1 (1721–44), 285–91. The names of a number of the slaves that GW inherited from his father appear in his diaries and correspondence in the 1750s, indicating that they were living on GW’s Bullskin plantation in Frederick County.

1GW also listed the slaves with their valuation all on one column and gave the total “£610. divided by 5. leaves to each—£122.” He lists Charles’s value as £35, not £30, in this column. He notes that Lydia was 3 feet 5 inches, Doll 3 feet 4 inches, and Sue 2 feet 11 inches and that Belinda was 5 years old, Milly, 4, and Boson, 1 year old. Finally, he notes that Augustine Washington had £18 and GW £11 “too much,” and that Samuel had £2, John Augustine £15, and Charles £12 “too little.”

Index Entries