Several well known historical figures had connections with Ravensworth and/or its owners.
Robert “King” Carter
Father-in-Law of Henry Fitzhugh (of Eagle’s Nest). Succeeded William Fitzhugh (the Immigrant) as land agent for the proprietors of the Northern Neck Grant. — Leading colonial Virginia politician and landowner
For more information, see biography and transcription of Robert Carter’s papers by Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
Inheritor and last owner of the Northern Neck Grant. Only British nobleman to live permanently in colonial America. Mentor of George Washington and his first employer as a land surveyor. – Fairfax County, Virginia is named for him.
Overnight guest at homes of Richard, Nicholas and William (of Chatham) Fitzhugh on trips between Washington, DC and his Monticello home near Charlottesville, VA – including this visit in April 1804. Appointed Nicholas Fitzhugh a judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of the District of Columbia. — Founding Father, author of Declaration of Independence, Minister to France in American Revolutionary War, third U.S. President
Francis Scott Key
Friend of William Marbury Fitzhugh’s mother, Mary Ann Morsell. His poem in eulogy at her death in 1831 is inscribed on her gravestone in Zion Episcopal Church cemetery, Charles Town, West Virginia. – Washington, DC attorney, poet, author of the U. S. National Anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Husband of Mary Anna Custis, granddaughter of William Fitzhugh (of Chatham) and Ravensworth heiress. Honeymooned at Ravensworth Mansion, where Mary and their children sheltered briefly at start of the Civil War. Their five living children inherited 8350 Ravensworth acres in 1874. — U.S. and Confederate army officer, commanded detachment that quelled John Brown’s Harpers Ferry raid, commanding general of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in Civil War, president of Washington College (Washington and Lee University)
Father-in-law of Richard Henry Fitzhugh and grandfather of William Marbury Fitzhugh. Defended Richard Henry’s assets from seizure before the U.S. Supreme Court in order to settle Fitzhugh’s fraudulent debts. – Washington, DC attorney, plaintiff in the landmark Marbury v. Madison case that established the U.S. Supreme Court’s power to rule on the constitutionality of a law passed by Congress and signed by the President
After Christmas 1862 raid on Burke Station, detached with nine men by General J.E.B. Stuart for partisan operations harassing Union forces and supply lines in Northern Virginia. Captured Union General Edwin H. Stoughton in Fairfax Court House (Providence) night raid without firing a shot. Slept in a Ravensworth haystack; severely wounded next day in skirmish at Gooding’s Tavern. Periodically attacked defenses in Annandale and Fairfax Court House, and disrupted the Orange and Alexandria Railroad. — Civil War partisan leader called “The Gray Ghost,” commander 43rd Virginia Cavalry – “Mosby’s Rangers,” lawyer, U.S. Consul to Hong Kong
Friend of William Fitzhugh (of Chatham) and fellow member of the Continental Congress. Washington’s step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis (1781-1857), married William (of Chatham’s) daughter Mary. Martha Washington’s son’s widow married David Stuart. Member Fairfax County Committee of Safety with Payne brothers Edward and William, Jr.; the latter reportedly knocked him down in an argument over an election.— Founding Father, Commander-in-Chief in the American Revolutionary War and first U.S. President
- By Attributed to Marietta Andrews (Virginia Historical Society (1)), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ARobert_King_Carter.jpg. ↩
- The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. Detail from “Thomas, sixth lord Fairfax.” New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 4, 2016. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-fecf-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99 ↩
- Rembrandt Peale, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons , https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AOfficial_Presidential_portrait_of_Thomas_Jefferson_(by_Rembrandt_Peale%2C_1800).jpg. ↩
- Gen. Robert E. Lee, officer of the Confederate Army, Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpb-04402 (digital file from original neg.) LC-B8172-0001 (b&w film neg.), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print. ↩
- Col. John S. Mosby, C.S.A., (detail from) Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-cwpbh-00633 (digital file from original neg.), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/. ↩
- Rembrandt Peale, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3APortrait_of_George_Washington-transparent.png. ↩