Eleanor Calvert Custis Stuart, born Eleanor Calvert, was a prominent member of the wealthy Calvert family of Maryland. Upon her marriage to John Parke Custis, she became the daughter-in-law of Martha Dandridge Custis Washington and the stepdaughter-in-law of George Washington, her portrait hangs today at Mount Airy Mansion in Maryland. Eleanor Calvert was born in 1758 at the Calvert family's Mount Airy plantation near Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County, Maryland. Eleanor was the second-eldest daughter of Benedict Swingate Calvert, illegitimate son of Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, Benedict's wife Elizabeth Calvert Butler, she was known to her family as "Nelly." As a teenager, Eleanor was an exceptionally pretty well-mannered. Eleanor married John Parke Custis, son of the late Daniel Parke Custis and Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, on February 3, 1774 at Mount Airy; when "Jacky", as he was known by his family, announced his engagement to Eleanor to his parents, they were surprised due to the couple's youth.
After their marriage, the couple settled at the White House plantation, a Custis estate on the Pamunkey River in New Kent County, Virginia. After the couple had lived at the White House for more than two years, John Custis purchased the Abingdon plantation in Fairfax County, into which the couple settled during the winter of 1778–1779. Eleanor and John had seven children: unnamed daughter, died shortly after birth Elizabeth Parke Custis Law, "Eliza", married Thomas Law Martha Parke Custis Peter, "Patsy", married Thomas Peter Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis, "Nelly", married Lawrence Lewis unnamed twin daughters, died three weeks after birth George Washington Parke Custis, "Wash", married Mary Lee FitzhughIn 1781, John died of "camp fever", believed to be typhus, following the Siege of Yorktown. Eleanor's two elder daughters and Martha, continued to live with her at the Abingdon plantation, she sent her two younger children and George, to Mount Vernon to live with their grandmother, Martha Washington, her husband George Washington, future president.
John died intestate, so his widow was granted a "dower third", the lifetime use of one-third of the Custis estate assets, including its more than 300 slaves. The balance of the Custis estate was held in trust for their children and distributed as the daughters married and the son reached his majority. Eleanor's "dower third". In 1783, Eleanor married Dr. David Stuart, an Alexandria physician and a business associate of George Washington. Eleanor and David had sixteen children together, including: Ann Calvert Stuart, married William Robinson Sarah Stuart, married Obed Waite Ariana Calvert Stuart William Sholto Stuart Eleanor Custis Stuart Charles Calvert Stuart, married Cornelia Lee Rosalie Eugenia Stuart, married William Greenleaf Webster In 1792, Eleanor and their family left Abingdon and moved to David's home at Hope Park in Fairfax County. About ten years they moved to Ossian Hall near Annandale in Fairfax County. Eleanor died on September 28, 1811 at age 53 at Tudor Place, the home of her daughter, Martha Parke Custis Peter, in Georgetown, District of Columbia.
She was buried at Effingham Plantation in Virginia. She was reinterred in Page's Chapel, St. Thomas' Church, Maryland, in the late 1810s near the graves of her parents, her resting place remained unmarked until a limestone grave slab was installed in the chapel floor in autumn 2008. Torbert, Alice. Eleanor Calvert and Her Circle. New York: William-Frederick Press, 1950. Eleanor Calvert, Baltimore Museum of Art Geneall. "Eleanor Calvert". Geneall. Retrieved 2008-03-01
George Washington Parke Custis
George Washington Parke Custis was a Virginia plantation owner, antiquarian and playwright. The grandson of Martha Washington and step-grandson and adopted son of George Washington, he and his sister Eleanor grew up at Mount Vernon and in the Washington presidential households. Upon reaching age 21, Custis inherited a large fortune from his late father, John Parke Custis, including a plantation in what is now Arlington, Virginia. High atop a hill overlooking the Potomac River and Washington, D. C. he built the Greek Revival mansion Arlington House, as a shrine to George Washington. There he displayed many of Washington's belongings. Custis wrote historical plays about Virginia, delivered a number of patriotic addresses, was the author of the posthumously-published Recollections and Private Memoirs of George Washington, his daughter, Mary Anna Randolph Custis, married Robert E. Lee, they inherited Arlington House and the plantation surrounding it, but the property was confiscated by the federal government during the Civil War.
