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Q: Presidential History ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Presidential History
Category: Relationships and Society
Asked by: zanderthecat-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 04 Aug 2004 18:45 PDT
Expires: 03 Sep 2004 18:45 PDT
Question ID: 383659
Did George Washington have a mistress?
Subject: Re: Presidential History
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 04 Aug 2004 20:30 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear zanderthecat-ga;

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting
question. It is likely that we will never know for certain as such
mischief was not properly recorded in Washington?s time and it was not
proper in that era to even suspect or discuss it. What we do know is
that one family at least lays unproven claim to Washington?s lineage
through their ancestor, who was John Augustine Washington?s (the
President?s brother?s) Negro slave, Venus Ford.  West Ford was born in
Fairfax County, Virginia to Venus Ford in the mid 1780?s.

?Ford oral history states that Venus was a young girl when she was
first asked to "comfort" George Washington. She also met George
Washington on his visits to Bushfield before and after the
Revolutionary War. Ford oral history further states that after Venus
became pregnant with West, Washington no longer had sexual relations
with her. When asked by Hannah Washington [George?s sister-in-law] who
the father of her child was, Venus replied, "The Ole General be the
father, mistress."

In an unusual act of kindness, J A Washington made some provisions for
his slaves in his will. In an uncharacteristic move he mentions by
name, ?Billey? (West Ford?s grandfather) ?Jenny? (West Ford?s
grandmother) and ?Venus? (West Ford?s mother) in his will suggesting
that there was some connection other than slave/owner, but irocnically
he did not mention West in his will. This may be because George?s
brother thought of West more as an illegitimate relative than a slave
or that West Ford may have been moved to Mount Vernon to be closer to
his ?father? by the time J A Washington died.

One Ford family member claims to have traced his heritage back to West
Ford who he says was Washington?s personal attendant at Mount Vernon.
If this is true then certainly it would be seem more than a
coincidence that West Ford did in fact move to Mount Vernon as the
absence of his name in the will suggests.

Further evidence that Washington had Venus Ford as a mistress and that
West Ford was their child is the fact that Ford was given an
unprecedented honor upon Washington?s death. This entitlement was not
routine for a slave but more befitting for an endeared relative:

?West Ford became the first tomb guard for George Washington's
gravesite. Three generations of Fords would also hold the title of
tomb guard at the Mount Vernon plantation. (1937 Illinois Register
article title, "From Mt. Vernon to Springfield ? George W. Ford,
Veteranof Indian Wars, Traces Ancestry Back to Revolutionary Days When
Grandfather was Valued Servant at Mount Vernon" & George Ford's 1939

There are of course other rumors involving other women over the years:

?There are several known sex scandals associated with George
Washington. John C. Fizpatrick's, "The George Washington Scandals",
Manuscript Division of Library of Congress" page 389 discussed these
scandals in a 1927 article. These scandals have not been proven as
fact, but have been bandied about for years. The scandals consist of
"Sweet Kate" the mulatto, washer-woman's daughter who may have slept
with Washington. George Washington's use of ciphers next to various
female slaves listed in several of his diaries have also been
circumspect; and that his fatal illness of December 13, 1799, was the
result of an assignation with an overseer's wife.

Many historians will now concede George Washington's love for Sally
Fairfax, his best friend's wife. In Thomas Flexner's book, "George
Washington ? The Forge of Experience" page 198, depicts a letter
George Washington wrote to Sally Fairfax in which he states his
unrequited love for her.

Dr. Judith Burton's 1986 Doctoral Dissertation states on page 19 that:
"Florence Holland and Robert King, both residents of Gum Springs and
employees at Mount Vernon during the 1940s, have alleged that on
several occasions they read a diary that listed the children sired by
George Washington; although it is not known whether West Ford's name
was listed in the diary. They further claimed that when they were
discovered reading the book by their supervisors at Mount Vernon, the
book was confiscated and they never saw it again." (Holland, 1972;
King, 1956).?

We have at least one piece of evidence that clearly indicates (then)
General Washington had an affair with his next-door-neighbor?s wife
well after his engagement to his future wife Martha Custis. One of his
love notes to Sally Fairfax, on Sept. 12, 1758, has been preserved:

?Tis true I profess myself a votary to Love. I acknowledge that a Lady
is in the case; and, further, I confess that this lady is known to
you. Yes, Madam, as well as she is to one who is too sensible of her
Charms to deny the Power whose influence he feels and must ever submit
to....You have drawn me, my dear Madam, or rather I have drawn myself,
into an honest confession of a Simple Fact. Misconstrue not my
meaning, 'tis obvious; doubt it not or expose it. The world has no
business to know the object of my love, declared in this manner to -
you, when I want to conceal it. One thing above all things, in this
World I wish to know, and only one person of your acquaintance can
solve me that or guess my meaning - but adieu to this till happier
times, if ever I shall see them.?

The Fairfaxes and George Washington

The Press Once Winked at White House Sex Tales 
Many Presidents Had Affairs

Below you will find that I have carefully defined my search strategy
for you in the event that you need to search for more information. By
following the same type of searches that I did you may be able to
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that my research exceeds your expectations. If you have any questions
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you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher


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zanderthecat-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
I appreciate the work and effort.  The references are excellent.  Glad
it was a "fun" question--the whole project on my end is fun too.

Subject: Re: Presidential History
From: psychopoet-ga on 11 Aug 2004 09:06 PDT
Nice Work

(tip well)

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