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Lawrence Berry Washington

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Title: Lawrence Berry Washington  
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Subject: John Thornton Augustine Washington, Richwood Hall, Cedar Lawn, Beall-Air, Blakeley (West Virginia)
Collection: 1811 Births, 1856 Deaths, 19Th-Century American Episcopalians, 19Th-Century American Novelists, 19Th-Century American Poets, Accidental Deaths in Missouri, American Male Novelists, American Male Poets, American Military Personnel from West Virginia, American Military Personnel of the Mexican–american War, American People of English Descent, Bedinger Family, Bleeding Kansas, Deaths by Drowning, People from Charles Town, West Virginia, People of the California Gold Rush, United States Army Officers, Virginia Lawyers, Washington Family, West Virginia Lawyers, Writers from Virginia, Writers from West Virginia
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Lawrence Berry Washington

Lawrence Berry Washington
Birth name Lawrence Berry Washington
Born (1811-11-26)November 26, 1811
"Cedar Lawn" near Charles Town, West Virginia (now West Virginia), US
Died September 21, 1856(1856-09-21) (aged 44)
Missouri River near Rocheport, Missouri, U.S.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1846–1848 (USA)
Rank Second lieutenant
Battles/wars Mexican–American War
Relations John Thornton Augustine Washington (father)
Benjamin Franklin Washington (brother)
Robert Rutherford (great-grandfather)
Samuel Washington (great-grandfather)
George Washington (great-granduncle)
Other work Lawyer, military officer, author, Forty-niner

Lawrence Berry Washington (November 26, 1811 – September 21, 1856) was an American lawyer, President of the United States.


  • Early life 1
  • Military career 2
  • Later careers and pursuits 3
  • Theoretical American royal succession 4
  • Ancestry 5
  • References 6
  • Bibliography 7

Early life

Washington was born on November 26, 1811 at "Cedar Lawn" plantation near Charles Town in Jefferson County, West Virginia (now West Virginia) and was the eldest son of John Thornton Augustine Washington and his wife Elizabeth Conrad Bedinger Washington.[1][2][3]

Military career

Washington was a lawyer by profession[1][2][3][4] and subsequently served as a second lieutenant in the Virginia Volunteers during the Mexican–American War.[1][2][3][5] At the onset of the war, Washington enrolled in the Jefferson County company (Company K), Second Battalion of the Virginia Regiment in the United States Army on December 6, 1846[6][7] and he was chosen by a public committee of prominent citizens in Charles Town on December 24, 1846 to serve in the company as a second lieutenant.[8] Washington and his company departed Charles Town on January 4, 1847 and they reached the Brazos River in Texas by March 12.[9] While at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia after the company's return east, Washington drafted a letter dated May 7, 1848 to United States Secretary of War William L. Marcy offering to raise a company of troops to fight Mexican forces in Oregon or elsewhere on the condition that he be granted a captaincy.[10]

Later careers and pursuits

Washington's birthplace, "Cedar Lawn" near Charles Town in Jefferson County, West Virginia. "Cedar Lawn" was built by Washington's father, John Thornton Augustine Washington, in 1825.

Because of the large number of siblings in his family, Washington's inheritance from his father in 1841 was not sizable, and he pursued a number of opportunities to build his personal wealth.[11] Following his service in the Mexican–American War, Washington joined the Charles Town Mining Company and travelled to California in 1849 as a participant in the California Gold Rush with his brother Benjamin Franklin Washington, but there are no existing records of Washington finding gold during his pursuit.[1][3][11][12] While in California, Washington authored the novel, A Tale to be Told Some Fifty Years Hence.[4][13] Washington then moved east to Missouri in the 1850s where he remained for a few years and fought as a Border Ruffian during the Bleeding Kansas confrontations over slavery along the border between Kansas Territory and Missouri.[11] While in Missouri, Washington wrote poetry and contributed to local newspapers.[3] Washington returned to Virginia later in the 1850s, and then again moved to Missouri in 1856.[1] Washington died by drowning after falling overboard from a steamboat on the Missouri River near Rocheport in Boone County, Missouri on the night of September 21, 1856.[1][3][11][14] Washington family descendants claim that Washington was murdered by Kansas Jayhawkers because of his pro-slavery Southern sympathies and possibly in retaliation for his participation in the Bleeding Kansas conflicts as a Border Ruffian.[11] Washington was a lifelong bachelor, and died without issue.[1][3] His younger brother, John Thornton Augustine Washington, memorialized Washington by naming his fifth child Lawrence Berry Washington; he was born in San Antonio, Texas on July 12, 1869.[15]