Arlington House is now a museum, interpreted by the National Park Service as the Robert E. Lee Memorial; the remainder of Arlington plantation is now Arlington National Cemetery. Custis was born on April 30, 1781, at his mother's family home, Mount Airy, which survives in Rosaryville State Park in Prince George's County, Maryland, he lived with his parents John Parke Custis and Eleanor Calvert Custis, his sisters Elizabeth Parke Custis, Martha Parke Custis and Nelly Custis, at Abingdon Plantation, which his father had purchased in 1778. However, six months after Custis's birth, his father died of "camp fever" at Yorktown, shortly after the British army surrendered there. Custis's grandmother, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington, had been widowed in 1757, married George Washington in January 1759, his father had grown up at Mount Vernon. Following John Parke Custis's death, George Washington adopted Custis. Custis's two oldest sisters and Martha, remained at Abingdon with their widowed mother, who in 1783 married Dr. David Stuart, an Alexandria physician and associate of George Washington.
The Washingtons brought Custis and Nelly, 8 and 10 years old to New York City in 1789, to live in the first and second presidential mansions. Following the transfer of the national capital to Philadelphia, the original "First Family" occupied the President's House from 1790 to 1797. Custis attended -- but did not graduate from -- Germantown Academy in Pennsylvania. George Washington expressed frustration with young Custis, as well as his own inability to improve the youth's attitude. Upon young Custis's return to Mount Vernon after only one term at St. John's, George Washington sent him to his mother and stepfather at Hope Park, writing "He appears to me to be moped and Stupid, says nothing, is always in some hole or corner excluded from the Company."In January 1799, Custis was commissioned as a cornet in the United States Army and was promoted to second lieutenant in March. He served as aide-de-camp to General Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and was honorably discharged on June 15, 1800; when Custis came of age, he inherited large amounts of money and property from the estates of his father, John Parke Custis, grandfather Daniel Parke Custis.
Upon Martha Washington's death in 1802, he received a bequest from her as well as his father's former plantations because of the termination of Martha's life estate. However, Martha's executor, Bushrod Washington, refused to sell to Custis the Mount Vernon estate on which Custis had been living and which Bushrod Washington had inherited. Custis thereupon moved into a four-room, 80-year-old house on land inherited from his father, who had called it "Mount Washington". Custis began constructing Arlington House on his land, which at the time was within Alexandria County in the District of Columbia. Hiring George Hadfield as architect, he constructed a mansion, the first example of Greek Revival architecture in America, he located the building on a prominent hill overlooking the Georgetown-Alexandria Turnpike, the Potomac River, the growing Washington City on the opposite side of the river. Using slave labor and materials on site, interrupted by the War of 1812, Custis completed the mansion's exterior in 1818.
Custis intended the mansion to serve as a living memorial to George Washington, included design elements similar to Mt. Vernon's, he gained a reputation for inviting many guests for various celebrations and social events at the mansion, where he displayed relics from Mt. Vernon, although the interior was not completed until occupancy by Robert E. Lee's family in the 1850s. In 1802, the Washington Jockey Club sought a site for a new race course, as its old site—which occupied land from the rear of what is now the site of Decatur House at H Street and Jackson Place, across Seventeenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, to Twentieth Street, where the Eisenhower Executive Office Building sits today—was suffering encroachment from the growth of the Federal City. Under the leadership of John Tayloe III and Charles Ca
Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore
Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, was a British nobleman and Proprietary Governor of the Province of Maryland. He inherited the title to Maryland aged just fifteen, on the death of his father and grandfather, when the colony was restored by the British Monarchy to the Calvert family's control, following its seizure in 1688. In 1721 Charles came of age and assumed personal control of Maryland, travelling there in 1732. For most of his life he remained in England, where he pursued an active career in politics, rising to become Lord of the Admiralty from 1742 to 1744, he died in 1751 in England, aged 52. Charles Calvert was born in England on 29 September 1699, the eldest son of Benedict Calvert, 4th Baron Baltimore, Charlotte Lee, Lady Baltimore, his grandmother Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield, was the illegitimate daughter of Charles II, by his mistress, Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland. Like the rest of his Calvert family, Charles had been raised a Catholic but was withdrawn from his Jesuit school when his father Benedict converted to Anglicanism for political reasons.
