Founder of Charles Town, West Virginia, and President George Washington’s youngest brother.
For roughly two decades Charles Washington’s attentions were focused on the life he made for himself in the town of Fredericksburg and the surrounding area. In 1757 Charles married his cousin Mildred Thornton, daughter of a prominent Spotsylvania County family. According to John Wayland, noted 20th-century historian of the Shenandoah Valley, by 1759 Charles had acquired land in Spotsylvania County, and two years later he purchased two valuable lots in the neighboring town of Fredericksburg. It was one of those lots that became the site of the famous Rising Sun Tavern. It was the later sale of the Fredericksburg lots that provided the funds to begin the construction of Happy Retreat.
Mildred Thornton Washington
Mildred Thornton Washington wife of Charles Washington and daughter of Col. Francis Thornton. She was born in Westmoreland County in June of 1736. She married Charles Washington in March of 1758. Mildred and Charles had four children. George Augustine Washington, Frances Thornton Washington-Ball-Peyton, Samuel Washington and Mildred Gregory Washington-Hammond. Mildred Thornton died on October 28, 1804 at Happy Retreat.
Mildred Gregory Washington Hammond
Mildred Gregory Washington Hammond, the daughter of Charles and Mildred Thornton Washington, was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia on October 2, 1772. Mildred G. had come to Charles Town with her parents in 1780 as a young girl. She met and Married Capt. Thomas Hammond in April of 1797. Mildred and Thomas had three children who died in infancy. Mildred Gregory died on December 8, 1804 a short time after her mother.
Frances Bassett Washington
Frances Bassett Washington was the daughter of Burwell Bassett and Anna Marie Dandridge, sister to Martha Washington. She was born in 1767 in New Kent, Virginia. After the death of her mother Anna Marie, Frances came to live at Mount Vernon where she met and married George Augustine Washington the son of Charles and Mildred. Frances and George Augustine had three children. Anna Marie Washington-Thornton, George Fayette Washington and Charles Augustine. After the death of George Augustine, Frances married her Uncle George Washington’s secretary Tobias Lear.
Friends of Happy Retreat is appreciating a personal donation given to us by a descendant of Charles and Mildred Washington. This sewing machine belonged to Francis Washington, Jr. and his wife Lucy Walters Washington and their daughter Edith Ona Washington Erwin. Francis Washington, Jr. was their great grandson through their son Samuel. Wonderful to have something belonging to the Charles Washington Family. Thank you Janet Miller and son Kenn Miller.