George Washington Parke Custis

[[Salt print]] of Custis, circa 1856 George Washington Parke Custis (April 30, 1781 – October 10, 1857) was an American antiquarian, author, playwright, and plantation owner. He was a veteran of the War of 1812. His father, John Parke Custis served in the American Revolution with then-General George Washington. John Parke Custis died after the Battle of Yorktown that ended the American Revolution.

As the grandson of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, his father John Parke Custis was a stepson of George Washington. His father's sister Patsy and his own sister Eleanor grew up at George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Upon reaching age 21, Custis inherited a large fortune from his late father, John Parke Custis, including a plantation in what became Arlington, Virginia. High atop a hill overlooking the Potomac River and Washington, D.C., Custis built the Greek Revival mansion Arlington House (1803–18), as a shrine to George Washington. There he preserved and displayed many of Washington's belongings. Custis also wrote historical plays about Virginia, delivered a number of patriotic addresses, and was the author of the posthumously published ''Recollections and Private Memoirs of George Washington'' (1860).

His daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married Robert E. Lee. They inherited Arlington House and the plantation surrounding it, but the property was soon confiscated by the federal government during the Civil War. After the war, the US Supreme Court determined the property to have been illegally confiscated and ordered it returned to Lee's heirs. After regaining Arlington, George Washington Custis Lee immediately sold it back to the federal government for its market value. Arlington House is now a museum, interpreted by the National Park Service as the Robert E. Lee Memorial. Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery are also located on what had been Custis' plantation. Provided by Wikipedia
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