Henceforth father and son would worship within the Church of England, much to the disgust of Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore, who upheld his Catholic faith, despite the political drawbacks, until his death in 1715. In 1688, eleven years before Charles Calvert was born, the Calvert family had lost their title to the Province of Maryland, following the events of the Glorious Revolution in England. In 1689 the Royal Charter to the colony was withdrawn. In 1715, when Charles was fifteen, his grandfather Charles Calvert, 3rd Baron Baltimore died, passing his title, his claim to Maryland, to his son Benedict Leonard Calvert, 4th Baron Baltimore. Benedict Calvert petitioned George I for the restoration of the family's proprietarial title to Maryland but, before the king could rule on the petition, Benedict Calvert himself died, just two months after his father, passing on his title in turn to his son Charles. Charles Calvert soon found himself, aged just fifteen, in the fortunate position of having had his family's proprietarial title to Maryland restored by the king.
In 1721 Charles came of age and, at 21, assumed control of the colony of Maryland, though he appointed his cousin Charles Calvert a captain in the Grenadier Guards, as governor. In 1722, Charles Calvert, fifth Baron Baltimore found himself in financial difficulties and sold the Kiplin estate, his family's home since 1620, to his mother's second husband Christopher Crowe for £7,000. In 1727 Lord Baltimore appointed his brother, Benedict Leonard Calvert, governor of the colony, replacing his cousin Captain Calvert; the handover of power from cousin to cousin was not smooth. Captain Calvert insisted on retaining fifty percent of the 3 pence tobacco duty, his due under legislation passed in 1727. Benedict was unimpressed, his younger brother Cecil wrote to him that family opinion in England was appalled at Captain Calvert's behaviour, "thinks him mad". Lord Baltimore himself wrote. Benedict's health was poor and he died of tuberculosis on 1 June 1732, while sailing back to England, he was succeeded in 1732 by Governor Samuel Ogle under whose rule Maryland became engaged in a border dispute with Pennsylvania.
Several settlers were taken prisoners on both sides and Penn sent a committee to Governor Ogle to resolve the situation. Rioting broke out in the disputed territory and Ogle appealed to the King for resolution. Faced with this situation, Charles sailed to Maryland and assumed charge of the colony in 1732, becoming for a brief period governor in his own right, his purpose in undertaking the long journey was chiefly to settle the dispute with Pennsylvania, as well as to attend to other pressing matters. Violence had broken out on the border with Pennsylvania, with Maryland loyalists such as Thomas Cresap engaging in violent exchanges with hostile Pennsylvanians. For the Marylanders, Charles unwittingly agreed to a settlement of the territorial dispute with Pennsylvania, based on an inaccurate map, using calculations of latitude and longitude which were either wrong or were deliberately omitted. Upon realizing the scale of his deception, Lord Baltimore reneged on the agreement, but in 1735 The Penns brought proceedings in the Court of Chancery in London to enforce compliance.
Chancery proceedings were notoriously slow and a final verdict was not reached until 1750, when Lord Chancellor Hardwicke found in favour of the claims of the Pennsylvanians in every respect. Charles's error resulted in the loss to Pennsylvania of one thousand square miles of Maryland territory. In 1732 Calvert returned to England, again leaving the government of Maryland in the hands of Governor Samuel Ogle, pursued a successful career in English politics, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a friend of fourth-cousin, Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and the eldest son of King George II of England. He was Gentleman of the Bedchamber to the Prince of Wales between 1731 and 1747. Baltimore was elected Member of Parliament for St Germains, a rotten borough in Cornwall, from 1734 to 1741, was MP for Surrey from 1741 to 1751, he was Lord of the Admiralty from 1742 to 1744, from 1747 to 1751 he was Surveyor-General of the Duchy of Cornwall. In addition he was Cofferer of the Household to the Prince of Wales from 1747 to 1751.
Calvert was able to sit in the House of Commons as a member of the Irish peerage
Presidency of George Washington
The presidency of George Washington began on April 30, 1789, when Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States, ended on March 4, 1797. Washington took office after the 1788–89 presidential election, the nation's first quadrennial presidential election, in which he was elected unanimously. Washington was re-elected unanimously in the 1792 presidential election, chose to retire after two terms, he was succeeded by John Adams of the Federalist Party. Washington had established his preeminence among the new nation's Founding Fathers through his service as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and as President of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Once the Constitution was approved, it was expected that Washington would become the first President of the United States, despite his own desire to retire from public life. In his first inaugural address, Washington expressed both his reluctance to accept the presidency and his inexperience with the duties of civil administration, but he proved an able leader.
