Several well known historical figures had connections with Ravensworth and/or its owners.

Robert “King” Carter

Robert “King” Carter, Portrait attributed to Marietta Andrews1

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.

Engraving of Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax

Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax 2

Thomas, 6th Lord Fairfax

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.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson, Portrait by Rembrandt Peale3

Thomas Jefferson

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”

Portrait of Gen. Robert E. Lee, officer of the Confederate Army

General Robert E. Lee, Confederate Army4

Robert E. Lee

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 with Anna Maria Fitzhugh 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)

William Marbury

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

Colonel John S. Mosby, Confederate Army

Colonel John S. Mosby, Confederate Army5

John S. Mosby

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

George Washington

George Washington, Portrait by Rembrandt Peale6

George Washington

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


  1. By Attributed to Marietta Andrews (Virginia Historical Society (1)), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons,
  2. 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.
  3. Rembrandt Peale, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons ,
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Rembrandt Peale, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons,