"Founding Father" George Washington was sterile and had no children so he could not assume the crown of the new "Holy Roman" Empire States of America!

George Washington

Martha—spouse of George—was the widow of Daniel Parke Custis, and the mother of 5 children.

Martha Custis, aged 27, and George Washington, aged almost 27, married on January 6, 1759, at the White House plantation.

Martha had no children by George because he was sterile.



George Washington as
Zeus, by Horatio Greenough.

George claimed to be sterile from smallpox contacted during a visit to Barbados. However, his great-grandfather King Charles II almost died from smallpox, but he recovered, and fathered dozens of children!

Martha Washington had 5 children by her former husband, Daniel Parke Custis. One of them, John Parke "Jacky" Custis, married into the rich Maryland Calvert clan.

The Calverts and the Carrolls were the richest Catholics in the colonies. They were always screaming about religious discrimination, but that did not stop them from amassing a vast fortune.

General Andrew Jackson was the hero of the Battle of New Orleans.
General Andrew Jackson was the
Hero of the Battle of New Orleans.

Jacobite British preparations for the Civil War began immediately after the Battle of New Orleans.

Their base in Canada was ideally suited for infiltrating the newborn Republic with despicable spies!!


The Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815.
The Battle of New Orleans on
January 8, 1815.

George Washington had his clothes and his custom made carriage imported from England. All during the Revolution, his wife Martha received usury from a small fortune in the Bank of England. Trading with the "enemy" was not considered a crime back then!

John Parke Custis (1754 -1781).
John Parke Custis

Martha's son "Jacky" married "Nelly" Calvert in 1774.

This combined the Washington and Calvert fortunes, and made them one of the richest families in Virginia.




Eleanor Calvert (1758- 1811).
Eleanor Calvert

John Park Custis died shortly after the "surrender" of Lord Cornwallis during the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, Eleanor married Dr. David Stuart, an Alexandria physician and a business associate of George Washington. Eleanor and David had 16 children.

George Washington Park Custis
George Washington Park Custis

George Washington Park Custis was the grandson of Martha and the step-grandson of George.

Many of the rich Virginia slave-owning families were kissin' cousins as they tried to keep the family fortune from falling into the hands of outsiders.

Mary Lee Fitzhugh
Mary Lee Fitzhugh

George and Mary had 3 children who died in infancy. Their only surviving daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married the arch-rebel Robert E. Lee.

Young Robert E. Lee
Young Robert E. Lee

Mary Anna married Robert E. Lee on June 30, 1831.

The wedding was held at the huge mansion on the Potomac known as Arlington House.



Mary Anna Custis Lee
Mary Anna Custis Lee

Mary was always quoting the Bible to her husband and she conducted Sabbath-day classes for the black slaves. Obviously, she overlooked the story of the Exodus from Egyptian bondage!

General Lee commanded the rebel army during the Civil War!!

On June 1, 1862, Jefferson Davis appointed West Point graduate Robert E. Lee commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Lee had no real previous military experience, but it was his family connections that secured him the appointment.

General Lee commanding
General Lee commanding
the rebel army.


Lee knew all about the upcoming assassination of President Lincoln because he timed his surrender just a few days before the planned assassination.

He was confident that it would succeed because Mary Lincoln was a zealous rebel.

Lee never faced a court martial because his friends occupied the White House after the assassination.


Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.
Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865.

The only penalties Robert and Mary suffered after the Civil War was the loss of Arlington House, also known as the Custis-Lee Mansion. Arlington House was built by Mary's grandfather, George Washington Park Custis, and contained all kinds of mementos of the life of George Washington.

Union troops in front of the Custis-Lee Mansion in 1864.
Union troops in front of the Custis-Lee Mansion in 1864.

Mary Custis Lee did not believe the words of her Saviour that "it is better to give than to receive."

She fought a ferocious battle to reclaim Arlingon House and have the soldiers disinterred.

The Custis-Lee estate is now called Arlington National Cemetery.
The Custis-Lee estate is now called Arlington National Cemetery.

During the Civil War, the vast grounds were turned into a cemetery for fallen Union soldiers. Mary Custis Lee fought a ferocious battle to have the property returned to her. In 1882, the Supreme Court ruled in her favor and the property was returned to the Custis estate. Mary's son, Custis, promptly sold the property back to the United States government:

Custis had no interest in living in the middle of a cemetery and immediately sold the estate to the United States Government for $150,000, half of what his mother had thought it was worth a decade earlier. He gave his sisters Mary and Mildred $7,000 each, the balance of the $10,000 legacies their Grandpa Custis had left them. (Perry, Lady of Arlington, p. 342).

High treason really paid off in this life for the Washington-Custis-Lee family.

Vital Links


Perry, John. Lady of Arlington: The Life of Mrs. Robert E. Lee. Multnomah Publishers, Inc., Sisters, Oregon.

Nagel, Paul C. The Lees of Virginia: Seven Generations of an American Family. Oxford University Press, New York, 1990.

Copyright © 2016 by Patrick Scrivener

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