Washington presided over the establishment of the new federal government – appointing all of the high-ranking officials in the executive and judicial branches, shaping numerous political practices, establishing the site of the permanent capital of the United States. He supported Alexander Hamilton's economic policies whereby the federal government assumed the debts of the state governments and established the First Bank of the United States, the United States Mint, the United States Customs Service. Congress passed the Tariff of 1789, the Tariff of 1790, an excise tax on whiskey to fund the government and, in the case of the tariffs, address the trade imbalance with Britain. Washington led federal soldiers in suppressing the Whiskey Rebellion, which arose in opposition to the administration's taxation policies, he directed the Northwest Indian War, which saw the United States establish control over Native American tribes in the Northwest Territory. In foreign affairs, he assured domestic tranquility and maintained peace with the European powers despite the raging French Revolutionary Wars by issuing the 1793 Proclamation of Neutrality.
He secured two important bilateral treaties, the 1794 Jay Treaty with Great Britain and the 1795 Treaty of San Lorenzo with Spain, both of which fostered trade and helped secure control of the American frontier. To protect American shipping from Barbary pirates and other threats, he re-established the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794. Concerned about the growing partisanship within the government and the detrimental impact political parties could have on the fragile unity of the nation, Washington struggled throughout his eight-year presidency to hold rival factions together, he was, remains, the only U. S. president never to be affiliated with a political party. In spite of his efforts, debates over Hamilton's economic policy, the French Revolution, the Jay Treaty deepened ideological divisions; those that supported Hamilton formed the Federalist Party, while his opponents coalesced around Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson and formed the Democratic-Republican Party. While criticized for furthering the partisanship he sought to avoid by identifying himself with Hamilton, Washington is nonetheless considered by scholars and political historians as one of the greatest presidents in American history ranking in the top three with Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Following the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention of 1787, a fatigued Washington returned to his estate in Virginia, Mount Vernon. He seemed intent on resuming his retirement and letting others govern the nation with its new frame of government; the American public at large, wanted Washington to be the nation's first president. The first U. S. presidential campaign was in essence what today would be called a grassroots effort to convince Washington to accept the office. Letters poured into Mount Vernon – from the people, from former comrades in arms, from across the Atlantic – informing him of public sentiment and imploring him to accept. Gouverneur Morris urged Washington to accept, writing " thirteen horses now about to be coupled together, there are some of every race and character, they will submit to your control. You therefore must, I say must mount this seat." Alexander Hamilton was one of the most dedicated in his efforts to get Washington to accept the presidency, as he foresaw himself receiving a powerful position in the administration.
The comte de Rochambeau urged Washington to accept, as did the Marquis de Lafayette, who exhorted Washington to "not to deny your acceptance of the office of President for the first years." Washington replied "Let those follow the pursuits of ambition and fame, who have a keener relish for them, or who may have more years, in store, for the enjoyment." In an October 1788 letter, Washington further expounded on his feelings regarding the election, stating, I should unfeignedly rejoice, in case the Electors, by giving their votes to another person would save me from the dreaded dilemma of being forced to accept or refuse... If that may not be–I am, in the next place, earnestly desirous of searching out the truth, knowing whether there does not exist a probability that the government would be just as and effectually carried into execution without my aid." Less certain was the choice for the vice presidency, which contained little definitive job description in the constitution. The only official role of the vice president was as the President of the United States Senate, a duty unrelated to the executive branch.
The Constitution stipulated that the position would be awarded to the runner-up in the presidential election, or
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U. S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U. S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis; the Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, served as temporary U. S. capital while Washington, D. C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a railroad hub; the city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans; the city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States; the city is known for its arts, culture and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has emerged as a biotechnology hub. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, is the home of many U. S. firsts, including the first library, medical school, national capital, stock exchange and business school. Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is undergoing gentrification, the city maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape Indians in the village of Shackamaxon; the Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are called Delaware Indians, their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases smallpox, violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin; the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.
