George Washington Parke Custis

Apr 30, 1781 - Oct 10, 1857

George Washington Parke Custis was an American plantation owner, antiquarian, author, and playwright. His father John Parke Custis was the stepson of George Washington. He and his sister Eleanor grew up at Mount Vernon and in the Washington presidential household.
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 preserved and displayed many of Washington's belongings. Custis 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.
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 Civil War, the property was deemed to have been illegally confiscated by the US Supreme Court and was ordered returned to Lee's heirs.
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