Theoretical American royal succession

According to a May 1908 article in The Scrap Book entitled "If Washington Had Been Crowned" and a February 1951 article in

  • Bacon, E. L. (May 1908), If Washington Had Been Crowned, The Scrap Book magazine, Frank A. Munsey Company, retrieved 2012-05-05 
  • Bushong, Millard Kessler (1972), A History of Jefferson County, West Virginia,  
  • Cooper County, Missouri Genealogical Web (GenWeb) Project (2012), John Thornton Augustine Washington Family Bible Transcription, Cooper County, Missouri Genealogical Web (GenWeb) Project, retrieved 2012-05-05 
  • Gardner, Charles Kitchell (1853), A Dictionary of All Officers: Who Have Been Commissioned, or Have Been Appointed and Served, in the Army of the United States, Since the Inauguration of Their First President in 1789, to the First January, 1853..., G. P. Putnam and Company, retrieved 2012-05-05 
  • McGee, Ted (April 1973), National Register of Historic Places - Nomination Form: Cedar Lawn,  
  • Wallace, Robert (February 1951), If Washington Had Become King: A Carpenter or an Engineer Might Now Rule the U.S.,  
  • Washington, Lawrence Berry (1853), A Tale to be Told Some Fifty Years Hence,  
  • Wayland, John W. (1998), The Washingtons and Their Homes, Genealogical Publishing Company,  
  • Welles, Albert (1879), The Pedigree and History of the Washington Family: Derived from Odin, the Founder of Scandinavia, B.C. 70, Involving a Period of Eighteen Centuries, and Including Fifty-five Generations, Down to General George Washington, First President of the United States, Society Library, retrieved 2012-05-05 
  • West Virginia Department of Archives and History (1911), Biennial Report of the Department of Archives and History of the State of West Virginia, Volume 3, West Virginia Department of Archives and History, retrieved 2012-05-05 


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Welles 1879, p. 238.
  2. ^ a b c Kunitz 1933, p. 51.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bacon 1908, p. 755.
  4. ^ a b McGee 1973, p. 3.
  5. ^ Gardner 1853, p. 190.
  6. ^ West Virginia Department of Archives and History 1911, p. 190.
  7. ^ Bushong 1972, p. 508.
  8. ^ Bushong 1972, p. 133.
  9. ^ Bushong 1972, p. 134.
  10. ^ Washington, Lawrence Berry (1848), Letter from Lawrence Berry Washington, Fortress Monroe, Va. to William L. Marcy, ALS, May 7, 1848,  
  11. ^ a b c d e f Wallace 1951, p. 110.
  12. ^ Wayland 2009, p. 241.
  13. ^ Washington 1853
  14. ^ Cooper County, Missouri Genealogical Web (GenWeb) Project 2012, p. 1.
  15. ^ Welles 1879, p. 242.
  16. ^ a b c Wallace 1951, p. 108.
  17. ^ a b c d Smolenyak 2008, p. 27.



[17][11] Following his death, the American crown would have passed to his next eldest brother, Daniel Bedinger Washington.[17][16] A theoretical "King Lawrence I of the United States" would have had a reign spanning from his father's death in 1841 until his own death in 1856.[17][16][3]

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