In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin, in their traditional homelands. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey; the Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina and spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a
Abingdon was an 18th- and 19th-century plantation that the prominent Alexander, Custis and Hunter families owned. The plantation's site is now located in Arlington County in the U. S. state of Virginia. Abingdon is known as the birthplace of Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis Lewis, a granddaughter of Martha Washington and a step-granddaughter of United States President George Washington. Published accounts have credited Abingdon as being the home to the progenitor of all weeping willows living in the United States. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which occupies part of Abingdon's grounds, contains indoor and outdoor displays that commemorate the plantation's history; the land that contains Abingdon was part of a larger holding granted in 1669 by letters patent to shipmaster Robert Howson for headrights for settlers that he had brought to the Colony of Virginia. Howson soon sold the patent to John Alexander for 6,000 pounds of tobacco. Alexander was a son of the Earl of Stirling, he immigrated to Virginia around 1653, settled in Stafford County and became a planter and captain of the Stafford County militia.
When Alexander purchased the Howson patent, the patent covered an 8,000-acre site on the southwestern side of the Potomac River. The site was about 2 miles wide and extended along the Potomac from Hunting Creek to the present northern boundary of Arlington National Cemetery. After John Alexander's death in 1677, one of his sons, Robert Alexander, acquired the Howson patent by inheritance and by a gift from his brother, Phillip Alexander. In 1735, Gerrard Alexander, a grandson of Robert Alexander, inherited the northern part of the Howson patent. In 1746, a survey map that Daniel Jennings prepared showed that Gerrard Alexander owned a house on a portion of the Howson patent, north of Four Mile Creek. Shortly thereafter, in 1749, the town of Alexandria was chartered on a more southerly part of the Howson patent; the town was named in honor of John Alexander and his family, who provided land on which the town was founded. In 1761, Gerrard Alexander's will divided his estate between his sons, Robert and Gerrard.
In 1778, John Parke Custis, the son of Daniel Parke Custis and Martha Washington and the stepson of George Washington, purchased Abingdon and its 1,000-acre estate from Robert Alexander. Custis had been eager to obtain real estate in the Abingdon area on. However, Jacky Custis' eagerness and inexperience allowed Robert Alexander to take advantage of him in the transaction, because compound interest during the 24-year term would transform the £12,000 purchase price into payments totalling over £48,000; when he learned of the terms of the purchase, Washington informed Custis that "No Virginia Estate can stand simple Interest how can they bear compound Interest". Jacky Custis chose Abingdon because it was equidistant between the Washingtons' home at Mount Vernon, the family home of his wife, Eleanor Calvert. Eleanor Calvert was a descendent of Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, a member of the Parliament of England and the recipient of the charter for the Maryland colony. During the year that Jacky Custis purchased Abingdon, his neighbors in Fairfax County elected him to the Virginia General Assembly as a delegate.
Shortly after moving to Abingdon, Custis' wife gave birth to their third surviving daughter, Eleanor Parke Custis on March 31, 1779. Nelly, her older sisters, Elizabeth Parke Custis and Martha Parke Custis Peter, her younger brother, George Washington Parke Custis, were raised at Abingdon. However, Jacky Custis contracted "camp fever" in 1781 at the Siege of Yorktown while serving as Washington's aide and died shortly after Cornwallis surrendered there. Soon afterwards, George Washington "adopted" the two youngest Custis children and George, who moved from Abingdon to live with the Washingtons at Mount Vernon; the eldest children and Martha, remained at Abingdon. Custis' widow, remarried in the autumn of 1783 to a friend and business associate of George Washington, Dr. David Stuart. During the period that Dr. Stuart and Eleanor resided at Abingdon, Dr. Stuart served as a delegate from Fairfax County in the Virginia General Assembly and President Washington appointed him to be one of the three commissioners that oversaw planning of the nation's new capital city.
In 1791, Dr. Stuart and the other commissioners named the new capital the "City of Washington" in "The Territory of Columbia". Dr. Stuart and his wife had at least three of whom were born at Abingdon. Although John Parke Custis had become well-established at Abingdon, his financial matters were in a state of disarray due to his poor business judgement and wartime taxation. After his death in 1781, it took the administrators of the Custis Estate more than a decade to negotiate an end to the transaction through which Custis had purchased Abingdon; because the estate had been paid for with Continental currency, the heirs of Gerrard Alexander brought suit against the Custis and Stuart families to recover their money. After years of litigation, Abingdon was returned to Robert Alexander